Welcome back to my Blog!
If you have read any of my recent Blog Posts, such as "A Fashionable Pregnancy: My Maternity Style-Part I" (and Part II), or if you follow me on any social media outlet, you will know that in the past two years, I have born two new children, both lovely little daughters.
The last two years have been a challenge in the sense that all of my time literally goes into caring for my young babies, as well as my two older children. I have cut back on my personal career pursuits, such as creating fashion, participating in fashion shows, and writing for my blog (but I am so grateful to be able to spend that time with my wee ones!). However, as the children grow (way to quickly!) I am slowly getting back into the swing of things! (I even read a few books!)
Growing a family not only brings changes to the current family dynamic, but it also brings changes to a mother's body! And with body changes, comes... New clothes?
Although there is not too much change I hope to achieve in regards to my body, the weight I have gained, and the task of breastfeeding, have left me looking in on my wardrobe, wondering, ‘What am I going to wear today?’
What to Wear?
Most of the clothing that I wore pre-pregnancy does not fit me properly. My waist line has expanded, my chest has grown larger due to breast-feeding, and my clothing size has increased from a size 8 to a about a size 14 depending on the brand or style. Because I am still nursing, even dresses, or blouses, that still fit me, don't allow access for baby-feeding.
I had no idea, prior to giving birth to SkyLynne, that I would be perpetually confined to blouses or dresses with front buttons, front zippers, or elastic necklines that can easily be pulled down... But that's Motherhood: we sacrifice our own preferences for what we hope is best for our children...
but, does personal style have to suffer?
In my experience, I have found that dresses that require little effort, and allow access for breastfeeding, help me to still feel like myself, while accommodating my mothering needs. Honestly, on most days, my daughters look much more fashionable than I do! But when I leave the house, I try to look somewhat decent!
As a person trained in Fashion and Sewing, my mind is full of clothing that I would love to create for myself (I even have the fabric!). Now that I am done making babies, I will be creating several new garments made to fit my new clothing size, and offer the function that I now need. Until then, I have made some mostly online purchases, of several affordable dresses, and separates, that serve my needs terrifically, and were very reasonably priced.
Now, let me show you a few of my new outfits, and, as a breastfeeding mother, how I felt about wearing them!
JCrew V-Neck Tee, with a Denim A-Line Skirt
I love the lace-up detail at the front waistline. To complete this look, my accessories include my trusty sunglasses by Kate Spade, Green All Star Converse, and super cute Peruvian Novelty Earrings.
Multi-Color Butterfly Dress
This dress, which features a lovely loose stretch-fabric, in both the bodice and the skirt, as well as a multi-color butterfly print, feels great on, and provides a body flattering look. Interestingly, this dress has no labels, so I am not sure which clothing company made it, or the exact material it is made of. I was gifted this dress by my Mother-in-Law, prior to finding out that I was pregnant with Little Minnie. I found the stretch in the neckline and bodice does allow me to pull it down to feed my baby. Although pulling down the neckline isn't as easy as I would like, it is possible.
Following is a photo of myself wearing this dress, paired with a coral sweater, holding my baby Minnie. This dress has a lovely spring look, and the multi-color butterfly textile allow for a wide range of matching accessories.
Floral "Chiffon" Wrap Dress, by Surplice
I love an online Flash Sale! When I see a "Now $9.99 and Above" in bold print across my Smartphone Screen, you know I am scrolling through those dresses, looking for the styles that open in the front (if any!). I was pleasantly surprised when the web-site Zulily offered several Flash Sales over the summer, allowing me to purchase a hand-full of "Made in China" Dresses for little money.
One such dress was described as a "Floral Chiffon Wrap Dress" made by a company called Surplice. I ordered the two colors on sale, both the Green and the Yellow, which were advertised as regularly $40.00, but now only $9.99. Both of these dresses are made in the same floral fabric, with different background fabric colors.
I really like the ease of wearing both of these dresses, but the fabric is definitely not Chiffon, based on the feel it is more likely 100% polyester (these dresses have no fabric labels!). I have found that wrap dresses are perfect for breastfeeding, because they are easy to open in the front, without the hassle of buttons or zippers.
