Firstly, feel free to scroll on by if you’re not currently breastfeeding, however, these are all chosen from mainstream fashion, just with breastfeeding access in mind so it shouldn’t make a difference. 🙂
It’s less than one week to go and the internet is exploding with round ups of spring fashion to wear as we all get to mingle with friends again, and not long after that we will be able to do it in an actual restaurant with actual food we haven’t cooked ourselves, (yes I know, takeaways have been open and we have had many, but you’re still stuck with the clearing up.) Personally, I have mixed feelings about this. I do love a dress, but more and more with small children, the change in behaviours we’ve all made in the last 12 months and now breastfeeding Kit, I find I wear the same clothes on repeat. I’m also really starting to think about ethically made and sold items, buying better, buying less, so I’ve been scouring the shops with the idea in mind of buying one or maybe 2 nice dresses that I can get a lot of wear out of. As I was doing the leg work I thought I’d share here.
Firstly, I should say, it is BARELY spring. Don’t expect to find strappy dresses or if I have included them, please know I’m intending them to be layered over light weight polo necks or a long sleeved Breton, or under some chunky knitwear. Whilst we are all hoping for a spring like last year, I’m being realistic and remembering that Easter and most of April and May can often be frankly baltic here and whilst we will be seeing friends we will all still be stuck outside for the foreseeable.
Secondly, from a breastfeeding POV a dress is often a tricky beast. I’m just going to acknowledge now that what works for one breastfeeding mother doesn’t work for another. It depends where your boobs are, how often you’re having to get them out and who you’re breastfeeding etc. I often find people are fans of the pull up/pull down method with a top pulled up and a vest pulled down underneath but I often get too hot in too many layers and of course this is not an option in a dress. I’ve done all sorts of methods but this time around I am completely happy just with the easiest access possible, even if that does mean getting a whole boob out. Firstly its just a boob, and secondly if I feel I’m flashing a bit to much flesh (and that’s entirely my decision to make, not other peoples,) then I chuck a muslin over my shoulder and just drape it across me for a little extra coverage. On that basis I’m mainly looking for button front dresses or dresses to pull down/aside but if I think it will work I’ve included them here.
First up, Zara. Every year Zara nails an ‘it’ dress so it was my first port of call. Unfortunately the one I really loved is sold out in my size but you can bet I’ll be stalking it in case one comes back in.
Florals are big news this year, (as usual, because, spring,) but a lot of ditsy prints that I wouldn’t usually go for. If that’s your thing, this blue floral is a good spring option for layering. The blue African style kaftan I’ve sneaked in just because I thought it was stunning. I’d have to see it to see if you could get a boob out of that v-neck but it could work if it’s low enough. I’m tempted to buy it just for a future beach holiday even though I try not to buy things ‘for the future’. If I had a foreign holiday planned I’d definitely be snapping it up! It was the green jungle print dress that drew me here and I think is a bit formal for my needs this year but if I wasn’t on maternity leave I’d buy it for work.
Next up H&M – also often producing a cult dress purchase that sells out, H&M is always worth checking out, especially their Conscious range which is ethically made from at least 50% sustainably sourced materials – like organic cotton and recycled polyester. I’ve been buying a lot of Kits clothes from this range as the GOTS certified organic cotton is so soft and sustainable! This Conscious lyocell dress they make in several styles every year and is so easy to wear. I had to include this red dress as I’ve developed a bit of a thing for red lately, it’s such an easy statement and easy to wear with a tan in the sun or red lipstick for an event if you’re lucky enough to have one. I love broderie dresses and whilst black is not my thing I love this black broderie anglaise dress. Again its more for an event but I reckon with Birkenstocks or Teva’s it would look great just out and about.
Lastly if I wasn’t breastfeeding, I’d be tempted by this one.
Another place I always check out for dresses is M&S. Often at a good price point, it does take a bit of searching amongst the more mundane stuff, but they often have a gem or two. I’m thinking about ordering this tiered Chambray dress which can be worn loose and flowy or belted as in the picture. The collar trend is going nowhere, and this Collared floral mini comes in the pictured style or a tea dress tiered midi, with with button front fastening. I’m not sure how I feel about M&S coining the phrase ‘midaxi’ but I guess it describes the length well of this loose button front dress. Lastly this Gingham strappy style is £10, yes you heard me right, £10 in the sale and would be very cool layered with a tee underneath.
Hush. At the pricier end of the spectrum is Hush but I have to say I consistently go back for comfortable clothes that have seen me through pregnancy, breastfeeding and in-between. I have another of their white dresses but liked the retro vibe of this tiered one, and the puffed sleeves of the Sienna shirt dress. I think the Poppy wins for me with the v-neck and puffed sleeve combo in a bold pink leopard print which I love.
Best of the rest…
I was temporarily very excited when I found this wrap front gingham dress from New Look but unfortunately its only available in sizes 14-18 currently – your gain if you happen to need that size! I also quite liked this red floral style also from there. Scamp and Dude do a few dresses now and this pink star dress is designed to be worn with a low back but I have seen Jo, the owner and designer model it worn back to front with the v-neck and I’m quite keen to try it and use the zip for boob access. (Also available in blue.)
And Other Stories has also got a few nice pieces, with more of an edgy fashion feel… This checked voluminous dress with big puff sleeves will make even the most tired mama feel like she’s earned some style points. Most of these are longer styles but I love this floral mini with all the frill detailing – it’s pretty but not bulky. (Also available in a wrap front midi length.) My favourite though is this simple striped number, but I’d have to try it on to confirm the breastfeeding access – it looks like it could work but you never know!
I’m going to leave it there as I could go on forever. Other places I’d usually check include GAP, Oliver Bonas, Olive Clothing and my current fav, Beyond Nine. I hope amongst the massive selection here you might find something to celebrate our forthcoming (relative) freedom in! Enjoy!