*ad- includes affiliate links
Initially, this post started as a bit of a tribute to the best breastfeeding dresses I’ve come across on my travels. A tribute to the 3am shopping scrolls of the hazy early feeding nights; feeling a bit lost with my wardrobe and desperate to hunt out a couple of pieces that would make me feel a little like me (plus, honestly- anything to keep me awake when you’re in the midst of a cluster feed and your Jaffa cake packet is empty).
Although I’d undoubtedly accumulated a few staples through pregnancy that I knew would see me through this new chapter and beyond, there still felt like a few holes in my wardrobe- namely for the ease of whipping ‘em out at a moments notice, and feeling like myself when I got dressed in the morning. But, much like pregnancy; although dressing practically for breastfeeding is now a consideration- I want to be able to add to my wardrobe pieces that’ll see me through after my breastfeeding journey is over too. Although I want to feel like ‘me’ now, I don’t want any additions to be reserved for just one chapter of my life but for the whole story.
When it came to curating a wardrobe for this chapter, I thought it would be exclusively wrap dresses, low cut tops and maybe a cheeky poncho here and there (which, by the way, if these are your thing- amazing)! But in this postnatal period, it’s been just as much about finding my style groove post-pregnancy again as it has finding things that I can comfortably feed in too. It’s about balancing my identity and what makes me feel good, whilst also adapting to a wonderful new period and staying true to my style. There are lots of breastfeeding friendly styles that don’t lend to the things I’d normally wear, but much like how dressing like a Victorian child and prairie dresses aren’t always ideal for breastfeeding either; it’s about striking a balance; knowing what works and what will last too- because there’s a lot more that works than you might think; so I thought I’d share some of my favourites here…
Dresses Dresses Dresses
Buttons, smocking and a pull down sleeve
When it comes to dresses; a lot of my pregnancy and pre-pregnancy dresses haven’t doubled up as being super breastfeeding friendly- and it’s about now I wished I wasn’t so fond of a super high neck, a big ol’ tunic dress and a sixties mini (although paired with shorts underneath they’re not to be ruled out). A couple of people told me to perhaps be wary of this during my pregnancy (with regards to picking up anything new), but stubborn Liv (and perhaps a little skeptical of jinxing anything) didn’t listen! Anyway- where possible, at the moment I’ve been trying to keep an eye out for anything with buttons down the front, pull down sleeves, elasticated smocking and maybe a wrap or two. It’s the category I’ve perhaps found hardest to adapt, but my tips would be to keep an eye out on Depop for anything vintage, and only invest in something if it’s truly something you’ll keep pulling out. Beyond Nine have some lovely pieces (that seem to sell out like hot cakes), and Rixo have some gorgeous super special dresses with lovely BF friendly details too. One of my favourite blouse purchases was this from Olivia Annabelle, who also has this gorgeous dress which would be perfect too…
Dungarees Dungarees Dungarees
Railroad Stripes + Vintage Ruffles = Fail Safe Feeding
There’s something very easy and cool about a great pair of dungarees when it comes to feeding easily and not having to overthink your outfit too much. Whether you’re layering them with a frilly white broderie anglaise blouse, or a classic striped tee- a great flared pair, and more recently a railroad striped pair have been my absolute go-to. They’re amazing with converse, ankle boots or even a Mary-Jane for something more put together. There’s nothing they don’t look great with, and whether you want a pair that baby can tuck discreetly into, or something with adjustable straps- there are so many brilliant pairs out there that make for pieces that will last you forever. Clary and Peg are the queens of pregnancy and postnatal dungarees (and dresses), so if you want a brilliant feed-friendly brand; make them top of your list. Ashley James has also done a gorgeous edit of TU at Sainsbury’s, which has a cracking pair there too.
Tops Tops Tops
An Oversized Vintage Tee + High Waisted Jeans = Easy Peasy
When it comes to dressing easily for breastfeeding; separates are king. I truly think I’m a jeans and t-shirt girl through and through, and one of the easiest things for me have been a pair of Levi’s Ribcage jeans (or any great high waisted pair), an oversized vintage t-shirt and a jacket on top. Equally, floaty drapey blouses have been a sartorial saving grace; whether that’s a vintage favourite or something more recent; pairing them with a great pair of trousers or layered underneath dungarees work so well for an easy access fail-safe look that keeps baby covered too. The vintage smock tops from Leila Ray vintage are an actual DREAM, and I wear mine endlessly. Initially I was worried about feeling too ‘exposed’ but whether you chose to wear a vest underneath to pull down as you pull a top up (Boob Design have some great ones if you’re after some more tailor-made BF friendly tops); you’d be surprised at how little you can actually see when there’s a baby lying across you- so as long as you feel comfortable, that’s all that matters.