TLB Reviews: A Mother’s Boutique Annee Matthew Maternity Wear

We’re talking maternity and nursing clothes today on TLB Reviews!

The Goods: Nursing tops and maternity bottoms. We reviewed the Keyhole Tunic and Maternity Leggings from the Annee Matthew line at A Mother’s Boutique.

The Reviewers: Amy and Kileah

Kileah rocking the Keyhole Tunic in Indigo!

Kileah rocking the Keyhole Tunic in Indigo!

A very-much-over-being-pregnant Amy in the Keyhole Tunic (fuschia) and leggings.

A very pregnant Amy in the Keyhole Tunic (fuchsia) and leggings.

The Good: 

Amy says… I have to talk about the leggings first. I had a HUGE pregnant belly and anything cutting into it, especially on the underside, wasn’t going to fly. I absolutely loved these leggings (they can be worn below or pulled over the belly). They’re like being able to legitimately wear PJs outside the house! They’re incredibly comfy, even over the course of a 12 hour day. Paired with the Keyhole Tunic and a light sweater, they made for a put-together outfit that wore well even through the very end of my pregnancy (when most other tops didn’t cover the length of my belly). Now that I’m breastfeeding, the Keyhole Tunic is an easy go-to, since it looks nice (and conceals my postpartum belly a bit) and I know I can nurse in it. (Note: If you’re in the Pittsburgh, PA area, I highly recommend stopping into Judy’s boutique! She has an area where little kids can play and the personalized bra fitting and shopping service is great!)

Kileah says… Have you ever gotten that twang of inner anxiety over purchasing a NICE item of clothing on the internet? Will I get the size right? What if I think the colour makes me look like a circus clown? Yeah. Online purchasing anxiety was set to rest when the keyhole tunic arrived in the mail. I had chosen the jewel-toned purple color and WOW.  The moment I slipped it on I noticed how gracefully it flattered my soft 4 months post partum midsection! It gave me the perfect fit in the shoulders, the fabric seams didn’t creep me out, the fabric itself was so soft and lightweight, and the length. OH THE LENGTH! I have paired it with printed leggings, or dark wash skinny jeans, a silk scarf, have thrown a light sweater over it, put some fantastic jewelry with it and creatively breastfed from nearly EVERY DIRECTION in this lovely top. Bonus: this top is well suited for pregnancy, post partum and breastfeeding.  I’d say that’s a win, people.

The Bad:

Amy says… Some people will balk at the price, especially for the top. I get that. I love a good deal and dropping almost $60 on one top can seem crazy to me, too. But (but!)…the quality is good and I know I’m going to breastfeed this kid for the next 2+ years. Having a few staples that I know are passable at most social events and are breastfeeding-friendly is worth a premium to me. The price tag may well be someone else’s “good” and still someone else’s “ugly.” It’s all relative.

Kileah says… Yeah. The price might create a bit of sticker shock for some, but in comparison to something you’d be getting at a premium store that would probably only get used during pregnancy, this is such a quality well-made piece and well worth the investment. A good wardrobe can go a long way for us, mamas!

The Ugly: 

Amy says… I put the leggings through regular machine washing and drying (is there any other way?!). The elastic in the waistband ended up twisting such that I couldn’t really get it to flatten out again. (I probably could have, but I didn’t care to fight with it that much.) Other than that, no complaints.

Kileah says… I am not a pearl button kind of gal. My tunic came with a pearl button at the apex of the keyhole on the front and sometimes I think it clashes with certain styles of jewelry/looks. But it IS tiny…and if I really want to be a snob over such a great piece of clothing, I can always switch it out for something else. Definitely worth it!

Editors note: anyone else kind of wish Micah was reviewing these too?  I’d love to hear what he thinks about the fit and the little pearl button.  😉

As we get our review program kicked off, we wanted to include the chance for someone else to get to review something as well with a giveaway.  A Mother’s boutique is offering one $50 gift certificate to a lucky Leaky winner. We hope the winner will come and add their two cents in the comment section and on our Facebook page.  Good luck!  Due to shipping and customs constraints, this giveaway is open to USA residents only.
~Jessica

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A Mother’s Boutique Winner’s Choice Giveaway

Today we have a giveaway from TLB sponsor A Mother’s Boutique.  Read on for details on this opportunity and an interview with boutique owner, Judy Masucci.  I recently reviewed two maternity/breastfeeding tops Judy carries in her store, you can read that review here.  I hope you take the time to get to know this company that faithfully supports The Leaky Boob.

TLB:  What made you decide to have both a brick and mortar shop and an online store?

