Updated on April 6, 2017
Cadenshae Ultimate Bra Review
I received this item at no cost in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.
My quest for the perfect nursing bra has been a long one. There are a lot of things I want in a nursing bra. Comfort, one-handed snap down cups, excellent nursing access, wire-free, good support, and a little style wouldn’t hurt. You’d think this wouldn’t be all too difficult to find in a nursing bra. After all, there are SO MANY brands out there that surely there would be many that fit the bill. There’s just one tiny little problem. I don’t have a popular bra size. My band size is too small for the cup size I need. I’ll just come right out with it: I wear a 30 FF or a 30 G nursing bra. Maybe you didn’t know band sizes could be that small or maybe you didn’t know cup sizes really went that big, but they do and I have both. I can’t even begin to tell you how many nursing bras I’ve tried on, how many nursing tanks with built in bras I’ve wanted to buy, but it just ain’t happening. Very few brands even make a 30 band size, and when they do, the cup sizes often top out at D/DD or E if I’m lucky. That just doesn’t cut it for me. To date, I have found one nursing bra that actually fits me and meets all my nursing bra criteria. ONE. It comes in just one colour and I have two of them. That’s it. Scratch that, I used to only have a single nursing bra brand and style that fit, but the Cadenshae Ultimate Bra just changed all that.
My pal Jaclyn of The Diaper Drawer has been toying with the idea of bringing in a line of nursing bras for a while. We’ve been discussing it for months. When she finds a brand she thinks might work, she let’s me know and I take a look to see if they make anything at all that might work for me or someone like me (because, let’s get real, I can’t be the only breastfeeding mother with a small band and a very large cup size). When she told me about Cadenshae, I’ll admit that I’d never heard of them. I went to their website and that’s when I saw it. The Cadenshae Ultimate Bra. Umm, hello! Not only does Cadenshae claim that their Ultimate Bra will fit my size, but each of the three sizes of the Cadenshae Ultimate Bra fits a range of sizing. I was both intrigued and skeptical. I was thrilled to see my actual bra size listed in a size chart for once, but a little concerned that the size that was supposed to fit me also fit a fairly wide range of band and cup sizes too. This type of sizing had never fit me before, but my actual size had never been within any size range before. Jaclyn had a Cadenshae Ultimate Bra (size 10) sent my way so I could give her the low down. Do I like it? No, I LOVE it.
The Cadenshae Ultimate Bra is a breastfeeding bra made for women with a larger bust. It is available in three different sizes (10, 12, and 14), and fits cup sizes from D through G and band sizes from 30 through 38. In case you’re wondering, the sizes 10, 12, and 14 correspond to Australian/New Zealand bra band sizes (Cadenshae is based in New Zealand). The Ultimate Bra is technically a sports bra for breastfeeding moms, but it works great as an every day nursing bra as well. It provides support and comfort for high impact exercise (including any workout, the gym, running, cycling, and dance).
The Cadenshae Ultimate Bra is wire-free and has moulded cups. Though there is a seam running up the cup on the outside, the inside of the cups are completely seam-free. The outside material of the bra is a nylon/spandex blend, and the inner lining of the bra is a cotton/spandex blend. Inside the Cadenshae Ultimate Bra is a cotton sling. This sling attaches to the straps of the bra, so when you drop cup, the straps stay in place. This cotton sling also creates the nursing openings when the moulded cup is dropped.
The Cadenshae Ultimate Bra has padded straps that flare in the middle (right at the top of your shoulder) to one inch in width. The back half of the strap is where you can tighten or loosen the strap to your liking. Where the strap meets the top of the cup there is a clasp that opens or closes easily with just one hand. This is what releases the cup and allows you to pull it down when you need to breastfeed or pump. At the back of the straps there’s a small hook that allows you to pull the straps together to form a racer back. The band has a 3×3 hook closure at the back, and every Cadenshae breastfeeding bra includes a 3×3 band expander. This is great for pregnancy and early postpartum when your rib cage is larger than it will be a handful of weeks after delivery. The front of the band under the cups is more sturdy as it has the moulded cup material sewn into it. This helps to provide extra support up front without needing the addition of nursing wires.
