By HOLLY JACKSON
What do women really want in a bra? While fashion writers tend to cover this issue as a monolith, those of us who work in the industry know that it is a question that is far more complicated. 25 years ago two women sat down in their kitchen and tried to ask themselves that same question. The result was a test bra made from leopard print fabric that birthed Bravado Designs™ who has been asking that question to women continuously ever since.
Bravado Designs™ makes maternity and nursing bras that are designed to simply just work. All products are tested by tons of mothers in different size ranges before they are released and their attention to detail and fit testing shows. Bras have been been certified to Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex® requirements, which ensures products are free from harmful substances.
They also don’t skimp on a range of stylish options. Their Original Nursing bra is a modern take on a heritage bra. Constructed in a cozy microfiber it promises moderate support for DD-G cups in an easy wire-free bra. The Body Silk Seamless bra with 4 way stretch, removable pads and alpha sizing is the ultimate everyday solution. The Buttercup Nursing Bra is engineered in Bravado’s Petal Soft™ fabric. Softness is the mission whether a woman loves underwires or simply wishes to pull the bra over her head. These are just 4 of a range of styles, each owning its own special solution for a discerning mother or mother to be.
Longevity and attention detail aren’t the ‘sexy’ selling points for most companies, but Bravado’s reliability is a big part of their success story. There are lots of companies that focus on innovation within their section of the industry, but not all of them combine it with a commitment to quality and easy to use the designs the way Bravado does. Nursing clips are a great invention, but can turn into a major annoyance if they stick or pop open. The elements that make a maternity bra supportive can also dig into your skin and leave nasty marks. Avoiding these kinds of issues is what sets the great maternity brands apart from the rest. Bravado has spent years perfecting these design features so they work every time you need them to.
Designing bras for bodies that are changing daily is a huge challenge, but my favorite thing about Bravado is that they take it a step further for many of their bras. Several of their bras include a Bra Conversion Kit so you can easily convert your nursing bra to a regular bra once you are ready to stop nursing. It’s a great way to help a Bravado bra become a regular staple in someone’s lingerie drawer. After all, nursing and maternity bras are really comfortable! Why not help someone keep their comfortable bra that they love wearing and make it adjust to their lifestyle?
New moms who just have brought their sweet bundle of joy into the world should know that a good quality bra for breastfeeding is essential. This new Anita Seamless Nursing Bra #5096 might be her new best friend! The ultra stylish,wire-free nursing bra provides a modern, feel-good design with brilliant breastfeeding comfort for everyday wear.
The Seamless Nursing Bra is made with silky-smooth microfiber fabric in stylish pastel tones. Removable, concealing foam cups provide extra support and shape. The wide underbust band is extremely soft and provides comfortable support without underwires. Soft cups can be completely folded down to allow the baby easy access to the breast, while the nursing band prevents the straps from slipping down. The nursing clip on the straps allows the cups to be opened and closed with just one hand, which is convenient for both, mom and baby.Sizes: S – XXL. Available colors: Powder Blue, Lotus and Black.
The Anita Seamless Nursing Bra 5096 is an ultra-comfy must-have!
By HOLLY JACKSON
I’ve always been a fan of gorgeous robes and pajamas, but most of the stuff you see in the maternity market tends to reflect comfort and function rather than luxury and beauty. I was pleasantly surprised to run into Brazilian brand Mari M, which clearly seems to believe that glamour is for everyone!
Mari M started in 1998 and has branched out into a myriad of different categories. They cover fashion pieces, basics, maternity, and loungewear pieces.While some brands view their maternity line as a small addition to their basics line, Mari M clearly views their maternity offerings as equally important and fashionable. Their Lolla chemise combines beautiful lace with a decadent floral print, while their ‘Happy’ Collection dresses up basic comfort pieces with lace and classic silhouettes.
Their current Blue Flowers collection combines an blue base with effervescent pink roses and trims each piece with bright pink lace. It’s notable that this fashionable collection covers all categories, from sexy short chemises to maternity pieces suitable for nursing mothers. It’s a perfect and slightly unusual take on spring flowers that is also easy to wear for a range of skin tones.
