How to Look Stylish When Nursing
I've nursed three of my children and I knew I was in trouble when the main criteria had for getting dressed in the morning was how easy it would be to access my boobs throughout the day. Needless to say, I wore a lot of not-very-cute outfits for a while. The thought of needing something even vaguely dressy was problematic. But, I've learned that nursing my baby and being fashionable aren't mutually exclusive thanks to a combination of cute covers, cute nursing clothes, and some wardrobe hacks.
Many nursing clothes can be worn as maternity clothes – extending their life – if you do some advance planning. Others are designed to allow year-round wear or can be adapted for year-round use with a few wardrobe tweaks.
Also, be sure to keep an eye on your favorite sites for sales!
Cute Specialty Clothes:
There are lots of companies that make specialized clothing for nursing mothers that are right on-trend. There are many different approaches to nursing clothing with some having front panels that lift up, others having flaps hidden by doubled or draped fabric, and still others having zippers or snaps on the sleeves. Most have a little extra length making them great choices for hiding your post-partum tummy of keeping everything covered when playing on the floor with your baby. A few of my favorites are:
Japanese Weekend makes adorable clothes. One reason I love this brand is for their styles that can either be worn casually or dressed up making them very versatile. My favorite is the drape scarf nursing dress. It looks great with flats and boots and the 3/4 sleeves means it can be worn throughout the year. Most Japanese Weekend garments have front access for nursing with cleverly hidden flaps that fold down providing maximum coverage. This is great for discreet nursing in public as well as pumping at the office or even during a night out with your partner or the girls.
Many Japanese Weekend nursing clothes are part of their d&a (during & after) line that can be worn while pregnant and later for nursing. I didn't discover this line until after my baby was born but you can extend the life of these clothes by planning ahead and wearing them during pregnancy as well.
Mothers En Vogue makes clothes that are stylish but tweaked a bit to add practicality for nursing moms. The Painter Striped Tee and Everyday Tunic have become wardrobe staples for me. The Painter Striped Tee has a double layer to hide your tummy and back while nursing, is a bit longer than a standard tee to accommodate your post-partum “mummy tummy,” and has adjustable length sleeves so it can be worn year-round. The Everyday Tunic has a cleverly hidden zipper for nursing access. I love the tunic with skinny jeans and a sweater for the winter and leggings and flats when it's warm.
Seraphine hit the news when Princess Kate was photographed wearing one of their dresses in the first Royal family portrait and once again, more recently, during her visit to the U.S. I love the contemporary look of Seraphine's Glitter Tee with contemporary zippers on the shoulders that allow for easy nursing access.
I'll admit it – I get changed whenever I can. Sometimes this means putting on my pajamas when the baby falls asleep at 5:00 p.m. and other times it means staying in my pajamas until his mid-day nap. Since I spend so much time in my pjs I want them to be cute. Not to mention, so much nursing is done at night during the early months that easy access is just as important as during the day.
Milk Nursingwear makes adorable nightgowns that look like dresses so I don't need to be embarrassed to wear them while the sun is still up. I also love the front panel that I just need to lift up making middle-of-the-night nursing a little less taxing. I pair my nightgowns with leggings on cooler nights for a cute look when I'm up and about.
Cute Covers, Slings, and Other Ideas:
Sometimes you just want to wear your regular clothes out in public and still look cute while nursing discreetly. There are a couple of good options that don't look like nursing covers at all.
The Seraphine Nursing Shawl looks like the shawls that everyone will be wearing in the spring. But, the shawl is lightweight enough to keep baby comfy while nursing and side snaps make it easy to adjust the shawl to your preference of style while nursing and when wearing it out.
The NuRoo Nursing Scarf is a great option for wearing as a trendy infinity scarf when out and about that can be snapped every-which-way when depending on how much you want covered when nursing.
I love wearing my babies and have found ring slings to be not just the cutest carriers out there, but also the simplest to use and great for nursing in. I often put my sling on while around the house to nurse comfortably and also use it often outside the house because the extra fabric provides a subtle, not-bulky cover up. I opted for the Sakura Bloom in a deep Twlight color that goes with everything and washes well.
Another method for wearing your regular clothes while nursing and still looking cute is simply wearing a tank under your regular shirt. Your regular shirt goes up and the tank goes down. This method provides a stylish layered look while keeping you warm in winter and keeping your Mummy tummy covered all year round. Target makes very affordable nursing tanks with built-in shelf bras. For those needing a little more support I'm a huge fan of the Cami Sutra nursing tank by Melinda B. with a full bra built-in.