|(c) Isabella Oliver|
As a breastfeeding mum I’m finding occasion shopping that much harder. I used to have a wedding “look” that always gave me a confidence boost, but strapless prom dresses and empire line maxis don’t work with my nursing bras and I’m having to rethink my style.
If like me, you’ve been stuck in a fashion rut, why not take the opportunity to reinvent yourself this Spring and try out some different shapes and styles.
Remember that outfits don’t have to look functional to allow you to feed easily – a cardigan or shrug buttoned at the top allows you to feed without fuss (or flashing) in any top or dress that will pull down. If you make your own nursing vests, you can tailor colour, straps and neckline to work perfectly underneath any dress and you can use the same technique to make nursing slips for a smoother silhouette.
There are some lovely 50s style dresses in the shops at the moment. They are a flattering shape and great for hiding a mummy tummy, but most of them won’t work for breastfeeding. Look for styles which button to the waist and wear with a nursing vest or cropped cardi for extra coverage.
2. Black poppy print fifties dress Â£35 – Debenhams
3. Button front 50s dress Was Â£65Now Â£45, Warehouse
4. Emily And Fin Dorothy Coral Dress Â£55 – Coggles.com
5. Claudia Twist Back Button Front Flower Print Denim Dress Â£15 – Boohoo.com
6. Scenic Print Prom Dress Â£29.99 – New Look
7. POP by PPQ Bianca Dress Â£49 – Very
If you prefer a clean lines and a tailored look, look out for simple shapes with hidden button or zip fronts and wrap dresses in graphic designs. Stick with strong colour and striking accessories to really stand out in the crowd.
2. Nevada Dress (concealed button front) Was Â£135 Now Â£80 – LK Bennett
3. Lauren Jestina Jersey Shirtdress Â£175 – Ralph Lauren
4. Phase Eight Stripe Renee dress Was Â£95 Now Â£53.20 – House of Fraser
5. Nanette Lepore Ingrid Dress (exposed zip front) â€“ Â£119.16 – Shopbop.com
6. Red spike fascinator Â£30 – Debenhams
7. Kit Heath Garnet Charm Bead Â£12 – House of Fraser
Shirt dresses are easy for breastfeeding and there are lots about. Pick luxe fabrics, prints and detailing and wear with heels for effortless glamour.
1. Tommy Hilfiger Dress Â£99.90 – dress-for-less
2. Gryphon Burnout Dress Â£135.03 – Shopbop.com
3. Parker Double Flared Sleeve Dress Â£136.01 – Shopbop.com
4. Antik Batik Kim Mini Dress Â£119.81 – Shopbop.com
5. Be Beau Blurred Print Shirt Dress Â£22 – Matalan
6. Pink Kinsella Dress Was Â£135 Now Â£79 – Thomas Pink
The strong 1970s influence this season means there are lots of laidback styles in soft, draped fabrics. Cape style, wide sleeves and slouchy looks all work well for a simple wedding look. High heels and flats both work with this look but keep accessories simple. This is a perfect low-effort look for yummy mummies!
1. Warehouse Lace Trim Shirt Silk Dress Â£30 – ASOS
2. Parker Double Flared Sleeve Dress with Print Â£142.48 – Shopbop.com
3. Ruby star print v neck maxi dress (sleeve / pull down feed) Â£18 – Boohoo.com
4. Cape Tie Waist Dress (sleeve feed) Was Â£47 Now Â£38 – Rare
5. Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Bibbed Tunic Dress Â£211.12 – Shopbop.com
6. Clarie flower border maxi dress (sleeve / pull down feed) Â£15 – Boohoo.com
7. Rachel Pally Newport Dress (also available in other colours) Â£165.94 – Shopbop.com
8. Pied a Terre Floral and paisley print dress (sleeve feed) Was Â£130 Now Â£91 – House of Fraser
The dip hem (or tail back, depending on how you look at the world…) is an easy way to update your post-baby wardrobe and looks great with jeans.
It’s also a great shape for breastfeeding as you don’t have a mass of material at the front to get in the way of a lift up feed and it hides a mummy tummy beautifully. Button down shirt styles can also be used for pull down style feeding (wear with a nursing vest if you want a bit of extra coverage).