Basics aren’t neglected here, but they are dressed up with lace and lovely shapes. Even the maternity options are dressed up with lace trimmed straps and lace waistbands, while still featuring easy to wear silhouettes and breathable fabrics. These are basics that can be worn even after you’re done nursing, as they are identical in look and feel to more fashionable basic pieces from more standard lines.
When I’m wearing my other hat and writing about curvy lingerie, I write a lot about equality and having choices. In a perfect world, plus-size women and core size women would have all of the same choices. In an even better world, women who are pregnant and nursing would have access to all of the same fashionable and high quality pieces as well! I love seeing companies like Mari M living that philosophy. Anywhere where two friends can shop for a sexy date night and for beautiful maternity pieces at the same time gets my vote.
By HOLLY JACKSON
I have a highly fashionable friend who recently gave birth, who is dealing with being a new mom like a superhero but is really struggling with the loss of her former style. Like many new moms, she feels trapped in her cheap and ugly stretch clothing but also unable to move on from it (she says she’s changing her shirt at least three times a day at this point due to the baby). She wants to feel functional and glamorous, and the loss of her personal style has hit her hard.
I always tell people that I believe that no one deserves ugly underwear, but sometimes we have to live in functional underwear due to our circumstances. Luckily, there are lots of nice minimalist maternity options these days that are both functional and still let you retain a sense of personal style. The Next to Nothing Micro Wireless Nursing Bra by On Gossamer is a really good entry in this category.
Sizing runs from 32B to 38DD and the bra comes in both champagne and black. The look is sleek and simple, using featherlight microfiber to create support and fit flexibility for women who are nursing. Easy to use nursing clips complete the look, making this bra easy to use and comfortable to wear. Unlike many nursing bras, this one has fashionably skinny straps and light elastic, so you don’t feel like you’re wearing your grandmother’s nursing bra.
This wire free nursing bra is a great basic that won’t make you feel like you’ve become someone you don’t recognize.
By HOLLY JACKSON
I’m not a mom, but I’ve quickly learned that motherhood is everywhere in your early 30’s. I’ve already seen scores of friends approach it differently: while some triple down on the ballet lessons, others put in baby shower requests for non-gendered clothing. I even know someone who didn’t tell anyone except her family that she was pregnant until she had the baby — we were all pretty surprised when pictures of her adorable newborn popped up on Facebook last week casually! Motherhood seems to be a continuation of who my friends were before they were mothers. Some were goths, some loved vintage styles and some just bought whatever was basic and easy without thinking much about it. So to me, it was both a no-brainer and a breath of fresh air when I ran across the Warrior Mama Maternity Bra by Silent Arrow.
Silent Arrow is an Australian brand that has taken a street style approach to lingerie. If you’ve seen one piece from them, it’s probably their wildly popular (and notoriously fun) F.U. mesh pieces that layer swear words over sheer mesh for a graphic effect. They’re not the brand that naturally pairs with glossy pastel images of motherhood, but Silent Arrow is fine with that.
The Warrior Mama bra is pure silent arrow, from the high fashion strappy approach to the strategic cutouts. What has been added is smart technology and flexible sizing to make a bra that lets new mothers keep their signature aesthetic without sacrificing usability. The hybrid bra/crop top is designed with a thin foam cup for comfort and extra absorbency, while specifically designed magnets make breastfeeding easy. It also makes the nursing clips invisible, which means the bra doesn’t read as a maternity bra. The bra itself reads as a fashion piece, so moms can feel fierce and comfortable at the same time.
Silent Arrow’s hard work has paid off: this bra is currently sold out on their site and is starting to pop up at other boutiques around the world. I hope this heralds a whole new collection of maternity bras to come! I love that women have so many ways to express themselves and their sense of style at all stages of life. After all, the women I know aren’t letting a baby steal their style.