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BRAND IN FOCUS | SAINT LAURENT.

That’s right, SAINT LAURENT.

Saint Laurent Creative Director, Hedi Slimane, decided to drop the ‘Yves’ ahead of the ready-to-wear collection during Fashion Week last year. A bold move, that of course did not come without criticism. A spokeswoman for Slimane said “he was drawing inspiration from 1966, when the ready-to-wear line was launched as Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. The name changed again after Saint Laurent retired. He produced the label’s last haute couture collection in 2002, and died in 2008. The founder himself may have approved, as he enjoyed making radical changes: he became the first couturier to diversify into ready-to-wear, pioneered the trouser suit and introduced the first black models to Paris catwalks.”

I was confused when I first saw ‘SAINT LAURENT’. I steered clear. But now I am well and truly obsessed. The re-brand has been magnificent. I want it ALL.

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SAINT LAURENT – Gold Vermeil Bapteme I.D. Bracelet, £260.00 | Available from MatchesFashion.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Polka Dot Silk Blouse, £605.00 | Available from MatchesFashion.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Medium Bucket Bag, £1265.00 | Click here to purchase from Selfridges.com
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SAINT LAURENT – Rock Suede Chelsea Boots, £695.00 | Available from MatchesFashion.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Zip Jersey Sweater, £395.00 | Available from MatchesFashion.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Slit Detail Leather Pants, £3, 395.00 | Available from Net-a-Porter.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Paris Suede Court Shoes, £390.00 | Click to purchase at Selfridges.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Sac Du Jour, £1560.00 | Click to purchase at Selfridges.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Classic Babylone Art Deco Ring, £395.00 | Available from SaintLaurent.com

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SAINT LAURENT – Leather Card Holder, £110.00 | Available from Net-a-Porter.com

 

 

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Talipes | Struggling to find First Walker shoes.

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As I’ve mentioned, our darling boy is doing well with his walking – despite being born with Bilateral Talipes.

We’ve always just wanted Mr Eli to wear his Converse – just like Daddy (and occasionally Mummy too!). But we noticed that the Con’s just weren’t offering him much support around his ankles; and frankly, his new red Hi-Top’s are absolutely massive a wee bit big.

Eli’s Size 4 Black Converse trainers were too small, his toes are end the toe cap, so he had been wearing his new Red Hi Top Converse – which are a 5. We went to Clarks at the weekend where Eli was measured – his feet came up as a size 3F. The assistant did advise that Clarks sizing does vary against branded shoes, but it did make us think that Eli is really not wearing correct footwear right now. He requires a pair of shoes that will support his feet as he gains confidence in his walking, but also a pair that will encourage him to keep walking. The Converse he has right now seem to deter his walking as they’re ill-fitting, so he’s been mainly in stocking feet. Obviously, he can’t go outside the house like this, so we need to find him so First Walker shoes.

Here the issue begins…

It’s very common for children with Talipes to have odd-sized feet or feet that are on the smaller side. One foot could be a size 4, while the other foot could be a size 6. Meaning many children are bought two pairs of shoes to ensure they have correct fitting shoes for each foot. Clarks DO offer a discount for children affected however – you can read all about the Clark’s Odd Sized Feet Scheme on the STEPS charity website. Luckily, Eli’s feet do match up perfectly – but they are small. We didn’t realise until we started looking at the First Walker shoes in the shop… all of the shoes start at a size 4. The Pre-Walker/Cruiser shoes start at a size 3. But the sole is very thin on these styles and there isn’t the support on the shoe for a child who IS indeed walking.

We were looking online last night. Call me ridiculous if you will, but there are A LOT of boring or frankly unfashionable First Walker shoes out there. I know Eli is not par-taking in a fashion show, but we do take pride in our little man’s appearance, he has his own style. Also, these shoes are not cheap, so we want to make sure we’re all happy with them as he’ll have them on most of the day.

