Bravo, Bravado

bravado-nursing-tank.jpgA couple of months ago, after (probably too) many weeks of winging it with my regular clothes, I finally came to terms with the fact that I needed maternity tops. It also quickly became painfully (literally) clear that I needed new bras too. Read on for my thoughts on three of Bravado's maternity/nursing bra offerings, as well as to learn how to win a Bravado nursing bra or tank!

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For reasons that still escape me, when I nursed Laurel, I opted for -- and soldiered on with -- cheap nursing bras that were unattractive, uncomfortable, and not that great functionally. I'm not sure whether it was sleep deprivation, martyr complex, or something else, but I still find it completely bizarre that I stuck with those crummy bras through 13 months of nursing.

So this time around (i.e., while I still had my wits about me) I was already planning on investing in quality bras. As it turned out, I mentioned briefly in one of my pregnancy photo journal posts that it was time to get some new bras, and Bravado reached out about sending me some items from their collection to test drive.

And it has been a huge treat to experience a completely different bra experience with Bravado, even before nursing has begun! Bravado sent me three styles, and though only two are indicated on their website for use during pregnancy (the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra + Essential Nursing Bra Tank; and then I also tested the Bliss Nursing Bra), all of the bras are supportive and comfortable during the maternity phase and are super easy to use for nursing (via easy release tabs). I found that each of these bras is great for different uses (more on that next) and I love that they are all comfortable as maternity bras and will function for nursing. Meaning, more bang for your buck.

Regarding functionality: Though the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra is touted for its smooth shape, I actually think the Bliss Nursing Bra does a better job in this department. Because of its satin finish, the Bliss Nursing Bra feels more fancy compared to the cotton-based body silk bra and thus functions better under clingier tops (e.g., good for work or event outfits with clingier bodices). In contrast, for me, the foam padding (which you can swap for nursing pads) in the body silk bra creates a little bit of a ridge that can be evident depending on what type of shirt you're wearing (e.g., how clingy the fabric). But otherwise, I really dig the comfort factor of the body silk bra -- it almost feels like wearing a sports bra (in the comfort not restrictive sense) -- just really comfortable and great for kicking around in. Subsequently, you can wear the body silk bra under non-clingy work tops, casual tops, or under a t-shirt or tank to your prenatal yoga class.

Finally, the Essential Nursing Bra Tank is my favorite Bravado pick because it is perfect alone (e.g., when you're overheating) or as the base layer under a cardigan, tunic, or button down shirt. I have been wearing this tank a lot (including when I do yoga) and I suspect the nursing tank will also be a post-delivery staple. Bravado sent me the tank in black and I loved it so much that I bought another in white, and am now thinking I should buy another one in black (or go for another one of the color options) for back up -- particularly since a friend told me that she loved this tank so much she wore it during delivering; I'm totally following her lead on this one.

In short, if you're expecting and planning on nursing, definitely try Bravado. I've been living in these bras during my third trimester, and, assuming that nursing works out as it did with Laurel, I will continue to live in them into 2012!

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Congrats to winner Theresa!
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Now, want to win a Bravado nursing bra or tank? Here's how:

  • Visit the Bravado online shop, then email (with "Bravado" in the subject), and name a Bravado style you'd like to try out or gift to a friend.

  • One entry permitted per person; US & Canada entrants welcome to enter.

  • Entry period closes at midnight EST, Monday, March 7, 2011.

    *One lucky winner (drawn using will receive their choice size/color of either the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra, Bliss Nursing Bra, OR Essential Nursing Bra Tank (subject to stock availability).