Abstract: A basic bra that looks pretty and gives a rounded, albeit low and widely spread, shape. Unfortunately, it has some structural issues that compromise its comfort.
Background: The Juna is a padded half cup bra made by Cleo, a Panache brand aimed at younger customers. As far as I can tell, it’s a continuity style sold in sizes 28-38 D-H in black, off-white, and nude. Cleo has also made several brightly colored versions based on the same cut that are sold under different names. I purchased the Juna in 32FF and 32G online for the normal retail price earlier this year.
Sizing: The band runs slightly large and the cups run very small. The top edges of the cups are trimmed with lace that, for some reason, is a lot looser than it should be. The lace will gape noticeably even if the cups are too small, possibly tricking you into thinking you need a smaller cup size. For a more accurate fit when you’re trying it on, put on a tight, stretchy top. This will make the lace lay flat and make apparent any double-boob that would signify a too-small cup.
32FF is my usual size, but I found the 32FF Juna bra too small in the cups. The 32G was exactly right for me in terms of cup volume, although a bit too large in the band. If you buy this bra, either keep your normal band size and go up one cup size, or go down once in the band and up twice in the cup.
Comfort: It’s not very friendly in the sternum area. The ends of the underwire casing are rough and squared off with sharp corners, so they rub and poke a fair bit. The wires also come up extremely high at the front, which is normally a feature that I like for the added support it gives, but in this case, the center gore is much, much higher than necessary. The entire front half of the band, in fact, is stiff and rigid and causes a lot of rubbing. The bra also comes up very high under the arms, which makes reaching across your front quite difficult when, for example, you’re doing up your shoelaces. One good point here is that I didn’t find the bra scratchy, and I liked the material used on the inner lining of the cups. Nevertheless, this is an uncomfortable bra overall, and it’s not one I would want to wear for more than a few hours at a time.
Shape: Nearly perfect, but not quite there. This bra gets full marks for roundness thanks to the vertical seams on the cups, but the uplift is lacking. There’s not much centering going on, either; the bra doesn’t give that awful east-west look that no one likes, but neither does it make any kind of concerted effort to bring my boobs to the front. To sum up, the shape is rounded, low, wide, and spread out across the chest. I call it the ‘boobs of steel’ look. I don’t know why, it just seems apt.
Support: Pretty good. I would expect as much from such a stiff and structured bra. The band, though narrow, is strong because it’s made of two layers: powernet on the inside and fabric on the outside. I find this much better than Freya’s flimsy single-layered powernet bands. The straps on this bra aren’t as wide as I’d like, but I do prefer extremely wide straps, so the ones on the Juna are probably plenty wide enough for most people. The long, stiff underwires and the padded cups also give extra stability. I would have liked to have three hooks instead of two, though.
Quality: At £23, this bra is cheaper than most, but the lower price comes with a corresponding drop in quality. The materials themselves are good, but the construction is lacking. The center gore is rough, the straps seem a bit weak at the point where they attach to the tops of the cups, and the section of the band near the hook-and-eye closure isn’t finished properly, so there are a bunch of raw hems hanging out back there.
Appearance: It’s very pretty, for a basic bra. The cups are slightly shiny on the outside and the lace on top looks good. The neckline has a nice, nearly horizontal shape, though it’s a bit higher than most half cup bras. The vertical seam isn’t completely invisible under clothes, but it’s not too obvious.
Conclusions: Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this bra. The shape, though rounded, isn’t quite perfect, and although £23 is certainly a good price, for just £4 or £5 more you can buy a bra of higher quality that doesn’t try to stab you all day.