Saturday, 3 June 2017

Summer Breastfeeding Capsule Wardrobe

Breastfeeding hadn't really influenced my style through the winter, I was always a breton and dungarees girl, way before baby (and quite a long time before dungarees were fashionable). So I expected to be able to wear my summer clothes in the same way, a vest underneath, one up, one down, baby on. It turned out not to be quite so simple. 

A week before we set off on holiday I merrily opened the summer suitcase that went up in the loft pre-pregnancy, truly expecting a fantastical wardrobe full of breastfeeding friendly fashion that I can't wait to wear to jump out. In reality I found a case full of uninspiring clothes including a pair of denim shorts that I've had since 2008. I imagine somehow that my bottom will look all 2008 in them. It doesn't. It looks decidedly post-partum 2017. But, low on budget (holidays don't come cheap and statutory maternity pay is not designed to send you to Tenerife for ten nights) I was prepared to squeeze in to the old faithfuls. Then I tried to work out the breastfeeding adjustments and came quickly to the conclusion it just wasn't possible. There are a couple of things that I've made work, as for the rest it's gone back into that suitcase. So, with a week's worth of statutory maternity pay in my pocket I hit the shops, determined to kit myself (and my mammaries) out for the summer for under £140.98. 

With any capsule wardrobe, you're looking for maximum outfit combinations from minimum pieces so I opted for a good pair of white skinny jeans (Zara), a denim skirt that can be dressed up or down (Warehouse). There wasn't much left in the modest budget for tops so it had to be Primark. I'm not usually a fast-fashion buyer and often dismiss Primark, but short on time and funds I found some real gems, and almost everything can be mixed and matched!

Denim skirt: £28.80, Warehouse (down from £36. 20% off in the House of Fraser brand event) 
BF TIP: This is a high waist style so you can just about get away without a vest but I chose to wear one just in case!
Stripe cold-shoulder top: £8 Primark BF TIP: wear with a vest or belly band and lift up to feed

Stripe tee £3, Primark BF TIP: wear with a vest or belly band for the one-up, one-down feed

Flare sleeve top: £10, Primark BF TIP: vest under, top up, good to go
Denim dress: £12, Primark BF TIP: The front zip is a real gift for the breastfeeding mama, it's super discreet when you have a top underneath, lift the top and unzip to feed with no need for an extra vest layer. 

Dress: £13 Primark  BF TIP: I cut this across the bottom and hemmed it on a sewing machine to make it shorter for easier feeding access. Vest under to feed. See the transformation below.

Denim dress: as above BF TIP:  You don't really need to add a vest for this combo because the pinafore covers you, just unzip and lift the top. But you could add a vest under for extra coverage

Cold shoulder stars and stripes dress: £10, Primark BF TIP: no need for a vest under as this one unbuttons from the top but I always use a muslin when feeding with this style as it reveals more of the ol' décolletage!
Crinkle pinstripe dress, £13, Primark BF TIP: Ok, this did require a bit of effort, I the fabric under the ties for boob access and just untied to feed

BF TIP: Sling a muslin over your shoulder for extra coverage 

Jeans: Zara as above BF TIP: I chose hi-rise jeans which cover a bit more tum so you could get away with not wearing a vest under when feeding but I always wear one just in case.
Tie back bardot top: £10 Primark BF TIP: You can pull this one down to feed but I preferred to wear a belly band or boob tube top and lift up for feeding.

Jeans: Zara as above 
Cami: £3, Matalan BF TIP: I bought this in three colours, the straps stretch long enough to pull down for feeding and mean you don't have two lots of clips to deal with. I haven't worn traditional nursing tops as it's difficult to marry the right clips without looking!
Woven mix tee: £6 Primark BF TIP: It's nice and wide at the bottom so easy to lift to feed

So did I manage it? Not quite, I went over budget by £20, this lot came to £160.79. Not bad for a complete capsule wardrobe that will see me through the summer! Scroll down to see some of the ways I wore it. 


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