1. Love Label Oversized Dipped Hem Stripe Top Â£28 – Very
2. Dip Back Oversized Shirt Was Â£22.99Now Â£15 – New Look
3. Cut Hem Blouse by Rare Â£35 – Topshop
4. Cream Chiffon Tailed Shirt Â£22.99 – Quiz Clothing
5. Love Label Dipped Hem Boxy Blouse Â£25 – Very
6. Sleeveless Dip Hem Shirt Â£19.99 – New Look
The denim dress is a key item for Spring/Summer and Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood prove that denim doesn’t have to be casual to be cool. There is a dress to suit everyone this season – even breastfeeding mums! Here are some of our favourites, which all have button down fronts for easy feeding.
If you’re coveting the Jaeger dress, which a number of celebrities have been sporting recently, but can’t justify the Â£150 price tag, take a look at the rather more purse-friendly option from Dorothy Perkins – at Â£38, you could even treat yourself to some copycat white buttons!
Clockwise from top left:
Western shirtdress Was Â£45 Now Â£20 – Oasis; Denim pintuck smock dress Â£35 – Dorothy Perkins; 70’s Button Through Denim Dress Â£55 – Oasis; Label Lab Denim utility dress Was Â£65 Now Â£45.50 – House of Fraser; Marc by Marc Jacobs Denim dress Â£235 – Net-a-Porter; Vivienne Westwood Lee Anglomania Twist Denim Dress Â£162 – Urban Outfitters; Boutique by Jaeger Denim Dress Â£150 – John Lewis; Mid wash 70s denim shirt dress Â£38 -, Dorothy Perkins; Dark blue denim shirt dress Â£55 – Debenhams
It’s hard to feel springlike when it’s all grey and rainy outside and the weather is more suited to chunky knits than pretty dresses. The sun is shining today so I’ve decided to take the plunge – here is the MilkChic pick of the spring fashion that works for breastfeeding mums!
The 1970s is influencing all the trends this season, with pretty prints and florals for daytime and washed out denim and crochet details all over the place. At night, think Studio 54, with jewel and neon colours, dramatic long lines and lots of glitz!
Easy to wear country garden florals are everywhere. If you’re not ready for full on girlie, pick tailored shapes and graphic florals like this shirt dress (Â£44.90 at dress-for-less) or clash your prints for a more edgy take.
|Leeza floral cardigan, Banana Republic|
Floral Bangle, Fashion Union Floral Vintage Dress, People Tree Flower Print Denim Dress, boohoo.com Shirt dress, dress-for-less Floral Hanky Hem Vest, New Look Floral Gypsy Top, boohoo.com Per Una Bead & Floral Rope Necklace, M&S Blooming Gorgeous Changing Bag, John Lewis
A splash of colour is a great way to update your look this season and any shade goes as long as it’s bright. If you’re not feeling brave enough to colour block, pick some vibrant accessories to get the look – the gorgeous Storksak Jess changing bag is perfect to brighten any day.
|English Breakfast Dress, shopbop.com|
Circular Swing Vest, New LookPatent Skinny Belt, boohoo.com Pintuck Strappy Heel, New Look Scoop Neck Trapeze Swing Jersey Vest Top, M&S Acid green top, Yoox Storksak Jess Canvas Changing Bag, John Lewis Harlow Dress, shopbop.com Fusion Lily Jersey Dress, MonsoonChilli Pepper Cotton Sundress, ASOS Viyella Ruched Jersey Dress, House of Fraser
If all of these bright colours and prints aren’t quite your scene, try a sophisticated palette of nudes – there is something to suit all skin tones, from caramel to blush, and it looks great teamed with black. Make sure it’s machine washable though, as pale colours aren’t always baby friendly!
Shop the Nudes trend on MilkChic
This probably isn’t the most practical trend for mums with young babies – I am someone who can get a white top filthy in minutes even without a toddler throwing Weetabix at me! Having said that, it looks great and if you pick easy to wash fabrics like cottons, at least you know you can throw them in with the baby vests and they won’t wreck.
Simple stripes always look great. This season, the trend is for wide stripes and striking colour combinations. I love the heart shaped GUMIGEMâ„¢Teething Necklace from MamaJewels – practical and on trend!