We don’t want velcro – we’re not a velcro family. We’d prefer Eli to be in Desert Boots, Brogue style shoes or at a push, some fashionable trainers. Take a look at the styles we’ve seen so far below…

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First Walker Shoes, Desert Boots in Brown £36.00 – Click here to purchase at Clarks.com

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First Walker Shoes, Desert Boots in Brown £36.00 – Click here to purchase at Clarks.com

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First Walker Shoes, Crazy Crew in Khaki, £36.00 – Click here to purchase at Clarks.com

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Digby, Zip up Brogue Boots, £40.00 – Available from StartRite.com

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Sullivan Brogue Shoes, WAS £49 NOW £18.00 – Available from StartRite.com

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Sullivan Brogue Shoes, WAS £49 NOW £18.00 – Available from StartRite.com

As you will notice, all of the lovely shoes above start at a size 4. So we’re in a wee pickle. If you have purchased from StartRite.com before, do their shoes match the size guide of Clarks? I’m so tempted to just get the size 4F shoes, especially considering the rate of growth; but can’t be sure that they will fit Eli correctly. So would ideally like to go into a shop to be able to have them expertly fitted.

Can you recommend any other stores where you can buy similar styles to the above? That perhaps start at ‘Clarks size 3F’ or the measured equivalent?  (And styles that don’t cost an arm-and-a-leg, to boot).

MM.

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Women’s Fashion | Check Mate.

I’ve been looking at Womenswear for some style inspiration this week and I’m noticing a lot of check prints across online stores. Check print is a great way to jazz up your Winter wardrobe – you can go for full on geometric digital prints or more muted tones to suit the weather.

Here are some of my favourite pieces, on my must-by list!

(Some check’s might be cheating as they’re not quite your stereotype check’s… but you’ll catch my drift, I’m sure).

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Houndstooth Check Blouse, £29.99 – Zara.com

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Noisy May Checked Shirt Dress, £28.00 – ASOS.com

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Lace Trim Check Top, £29.99 – MANGO.com

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Black & White Check Full Skirt, £30.00 – RIVERISLAND.com

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Checked Coat, WAS £14.99 NOW £79.99 – ZARA.com

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ASOS Smock Dress in Chain Print, WAS £30.00 NOW £24.50 – ASOS.com

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Lacoste Live Shirt, WAS £60.00 NOW £32.00 – ASOS.com

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Vintage O & O Trousers, £48.00 – UrbanOutfitters.com

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HOUSE OF HACKNEY Tartan Swing Dress, £175.00 – ASOS.com

See more on my Pinterest board: Women’s Fashion | Check Mate.

MM.

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Skirting the issue | The Leather Skirt.

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It recently came to my attention, whilst shopping at Bluewater shopping centre, that there was A LOT of leather going on. I’ve always been partial to a leather jacket, but never EVER dared to wear a leather pair of trousers or even a skirt for instance. But whilst browsing the fixtures, I became really rather drawn into the leather pencil skirts on display. Could I ACTUALLY like a leather skirt? Could I ACTUALLY pull one off? I’m not so sure about the latter, but I do indeed have a penchant for a leather skirt! I don’t think there’s any way to possibly escape them either – leather skirts are in for A/W 13.  So here are my pick of the best skirts I’ve found, that are available online right now!

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Straight Leather Midi Skirt, Navy Blue – £79.99 from Zara.
I absolutely LOVE this petrol-blue colour. I think  this piece would work so well in your Autumnal wardrobe.

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Split Lucille Leather Skirt, Oxblood – £198.00 from AllSaints.com
I WISH I was brave enough to wear this amazing skirt. LOVE the Oxblood colourway. This is definitely a skirt that does the talking, so less is more when it comes to your accessories. 

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Whistles Suzie Leather Pencil Skirt, Black – £95.00 from John Lewis
Ah the classic black leather skirt. Screams Parisian chic more than biker chic – and that is why I like it; although I don’t see why you couldn’t toughen this style up with biker details on your footwear or jacket!

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Metallic Leather Skirt, Gold – £79.99 from Zara.
Now this is my ‘fruity’ option. It’s a pretty jazzy skirt by all accounts, but I really think it works with the crisp white blouse and ankle boots.

