Today I was "Pinteresting" (my own made up verb for it) and realized, for me, maternity clothing throughout the seasons is not a problem.
In fact, maternity clothing is the easiest type of clothing style, no matter what the season is! (Hello, it's baby season!)
Enter the post natal period and "Houston, we have a problem".
Now I have the problem of nursing friendly clothing, age appropriate clothing, seasonal appropriate clothing, so on and so forth.
Here is where I'm coming from: I feel too old to be shopping in the Junior section, yet I feel too young to be shopping in the Women's section. I tried mixing and matching but it just doesn't work that way.
Enter in the nursing friendly category and that sharply limits your choices, especially if you don't use *tent covers for nursing and you want to remain modest while utilizing a fashionable scarf or moby-style carrier to nurse with/in.
*Side Note to tent covers: I found I received more dis-approving looks while using tent covers and it screamed to the world "Hello! I am feeding my baby and I am trying to hide it so pretend you just didn't see me!". However, when I nurse "discreetly" while baby is in a front carrier, a light layered look with a nursing top, or with a fashion scarf pulled ever so slightly no one notices! I never get looks or second glances!
~This is my personal experienced and why I have a problem with fashionable nursing friendly clothing~
My Solution* to this problem of dressing age appropriate, nursing friendly yet stylish clothing is simple. Yes, even in the hot months of summer when a little heater is hungry and needs to eat in public and it's too hot to wear the baby carrier. *see more ideas below!
This summer denim, or chambray shirts are "in", as well as loose, button down blouses. Score one for nursing friendly!
Pair a nursing tank with one of those button down cuties and you have a winning top combo. Pair with accessories like a necklace and/or scarf to nurse discreetly and keep a baby's busy fingers busy. Cute coordinating earrings would help too, sometimes its just easier to stick with pearl studs because they go with almost anything!
For the bottom half you can do anything! A maxi skirt, regular skirt, short shorts, Bermuda shorts, capris, skinnies or even the "in" look- wide legged pants, denim or not!
Shoes are the easiest, in the summer you have flipflops, sandals, cute beachy wedges and if you're in the mood for it heels! Just take it easy until you get your balance back after being pregnant for months on end! (Personal experience speaking again!).
For me, diaper bags are a tacky no-no.
I'm sorry, blue dinosaurs, Winnie the pooh, and pink bows in a soft cooler type texture just yells "I'm a mommy and you now know it!".
Nope, I'd rather have my bag yell "I'm a woman, wife, mother and you know it!".
My theory behind this is, I was 'somebody' before I got married and before I had babies. Getting married and having children doesn't change who I am, rather it makes me more of what I was, it makes me better! I don't want to leave my fashionable things, or things I enjoy behind me. Those days aren't gone completely! Just semi on-hold until the kids get a tad bit older. When they move away and start their own lives separate of mine and my husband's, I don't want to have a sudden "my life is gone, who am I now?!" moment. I'm still me and I feel that is important to show my girls. I'm a woman, I'm their daddy's wife and their one and only mommy.
Here's the key to my bag fetish: If I don't show my girls and my son for that matter, what a woman is like then who else will? I look around at the magazines and like that internet commercial says to do, I want to teach my children what true beauty, what true fashion is, what character is before the world does. It will happen!
So I need to show them first!
So whether I make my own bag or find a fashionable one to buy or trade for "diaper" bag use when baby comes. No one will be able to tell it's for a use other than it's original intended fashionable yet handy accessory use.
To sum it all up:
Summer nursing clothes can be fashionable, womanly but not necessarily matronly and you can find clever ways to wear your favorite styles of clothing and still nursing comfortably, discreetly and be comfortable knowing you look good and not frumpy!
Some more summer nursing ideas:
~Altered maxi dresses with buttons down part of the front, paired with a belt around the waist and sandals. Add a scarf if desired and worn over a nursing bra its easy, breezy nursing!
~The classic nursing top/tank with or without a nursing bra underneath. Pair with a :
Button down blouse
Crochet/knit wrap or shawl
Loose pull over top that can be lifted up but the nursing tank will still provide tummy/back coverage (Think an oversized, casual sweater or a tunic top)
~Bottoms are easy breezy!
Skirts, Maxi Skirts, various types of shorts, various types of pants. Just pair with whatever you feel best in that coordinates with your tops!
~Shoes are even easier!
~Bags should be easier but don't feel trapped in the traditional diaper bag! You can make, buy, or trade for "all-in-one" Diaper changing mat, and diaper/wipes, etc. holders to use in more than one bag! Just grab, place and go! Love that they also give you a place to change your baby on in public, especially since most of the time the diaper changing stations are out of the protective covers!
~Accessories!!! Don't forget earrings, even if 'just studs', or a simple necklace that baby can grasp onto while nursing. Scarves can take an outfit up a notch easily! Bracelets, even if to remind you which side was last can help break the "I just had a baby rut" in your post-natal emotions! In summer a simple pony can look great too! Lip gloss and mascara are easy fixes during the first few weeks post birth to lift your moods and make you feel like a woman again!
Belts can bring up the line of sight so people don't notice the post birth pooch (however temporary it may be or however long it sticks around)!
There is no limit to being fashionable during any of your life stages and in any season! It takes a little creativity, a little bit of your own personal tastes and sometimes a little altering to look Oh, la, la good! Don't settle for just what the stores sell you either! Thrift, make it your self, or have a friend make it for you and shop around too. It does help to think ahead before baby's birth to get a few go-to outfits for going out in public post-baby because who really feels like shopping the first week after birth. (Not this woman! I'd rather sleep as much as possible!)
I will post photos of my summer nursing fashions as I get them together for this year! Stay tuned (it may be a few months, but before June!