Nursing-Friendly Holiday Dresses

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

We've had several requests for nursing-friendly holiday dresses.  Which, as many of you know, is easier said then done.  Most festive holiday fabrics (silk, lace, anything shiny) have very little give and therefore are tough to nurse in – even if the neckline is low.  The best nursing-friendly dresses have a stretchy neckline – something with jersey, perhaps, so they easily pull down to nurse.  However, these dresses can often look too casual.  Finding something dressy (or that can be dressed up) and nursing-friendly is key.


(City of Lights dress, $178 and Miramar Dress, $368 both from Anthropologie)

Another pitfall?  The wrap dress.  These often appear nursing friendly, but in reality, many require partial unwrapping for full nursing access to 'the girls'.  Um.  Awkward.

Lastly….bras.  As in, we need them.  Milk is heavy.

So.  If you are in the market for a nursing-friendly holiday dress, keep the following in mind:

1.  Find dresses in stretchy fabrics.

2.  If you want a wrap dress, be sure that it's drapey enough to allow nursing access without having to re-tie.

3.  Be sure you can wear a bra (BTW – a strapless bra is very easy to nurse in…but be sure you have one that fits properly).

Here are some of my favorites for a bit of inspiration…..



The V-Neck Maxi by Rosebud (below, top left) is my favorite.  Totally pooch-hiding, easy nursing access.  Wear a pretty bra, or a plunge bra.  Make it fancier with a long pendant necklace, make it warmer with a pashmina-type wrap. (Yes, I still wear those things!)

The Isabella Oliver dress in the middle is drop-dead sexy.  And a perfect example of a drapy v-neck that wouldn't need to be re-tied.

Rachel Pally makes all of her pieces out of gorgeously stretchy material.  Because of that, the black one-shoulder dress below would actually work for a nursing mom.  You'll have to shimmy it down a bit to nurse on the covered side (and obviously would need a strapless bra), but it would be easy.  The back of this dress is gorgeous.

Screen Shot 2011-11-20 at 10.31.02 PM

Rosebud V-Neck Sleeveless Maxi, $275 | Isabella Oliver Ultimate Maxi, $319 | Rachel Pally Sunburst Long Dress, $224


Ruched & Draped Over the Pooch

Many nursing gals will have some kind of left-over post-partum pooch.  The dresses below all have some kind of stretchy neckline as well as some ruching or creative draping that would help camouflage a pooch.  Make sure you wear a pretty bra – after all of that pulling down, there's a decent chance yours will show.  If you are wearing one as gorgeous as Cake lingerie's (here's mine and mine)….who cares?  It's just part of the outfit. 

Screen Shot 2011-11-20 at 10.55.54 PM

 Banana Republic BR Monogram Cowlneck Dress, $130 | Isabella Oliver Luxe Drape Dress, $239 | Tinley Road Knot Front Mini Dress, $49 


Waisted Mini Dresses

If you are only a little bit poochy, these dresses can work.  Play around with where on the pooch they should hit.  The Kissy Batwing dress (top left) may actually work when tied under the pooch. (This dress also comes in black, which will further hide poochiness).

The little black dress, top right, with lace shoulders is an actual nursing dress, and, despite the lace, is a bit casual.  I'd pump this one up with a glimmery belt and long gloves. 

Similarly, the printed dress in the bottom row is also pretty casual, but has a cool vintage vibe. A shiny patent black belt, opaque tights, and heels will take this dress in the right direction.  Or, if you'd like to keep the vintage look going, pair it with patterned nude tights, lace-up heels and a faux-fur wrap or jacket.

Screen Shot 2011-11-20 at 11.00.39 PM

TOP ROW: Riller & Fount Kissy Batwing Dress, $180 | Collective Concepts Tie-Neck Dress, $79 | Harlow Nursing Dress, $99

BOTTOM ROW: BCBGeneration Wrap Dress, $55 | Many Belles Down Mulberry Street Print Dress, $80 | Isabella Oliver Bell Sleeve Dress, $159


Screen Shot 2011-11-20 at 7.54.57 PMThe last option is to find a pretty skirt (I'm loving  the J. Crew Sequin Mesh Ball Skirt, $148, pictured at left) and throw it on with a v-neck sweater.  You'll be comfy, warm, and look pretty.  AND you'll be able to nurse.


Happy Holidays Mamas!!






About Author

Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and denim-underwear, always.

Shop Shana's Closet


  1. This post gave me flashbacks to a fancy event I attended with a nursing 2 year old. I hadn’t considered the nurse-ability of my outfit, and the only access was from the bottom — we ended up crouching in a bathroom stall with my dress hiked all the way up to my chest!

  2. I’m glad you included the lacy nursing dress and the skirt option-for bustier mamas, pulling down the neckline is just not realistic (nursing took me into bra letters my own mom didn’t believe existed! And in which strapless bras don’t exist for less than $50) Anyway, I’d definitely recommend moms who are much past DD look at those options!

  3. Imagine that smug feeling of superiority you’ll experience when showing up to the coffee shop with this little piggybak power pusher. Expect to fork over $35 for a useful travel companion that won’t whine about sitting in coach. Ground Shipping in the US is FREE on this one.PlugBug snaps right onto your MacBook power adapter or it can be used independently as a nifty paperweight. One less charger means one less socket required.

Leave a Reply