I’ve got a love hate relationship with activewear. When I’m in shape, I’m the first to admit, I look fucking slamming. I love my shape when I’m in peak physical condition, everything figure hugging, showing off the curves I’ve worked hard to achieve, feeling like a second skin. When I’m about as far from that as I’ve ever been, and I try and cram myself back into my gear, and look like a sausage that’s spilling out of the casing, it turns pretty sharply to somewhere between GET THESE CLOTHES OFF ME IMMEDIATELY to, don’t ever let me take these clothes off, I’ve got work to do, and I can’t stop until I see results. I’m sort of an all or nothing type of person when it comes to fitness- it’s rarely just for fun. I like to set a goal, and once I’ve hit it, set another, whether that be glasses of water chugged, steps in a day, or sit ups done. I’m competitive, and the best person to be in competition with is always myself.
Since giving birth, I’m obviously not at the top of my fitness game- nobody is. You’re a whole new person, in this totally alien body. You pull out your workout wardrobe, it’s stretchy, surely that’ll do the trick. I’ve never felt seams bulge quite like it. And don’t even get me started on trying to squeeze lactating boobs into sports bras. In the end I settled for Robert’s trackies, went on a small walk, and that was it.
So when Mammarelli got in touch with me about their line of fitness clothes for maternity AND postpartum, I was intrigued. I’ve long thought that postpartum fashion should be a thing, beyond wrap tops and nursing vests- something that accommodates for all the new wobbly bits, and makes women feel strong and confident, rather than just staying in your maternity clothes. Especially since they often highlight your belly, which after popping the sprog, becomes something you’d rather hide away.
The leggings are divine. The waistband is reeeeeally high, which is so ideal for holding me in, and smoothing out the bumps, but not so tight that I got hot or uncomfortable. It’s a really soft, stretchy material, that doesn’t go see-through, and can also accommodate a growing bump. The sweat wicking material feels like a second skin, and while my legs don’t feel like they’ve been squished down, they’re lightly compressed.
A small pocket means I’ve got somewhere to stash a house key and a couple of other essentials and not be worried about them falling out, and most importantly- they passed the squat test! No matter what interesting poses I got myself into, you cannot see my pants through the material. Such a bug bear of mine.
The top halves are really interesting. They’re both cut in a way that would fit a bump of any size, right up to due date, and still not swamp a belly as it shrinks back down. The t-shirt is made of a really nice soft material, and while it isn’t skin tight, it also didn’t hang off me- it was really flattering, which is not something I’ve thought about anything recently. The jumper is a thick material- I got caught in a mega downpour for around 5 minutes, and even though I was soaked all over, when I took the jumper off, I was dry underneath.
Both garments are nursing friendly, but you absolutely do not have to be breastfeeding or pumping to wear them. The zips are discrete- in fact, the zip on the jumper is so well hidden, when I asked Robert to find it, it took him around 10 seconds to work out where it was. On the t-shirt they run from the collar bone down to the armpit on each side, and you can unzip one if baby needs to nurse, or if you’re a double pumper like me, you can unzip them both for full access to your tatas. The jumper has two zips too, but along the same line. You can pull the zips to meet at any point you choose, and open the space to be as big or as small as you require.
But for me, the biggest draw of all is that you don’t have to be pregnant or in the postpartum phase to wear these. The way they fit means ANYONE can wear them- even the flattest and most toned of tummies wouldn’t feel like they were drowning in the waistband, because the fabric isn’t cut pre-contoured like over the bump maternity jeans, it contours TO YOU as you wear them and change shape, more like a pair of tights would. The zips on the t-shirt don’t HAVE to be pulled- they’re stylish enough that they blend in as a design feature.
The range is small, and with good reason. If you do something well, do that. The design are elegant, mainly in black, white, grey, and khaki- so they appeal to and suit most people. I could wear that jumper with a pair of jeans and ankle boots, and look just as put together as if I wore the whole ensemble together and went to the gym (whenever they reopen, #fuckyoucovid).
All in all, a versatile capsule collection, totally fit for purpose, and fits beautifully, giving women confidence at a time when they perhaps need it more than ever. Totally recommend- mama or not!
MEET THE MAMAS
Maternity and nursing clothing brand Mammarelli has launched a luxury collection of versatile athleisurewear. It’s been technically designed to support women’s bodies through pregnancy, nursing and beyond to help them stay active with elegance and comfort.
The Cheshire-based brand was created by two sisters: fitness enthusiast and mum to 3 little boys, Jo struggled to find quality gym wear that looked stylish while working with professional sports teams during her first pregnancy. So she teamed up with her sister Alex a pre and post-natal personal trainer and former buyer for Mothercare to create the collection.
The business finally came to fruition when Jo came back home after a bad day with her first son, and Alex had joked about her unflattering outfit choice which pushed Jo over the edge… and so Mammarelli was born!
As well as struggling for activewear throughout pregnancy, Jo hadn’t got any clothes to wear that she was comfortable enough in for her mum and baby fitness class but yet stylish enough to go straight out for lunch with friends, without feeling self-conscious!
The range has been designed with versatility in mind so the clothing adapts to flatter women’s changing body size, ensuring a great fit throughout without compromising on style or look.
Jo also added “According to UK Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity Guidelines 2019 - throughout pregnancy women should be aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity every week which fewer than 15% of pregnant women achieve. So I was convinced from my own experience that a better range of activewear choice for pre and post-natal women could help improve this situation”.
Alex said: “Female athleisurewear has really taken off in recent years but maternity ranges have been left behind. Few major sporting brands offer maternity activewear and high street options are limited which lack the same level of technical design, and this is where Mammarelli bridges the gap”.
About the Range
Mammarelli’s capsule collection includes leggings, t shirts, jumpers and hoodies, all of which can be worn both pre and post natally. The collection is available to buy exclusively at www.mammarelli.co.uk. The brand Instagram is @mammarelli.uk