Judy:  I started my business out of my home in 2007.  For me it was the “lowest risk” way to start.  I had no overhead – so the only costs that I had were my inventory and whatever money that I spent on marketing and on my website.  My original idea was that I would go visit local moms in their homes – so that they didn’t have to venture out with a brand new baby.  And that I would provide moms with great resources online.  I did quite a few home visits in the early days.  But as the number of items that I carried grew, it became less and less practical for me to bring my store to the moms – so I started inviting local moms to come to my home to shop.  I did this until 2010 when I literally “out-grew” my home.  I had taken over my entire basement with boxes of inventory, my front foyer and my entire dining nook in my kitchen.  My house was overrun with boxes and inventory.  I also found that many moms didn’t want to come to my house to shop – so I wasn’t able to serve local moms as well as I would have liked.  So in January of 2010, I moved out of my home and into a retail space.  This enabled me to do two things: 1) Have a warehouse for my growing inventory and 2) Have a retail store where I could better service local moms.  I have been in my retail location for just over 2 years now and I already wish that I had more space!

 

TLB:  How do you select the items your store carries?  What do you look for in choosing your inventory?

Judy:  I always looks for items that I think will helps moms be able to breastfeed their babies.  I started the business because of the clothing, I lived in nursing clothing when my son was little and I wanted to bring together the cutest, most fashionable and best value items for other moms.  It can be difficult to find good quality items so I make sure that I bring in brands that I trust and I always try to have something for every budget.  Most of the styles that I carry can be worn both during pregnancy and beyond for easy breastfeeding so mom doesn’t have to purchase items that she will only wear during her pregnancy.  The items that she gets from me will last her throughout her pregnancy, during her breastfeeding years and beyond.  I still wear nursing tops and I am no longer nursing, but the styles are so cute and innovative that you can’t even tell they are a nursing top unless someone tells you.

I have also become somewhat of a “bra guru” and now carry over 50 different styles of nursing bras in every size from 32-48 band and A to M cups.  I am always looking to add new bra styles to my boutique to better service moms of every shape and size.  A bra is something that you wear every day so it needs to fit properly and be comfortable and fit and comfort are different for every woman.  I even offer Virtual Bra Fittings TM for moms who aren’t local!  I also try to satisfy every budget with bras ranging in price from $16 to $78.  With bras, no matter what the price range, I always try to find items that are high quality.  I don’t want them to fall apart after a few months of wear and I want them to be comfortable for lots of moms.  It is a huge investment for me to bring in a new bra line, so I always try out a sample in my own size first to see how the line fits and how it wears before I decide to bring it into my store.

Some moms want function, some want something pretty so I try to have something for every one.  Whether it is a dress to wear to a wedding, a bra to sleep in or a PJ set to make those middle-of-the night feedings easier, I try to have something for every need.  If it makes mom more comfortable breastfeeding and enables her to meet her personal breastfeeding goals, then I am all for it!  I never judge and I am always happy to help with advice or a referral.

 

TLB:  What is your favorite part of your job?

Judy:  My favorite part of my job is when I get to make a difference in a mom’s life.  I have gotten so many nice notes from moms who have shopped with me, both online and in person, it makes everything worthwhile when I am able to help out a mom.  Whether it is helping her find a great nursing bra or helping to find answers to her breastfeeding questions, when I can make a difference in someone else’s life  it is very rewarding.  That is the reason that everyone who shops in my store (in person and online) gets breastfeeding tips articles from me.  I wrote them and I give them out to everyone hoping that something that I have learned along the way will resonate with another mom and will help her along her own breastfeeding journey.

 

TLB:  You just celebrated your birthday, what’s your favorite kind of cake and how do you like to celebrate?

Judy:  I am a leap-year baby so I actually had a real birthday this year!!  Whenever I get a real birthday I always have a big party on my day.  Since it only comes once every 4 years  I like to make it special.  I am a traditional buttercream icing kind-of girl.  And I have a cake lady who does a FABULOUS job at making cakes (and cookies!).  I found her when my son was 2 years old and she has made every cake for us since then.  You can see her on facebook here.

Judy's son Javin

This giveaway is for any item up to $110 value from the Annee Matthew line Judy carries in her shop.  I reviewed 2 tops from this line (you can see the review and pictures here).  Anne Matthew is a manufacturer based out of Singapore, and like many moms in this business, she was inspired by her own breastfeeding experiences with her children to make clothing for moms that would enable them to easily breastfeed their babies.  Mom turned designer, her garnets are fashionable, high quality, and most can be worth through pregnancy and beyond.

Additionally, 3 runners up will be selected for a $15 gift certificate to A Mother’s Boutique.  Please be sure to stop by A Mother’s Boutique on Facebook and thank them for their support of TLB and this opportunity.  The giveaway is open from March 6, 2012 to March 12, 2012 and is available only to USA and Canadian entrants.

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 Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered and have fun browsing Judy’s shop.  A big thanks to Judy for her support of TLB and all breastfeeding women.

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