Here is a piece I wrote for the awesome cool crafting website Ladyland last week - when they asked me "How do you breastfeed at a wedding and maintain your fashion composure!?"
I think one of the hardest outfits to find is a breastfeeding-friendly wedding guest outfit. There are so many things to consider, but most importantly you want to look good and feel comfortable.
The same rules apply as with any breastfeeding-friendly outfit: the top part must either undo or come down, or the straps of the top must come down over your shoulder. Personally, I tend to wear a thin stretchy vest under everything that can be pulled down or up – depending on which way you are getting nipple access.
But, there are other factors to consider: if you have very recently had your baby you may not feel super confident or comfortable wearing anything too tight. I avoided waist bands as I found them very unflattering – they would be tight around my waist and my mum-tum would poke out the bottom. Nice! Also, in the early days of breastfeeding you tend to sweat – so best to avoid clothes and fabrics that will enhance sweat patches or leaking milk! And, of course, over exposure of your breast is something you might want to avoid: you don’t want detract from the bride!
It's very important to stay true to your style, so try to wear something that you'd wear even if you didn't have to breastfeed. If you're wearing something you don’t feel comfortable or confident in, you won’t enjoy yourself as much.
Here are some ideas:
One option is to wear a jumpsuit (one that you can unbutton or that you can pull the strap down over your shoulder). This one by Whistles unbuttons; it’s fairly plain but with the right accessories could look really chic.
An obvious choice but one that works well is a button-up shirt dress. This dress is good because it buttons all the way up the front (good access), the style is not too fitted so would be flattering on the waist and tummy, but you could also wear a belt with it or tie it tighter at the back.
Co-ords (a matching top and bottom) are perfect because the top comes up for easy access. This outfit is good as it looks like a dress; the loose-fitting top that goes over the skirt would be more flattering than if the top was tucked into the skirt.
Love this waistcoat and culotte combo:
I love this dress – it looks so comfortable and flattering. You could lower the strap down over your shoulder and maybe take a scarf to drape over if you felt self-conscious. You could wear anything with this, like a brightly coloured jacket or big flower in your hair.
There are certain accessories that are a bit of a no-no while breastfeeding – think hoop earrings or big dangly ones – they are too tempting for the baby to rip out of your ears. Also, chunky or pointy textured necklaces that they could head butt should also be avoided, but this gold 'Mother' chain from Cult of Youth is perfect.
Cross-body bags are a good idea as they mean you’ll have you hands free (the nappy bag can travel separately – don’t let it ruin your outfit!)
Comfortable shoes are important, like these shiny flats from Zara. I nearly always wear flats anyway, but definitely avoid ones that you can’t balance in – chances are you’ll be carrying a baby!
And finally, lipstick! Wear it bright and with confidence; it will brighten up your face which, if you are breastfeeding a baby all the time, might look a bit tired. Let's hear it for the lippie!