21 Aug 2012
Easy access chic
I’ve been managing on a restricted wardrobe for some months now – after all, everything has had to stretch since the beginning of the year. But now I’ve actually lost the bump, my choices have actually shrunk.
As I haven’t (unsurprisingly if mildly dishearteningly) shrunk back to my pre-pregnancy wardrobe just yet, I still can’t unpack all my normal clothes. Meanwhile some of the items I was wearing in the last months are simply too big, while a selection of tops have suddenly stopped working as they’re no good for breastfeeding, or simply look odd without a bump to fit inside the specially designed maternity ruching, although the stretchy vests from Gap are still proving to be one of the most useful things I’ve ever bought.
In the meantime, while I’m trying to get the hang of breastfeeding, here are a few of my finds.
• Seraphine – although this is a maternity range as well, I never really got round to investigating it properly until the end of my pregnancy when I was given the Azure Pleated Nursing Top, currently on sale for £19, by my mum. A short-sleeved top with a V-neck, I love the cunningly concealed openings in the pleats which pull open to feed and the super soft material. As a result, I bought myself the black Nursing Vest Top, £19, as a useful staple – it’s a different design with a lift-up layer but now the sun’s out, I’ve been wearing it almost more than anything else. Last but not least, I was given a Justine pleated jersey dress in purple, £42, which is hugely flattering and perfect to dress up or for over leggings. The pleats skim over my post-pregnancy stomach and the design is the kind I’d happily choose at any time. I’d expected a similar concealed opening to the T-shirt but it’s simply a case of pulling down the V-neck.
• H&M black nursing top – one of my late pregnancy insomniac eBay purchases. It’s a fairly functional black T-shirt but the kind of thing that’s useful to have, and I like the discreet opening for if and when I feed in public. The black is a little faded and the material is nothing special but it is second-hand and even at full price (£19.99 for two, currently on sale for £12.99), it’s a bargain so you do get what you pay for.
• Bravado Essential nursing tank – I’ve already done a review of the range’s nursing bra but they also do a rather clever vest top with a built-in bra which I was sent too. It’s a lovely chocolatey brown and the bra is surprisingly supportive plus there’s enough Lycra to give a slight sucked-in effect. It is tight to get on as a result so wait a week rather than trying it in the first few days when everything was a bit sensitive as I did. I also feel slightly exposed when I unclip the top (in the same way as a nursing bra) but that’s just personal preference and a cardigan or shirt over it would probably solve that. £35.90.
• Mamas & Papas – I was given a couple of nursing tops by a friend, including a red vest top with an in-built support layer (there’s currently one either the same or similar for £16). The support isn’t really enough without a bra, though might work for smaller sizes, although it’s fine as a vest – it just means unclipping two clips which is a bit of a faff. She also gave me two tops with a clever wrap front disguising the openings to feed, one short-sleeved, £23, and one long, £26, which should be good for cooler weather.
With a few stretchy maxi dresses, a couple of knee length options, some leggings and a sole pair of maternity jeans to complete the set, I think a shopping trip is on the cards. Something which, given my new dress size, fills me with less excitement than normal…