How It Works:
I was really skeptical that any bra that fits a range of sizes could possibly fit me and fit me well. I don’t know how Cadenshae does it, but somehow the Ultimate Bra fits me really nicely. I wear the Ultimate Bra in a size 10, and I’m almost at the largest cup size that it can accommodate according to the size chart. There is absolutely no gaping at the top of the cups. None. Even if I’m slouching, it does not gape. As important as not gaping is the top of the cups not digging. The Ultimate Bra does not dig into the top of my breasts either. It’s magic is what it is. I can feel inside the cup that there’s probably enough room for another cup size in there, and yet the moulded cups don’t sit away from my breasts. It’s just the right amount of give to accommodate the normal amount of engorgement you’d expect if your little one hasn’t fed in a few hours (or your toddler skips a feed entirely). What I’m trying to say here is that somehow the wonderful people at Cadenshae have made a bra that fits flawlessly.
What about the function? I was concerned that a moulded cup would make it more difficult to drop cup and have those cups stay down. That wasn’t the case at all. The cups dropped nicely and stayed down and out of the way just fine. The cotton sling inside the bra had large enough openings that I could fit my whole breast through so Petit Prince could easily latch on without any material getting in the way. The clasps for opening the cups to drop them are so easy to use. I love that the straps of the bra don’t slip off my shoulders when Petit Prince is nursing. I like to be able to close the cup that’s no longer in use before switching Petit Prince to the other side. This is really easy to do when the shoulder strap is still in place on your shoulder and not half way down your arm. This is the first nursing bra I’ve had with padded straps and it’s awesome. The straps are so super comfortable and don’t dig into my shoulders at all.
There’s one thing the Cadenshae Ultimate Bra does exceptionally well. Lift. It’s a real feat of engineering for a bra to be able to give good lift without underwires. I had resigned myself to just not getting any real lift out of a nursing bra, but the Ultimate Bra does it. It’s amazing. If you’re concerned that these uplifting moulded cups might crease with frequent cup dropping, don’t be! Though there is a very small amount of wrinkling in the bottom half of the cups after using it as my every day nursing bra for over a week, you can’t feel (or see) that wrinkling from the outside of the bra, and it has not affected the function, fit, or support of the bra.
As far as functioning as a sports bra, I think the Cadenshae Ultimate Bra would do well for light to moderate activities. There’s no way I could run in this bra without a whole lot of jostling around, but perhaps those who are in the smaller cup size ranges for this bra could. I did find that the bra provided a much more firm fit over the cups when the straps were set up as a racer back (using the handy built in hook for this). With a racer back, the fit was more containing and I think it would work great for moderate activities.
If I could change just one thing about the Cadenshae Ultimate Bra, it would be to raise the height of the cups as they come around under the armpits. This is likely because I’m used to bras that have move coverage at the sides. It was something I had to get used to when I started needing F/FF/G cup bras, but now that I’m used to it, I definitely prefer it. I imagine that the sides of the cups are kept a little lower simply to help the Ultimate Bra more successfully fit a wider range of cup sizes. It’s far from a deal breaker for me, and I still love the fit of the Ultimate Bra.
The cups of the Ultimate Bra have a really smooth finish to them, both inside and out. There’s no seam running right through the inside of the cup to irritate nipples (though as a forever leaker, I live in breast pads anyway). There are no rough spots anywhere inside this bra. Not in the cups, not along the band, and not on the straps. The band extender is such a great feature. When I was pregnant with The Heir, I bought a bunch of different band extenders so I could continue to wear my pre-pregnancy bras, and then once I was up a couple cup sizes, I used them on new bras that I hoped to be able to wear when I was done nursing. Since the Cadenshae Ultimate Bra comes with a band extender, you can absolutely use it through the later stages of pregnancy without needing to buy a size that’s going to be too big by the time you’re six weeks post delivery.
The Cadenshae Ultimate Bra definitely has a sporty look to it, and I kind of like it. My Ultimate Bra is navy with pink trim, but it’s also available in a black and white stripe. Can we talk about the price of the Ultimate Bra for just a moment? I’ve resigned myself to the fact that in order to get a nursing bra that fits me properly, I’m going to need to spend at least $85, and often close to or over $100. It’s a BIG investment. The Cadenshae Ultimate Bra retails for $69.99 CAD. Yes, you read that right. It’s the least expensive nursing bra I’ve ever owned and is pretty much the best fit and lift I’ve experienced while breastfeeding.
The Cadenshae Ultimate Bra is available to order now from The Diaper Drawer. It retails for $69.99 CAD and is available in two colour options: navy with pink trim or black & white stripes. Not rocking a DD+ cup size while you’re breastfeeding? The Cadenshae Everyday Nursing Bra fits A through D cups and is also available to purchase from The Diaper Drawer for $54.99. If you want to stay up to date on the latest products to arrive in store at The Diaper Drawer, join The Diaper Drawer Chatter Group on Facebook!
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