Double Review! Cleo Ellie and Freya Loretta

At first I was just going to post a review of the Cleo Ellie half cup, but then I decided it might be fun to compare it with Loretta at the same time. I love Loretta, and when it bites the dust it will be a sad sad day since it is discontinued and I cannot replace it. Ellie though… meh, I wasn’t happy with it. It may be another case like the Ewa Michalak half cup bras though where it just is not right for me. I’m sensing a trend that half cups aren’t right for me, in fact…

Onto the reviews!

Left: Cleo Ellie, almost new
Right: Freya Loretta, about 8 months old

So immediately looking at the two bras, I prefer the appearance of Loretta, though from the front I don’t really have any major issues with Ellie. What I love about Loretta (aside from the awesome pattern) is that it minimizes my chest and holds my boobs closer to my body. There’s very little jiggling, bouncing, movement, etc. Ellie projects outward more, making my breasts appear larger. Since the top half of the breasts are not contained in the cup due to the half cup style, the breasts are not as close to my body and are thus free to move around more. Ellie’s appearance is quite round and larger, whereas Loretta is rounded, but more natural than Ellie and smaller. Of course Ellie is padded, which adds a bit to the size, whereas Loretta is unlined.

28FF Ellie and 28F Loretta: Ellie runs small

As far as sizing goes, Ellie runs at least a full cup size too small. I couldn’t wear Ellie with a t-shirt in a 28FF because I found that a bit of double-boobing happened. However it is fairly attractive under a lower neckline. Loretta however in 28F fits pretty much perfectly. My boobs are totally contained, and I love that it doesn’t run too high under the armpits which is a problem I run into sometimes being quite petite. I’ve heard from a few sources that the band Ellie runs tight, but I didn’t find that to be the case at all. My Loretta after 8 months of wear is tighter than Ellie brand new on the loosest set of hooks. I have to wear Loretta on the middle hooks now, but with Ellie I could have fastened it to the tightest hooks immediately. Another problem with the band was on the tightest set of hooks it still did not want to lay flat and continued to angle upward. Perhaps the upward angle is just idiosyncratic to Ellie and even in a proper fit it would have that appearance.

It’s pretty clear here that the Ellie makes my bust look large. I feel kind of out of proportion in Ellie since I am a small person aside from my bust. Loretta however just lifts, shapes and contains without adding size.

The biggest niggle I had with Ellie was that the wires dug in very badly at my sternum. I haven’t read about this problem anywhere else, so I think this could be due to having very little fat tissue at my underbust, or perhaps just the shape of my body. But if you’re small like I am, this could be an issue for you. I didn’t take any photos of it, but it actually left me with two small cuts where the center gore sits, which made wearing a bra for the next few days very uncomfortable without slipping a bit of cotton between the gore and my skin. Bending out the wires helped a bit, but I found that Venusian Glow’s extremely simple technique for fixing painful underwires fixed that problem almost entirely. You can check that out here:

Brand new Ellie on loosest hooks: Riding up my back.
8 Month old Loretta on middle hooks: Still looking good.

I guess my final feelings about Ellie are:

  • don’t get it if you need a 26-28 inch band
  • don’t get it if you want to minimize your chest
  • don’t get it if you have issues with underwires digging in

But go ahead and get it if you want a round, enhanced shape with a bright playful print. Definitely size up in the cups, and wear for a while first without taking the tags off to see if the wires dig in. I wish this came in an unlined version because I do really love how it looks.