In Search of Nursing Style…
Okay, Okay, what on EARTH do I know about style? I know you’re all thinking it, so I figured I’d just go ahead and say it for you!
The majority of clothes in my closet fall into one of the following categories: clearance rack chic, conservative teacher clothes, easy mom clothes, didn’t have time to iron ensembles, and hand me down couture. I know so little about fashion, that I had to spell-check “couture!” I don’t think I’ve ever purchased anything over $100. Not even my wedding dress. It was $99. So, why am I writing a post about “fashion?”
Well, I’m glad you asked. When you become a mom, your wardrobe choices change. When you’re breastfeeding, those choices are even more drastically different. See, all you’re thinking when you get dressed in the morning is, “What can I wear that I can feed my baby in without exposing everything God gave me? And won’t show any possible spit up stains?” Seriously, what to wear when we left the house plagued my thoughts and mind for the first three months of T’s life. So, here are my fashion rules of breastfeeding, in convenient bullet form. With pictures. Enjoy!
- Wear Layers. Simple enough. If you wear a tank top that you can pull down below your boob, and a shirt you can pull up over your boob, you won’t risk flashing. The top of your breast is covered by your shirt, and your belly is covered by your tank top. Target has some great nursing tanks that I wear under everything. Especially in the early days of breastfeeding, nursing tanks are pretty helpful! Since they have shelf bra built in, you can forget wearing a nursing bra and just put nursing pads inside of the shelf bra. They’re $16.99, which isn’t terrible for nursing tanks. But, I’ve also found (now that we’re a little better a the whole breastfeeding thing) that the $8 camisoles from Old Navy really work just as well. You just have to wear a bra under them. This is the easiest “nursing style” I have discovered. And, it allows you to wear ALMOST ANYTHING in your closet. As long as the shirt you choose can be lifted up, you’re good to go!
As my fashionista friend Caitlyn would say… “remember to accessorize!” See the cute necklace and T-strap sandals? That’s for her! I almost never remember to put on accessories. Something about not having enough time? You can layer a tank under a cute pullover sweater, like the one pictured, or you can put it under a regular Tshirt, a silky blouse, a cowl-neck shirt… the possibilities are endless!
- Utilize Buttons. I’m not just a huge fan of button down shirts. I wear them a lot though, because they’re another easy way to breastfeed discreetly. If you only have to unbutton a few buttons, you won’t be showing much when you feed your baby. Look for a more structured, fitted style, and tuck it into a belted pencil skirt or find a looser, menswear-y shirt and wear it with untucked over jeans. My favorite are loose, short sleeved henleys. What’s a henley, you ask? I didn’t know either, I had to google search “tshirts with a few buttons at the top” to find that word. As it turns out, I have five or six henleys in my closet. They are my favorite thing to wear! I wear them with jeans, shorts, and tuck them into my skirts. Since they have a few buttons at the top, they make breastfeeding a breeze. I’m sure you see where this is going… it’s all about the boob access. I have buttons in every form… traditional button downs, henleys, dresses that button down the front… They’re quite handy, these buttons! How cute would that red blouse look with a pair of skinny jeans and some black flats? I know, right!
- Rock a Scarf. Not only are scarves cute and stylish… they are pretty handy for covering up when nursing! Now, here in Southeast Louisiana, it’s waaaaaaaay too hot to wear even a light scarf until AT LEAST September… but that’s soon, and I plan on rocking scarves all through the fall. What a cute way to breastfeed. Much cuter than any nursing cover I’ve seen!
- Cardigan + Tank Top. You can pull a tank top down and use the cardigan you’re wearing to keep yourself (mostly) covered. Anytime I’ve ever worn such an outfit, I’ve had to drape a blanket around us. It can be done though! Outfits like this are super easy to pull together, though, and they do offer a certain amount of modesty. You can belt a long cardigan at the waist, or wear a drapey open front cardigan (especially handy, since it doubles as a nursing cover). If you’ve known me for long, you know that I’m a pretty huge fan of the cardigan. I always have been. In fact, my husband often mocks me because of it… Oh well. It works, right? I stand by my motto: there’s nothing cuter than a girl in a cardigan!
- Wrap Up. Wraps are incredibly easy to nurse in, as they slide right over to the side for easy boob access. Pair it with a great nursing bra, and you’re all set! Plus, wraps (and faux wraps, too!) make it easier to wear dresses when you’re nursing. I love wearing dresses, but pre-T, most of the dresses in my closet would require me to strip down entirely naked just to feed him. While that would be possible (although not convenient) at home, it would be just a little awkward anywhere else. A wrap dress enables you to breastfeed WITH your clothes on! Isn’t this floral maxi dress just the cutest?? I pretty much cried when I saw the price tag. $650 at J.Crew. Too bad.
- Ditch the Diaper Bag. After T was born, I felt like SUCH a frumpy mom carrying his basic black SkipHop diaper bag. I wanted something pretty that didn’t scream “DIAPER BAG.” But it also had to be big and functional. I went to Fossil and invested in a nice, big, leather cross body tote. It has worked wonderfully. It had enough pockets to organize all of T’s accessories, and it was a nice bag. I’ve since learned that when it comes to carrying around baby stuff, there are very few items you actually need to have with you. Here’s my list of essentials. They’ll fit into almost any large purse:3 diapers, wipes case, burp rag, extra onesie, lightweight blanket, paci. The blanket does double (and sometimes triple) duty. It can serve as a nursing wrap, a changing pad, and you can also use it as a blanket (duh.) I ditched my diaper bag when T was about 12 weeks old, and I haven’t looked back since!
Happy Fashion-ing, Friends!