Friday, March 05, 2010

Breastfeeding Style

(Wearing my favorite breastfeeding/summer dress from Cheap Monday)

Hi! Read your blog, it's really interesting!

Could rather relate to it, as I'm an expat wife living in Manila now. Just wanted to know, how'd you dress fashionably when you've got such a young baby around?

My baby's 7 months old now (almost the same age as Berry!) and I'm stuck in the same few breastfeeding tops and berms all day. :(

Plus, I'm always lugging around a huge backpack full of baby stuff... can't ever use a small chic handbag anymore.


One thing I told myself, back when I was still single, was that I will never allow myself to slide (in Filipino, "Ayoko maging losyang!") when I get married and have babies. I want to look stylish, fresh, and smelling clean always. Well, it turns out, it's not that easy when one does not have yayas and helpers at home. That means, yes there are days when I putter about the house and run after Berry in pajamas the whole day. That's real life.

So, I "got it" when I became a mom myself. Mothering can really be a challenge, style wise (and grooming wise, I haven't been to a salon in months!). I totally see where you're coming from Jean.

But since I never was one to sacrifice style, I vowed I would never be caught outside the house wearing "boring" clothes. I still want to be me, I don't ever want to hide behind mommy clothes just because I am a mommy now. That was my philosophy too when I was pregnant. It just didn't make sense to buy maternity and breastfeeding clothes. (First, because I wanted to save. It wasn't worth spending on clothes I would only get to use for a few months. And second, there are just too many cuter clothes out there that are worth spending on!)

So I figured, the best clothes that were still "me" but practical enough to wear for breastfeeding would be roomy clothes (I wear a lot of A line tanks and oversized tees) and clothes with easy access points - button downs, snap-ons and wrap styles.

As you can see below, I have button down clothes in all its incarnations:

A button down dress from Cheap Monday which I wore every chance I got the whole summer with my K. Jacques...

A button down drop waist tunic from Old Navy which I wear with leggings or tights...

A button down flannel shirt from Uniqlo that I wear with jeans and Bensimon sneakers...

A button down onesie from A.P.C. that I wore with flat sandals in the summer and tights and my Golden Goose boots during fall/winter...

And yes, a hand-me-down button down shirt from Dear Hubby that I wear with leggings. I suggest you check out your husband's closet for shirts that he can pass on to you...

I also found this really cool Union Jack dress from Twenty8Twelve...

...that has snaps all the way around the neckline and down to the sides, that I can easily breezily remove come feeding time.

Finally, a wrap/mock wrap dress (or a top) is very breastfeeding friendly too! This one from H&M is pretty versatile. I can dress it down with sandals or dress it up with pumps if I have to...

And it is so easy to pull down the front come breastfeeding time...

My best accessories for these clothes are a breastfeeding cover and my breastfeeding bras from Bravado Designs (which I discovered, thanks to my friend Belle!). So there. I still get to wear real clothes, clothes that I love, and I don't have to sacrifice my style over breastfeeding at all.

Now when it comes to bags, you may have given up on small, chic, handbags, but you can easily replace those with big, chic handbags! I have friends who stuff a Louis Vuitton Neverfull with all their essentials, plus that of their baby's. When I go on short trips out, I put 2-3 nappies, baby wipes, a changing pad, an extra set of clothes, a bib and some snacks in a Rootote tote. And when I can only really just carry one bag, I put Berry's stuff inside my super lightweight bag (a Goyard Fidji).

I bring out the big diaper bags when we're out the whole day. Because when we are out for 2-3 hours, Berry hardly needs to change clothes and she only needs to change nappies once if at all (thanks to Pampers Baby Dry!). So in essence, it doesn't make sense to bring along so many things if it's just a short trip out to run errands.

In a nutshell, shop your closet for button downs, wraps and snap-ons and retire your breastfeeding tops. You can wear "real" clothes. Always bring a breastfeeding cover and use an easy to unsnap breastfeeding bra. Get yourself a nice lightweight and roomy tote or hobo (Longchamp, Kipling and LeSportsac are affordable alternatives to luxury bags) and try to whittle down the baby stuff to the essentials. That way, you don't have to lug around a huge backpack. Hope this helps you Jean!


appledumplings said...

Hi! This post of yours is very helpful! :) I've been reading your blog for awhile now, this is my first time to comment. I'm 13 weeks pregnant, and I also vowed that I don't want to look losyang and as much as possible avoid buying/wearing maternity clothing. Good thing I like wearing oversized shirts and buttondowns. And I'm still on the hunt to buy more clothes in other style, both I can use while pregnant and after giving birth and breastfeeding friendly. :)

Thank you!!

cd_mfo said...

You're welcome appledumplings! Thank goodness there's plenty of stylish clothes that can work before, during and after pregnancy! Enjoy the whole experience and take care!

marian said...

what a helpful post! love that image of you at the top.

Anonymous said...

thanks for another great tip ms. tin!

S from DC

rica said...

i'm not pregrant so i cant vouch for the comfort of the clothes. these are some of my go-to brands when giving gifts to expectant moms. =)

jean since you;re based here in manila, these are all brands that are locally made and can be easily bought here. =) -- they have nice bags. we gave this to a cousin and a single cousin thought the bag looked great and could also pass for a laptop bag. -- they have a lot of mommy friendly products like transition tubes, breastfeeding tanks, nursing dresses, etc. the bravado products are available here too.

cd_mfo said...

Thanks marian! =)

You're welcome Sharonel! Take care and hope you're doing great!

Thanks for the tips Rica! Very helpful, esp since I am not in Manila and am out of the loop when it comes to shopping there!

The Bag Hag said...

I loooove your look with Berry!!!!

cd_mfo said...

Awwww, thanks so much Ing! =)

rica said...

no worries, hope it helps =)

cd_mfo said...

From Jenny!

Just want to share my online shop - Mama.Baby.Love ( which carries different brands of breastfeeding clothes and breastfeeding bras. Hope you can check it out!

Thanks! :)


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