Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Breastfeeding Clothes: Cute ideas for things to wear when you're nursing

Sure, you could wear nursing camis and tanks - I lounge in them all day. But when it's time to head out, you may want to wear something a little spiffier than a cami that unclips at the breast.

Sure, there are lots of brands that sell cute nursing clothes... but many of them charge an arm and leg! And for some reason, when I was pregnant, I had the strange idea that I could only feasibly wear clothes designed for nursing. It never crossed my mind that I could wear "real" clothes until my mom mentioned something. Ha!

Here's a couple of ideas that never occurred to me until I actually began breastfeeding.

I love this Zenana Outfitters shirt I found on Zulily!
1) Button-down shirts. I hate the standard, stiff kind. So professional and uncomfortable - plus it reminds me of when I was a waitress, which I loathed. But, I found a couple soft jersey-knit kind. They are more flattering, I think, and much more comfortable. Then there are shirt that only button half-way, which will work as well.

Simply Vera by Vera Wang from Kohl's. I have this top and it's very silky soft - a cute lace button-up over a camisole. Plus, the tie belt helps give new mamas a waist!

Forever 21's zip top disguises a tummy nicely.

2) Zip-up shirts. This is a new trend going around, and it's handy for breastfeeding. I have a couple from Forever 21 (though I'm too old for most of their stuff, their line Love 21 is a little more grown-up and I've been able to find a couple good pieces. Plus it's cheap). They are blousy and loose with a zipper on the upper half of the front of the shirt.

Surplice top from Body Central

3) V neck tops. A v-neck that's very stretchy, or a shirt with a very deep V-neck, surplice neckline, or wrap/faux wrap top will allow you to pull it down when it's time to feed the baby.

Old Navy cowl-neck top.

4) Loose, stretchy cowl-neck tops. Same as the v-necks, if the neckline is a bit low and loose and stretchy, then you can pull it down for nursing.

5) Of course, you could just wear any old top that allows you to pull it up from the bottom... but then you're exposing your belly (and what new mom wants that?) They do make nursing camisoles designed to go under your top so no one sees your stomach... but then you're just adding layers and it's June in Southern California so I'm already sweltering enough with just one layer.
Advertisement for Undercover Mama - they sell camis that clip onto your bra and are designed for layering.

This Sun & Moon dress from Zulily has a surplice neckline.
6) Most dresses don't work - you can't pull them up (wouldn't that be a sight!?) But, button-up shirt dresses, or dresses that zip in the front will work. So will stretchy v-neck dresses as well as wrap and surplice dresses. I had no dresses that would work prior to my son being born and since I love dresses, had to go out and get a few that would work.
Dana Buchman snakeskin shirt dress from Kohl's.

Old Navy wrap dress with another nice camouflaging pattern.

7) Now regardless of the type of top or dress you get... make sure it is in a darker shade or has a busier print. Those hide milk stains and leaks a lot better than a solid, light-colored shirt.

Places to look...

It's really best to try on the clothes before you buy them (which I hate doing... I love online shopping). But you have to know if you're going to be able to stretch the top down enough for nursing, or if the zipper or button works the way you want, etc.

I don't want to spend a fortune on clothes that are just going to get breast milk on them and spit up allover. So I like TJMaxx - I was able to find a few maxi dresses that work for nursing (I know I said to try things on first... but you can now shop online!). Also, Zulily (another online shop... but the prices are often very good. Plus they do have nursing bras and tanks from time to time, and though they aren't the height of fashion, they are a necessity for a nursing mama). Old Navy and Kohl's have a lot of button-up shirts and cute dresses. Forever21 is inexpensive and has a ton of clothes. Just steer clear of all the crop tops that they have now. Ick. Body Central's clothing is a bit "spicier" - which means lots of low v-necks and surplice tops. Great for breastfeeding!

I'm sure if you are a currently breastfeeding mom, you've already discovered these clothing options. Hopefully though, this will give some good ideas to new moms-to-be and other women who plan to breastfeed in the future! :)
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