74 February 8, 2011

Nursing Fashion Guide


sources are listed at the end of this post

Yesterday, I posted my guide to Maternity Style. Today I’m back with my guide for staying cute while nursing. You may return to your pre-pregnancy size (or not), but breastfeeding rules out a lot of your old clothes. I nursed for over a year the first time and I’m about to start again with baby number two, so it was fun for me to pull this together. And just like last time, please let me know if you have any questions or tips of your own in the comments!

Tops

  • You have two choices: pull your shirt down/to the side, or lift your shirt up. You may find that you’re more comfortable with one option vs. the other. If your shirt tucks in, it needs to unbutton or pull aside. If there’s no easy access from the top, it needs to be easy to pull up.
  • I like to pull my shirt down or to the side, and if I feel exposed I just put a burp cloth over the bare shoulder. If you prefer to lift your shirt up, you can wear a nursing tank underneath or a belly band if you’re worried about showing your stomach.
  • Other than nursing tanks (which I love), I avoid shirts that are specifically designated as nursing tops. They never look like anything I’d wear normally, and there are plenty of options in regular shirts that will work just fine.
  • Cardigans and nursing tanks are BFFs.
  • I never wore button down dress/oxford shirts, but if you’re a fan they are obviously very breastfeeding-friendly.
  • Henleys and other knit tees with buttons that go at least partially down the front are great. They’re easy to throw on, they’re comfy, and they’re easy to care for.
  • And speaking of ease of care, you’ll probably want to avoid tops that need to be dry cleaned for a while. At least until after your baby is past the spit-up stage.

Bottoms

  • Easy! Wear your maternity pants and skirts until you can finally fit into normal clothing again.
  • You may not fit into your pre-pregnancy pants for quite some time (and some people never do). Don’t beat yourself up about it, but don’t wear maternity bottoms forever. Eventually you may want to buy yourself some new pants in whatever size you are now. Clothes that fit and look good on you will make you feel better, instead of feeling like a schlump in your elastic pants.
  • I love pencil skirts, but it was a long time before I could wear them again without looking pregnant. A-line skirts are more universally flattering.

Dresses

  • Wrap dresses and shirtdresses are phenomenal for nursing. Other than that, your options are pretty limited here. Look for dresses with straps that you can slip down, and then try them on (some will work). Sometimes you can find one with a drawstring or loose peasant top, but that depends on whether they’re in style or not at the time.

Unmentionables

  • My favorite nursing bra is Bravado’s Body Silk Seamless. The sizing is simple, the bra is comfortable, and it gives good support and shape.
  • Bravado also makes an excellent nursing tank. Most nursing tanks just have a shelf bra, but theirs is built like a supportive bra.

Accessories

  • A nursing reminder of some sort is a good idea. Sometimes you can tell/remember which side you last nursed on, but sometimes you cannot. You can switch a ring or a bracelet (like a bangle — nothing with a clasp that’s too difficult to undo) over to each side as a visual reminder. Clip a barrette onto your bra strap if you want something that won’t show.
  • Once your baby can grab, you may want to skip the dangling earrings. A necklace can be a good or bad thing. Some people find that it’s helpful to have something to hold baby’s attention (as long as the necklace is sturdy enough to take it), but I find they usually just get in the way. If you like statement jewelry, bracelets may be the way to go for a while. You can wear a pin too, as long as there are no sharp edges.
  • You will be watching the clock a lot at first, especially if you’re a new or nervous mother. Get yourself a pretty watch.
  • You need a diaper bag, but it doesn’t have to be one that was specifically marketed as such. Any large purse or tote will work, and it’s nice if there are several pockets or compartments inside. You can even slip a little changing kit in any bag that’s roomy enough, or carry it on its own if you’re not much of a purse person. There are also plenty of stylish diaper bags out there these days too though, so don’t rule them out completely.

Sources

from the style board above

  1. Women’s Roll-Up Button-Front Top
  2. Finesun Henley
  3. ban.do Heart Clip/Brooch
  4. Double Bow Ring
  5. Studio Diaper Tote
  6. Everyday Jersey Dress
  7. Women’s Shirt Dress
  8. Sumi-e Scape Top
  9. Striped Ruffle Shirt
  10. Maternity Emerald Wash Modern Slim Jeans (wear your maternity jeans postpartum until you can fit into regular clothes again)
  11. Leading Lady Nursing Chemise
  12. The Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra
  13. The Essential Nursing Tank
  14. Multifunction Rose Gold Tone White Dial Watch

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74 Comments

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  • Reply
    Kat
    February 15, 2011 at 2:10 am

    The only thing I wore literally when I was on maternity leave was the Bravado nursing top and sweat pants. The really is super comfortable :)

  • Reply
    Adrienne
    February 21, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I’m less than 2 weeks (or so) from becoming a new mom so thank you for these stylish nursing ideas!

  • Reply
    Becky
    February 22, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    I’m really far behind and playing catchup on your blog now. I’m usually a very avid reader. CONGRATS on August’s arrival!

    About nursing (I’m currently nursing Baby #2) wardrobes – I totally agree about saving the money on nursing clothes. I could never find a nursing tank that I liked just right, but I am in love with my Undercover Mamas. Really, it’s a sick love affair. Check them out – undercovermama.com

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  • Reply
    Fran
    March 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Love your picks, and as a nursing mom of a (almost) four-month-old, I echo a lot of what you say. I did find several unassuming-looking nursing tops that have become workhorses for me. (one is here: http://www.thefunkymama.com/macuslhe.html)

    And I LOVE Glamour Mom nursing tanks. You are right, nursing tanks and cardigans are BFF’s.

    Good pick on the shirt dress. I’ve been blogging lately about the difficulty in finding nursing-friendly dresses, and how I miss wearing them. Fortunately I’ve found a couple :)

    oh, and congrats on your new Little

  • Reply
    Simonne
    April 24, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    What a great tips on nursing fashion.
    I’m thinking to get a nursing tank, any nice one u tried?

  • Reply
    christine
    May 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    thanks for some great tips! I have been searching the web for breastfeeding fashion ideas. your site offers some of the most practical tips! another site i came across that was interesting was http://www.silkseasons.com/pages/breast-feeding-fashion, and also http://www.mamaathomeblog.com/2011/07/breastfeeding-fashion.html.

  • Reply
    Conrad
    January 25, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I would like to read your rare blog on style for men again. It was great and very helpful. My search turned up nothing. Please help me find it. Thank you so much. Conrad

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