8 breastfeeding-friendly wardrobe essentials

It’s pretty astounding how much of your life changes when you have a baby. Even down to how you dress. 

The alterations (pun intended) to your wardrobe start early: first, there’s the bump you need to accommodate. Then, if you’re breastfeeding, you find yourself needing clothes that allow you to whip out a boob (or two) at a moment’s notice. 

Now active and loungewear are, of course, comfy attire for most days of motherhood, but sometimes, you might want to go wild and dress up. (Or you might have an event.) You do you, girl. For those days, here’s a rundown of eight breastfeeding-friendly wardrobe essentials and some of our favorite styles for inspiration.

Two things to know first:

  • You can buy breastfeeding-friendly clothes from maternity designers, but you can also shop styles from your favorite ready-to-wear stores (which we’ll focus on in this piece).

  • Top and bottom separates are easiest to wear while breastfeeding, unless the dress you want to sport is a wrap style or has buttons. Wearing a high neck dress, for instance, that you’d have to pull up to your chest is probably not practical.

Let’s get started.

Nursing bras or tanks (or both)

Thirdlove 24/7 Classic Nursing Bra and Storq Soft Touch Nursing Tank

There’s a reason nursing bras and tanks exist; they’re designed specifically for you to get your boobs out. They feature a snap on the front to pull down the cup or are a pull-aside cross-over style. Many are quite ‘matronly’ (so prepare yourself), but Third Love’s range features cute little gold snaps for a special touch. 

You can wear a nursing tank as a top on its own or layered under your shirt if you want some coverage over your belly when lifting it to feed. Storq’s style is simple and super soft to wear.

Image source: Thirdlove

Image source: Storq

Button-down shirts

Banana Republic Riley Tailored-Fit Shirt and Oversized Tech-Stretch Shirt

Simply undo a few buttons, and BAM – boobies. Button-down shirts are perfect year-round (worn under a coat or sweater in winter, of course) and are useful AF if you’re feeding. Wear a tailored style with shorts or an oversized version with jeans for something chic – Banana Republic has options for all occasions.

Image source: Banana Republic

Image source: Banana Republic


J Crew Puff-Sleeve Cotton Poplin Mini Shirtdress

A shirtdress is a long version of a button-down shirt. It can be dressed up, dressed down, worn to work, or a picnic. And it can easily be undone for boob access on the fly. J Crew’s puff-sleeve style is a playful take on the classic shirtdress.

Image source: J. Crew


Thought Green Cora Boilersuit via Next 

A boilersuit is a type of jumpsuit with ¾ or full-length sleeves, long legs, and a button-down front. (Do you see a pattern here with the buttons, mama?) They’re super trendy and are practical for getting your girls out, yes, but also for hitting the playground, picking up essentials at the store, and all the other goddamn running around you do as a mom.

Image source: Next

Wrap dresses

Gap Wrap-Front Midi Dress

A classic style, the wrap dress crosses over your chest and ties up around your waist, meaning you simply push the top of it to either side and… oh, hey girls. You can get short and long sleeve versions (for winter, summer, and every season in between); Gap’s midi wrap dress has cute flirty sleeves and comes in a range of colors.

Image source: Gap

Tunic-style tops

Free People Aleena Printed Top

Tunic-style tops are loose and flowy, meaning they’re easy to pull up for your bebe’s mealtime. They look cute with shorts, jeans, and skirts and come in every color and style imaginable. Free People’s Aleena top is roomy as hell, and its jazzy print will hide any number of milk, vomit, or food stains that come with being a mom (ugh).

Image source: Free People

Smocked bodice dresses

Hill House Home Ellie Nap Dress 

Smocking is when a piece of fabric is tightly pleated, giving it the ultimate stretch capability. It’s a handy design feature, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding, because it means you can stretch your clothes to facilitate a bump or release a boob. Hill House’s nap dress has a smocked bodice and smocked sleeves for the ultimate in comfort. (And who doesn’t love a product with the word ‘nap’ in its name?)

Image source: Hill House Home 

Oversized or relaxed fit t-shirts 

Gap 100% Organic Cotton Vintage V-Neck T-Shirt  

Oversized or relaxed fit t-shirts are a staple for any breastfeeding wardrobe because they’re loose enough to pull up over your chest, and they go with every bottom under the sun. You can find a style that’s purposely oversized or simply size-up in your favorite brand. This one from Gap fits the brief perfectly.

Image source: Gap

Oversized button-down cardigans 

J Crew V-Neck Cotton-Cashmere Cardigan Sweater

During winter, you’re going to need to find ways of keeping warm while feeding (you are exposing part of your body, after all). Pairing a nursing tank with an oversized button-down cardigan over the top is a fabulously chic solution and will keep as much of you covered as possible while still allowing for boobie time. J Crew’s version even has pockets for hiding snacks for mama.

Image source: J. Crew

We hope this helps get your breastfeeding wardrobe started, mama. Why not make a Mumli collection with your favorites?

Read next: 15 of the best snacks for breastfeeding mamas

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