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Urban Code Leather Pencil Skirt, Forest Green – RRP £150, NOW £90 (save 40%) from ASOS.com
How beautiful is this green colourway? The perfect hue for any A/W wardrobe – and even better with the 40% off! Cheers ASOS!

 

You can find the best of the rest on my massive Pinterest board >>> Skirting the issue | The Leather Skirt. Featuring styles from the likes of Selfridges, Marks and Spencer, H&M, Miss Selfridge, Next, Designers at Debenhams and many more…

MM.

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BRAND IN FOCUS | Whistles.

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As it’s London Fashion Week this week, I’ve been really drawn to what’s actually going on, right now, on the high street. One of the first places I always turn to is John Lewis. I’m a little bit of a John Lewis mega fan…  But that’s just because I always get the best service there; as well as the best selection from all of the designers and brands they kindly house under one roof!

This week, I’ve had a good rummage through one of my fave British High Street brands, Whistles. As the weather is absolutely abysmal, I thought I’d try and brighten your afternoon with my edit of Whistles treats that are available in store and online at JohnLewis.com!

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#1 – Whistles Katlin Heart Blouse, £125.00
WHISTLES SAY:  Crafted from luxurious silk, the Katlin Blouse from Whistles is a playfully lux addition to your new season wardrobe.
MM SAYS: Got to start off with this heart print shirt, reminiscent of Burberry’s own heart blouse that has taken celebritydom by storm. I actually prefer this Whistles one however! It’s got more going on, more interesting, lovely colourway. Tucked into skirts and trousers – or even jeans, this makes the perfect addition to your trans-seasonal wardrobe.

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#2 – Whistles Lula Tailored Trousers, £110.00
WHISTLES SAY:  These smart tailored trousers from Whistles are the perfect style for summer.
MM SAYS: I’d have to disagree with Whistles here, I think these smart tailored trousers are a perfect style all year round! Love the cropped length and side-slit detailing.

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#3Whistles Blake Dress, £135.00.
WHISTLES SAY: Chic and directional; this elegant shift dress from Whistles offers a round neck, short sleeves and a flattering waistband for feminine appeal.
MM SAYS: I’m really enjoying jewelled tones at the minute – think it’s that shift into Autumn and Winter. I love this emerald green dress. The shape is beautiful, will give you wonderful definition and silhouette.

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#4Whistles Kir Royale Ankle Boots, £150.00.
WHISTLES SAY: A smart pair of round-toe ankle boots that are a perfect heel height to wear throughout the day and into the night. Versatile enough to be worn with either skinny jeans or a dress.
MM SAYS: I love these boots! Much like the infamous ‘Pistol Boot’ from ACNE, these boots look really comfortable – yet fashion-conscious at the same time. I’d team these boots with midi skirts and dresses, jeans and smart tailoring. Great versatile footwear style for your Winter wardrobe!


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#5 Whistles Cora Exposed Seam Cardigan, £165.00.
WHISTLES SAY: This luxe cashmere cardigan from Whistles has a relaxed open neckline with a minimalist shape, raw exposed seams and two draping side pockets – ideal for layering.
MM SAYS: Don’t you just want to cosy up in this cashmere beauty? Again, the perfect piece for your wardrobe; perfect for smart or casual, plus great for layering on those chilly days!

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#6Whistles Long Sleeve Sculptured Dress, £110.00.
WHISTLES SAY: Update your wardrobe with this contemporary, chic style from Whistles. It has an on-trend midi length, side panelling and a simple straight shape, it’s feminine and functional.
MM SAYS: POW! Check this amazing dress out for a pop of vibrance in your life. I just LOVE this dress (I was saving the best till last). Great colour, again, for all year round. Definitely put a smile on my face on this absolutely miserable September afternoon that’s for sure! I love the length of this dress; as well as the sleeve length. It would certainly hide a multitude of sins when you’re not feeling your best. I think it looks REALLY expensive. It’s worth the pricetag this one!

Hope you enjoyed my picks from Whistles. Don’t forget you can shop Whistles online at JohnLewis.com – they offer FREE delivery for all order’s over £5o too. Bonus round!

MM.

 

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BRAND IN FOCUS | Belle & Boo.

