Reader Question: Summer Capsule Wardrobe For Postpartum & Nursing Moms


We received a reader question from Tommie M asking for a spring/summer postpartum guide. And since I’m fresh out of college and my personal equivalent of the postpartum experience is how I look or feel after a food baby…everyone thought I’d be a perfect fit!

Kidding. I suspect S assigned this one to me as one of those “learning opportunities.”

Postpartum Outfits: A Nursing-Friendly Capsule Wardrobe For Summer

With that, I shared my first draft with the team and unfortunately came to the conclusion that I had zero clue what it’s like to have a postpartum belly and how exactly you would dress for that special occasion. If you ask the contributors, this was just a mean task on S’ part [insert evil laugh from S]. But, no foul play here S — I am definitely up for the challenge.

So, I took all of the contributor’s feedback, picked their brains for more helpful tips and tricks, read through alllll of the old TME posts on the subject (like it was homework), and conjured up this final product. *Crosses fingers.*

Postpartum bellies & nursing babies call for a certain outfit: nursing-friendly tops, elastic waists, postpartum swimwear...a summer capsule wardrobe, right here.

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Postpartum & Nursing-Friendly Tops For Summer

The team consensus was that the best nursing tops can be easily pulled down, pulled up, or pulled to the side. And many were singing the praises of those nursing-friendly shaper camis. So for this summer, I found a really cute (and stretchy!) wrap top that’s great for nursing, loose tanks that can be knotted and layered over nursing-friendly shaping camis, a swingy tank to hide the belly, and a plain white v-neck tee (because it goes with everything, and many of the contributors swore by v-necks while nursing.)

I also perused ‘nursing tops’ to see if any were actually cute…and that ruffled-sleeve blouse has a zipper up the side for easy nursing access. Genius.

As a bonus: a pretty nursing-friendly bralette can make any top SO much cuter.

Lastly, in case it’s a little cold, having one good cardigan and a denim jacket is really all you need for all of summer (and even into fall).

Postpartum: What To Wear On The Bottom

The tops I mentioned really can be mixed and matched with any of the bottoms. I was going to include boyfriend jeans or even maternity jeans, but the team then told me all they really wore early postpartum were comfortable skirts, loose pants, joggers and maternity shorts – especially for those summer postpartum mamas. So that’s what I went with. (But I did throw in some denim shorts… just in case.) I also tried to focus on finding drapey, washable fabrics, as well as comfy, wide waistbands.

Postpartum One-Pieces

Thinking about having a newborn makes me exhausted, so I’d imagine postpartum me wouldn’t really be in the mood to worry about my appearance too much. The answer? One pieces. Besides being lightweight and airy, it takes away the pressure of making a whole outfit.

Postpartum bellies & nursing babies call for a certain outfit: nursing-friendly tops, elastic waists, postpartum swimwear...a summer capsule wardrobe, right here.

left (Black-owned business) | right

Postpartum Accessories & Shoes

Jewelry (that a baby can easily pull off) isn’t the only way to accessorize. There are SO many other options — anything for the hair (scrunchies, headbands, hats, scarves), sunglasses, bags and of course, cute shoes.

Headbands are EVERYWHERE and completely inescapable, so I had to include. A sunhat just makes me feel fancy, and who doesn’t wanna feel fancy (especially postpartum)? I tried my best to find a diaper bag that was both functional and stylish (and kind of doesn’t even look like a diaper bag.) The best way to do your makeup postpartum? Don’t — put on sunglasses. No one will know (especially since you’ll likely have a face mask on, too). For shoes — Birks… they’re so comfy and easy to walk in, a classic white sneak is a closet essential, and for somethin’ that’s a little fancier without a heel — (small) platform espadrilles.

Postpartum Swim

Ohhh the dreaded swimwear. I included our favorite postpartum one-piece from our Swim Guide (that has a ton of other postpartum options) and a high-waisted bikini. I know a lot of postpartum moms tend to avoid the bikini, but try out a high-waisted one! You might be surprised at how flattering they can be. For more guidance on the most flattering suits postpartum, also see Julieta’s post.

I really hope I was able to give you mamas some summer inspiration! Let us know some of your tips for dressing postpartum in the summer.