I thought it was only fitting in a week when I wrote about breastfeeding to also write about the wardrobe needed to accommodate such a job. I realize that this post will only serve a niche readership. But I hope it will be helpful for those readers and not too tiresome for everyone else. Besides, my point, really, is that a nursing wardrobe doesn’t have to be nursing-exclusive, it just has to provide easy access to one’s breasts.
Suffice to say, I was not interested in growing a whole new wardrobe to accommodate breastfeeding. And yet. Not all clothes are created equal and not all clothes make for easy access. The first month or two post-baby presented an especially interesting conundrum of not wanting to get anything new and not being able to comfortably wear much of what I already owned. To be clear: this would have been true breastfeeding or no. Growing a human has a way of shifting things.
Still, I didn’t want to invest in a special breastfeeding shirt or dress and I didn’t want to give up on any of my favorite sundresses. So I mostly just waited it out. I spent the summer in a pair of worn-out cut-off corduroys and pulled v-neck t-shirts up or down to nurse. More than once, I pulled a tank top strap off my shoulder and nursed, one boob out. I bought a tank top with buttons. I bought a romper with straps that I could pull down. And I splurged on one special dress that I knew I’d love to wear even after my boobs had calmed down and I began to feel more like myself. Because sometimes you need to treat yourself. Even if your stomach still feels pouchy. Especially if your stomach still feels pouchy.
Truth be told, I spent the first few months after Faye was born feeling frumpy. But frumpiness notwithstanding, I don’t think I would do anything different clothes-wise. Like everything else with a baby, the moment of discomfort is relatively fleeting. My best advice to brand new mothers is to wear clothes that are soft and comfortable and that won’t make you scrutinize whether you can fit your bum into your jeans. (You probably can’t. But you probably will be able to soon enough. And if you still can’t after a few months? You buy a pair of new jeans. Because the problem is the jeans, not you.) I think you should treat yourself to something lovely if you’re able, but I don’t think that that treat can only come in the form of a utilitarian dresses you’re not going to want to wear again.
Nearly ten months in, breastfeeding still presents its share of sartorial challenges but I don’t feel quite as stymied by it. My favorite sundresses still don’t really allow for an all-access pass, but I’m saving them for next summer and date nights and embracing buttons instead.
A few of my favorite breastfeeding-friendly finds:
Loosey-goosey t-shirts (size up)
Washable nursing pads (I borrowed my sister’s!)
A few other things I think look lovely:
A button-up tunic dress
A button-up jumpsuit
A button-up dress for a special occassion
One thing I never used:
a nursing cover (though I did cover up with a swaddle a few times)
More minimalist wardrobe posts, HERE.