For those who know me, will indeed know that I have a penchant for all things old. I love things with character, a story. I’m a particular fan of 70’s interior, as can be spied throughout our family home. I wanted Eli’s bedroom to be no different (it is however still a work in progress, so I will follow up with a blog post when it’s all lovely and finished!). I came across the wonderful world of Belle & Boo completely by accident – but fell in love straight away. The illustrations are just beautiful, harping back to a by-gone time. All their products feature the whimsical drawings, everything they craft is of the highest quality (as is their lovely packaging!) and it’s just such a lovely, original and nostalgic brand.

Before Eli had even arrived I purchased the Pirate Party money tin for his nursery… but knew I’d be back for more!

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As soon as we moved house I wanted a few more  Belle & Boo pieces, so came up with the idea of using their greetings cards as pictures and promptly bought the simple white frames.

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But then of course, a fortnight after we moved into our new home, it was Eli’s birthday! I knew I’d seen some party decorations on the Belle & Boo website – and I just could not resist! I purchased some plates, napkins, a beautiful party garland, table cloth (which sadly does bear the stains of the incredible pulled pork buns and burnt beans that we had as our party food) and party bags.

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Everyone commented on how unusual and lovely the decorations were – oh, and how they matched our home perfectly too! We didn’t really have a a ‘theme’ for Eli’s party – we just wanted all of our close friends and family together to celebrate (plus we’d just moved house!), but the Belle & Boo decorations MADE the theme. I was so so pleased with how everything looked and I will certainly treasure all of the  Belle & Boo pieces from his party. In fact, I’m thinking about putting the party garland up in his bedroom, we only have bunting along the one wall, the addition of the garland would work really quite nicely.

MM.

 

Belle & Boo have not asked for this review or paid commission. I am solely passionate about this lovely brand and wanted to share my pieces with you.

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UNIQLO: Undercover – New Childrenswear.

 

I was browsing Uniqlo.com in search of baggy shirts that would be big enough to fit over my massive bump; when I saw this new range – “Uniqlo Undercover“. A clothing range for families of today, in collaboration between Uniqlo and Jun Takahashi’s UNDERCOVER clothing label. I’d always said how the brand should branch out into Childrenswear – and here it is (albeit limited in styles!).

Here are my favourites – obviously, I’m biased towards Boy clothing now that we’re having a boy, but there are some cute Girls and Unisex styles too!


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Kids U:U Zip up Parka, Green, £49.90. Click here to purchase this style online at Uniqlo.com


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Kids U:U Oxford Shirt, Blue, £19.90. Click here to purchase this style online at Uniqlo.com

Kids U:U V-neck Long Sleeve Cardigan, Blue, £29.90. Click to purchase this style at Uniqlo.com

Kids U:U Rain Coat, Blue, £39.90. Click here to purchase this style online at Uniqlo.com

Kids U:U Cotton V-neck T-shirt, Yellow, £7.90.Click here to purchase this style at Uniqlo.com

 

There are also some Babies styles arriving at Uniqlo.com on 16th April, so keep checking back for those!

MM.

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Lifehouse Country Spa Resort – long weekend away…

 

So, Lifehouse Spa!

We had booked this little break away after having all the scans and tests a few weeks ago. We’d decided that we would need a relax after such a rollercoaster couple of weeks…

Being 19 weeks pregnant, we jut wanted to go somewhere where we could relax and chill out for a few days. Get away from it all. A spa was perfect. I literally spent 3 days alternating between the swimming pool and jacuzzi (Hydrotherapy Pool). Unfortunately, all of the treatments were too expensive for our budget… in fact, they were just overpriced in general.

I’m well aware that this review is just going to sound like a right moan! It was our first trip to a Spa though, so we would have expected a bit more in some areas. Albeit, we had a wonderful time and would return tomorrow! But with hindsight of course ;o

Pro’s

– Drinks were relatively cheap.

– Comfortable bed.

– Contemporary room with lovely bathroom and great views of the gardens. Usual coffee and tea making facilities.

– Lovely staff – all very polite and always had a smile.

– Easy place to relax.

