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With my first pregnancy six years ago, I decided to try out many different types of maternity and nursing clothes. It's surprising just how large a variety there is on the market, and even more so when some of the items may only be worn for a few months. Ultimately my favorite maternity top was one that was flattering and could be worn when both pregnant and soon afterwards, when I was breastfeeding.
Fast forward five years and I found myself pregnant again and the recipient of several different gently used maternity items. This time round I refused to part with good money for an item that I may only wear once or twice. This meant that I ended up with three favorite tops which I rotated.
All three were wrap-style tops. I call them cross-over tops, as they are wrap-style but are sewn into shape and form and I don't need to actually do any wrapping. I have a red 3/4 sleeve top, a pink short-sleeved one and finally a yellow floral short-sleeved one. The first two are made of a stretchy, jersey type of fabric and the third is of polyester.
Throughout my pregnancy these tops stretched with my shape and then in the days afterwards they seems to shrink back down as my body did so. I recall being excited to get rid of all of my pregnancy-only clothes, and then realising that my three most-worn items were actually suitable for breastfeeding, and breastfeeding easily on demand.
My son is ten months old as I write this, and these three tops are still my most worn items. The wrap style means that the top half of the item can be easily pushed to the side and nursing started almost immediately. I find that sleep bras work best with this type of maternity top, but that is just my preference.
Finally, these wrap tops are very easy to maintain. They wash well and can be air or machine dried. Looking at them you'd have no idea that they have been worn so often over the past 15 months.
As you may see from previous reviews I have recently been purchasing a few items of maternity wear, most of which have been work clothes as I have to purchase my own clothes for work, however I was recently browsing on the Next website and came across the Pink Breast Feeding Wrap Top (Maternity) I quite liked the look of the style of top and decided to order it as it looked ideal to wear on an evening out, most of the clothes I had been buying were more suitable for casual wear or for work, I didn't actually have many tops that were smart enough to wear out for the evening, this looked ideal.
The Next Wrap Top is a wrap around style top, however this is secured both sides so you do not have to tie it up to hold it in place, personally I would say it had more of a cross over front to it rather than a wrap around. The majority of the top is black and it has a bright pink section sat in the V neck area to give the impression of a black low cut top over a bright pink vest top giving it a layered effect. The top has half length sleeves, personally I liked the shorter length sleeves as I am not a massive fan of long sleeved top, although I do wear them, I do like my arms to be out, with this length sleeve I can have part of my arms out whilst keeping the tops of my arms and shoulders covered which is ideal in this cold weather. The pink panel which sits under the black top can also be seen at the bottom of the front of the top, again giving a layered effect. The V neck is quite low, and crosses over at your stomach, personally I think that the low neck combined with the cross over section makes the top quite flattering as it gives the top a slightly looser appearance around this area, but without the top looking too baggy.
This particular top comes in quite a large range of sizes including 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 22 so there is something to cater for most people. I purchase this top in my regular size 12 and it fits very well so in my opinion the sizes are pretty accurate. The top is quite fitted, it is slightly looser around your stomach but around your arms and the upper part of the top it is quite fitted, personally I like the fit of the top as if it was any looser it would just look too baggy and like it was a size too big. The slightly looser area around your stomach means that you can wear the top all throughout your pregnancy as it will stretch with you, the material it is made from is 100% viscose meaning it is quite a stretchy material which is ideal for a maternity top as it caters for people at different stages in their pregnancy and stretches with you.
The sides are very slightly ruched although this is not advertised on the website as it is not a main feature this adds to the comfort of the top.
The fabric is quite soft on your skin and I happily wear this top on its own. I have worn and washed this top a few times now and so far have been impressed with how well it has worn, despite being washed several times the fabric has not bobbled or worn and it looks as good as new, the colour has not faded either. Personally I wash this top on a 30 degree wash although it could easily be washed at 40 degrees and would still be as good as new. I would certainly say that this top is hard wearing and will be long lasting.
I purchased this top from the Next website, to be honest I'm not sure whether it is available in the Next stores, the top cost me £20.00 plus delivery, I thought this was quite reasonably priced. The top is also finished to a high standard and so far has proved to be hardwearing so in my opinion worth the money I paid for it.
Overall I would certainly recommend the Next Breast Feeding Wrap Top (Maternity) in my opinion it is a very comfortable top which is ideal for everyday wear, it is quite smart and is perfect for an evening out. The material is comfortable to wear and the wrap around style at the front of the top makes it suitable to wear throughout your pregnancy. The top actually comes in two colours, black and pink or black and orange, personally I love the combination of black and pink together so there was no question of what one I would be choosing but the orange does go quite nicely with the black as well. The top comes in a range of sizes so there is something to suit most people and from what I have found the sizes are pretty accurate so you can easily purchase your regular size. the top is finished to a high standard and of an excellent quality making it worth the money I paid for it. This is definitely one I would recommend to anyone looking to purchase a maternity top suitable for both casual and smart wear, for me it is a going out top but you could get away with wearing this for most occasions making it very versatile. All in all a stylish and comfortable top.