Building Your Nursing-Friendly Wardrobe

Our guide on crafting a nursing-friendly wardrobe that’s casually chic and feels like *you*! As a mom-to-be, I spent hours researching and preparing for labor and delivery, postpartum, and breastfeeding. So I was surprisingly pretty shocked in the first few days home from the hospital when I realized that I could not easily breastfeed in just anything from my wardrobe. (And trust me, I tried!) I was out of sorts in adjusting to life with this new tiny human and my role as a mother, not to mention navigating the steep learning curve, pain, and emotion of breastfeeding. To not be able to grab my usual go-to looks from my closet left me feeling overwhelmed and lost.

As a fashion mama who wanted to retain my sense of style in motherhood, I began building a capsule of items that would enable me to nurse while still feeling like *me*. Your closet likely holds plenty of nursing-capable items, but I recommend also investing in a few key nursing-specific pieces designed to help make it easy to feed your baby. Let’s dive into the essentials!

nursing wardrobe essentials


Stretchy Tanks

These will really be the foundation of your nursing wardrobe, whether for those slow newborn days around the house or for layering with other pieces as you start venturing out and about. Chances are you have a bunch already in your closet! You’ll just want to ensure that they are stretchy enough to pull up from the bottom or down from the neckline for feeding access. Many people love the clip-down nursing tanks as a key staple for breastfeeding (though they aren’t personally my top choice), so they are definitely a good item to try at least one of.

Oversize Tops

Big tees, loose sweaters, flowy blouses… anything oversize will be your best friend for nursing! They truly make it effortless to pop baby under for feedings and can give some extra coverage. While most oversize styles should work, look especially for wide or aline silhouettes, side slits, or stretchy fabrics. We designed our Modern Nursing Tee to look like a regular t-shirt, but has side overlap details that make for ultra convenient nursing access and a built-in nursing cover!

Button Down Shirts

A timeless closet staple that also works for breastfeeding - check! Just unbutton the front for easy nursing access. These shirts are great when you want your nursing-friendly look to feel a bit more polished and they are versatile enough to pair with any type of pant/short/skirt. For an of-the-moment trend that is great for breastfeeding moms, you can also wear your button down shirt open with a tank layered underneath. 

Casual Knit Dresses

In those early days postpartum (and tbh, most of the time you have a baby), comfort is key! Especially if you are recovering from a difficult labor. But if you deliver in the warmer months or just want to feel somewhat put together, a casual knit dress can be a really great item to have. Unfortunately, most are not nursing-friendly, so it can be helpful to look for a style designed specifically for nursing moms. I personally had a really hard time finding a great go-to that was a super comfy/cute/flattering silhouette and that offered effortless nursing access in my search with my first baby, which led me to design The Modern Nursing Dress that started duet! 

Dressy Outfits

You will undoubtedly have a few occasions where you want to look a bit more dressed up, but will need to nurse your baby. If you are like me, many of the dresses in your closet will not allow for easy nursing-access (picture: lifting the entire dress up to your neck!). However, there are a few types of dressier styles that are surprisingly nursing-friendly. Look for dresses & jumpsuits that have strapless or smocked bodices for easy pull-down access. Or functional wrap-front and button-front styles that can open up for nursing. You can also put together a dressy look with a long skirt and cute top where nursing access won’t be an issue. I promise you can still look chic and feed your baby!

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