Dress Filter: Wedding Guest while Nursing edition
May 19, 2017 1:10 PM   Subscribe

I'm attending a wedding in California in the summer. I would like to find a dress that looks nice, fits me, and I can nurse in.

I'm short and curvy. 5'2", 44" bust and 34" waist.

I still leak, so I need to be able to wear a nursing bra and put nursing pads in there. (No super low cleavage.) But it needs some way for me to be able to feed baby without undressing, so maybe ties/buttons/zipper at the cleavage?

Cannot be white, black, or red.

Ideally above the knee or knee length. I like fit and flare, a-line, and rockabilly style dresses. I do NOT like 20s style or uneven hems. I like natural materials. I'm ok with neutrals or florals, but would like to avoid yellows and oranges (and greens).

Would love it if I can buy this over the internet with free returns if it doesn't fit right.

I kind of want a DVF wrap dress or similar, but (a) they're super expensive and (b) the models look nothing like me. (I have never tried one on.)

I've looked at several stores in person and online, but have not found anything I love.
posted by ethidda to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Does it have to be a dress? I've had great success with skirt+top for occasionwear. A tuckable top over a regular stretchy string camisole over a nursing bra + a fancy a-line skirt combo is an option. Pull top up, pull camisole down. Abdomen not exposed, easy access for nursing. This could be especially good if you already like fit&flare/rockabilly silhouette.
posted by bimbam at 1:23 PM on May 19 [4 favorites]

Another vote for skirt+top here. That was easiest for us. Also anything wrap-style bodice that made it easy to pop a boob out. Bringing a shawl helps a bit for modesty, if baby allows (mine hated stuff on his face).
posted by jillithd at 1:27 PM on May 19

I've heard a lot of nursing moms rave about the fit and flare dresses from Lands' End. They're comfortable and can be dressed up or down easily.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:28 PM on May 19 [3 favorites]

What about a knee-length version of those 'wear a million ways' wrap dresses? The panels can easily be pushed aside or moved for nursing, with a lot of the styling options.

I don't think it wins points on the natural materials aspect, but they're very comfy, not expensive, fit-and-flare, and come in many colors.

I would suggest practicing your chosen way of tying it a few times before the event, in case you need to re-tie on the fly.
posted by rachaelfaith at 1:29 PM on May 19 [2 favorites]

I got a couple maternity dresses from Seraphine that are actually still flattering and work for nursing now too. I think they do a good job of balancing fashion with function. You might find something you like from them: http://www.seraphine.com/us/nursing-clothes/nursing-dresses.html
posted by ialwayscryatendings at 1:37 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]

When I did this, I ended up going with a plain sleeveless nursing top and a funky vintage circle skirt. It worked fine and was considerably easier than finding a dress that I was going to be picky about and wear once.
posted by tchemgrrl at 1:39 PM on May 19

Eshakti.com has multiple styles that work for nursing. We're a very similar build, I've had to break out the boobs over a bunch of different dresses, and I've been happier with their dresses than most dedicated "nursing" wear. Search their site for cross body and wrap styles, but keep in mind that their cotton jersey knit is stretchy so that should give you a lot of flexibility on necklines. Here's one that might work.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:50 PM on May 19

Here's another that would work if you're comfortable with going over your top for nursing. If you're more modest, you can pair just about anything with a circle scarf which expands the options a lot while nursing!

Life is too short to wear ugly nursing dresses IMO.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:52 PM on May 19

Try Asos. All of my maternity clothes have come from there, have been happy with their intersection of cute and cheap and good for pre/postpartum bodies, plus free shipping and returns.
posted by sestaaak at 2:46 PM on May 19

"But it needs some way for me to be able to feed baby without undressing, so maybe ties/buttons/zipper at the cleavage?"

A wrap-front dress in a deeper V, to which you add a broach, pin, stud earring (they're pokey!), or a decorated bobbypin, to hold the V closed more modestly. This opens up a LOT more options. You can also use a safety pin stuck in from the back so you don't really see it, but I think it looks nicer with a broach or something so it's obviously on purpose.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:26 PM on May 19

Here it is.
posted by Oyéah at 3:45 PM on May 19

When I attended a wedding with a seven week old, I wore a sort of peasant style dress with an elasticized neckline that I could just pull down. It was, however, a very hippie wedding and it was my second child so I didn't really have any shame or awkwardness left. A light blanket or shawl would have been enough if I had though.
posted by padraigin at 5:03 PM on May 19

I'm also nursing and I recently brought this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EFH2MFY/. The bodice has enough play that you can pull down one side for nursing. The fabric is a medium weight opaque rayon t-shirt material. I'm size 16-ish with a 42" bust and the XL fits well.
posted by bluesapphires at 6:40 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]

Lands End fit and flare dresses with a nursing tank underneath check all these boxes for me.
posted by chaiminda at 4:10 AM on May 20

I wore a version of this Maggy London dress for my son's baptism when I was still nursing and it was perfect. Runs a bit large, so size down. It's not a true wrap dress but the two sides of the top overlap so you can easily pull either side over for nursing (and without flashing the world). You could also easily wear a nursing camisole underneath it if it feels too low cut. Very flattering, extremely comfortable, and perfect for nursing.
posted by devinemissk at 12:54 PM on May 20

I had to go to a wedding at 3wks pp and I had to buy my outfit while I was in my 3rd trimester. As mentioned above I also chose a skirt plus top outfit, it worked out incredibly well.
posted by vignettist at 9:34 PM on May 20

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