I think it’s important to include made-for-purpose nursing clothing amongst the ‘normal’ high street stuff. Why? Well because it’s that bit more practical (especially for nursing in public) and also accommodating to our figures as mothers.
I chose Charlotte Keating to review because I wanted to represent the high-end clothing available as well as the cheaper stuff. I think that if you can afford it, it’s well worth having a few good quality staple items in your wardrobe. Especially if you plan on letting your little one self wean – and/or having another little bundle of joy in the near future.
Something I like about Charlotte Keating is the fact it’s run by a breastfeeding mum. This means she knows what we want out of clothing. Their ethos is “to make life easier for new mums breastfeeding without the need for compromising on their lifestyle choices or hiding away in public”.
Taken from her website, her story is as follows: “Charlotte Keating ENGLAND was originally founded in 2001 as a high end womenswear clothing company and couture bridal wear. In 2008 Charlotte gave birth to her daughter who she breastfed for14 months. Disappointed with the impractical, unflattering and often malfunctioning nursingwear available on the market, she was inspired to create her own range of breastfeeding clothes which fulfilled her wishes as a nursing mum.”
So lets get down to it. I had two items of clothing to review.
The Chic V Neck Nursing Dress (£45):
And the Sweetheart Nursing Tee (£30):
When my items arrived (very promptly I might add!), I opened the package to a lovely presentation of tissue wrapping and ribbon – makes a nice change from the normal plastic bag shoved into another plastic bag!
The first item I tried on was the Chic V Neck Nursing Dress. My first thoughts upon putting it on was that I loved the colour, the fabric and the v-neck and sleeve design. It came in at the most flattering point of my waist. Below the waist, I felt it could’ve been a bit more flattering on my lumps and bumps. I feel these dresses would be fine as they are on size 8-12 but above that may require a bit of shapewear as the fabric clings to the skin a little bit. As an generous size 16, I have more than my fair share of ‘lumps and bumps’ so the dress did have a lot to contend with! In these pictures I’m wearing medium support tum and bum shapewear. My boobs fit comfortably in the dress (at 36H, I often ‘pop out’ of things) so this was a big plus point for me.
When it comes to the nursing aspect, I really like the access these dresses provide. There’s enough fabric to pull down to get access to both boobs which is a definite plus for tandem nursing! The underneath panel allows for enough boob coverage for an anxious mum to have the confidence to feed their baby wherever they see fit (although there’s nothing wrong with the ‘over the top’ method if that’s what you’re comfortable with!).
To round up, I do like this dress, but it does make me quite aware of my bumpy bits. It would make a great dress for going back to work (and expressing) or smart casual occasions. The fabric is gorgeous and feels very high quality. As it doubles as a maternity dress, I feel I would be more comfortable wearing it with a big bump rather than lots of little post part ones.
Nursing Access: 10/10
Flattering Fit: 6/10
Value for money: 7/10
Total score: 7/10
Next, I tried on the Sweetheart Nursing Tee. It was love at first sight. The design struck me as genius. The way the fabric sweeps in at my waist and skims over my stomach is brilliant. It immediately made me feel great about my figure and could be worn with anything from a smart skirt to a pair of every day jeans! The sleeve cut is flattering on my arms (I’m often struggling to find that ‘right cut’).
The access, like the dress, is great for single or tandem nursing. Easily pulled down and covers only what you need it to. You could easily cover with your hand without showing too much flesh.
To sum up, this is a PERFECT staple breastfeeding top for all year round. It also doubles up as a maternity top (no excess fabric though as it’s stretchy!). Flattering, lovely fabric, feels comfortable and most importantly, allows that all important access for feeding our precious babies! Price wise, it is a little expensive but when something is being made high quality and ethically, it’s worth paying that bit more for a top that could easily be worn hundreds of times.
Nursing Access: 10/10
Flattering Fit: 10/10
Value for money: 8/10
Total score: 9.5/10
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