– Food was great, restaurant quality.

– Great swimming pool and hydrotherapy pool. Can’t review the Steam, Sauna or Salt Inhalations rooms as I can’t use them being pregnant… but DP absolutely loved all three. So they kept him quiet! 😀

– Loved the Orchids Bar area too… must recommend the bread and olives. Best olives I’ve ever eaten! Amazing! Just £2.00 too!

– Very very nice gardens… it was absolutely blowing a gale outside and raining but this did not deter us! We borrowed some Hunter wellies from reception and had a great walk right around the gardens.

 

Con’s

– We weren’t given a ‘welcome’ note or shown around the complex. So didn’t know what facilities we could and couldn’t use.

– Because of the above, we didn’t know we had a safe in the room, until we were messing on with a rather ambiguous looking drawer underneath the TV!

– Again, because we weren’t given a ‘welcome’ note, we didn’t know that you could order Room Service.

– Couldn’t lock the door to the room.

– No bath in the room – albeit, the shower was incredible. I still could have done with a soak before bed!

– Treatments are expensive and need to be booked well in advance. Many people were left disappointment upon arrival when all appointments were booked up.

– Pregnant ladies cannot use Sauna, Steam room or Salt Inhalation rooms as they raise the body temperature too much.

– Packages that exclude food are very expensive. A lunchtime meal (main and starter) will be around £45 for a couple with one wine and one soft drink. An evening meal is per the set menu, £35 for 3 courses or £28.50 for 2 courses.

– Menu’s left a lot to be desired for someone who is both pregnant and doesn’t eat fish or mushrooms! I ended up having the same evening meal on both nights of our stay because the menu didn’t change… and the Duck dish was the only one that didn’t contain fish or mushrooms! There was also a £3 additional supplement on this.

– There were no decaff teabags! I also wasn’t given an alternative… would have definitely thought there would be decaffeinated everything with it being a health spa!

– No soft drinks menu! Just Wine and Cocktail lists… which isn’t great when you can’t drink! Imagine if you’re an alcoholic visiting for a detox!

– Restaurant was basic-looking; for such an ambitious menu, it was a shame that the restaurant was more like a canteen in a Sainsbury’s with cheap chairs and tables. The chairs of which offered zero support for a pregnant lady.

– There were no bottles of water for free, or even for sale! So it was a case of having to get up every 5 minutes to go to the water fountain in the corner of the ‘Wet Area’. Which is quite annoying when you’re pregnant and just want to lay down, but of course, you need to keep hydrated.

– Although this spa is relatively new, (about a year old), we did notice lots of signs of wear and tear. I actually stood on a piece of broken glass in the Hydrotherapy Pool! Turns out, upon further inspection, lots of the mosaic tiles were cracked and broken, but glued back together. Again, when looking up from the jacuzzi, the ceiling paint was peeling…

It was such a shame there were these little niggles – we really did enjoy ourselves though! Honestly! And we would go back… just hopefully when they have a different menu! 🙂

 

MM.

 

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Mamas and Papas: Maternity Spot Tankini.

We’ve literally just got back from a long weekend away to the LifeHouse Country Spa Resort, in Essex. Had a wonderful few days but the Spa definitely had its up’s and downs. Going to review the weekend below…

First off though, I wanted to show you my new ‘tankini’… something I never ever thought I’d buy!

Mamas and Papas Spot Tankini, £30, www.mamasandpapas.com

I had been searching for a nice bikini that would grow with me, ready for my proposed water birth! But alas, it was February when I started looking… and apparently mothers don’t have holidays, or indeed water births, in colder months! (BOOHOO BRITISH HIGH STREET!)

I looked all over but just kept coming across full one-piece swimsuits or tankini’s… I’ve always been a bikini girl, so didn’t really contemplate a tankini and a one-piece will be well, useless during a water birth! ;o

I went to Mamas and Papas and looked over their range of tankini’s – DP said “Just try one on! See what it’s like!”. So I did and fell in love with this Spot Tankini. It’s the most comfortable piece of swimwear I’ve ever had! It’s supportive in all the right places and will definitely grow as bump grows!

MM.