Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dump the Frump :: Review & Giveaway

As a stay at home mom, the fact that I don't have many nursing tops hasn't really been an issue.  A trip out of the house here and there lends itself to recycling a few good shirts most of the time.  When I'm at home, I practically live in a nursing tank and light jacket.  Maybe it's being accustomed to this level of comfort and ease that raises my expectations when it comes to what I'm looking for in my wardrobe.

I'm not looking for a shirt that needs a manual to operate.  I don't want to circumvent a maze of layers while my fussy, hungry baby is clawing at me.  I don't want to lift my shirt up and flash my tummy to the world.  I don't want my boobs hanging out because--after one use--the shirt is all stretched out.  I just want to look like a person, and feel like a mom who is prepared for her 24/7 job of feeding baby.  You wouldn't think that's a lot to ask for, but from my experience so far, it is.

So what options does this leave me with?  Well, sometimes I leave the house wearing a "regular" shirt on top of my nursing tank top.  I've even tried wearing a maternity shirt on top of a nursing tank.  I don't know if you've ever worn maternity clothes when you aren't pregnant, but guess what? Not flattering.  All this in a desperate attempt to expand my wardrobe and feel like I'm not wearing something that screams "BOOBS OUT IN T-MINUS 5 SECONDS!"  No, instead I leave the house looking frumpy, or questionably pregnant, or just downright ridiculous.  I can feel Tim Gunn's eyes burning into me as he shakes his head in disapproval.

This concerns me.

Imagine my excitement when I saw that 1 Hip Mom, a mom-owned small business created by Caragh McLaughlin, has come out with a Nursing shirt that--wait for it--looks like a T-Shirt!  I couldn't wait to try it out.  This original T-Shirt features a mom friendly design with ample fabric to cover that postpartum tummy without looking baggy or frumpy.  The fabric can be easily lifted to nurse your little one, even cover a nursing newborn, but a lower "shelf" fabric is left behind so you are not baring your belly to the world.

Options and Sizing
First things first, when you visit 1 Hip Mom you will be faced with two standard decisions: color and size.  Available in 6 colors, choosing your favorite is only as difficult as you choose to make it.  Which is to say, I had to email my hubby to ask him to choose a color, because yeah, I'm that bad with decisions.  Plum was the victor.

Sizing, however, was a much more challenging obstacle to clear.  Sure, I'm 9 months out from delivery, and I shouldn't be able to hide behind the "I just gave birth, I don't know what size I am anymore!" argument, but here I hide despite your arbitrary rules.  Far pre-dating my pregnancy, I have been trapped in the eternal battle of Medium vs. Large.  So, I tried both.

On first glance, the Medium seemed to be the clear winner.  The shirt was fitted enough to look flattering, but loose enough to cover any insecurities.  I'll admit, I don't have much of a tummy left over--and before you start to hate me, I will tell you that this is due to the extremely difficult several months of reflux battles that resulted in never being able to sit down and frequently missing meal time.  I've always felt self conscious about my tummy though, so I was very happy to hide it away and pleasantly surprised to find that I didn't even notice the under panel at all; the fit was comfortable and I practically forgot it was there until feeding time. My only concern was the length of the shirt, which fell just a little shorter than I would have preferred at a height of 5'11.  The Large was definitely longer, but it was also much looser in the chest, which gave it more of a baggy boys shirt fit rather than the fitted effect that the Medium achieved.

I washed the Medium per the care instructions (cold, tumble dry low) and found that the shirt did shrink a little more than I expected with the 95/5 Cotton/Spandex materials. At this point, the Medium was definitely too short and the shirt no longer hung properly.  Instead of looking like a "regular" shirt, the outer flap was now pulled to a strange tension that make it look apron-esque.  I chalked this up to my particular height / build / bust--I'm trapped in The Dreaded In-Between Size.

Concept / Design
I still felt like the shirt had a lot to offer design-wise and took it for a test drive.  I was not disappointed.  This nursing T-Shirt is very easy to navigate and accomplished what my nursing tank / shirt layering did without making me look like I was hesitantly dressed for strip poker. Rather than just "testing" it for one nursing session, I happily wore the shirt all day long.  The outer fabric pulled up and over easily without making me uncomfortable or pooling up over Baby's face while she nursed.  The split design made it super easy to access my nursing bra and get Baby latched on in a timely fashion, which she greatly appreciated.

Now, Baby has never been complainant to nursing under a cover and is drastically larger than a newborn, so I can't vouch for how this shirt would have allowed for discrete nursing other than keeping most of my torso covered during the big event.  However, as I think back to my first panicked and uncertain "nursing in public" moment, I do think that the ease and comfort of this shirt would have at least made me feel a whole lot less awkward and ridiculously obvious.

I think this T-Shirt would make a great "new mom gift," and has the added bonus of supporting a small mom-owned business, as well as supporting and encouraging breastfeeding.  I'm saddened that the fit didn't work for me, but I hope that it will work for other moms and make their breastfeeding journey easier. That's why I'm excited to announce that Caragh of 1 Hip Mom was kind enough to offer up one of her remarkable Nursing T-Shirts (a $36 value) for one of our readers!

The Giveaway
One lucky momCorrected reader will receive a 1 Hip Mom Nursing T-Shirt, a $36 value.  Color and size to be selected by the winner.
How to Enter (up to 3 entries/comments per participant):
  1. Comment below and tell us how old your little nurser is (or you may put pregnant / gift).
  2.  Share this giveaway on Twitter and tag @momCorrected.  You MUST tag us and comment below letting me know you have done so.
  3. Like 1 Hip Mom on Facebook and comment below letting me know you have done so.
Contest is open to US citizens only.  Prize will be shipped directly from 1 Hip Mom.  Contest will end at midnight CST on September 19th, 2013.  Winner will be announced and contacted by the end of the following day.  Please check back so you don't miss the announcement!

AND the winner is... handmadeholly!  Holly, please email me at to claim your prize.  If the prize is unclaimed after 72 hours, a new winner will be selected from existing participants. 

Products for review and giveaway were provided by 1 Hip Mom.  The opinions stated in this review crawled out of my head.

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