I have since seen these dresses offered online in both a light blue, as well as a black fabric, both with the same floral print. If they go on sale, I will definitely add them to my virtual "Shopping Cart" !
My Jewelry Storage Tip
For easy access and organization of earnings, I use thin multi-compartment storage boxes, that I bought at The Dollar Tree. These storage boxes hold 12 or more pairs of earrings each, which are easy to view at a quick glance. Three of these boxes fit perfectly in just one of my Jewelry Armoire Drawers.
I find myself no longer wearing bracelets, broches, or necklaces, which tend to dig into my little babies sensitive flesh as I hold them close! One day I will wear those pieces again!
White & Blue Stripe Collared Button-Front A-Line Dress, by Sacrefas
This White & Blue Stripe Collared Button-Front A-Line Dress makes me feel sporty, like I am ready for a game of Tennis! The lightweight fabric is perfect for summer. The fit is flattering! I found these buttons are larger, and easier to fasten and unfasten for breastfeeding, then the other button up dresses in my collection.
Navy & White Gingham Shirt Dress, by Sacrefas
Next up is a lovely Navy & White Gingham Shirt Dress (with pockets!) that I purchased on Zulily, by Sucrefas. This dress is a size 3X, and is a little big, but paired with a belt, I found it looked great!
In the first photo of me in this dress, I am wearing the dress as is, with only a slip underneath. In the photo to the right, I am wearing a Petticoat underneath to maximize the fullness of the skirt. I like both looks! The Petticoat was purchased online through Wish for a mere $4.
Light Pink Floral & Foliage Dress
V- Neck Button Front Tea Length Vintage Fit & Flare Dress, by Sucrefas
The next three dresses are described as the "V-Neck Button Front Tea Length Fit & Flare Dress" made by Sucrefas, and was purchased online through Zulily's Flash Sale. I found that the size XL fit me perfect. These dresses are simple, yet offer a flattering fit. The button-up front allows for a somewhat easy breastfeeding experience. However, the buttons are many, and the button holes are a tight fit for the buttons, making it a little challenging to unfasten when holding the little one, so I have to either sit her down, or ask my Husband to carry her while I unbutton the bodice. I will most likely buy a few more colors if they go on sale again! So far I have purchased the "Pink Stripe Floral", "Blue Floral", and "Orange". The delivery of these dresses did take some time, as they are made and shipped directly from China.
online, before Payless Shoes Source went out of business, and Brown & Navy Saddle Shoes, that are perfect for many different outfits, that I purchased at Ross several years ago. I also have these leopard print and black Ballet Flats from Tahari Girl (not surprisingly, leopard print matches everything!). In addition to these lovelies, I own dozens of more pairs of flats!
Scoop Neck Tee by Wet Seal, with an A-Line Embroidered Skirt, by Sunny Leigh
Wet Seal, may seem like a Teeny Bopper's Store, but I have found some great finds, at thier retail locations, over the years! One such find are Basic Scoop Neck Women's Tees, that are relatively inexpensive, and offer enough stretch to breastfeed in.
For this look, I am wearing a Black Scoop Neck Tee, from Wet Seal, paired with a Black Floral Embroidered A-Line Skirt that I found at The Goodwill for only a few dollars. Many of the skirts within my massive skirt collection have been acquired from thrift stores. I love finding charming, and unique clothing, for a fraction of the price, at second-hand stores! However, I find myself not shopping in stores as often as I would like, do to juggling the two little ones! Thankfully, I found this one!
Check out the Floral Embroidery Design on my Sunny Leigh a-Line Skirt, in more detail:
That completes my review of My Breastfeeding Friendly Wordrobe! I hope that you have found the information I have included, both insightful and informative... especially if you are a new (or experienced) mother hoping to breastfeed with ease and in style! It is possible!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article! I look forward to you reading my next article in this series, where I make, and finish, designing and constructing, a few more new outfits!
Please leave me a comment below on your favorite outfits that I featured! I would love to hear your feedback, personal experiences, and opinions!
Until We Meet Again!
Have a magnificent day!!
Hello Readers! Welcome to my Blog! I am Roxanne Rodriguez Rangel, a Fashion Designer from Northern California. I love all things Fashion, particularly historical fashion! Join me, as I take you around Northern California, covering fashion events and related topics!