Recently I’ve been asked to do rather a lot of baby based reviews of products. Since there isn’t a chance that i’m having yet another baby i’ve been passing them out to friends and family. My lovely real life friend who writes the brilliant Culture Baby Blog agreed to try out some Tiffany Rose dresses for me. I’m jealous:
Toward the end of my less than pleasant pregnancy, the lovely people over at Tiffany Rose sent me a beautiful nursing dress to review. In the midst of our builder-related chaos, a large purple box arrived with all the trappings of much needed luxury, so incongruent to my surroundings. The carefully folded dress clad in tissue paper, which smacked of something from Mr Selfridge’s original haberdashery counter, was promptly hung on my wardrobe door as a beacon of hope that this too would all pass – the sickness, the tiredness, the perennial heartburn, the dust…
I’m afraid I’m one of those expectant mothers who refuse to buy copious amounts of tent-like pregnancy clothing that I will never wear again, and so by the latter months of pregnancy I was not only beginning to tire of my plethora of leggings and stretchy tops, but they, and their seams, were definitely starting to tire of me. Special occasions, however, are different. I fear it would have been rather a faux pas to waddle into a wedding or chair an important meeting in leggings and Topshop T-shirt. At weddings, it was enough that I couldn’t drink, felt ill and spent the meal scrabbling around for mislaid nouns, but looking like a frumpy hippo was something I could at least try to avoid. Undoubtedly some women do look beautiful and glowing whilst pregnant, but I had swollen ankles and the deathly pallor of hyperemesis, and when the last thing I wanted to do was trail around Oxford Street looking for something appropriate to wear, I rather think Tiffany Rose could have saved me a good deal of trouble.
Weddings whilst nursing can similarly have the potential to be wholly undignified occasions. Many dresses are just not made for ladies with the remains of a bump and a chest the size of the Andes that must be discreetly yet effectively uncovered at a moment’s notice to ensure peaceful vows. With their forgiving fabrics and well-designed lines, the dresses I tested were wonderful for this.
Tiffany Rose seems to be really establishing its reputation as maternity clothier to a litany of stars and it really felt like a treat to receive a dress that seemed very special and that I would look forward to wearing after my pregnancy was over – and actually be able to wear without waiting a year to finish breastfeeding. The first (the Willow dress) arrived in time for Christmas. It was beautiful; midnight blue, long (but light) sleeved and falling to the mid-calf. The lines of the dress – high-waisted and highlighting the thinnest part of the body – worked so well for a post-pregnancy shape of only a month. I put the dress on and actually felt thin. I even treated it to a first wearing of high heels in ages. This proved to be my undoing. Within a couple of hours of donning the dress, I stooped down to help my daughter unwrap her first present and stuck my stiletto right through the back of it. It must say something for the specialness of this dress that I’m ashamed to say I actually cried. My two year old daughter who has a rather odd obsession with sellotape at present and believes everything can be solved with this wonder product first tried to fix me and then the dress – to no avail. It was, like many of the best things in life, a sunburst; a short moment of wondrous triumph.
I had hoped to wear this dress to a wedding early in January, but all was not lost. Tiffany Rose sent me a second model to test – their Raspberry Crush Tulip Dress. This empire-waisted cross-over dress is a lovely shape; slimmer-lined and of a thicker fabric with three quarter length sleeves (perfect for nursing on a chillier day). It came with a satin ribbon belt for special events, but equally I plan to wear the dress without for less formal occasions. The colour will suit any season and the fabric is perhaps more versatile than the first. This time, the outcome was rather better. I did stick my foot though my tights and was forced into removing them, but it was rather an accolade for the dress that even without this additional support it was still more forgiving than many other dresses I have tried. Ideally I think, looking back, it would have been good to have worn an extra camisole as there is always a danger of mild exposure with a plunging wrap over dress and a giant nursing bra, but the dress did its job admirably.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Tiffany Rose dresses to any pregnant or nursing friends, though perhaps for more dignified activities than clambering round the base of a Christmas tree. They really are lovely, feel stylish and special and come straight to your door – all crucial for the hormonally driven. I wish I’d discovered them earlier.