Maternity lingerie can be too beige. Don’t get me wrong, beige has its place, it’s fantastic when you want a neutral colour that won’t show through your clothes. But sometimes neutral, basic colours don’t cut it, and maternity underwear can be guilty of being so niche, it appears brands are almost too afraid to make a fashion statement with it. The way I see it? I shouldn’t have to change my lingerie personality just because I’m now pregnant. I want the functionality and the style, so can’t I have both?
When Royce Lingerie released images of the set that I have right here today, I couldn’t wait for it to be launched. I saw colour! In a vibrant print you’d expect to see in a seasonal fashion line rather than continuity, it seemed Royce received the memo and delivered with a current and trend reflecting maternity style.
The Florence collection comes in two colour options, including Teal and Cream & Aubergine and is available in band sizes 32-38, cups D-H. Most appealing to me in the teal shade, it features a romantic floral print in dusky shades of pink and blue, a stylish design that’s right on trend with a timeless beauty.
Royce gifted me the Florence Nursing Bra 34H / (£36)
& Mini and Brazilian Briefs, both Large / (£15 each)
The collection centres around the nursing bra which is a wire-free soft cup style with detachable drop down cups. It has three section, cotton lined cups for a sturdy fit and breathable comfort, and features fully adjustable straps and a deep 3 hook fastener with 4 hook extension. Florence’s silky fabric trimmed with an embroidered mesh to the upper cup and pretty hot pink centre bow makes for a sumptuous look that feels just as indulgent.
The Mini Brief
There are two brief styles to choose from to co-ordinate with the bra: a mini brief and shorty style Brazilian.
The mini brief is a low cut knicker style that has a clean, unfussy look. Featuring the floral print and a simple hem to the front, the mini brief has a plain sheer mesh reverse, yet boasts a deep lace trim around the back.
The mini brief is my favourite of the two styles as it feels much more comfortable to wear. The fact that it’s not highly detailed in its design and has that stretch mesh bottom means it wears more seamlessly, and the lace round the bottom is just the right amount to feel a little luxurious.
The Brazilian Brief
The Brazilian brief is a similar low cut to the mini brief but is much more heavily stylised, with the embroidered lace running all the way around the leg, and the floral print both front and back.
I found that this brief was slightly more generous in the fit and wore more like a shorty, hipster style. The additional lace trim makes for an ultra feminine touch that feels sensuous and pretty; the shape felt a little too low for me but is a gorgeous piece aesthetically.
I’ve previously reviewed some lovely pieces by Royce; with the Charlotte comfort bra being my current favourite bra to wear at the moment, my only criticism of it being lacking in colour. So I had high hopes that Florence would be the perfect combination of that same reliable fit, just a little bit sexed up. Well, it isn’t the same bra as Charlotte, and while that may be down to my Charlotte bra being the comfort style rather than nursing, I have had to realise that this is a design in its own right, and that it’ll wear and look somewhat differently.
Thankfully, Florence is an extremely comfortable wear. The wire-free nature is again a much welcomed sensation where my bump is concerned (for some reason, I just don’t seem to be getting along with many wires these days.) And it’s all the more amazing that the elasticated band manages to offer not only a comfortable stretch that accommodates my bump but provide a decent foundation that provides all the support I need. I feel completely held in place without it causing any feeling of restriction. (When your lungs are compromisingly compressed, you do not want a bra that makes you gasp for air. Phew!)
Wearing the Mini Brief
Wearing the Mini Brief
Wearing the Brazilian Brief
Wearing the Brazilian Brief
Comparing to Charlotte again, the Florence bra wears entirely differently. While Charlotte has a more separating style that moves the breasts apart, Florence holds my boobs just where they are, which has some pros and cons. The good part is that I don’t feel pulled about into shapes I’m not, but this means that being close set, my boobs have a tendency of adopting the uni-boob look, and they can be a little too centrally compressed. Sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of breathing space down the centre gore, so perhaps a slight change of the design to offer a marginal degree of separation would better suit me.
But as much as I adore the look and feel of Florence, there is something that incessantly bugs me about this bra. Once I’m wearing it and dressed it’s absolutely fine, but putting it on drives me doolally. The nursing functionality is the strangest I’ve seen. Other nursing bras typically feature an inner sling or cut away from the cup so that when detached, there’s still a substantial part of the bra holding its own. Florence operates differently, instead featuring a slim strap that connects the shoulder strap to the body of the bra, which I find a little strange and lacking in structure. It is also mind numbingly frustrating to position when I put the bra on; it feels too long and you can’t adjust it, so you have to position it just right by tucking it far into the cup causing it to run over my breast. It doesn’t bother me at all when I’m wearing the bra, but boy, it bugs me to put on.
Florence is a true beauty of a bra and one I’m so pleased Royce took the punt to produce. It really is a breath of fresh air amongst too many old and dusty maternity styles. The print and style completely works for me, and while I don’t find the nursing design as desirable as my Charlotte bra, it’s still a worthy piece in my maternity wardrobe.
What’s your experience of maternity lingerie lately? Are you often disappointed by poor choice of styles? Do you wish more maternity bras were available in a variety of prints and styles, or do you prefer a simpler, more neutral basic? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.