Review: Cake Maternity Lemon Zest and Dark Croissant

Cake Dark Croissant Underwire Nursing Bra. Image from cake

I’ve been absent a while. I’ve written several hey-i’m-back drafts and finished none. So, I’m doing this the only way I know how, at the moment.  A review.

Why would a woman who isn’t pregnant or lactating try a nursing bra? Well, the never-ending search for comfortable, flexible bras to accommodate fluctuating cup and band sizes, that’s why.

This summer I was in desperate need for a sports bra and a very comfortable black bra for a month of intensive travel. I’d intended to try nursing bras most of last year, and found myself at that “now or never” moment, so I ordered the Cake Lemon Zest and Cake Dark Croissant.

I love this bra. The Lemon Zest design is a fresh breath for those of us who have fluctuating band and cup sizes, or who are hard to fit for a variety of reasons – including autoimmune pain and inflammation. This isn’t just a great sports bra, it’s a great bra.

As promised, the wires are flexible. Despite the wing sitting on a bit of side tissue, I experience zero pain or that “dig in” pressure I experience in many other bras. The wings are not too tall, so I have freedom to move my arms forward and back during workouts. The band is wonderfully deep (tall) and fits over my rib flares beautifully, and actually stays in place during workouts…those of you who experience pain from jabbing and digging wires on your ribs, and slip-sliding bands will appreciate the band on the Cake Lemon Zest. The fabric is resilient and flexible, and has adapted beautifully to my changing size, shape and firmness.

Next, I tried the Cake Dark Croissant and was again pleasantly surprised by the comfort and fit. The band, cup, wire fit and fabric closely resembles the Lemon Zest, and the seamless cup design is a dream under thin tops. After trying both a wireless and the Dark Croissant during plane travel, I’ve pronounced the Croissant my “go-to travel bra”. The Croissant is comfortable and flexible, and I feel put-together at the end of the flight since the bra doesn’t shift around after wresting luggage, carry-ons, and three hours+ of slouching and squeezing. Thanks to the flexible wires, I don’t feel like I’ve gone a round with a pitchfork…which I’m very thankful for, when traveling. Again, another great bra.

A few notes on how the bras fit me. I don’t get a tacking gore in either style; however, I don’t feel less supported or secure. I do wonder if Cake could adjust the Croissant to give more of a tack, because lack of tack equals between-the-boob-sweat. Since I am close-set, my breasts do touch where the gore should tack. The end result is between-the-boob-sweat, which I don’t like. Size-wise, I wear a 38FF in the Lemon Zest and a 38G in the Dark Croissant. I tried 40 bands in both and found them quite generous (I had to clip the 40’s on the tightest column of hooks, I wear the 38’s on the loosest column).

The Cake aesthetic has trended a little sweet and bubblegum for me in the past… the brand name “Cake”, along with styles named after sweets or baking ingredients, coupled with the ubiquitous pink website can be a bit off-putting for those of us wanting a less girly association and cleaner, more modern aesthetic. I’ll be honest, I was off-put by the stereotypical “pregnant lady” aesthetic when I was pregnant, and I still don’t like it. Why does pregnant equal pink?

Luckily, I find both the Lemon Zest and Dark Croissant to be, style-wise, right up my alley. Current website offerings are…less pink, which is industry standard for fall/winter. I do appreciate the omission of bows and frills on the Dark Croissant, and will gladly trade nursing clips for ruffles, bows and frou-frou any day. Speaking of the nursing clips, they have held up well and I don’t suffer from the feared impromptu clip release, as happened back in the day (when I actually wore nursing bras because I was nursing).

Cake uses U.K. sizing (and shows both U.S. and U.K. conversions by style on their website), and specific styles are available from 32B – 42J. Please be aware some retailers use U.S. sizing, so verify which sizing system the retailer is using before purchasing online.

All products were purchased by me, with my own money, and using my “real” name. Opinions are my own.

2 Comment

  1. Awesome to see reviews of this company!! First, I agree that Croissant and Zest are pretty similar. I think the shape is very close, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear they were built on the same frame. I was not so sure about whether people would want an actual nursing sports bra (thinking of our customers specifically), but it’s done well for us on order. People like it too because it’s not the firm wires or heavy molding. I do agree about tacking issues, especially in higher cup sizes. I believe this comes from the soft, flexible wire not being sturdy enough to push back against the center tissue. However, given that a lot of women are hesitant about any wire, it’s usually not a problem. It also soft tacks better and stays more vertically upright than other bras. The Freya Pure, for example, will often point directly outward away from the sternum at the top, which is visible under tops. Even though Croissant won’t always tack, it’s still discreet.

    1. WideCurves 1 says: Reply

      I absolutely understand how most nursing women view a wired bra with trepidation (I had mastitis, enough said..). That said…wet, sweaty boobs are not a nursing mom’s friend.

      I did forget (how?) to mention the fabulous job both bras, especially the Lemon Zest, do of bringing me center and front. I have a bit of tissue under my arms and most UK brands manage to shove even more under there, which is uncomfortable and makes me look even bigger. I do love how the Cake bras bring me forward.

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