I’m continually amazed by how breast change in pregnancy falls in line with bump development. It took me until the start of the 2nd trimester for my tummy to really start growing, by which time my bras also started to feel less comfortable. While it didn’t really look like my boobs were any bigger, my abdomen was, which meant I was outgrowing my small banded bras as fast as my leggings. Time for a new bra – again!
Something else I’ve found with expanding in circumference is that bras are fitting me differently now too, it’s not just about the band length. The distance between the curve of my baby belly and my boobs is moving closer by the day, and with it goes the ability to wear any type of band or wiring without noticing it. I’m way more sensitive to fabrics than I used to be, and where space is at a premium, my band needs to be super supportive and without risk of digging.
When I’m totally fed up with the conformity of wired bras and I just want to feel relaxed and comfy, I’m definitely erring more on the soft cup style. So for my next maternity bra I was keen for it to be wire-free and all about unfussy natural shape.
The fantastic folk at Brastop wanted to send me a maternity bra and I chose the Royce Charlotte Comfort Bra, a style I actually wouldn’t have considered trying before now but since becoming pregnant I’ve realised how preferences, taste and priorities change along with your bump and boobs.
Brastop sent me the Royce Charlotte Comfort Bra, black, 34H/£26
The Charlotte collection by Royce is a hugely popular line that offers both nursing and comfort variants of bra to cater for the needs of the pregnant, breastfeeding and those who don’t like wires. As I’m wanting something more about comfort than the feeding functionality right now, I opted for the latter.
Charlotte is very much a full bust friendly bra, available in a wide range of sizes from 28-40 backs and cups DD-K (although not all cups run to all bands), and comes with a choice of basic colours: black, white and nude.
A quick glance at Charlotte would assume this is a fairly basic bra, but looks deceive. Royce have achieved something great in this simple design, a humble aesthetic with superior performance.
The soft cupped polyamide and cotton mix bra has a silky, soft sheen finish with a sheer polka dot mesh to the upper cups creating a modern yet retro inspired look. A deep elastic band with a soft ribbed texture runs along the foundation of the bra, fastening on a 3 hook by 4 columns wide closure, while sturdy, wide straps offer semi adjustability.
As my ribcage now measures 32″ I sought advice from the fitters at Brastop and was advised the 34″ band would be best for me. The band does seem to run small in this style and I found the 34H to be the best fitting for me. I wear the band fastened on the second to last (3rd) column which offers me the most comfortable and supportive hold. At first I went with the 2nd hook but found it a little too snug; I experienced some red mark pressing to the outer sides of my ribs, so I realised it was fastened tighter than it needed to be. I do still get some slight marking along where the band has been but it’s definitely unnoticeable when I wear it. It doesn’t dig in or anything and feels naturally comfy.
The straps are really easy to adjust and slide into place, and I found that despite them being only semi-adjustable I have ample room for my needs. My bust is fairly low positioned on my body so anybody with a similar shape to mine or have higher rooted breasts will be more than okay.
The soft cupped nature of this bra means that, as to be expected, the centre gore won’t sit tightly to my chest. The full cup design includes a high centre point though, which ensures as fully an enveloping fit you could get from this style. You don’t get the same uplift as a wired bra would offer, but it does hold your natural shape in place while taking the weight off your shoulders. The bra follows my contours with a really supportive shape that does have a natural, second skin feel to it – it’s like not wearing a bra but in the comfiest way!
The Charlotte comfort bra may not have the bells and whistles you’d see on other maternity bras I’ve reviewed but it most certainly does deliver. It’s comfortable and an actual joy to wear when all those flexiwires just don’t cut the mustard.
You can buy the Royce Charlotte Comfort Bra from:
What do you think of the Royce Charlotte bra? Have you ever found yourself surprised by the fit of a bra? Been left disappointed after high rating reviews of another? If you love your wired bras, would you explore the world of soft cups? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.