Lotte Debell puts Anita’s seamless maternity bustier to the test
Anita says: ‘The bustier is soft and seamless in a romantic styling of polka dots and lace banding. The round-knitted microfibre is breathable and snug-fitting and pleasant to wear during the day and at night. The cups are Grow-With-You and the integrated gathering separates the breasts and creates an attractive bust form. The in-woven ‘power-control’ reinforced zones provide support.’
Lotte says: The looks v comfort debate when it comes to pregnancy underwear is one that every pregnant woman will have their own take on. From my point of view, comfort is so important – you have so many different aches, pains and niggles to endure while pregnant that the last thing you need is an uncomfortable bra – but looks are right up there as well, especially as time progresses. Feeling attractive in pregnancy can be a challenge and wearing pretty things goes a long way. Pretty things that make you look good can’t be underestimated.
My first experience of maternity lingerie was none of these things. A hurried trip to John Lewis at around three months resulted in a not particularly great fitting experience and a couple of the store’s own brand non-wired bras. These were not specifically maternity bras, but they shouldn’t have to be at that stage, they just had to fit and be comfortable.
I ended up with the right size (eventually) but the bras themselves were not a success, which looking back is an argument for choosing maternity bras for pregnancy that have been designed with the needs of pregnant woman in mind. A very narrow, hard underband dug into my ribs and also often rolled up and under on itself because of the lack of wire to keep it in place and dug into my boobs – exactly what you want to avoid. Almost worse than that, however, was the fact that the bras gave no definition to my breasts at all. I had a shelf. Not attractive. Needless to say, they didn’t last long.
So, when Anita offered the new maternity bustier for review, I was more than willing to give it a try. With the above in mind, how does it measure up?
Comfort: This bra top has several features that make it good for comfort. The most important for me is the soft, wide underband. If you suffer from rib pain during pregnancy, and I do, a stretchy, knitted underband is infinitely preferable to a narrow band, wired or non-wired. It fits snugly but not too tight and doesn’t dig in or sit directly on top of sore ribs. Just this small thing made such a difference to my comfort. There’s also no chance it will dig into your breast tissue.
The fabric of both the band and the cups is also soft and doesn’t rub, which is important as the cups are not lined and there’s no getting away from sore boobs at some point during pregnancy. The material of the cups is firm enough to provide support without squashing your boobs. The fit is rather like a sports bra in terms of keeping everything in place – also important for tender, growing boobs – but obviously not to the same extent.
The fact that the cups are designed to accommodate changes in breast size is also a bonus, from a comfort and a financial point of view. Breasts change and grow at an unpredictable rate during pregnancy, and if you’re someone who experiences significant change, ensuring you always have a good fit could require a number of updates.
Looks: This is a crop top design so if you’re looking for a sexy bra style, this won’t be the one for you. That said, Anita have designed the bustier with some pretty features, such as the polka dot fabric and narrow lace trim, when it could easily have been plain and boring. It all helps, because feeling like you’re wearing something nice does become really quite important.
Looks go beyond just what a bra looks like, however. What it looks like on and the shape it gives you are key aspects of appearance, for me anyway. Despite the fact that this is a crop top, it gave much better definition than the John Lewis bras. It has a gathered centre to help separate your boobs, and while this won’t give you the same degree of separation as an underwired bra, it does avoid the dreaded shelf. I also found that this aspect of the bra improved as my boobs grew, which was a bonus, and generally the shape under clothes was nice and rounded.
Verdict: Overall, this is a very handy little bra top to have in your pregnancy wardrobe. From a comfort perspective, it scores very high for me and has seen a lot of use over the last few months. Trying this bra and finding out what I like about it has also helped me choose other maternity and nursing bras, much more successfully than my first effort!
From a looks perspective, it depends on your requirements. I like it because it is pretty and feminine even though it is a crop top, but if you are keen to keep wearing the same style lingerie as pre-pregnancy, this might not be what you’re looking for. I do recommend having one in your drawer anyway, however, as there will be those days when you’re really uncomfortable and an easy-to-wear, comfy and flexible bra will be just what you need.
The Anita seamless maternity bustier comes in sizes S-XL and costs £26. It is available in black from Figleaves.com and in pink from Envie4u.co.uk.