2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on the best brands of workwear for nursing clothes, but you may also want to check out our new page on the best nursing clothes for working moms.
In the few years that I’ve been paying attention to nursing stuff (both personally as well as for the blog), I’ve seen the same companies over and over again. I thought it might be fun to round them up for new moms who are searching for nursing clothes and unsure if that BabySteals or Zulily deal is worth it, or trying to gauge the quality of a brand in a local maternity shop, or experimenting with what kind of nursing access works best.
Personally, my consistent favorites were shirts that lift up, either with partial panels or entire second front layers — they kept my tummy covered while providing some coverage for my breast. The biggest hits and misses came from a second category that kind of overlaps with the first that I’ll call the “secret panel” access, like the red top below. Depending on how the cutout hits you and your bust, it could be great — or horrible. Finally, my least favorite were the types that pulled down — the pro here is that there’s very easy access, but the con is that the top of your breast is totally exposed. (For some reason, the phrase “whip it out” kept coming to mind whenever I used one of these tops!!!) There are still other tops with different sorts of nursing access, like the secret zippered panel brands like Loyal Hana offer. Most of the serious maternity shops (like the excellent Figure8 Maternity) focus on the first two types. Ladies, which kind of nursing access did you like best? What were your favorite brands for nursing-friendly workwear?
|Ignore the cheeky name — Boob has great nursing basics. Bonus: many are intended for wear during pregnancy as well as postpartum. Boob is sold at Amazon, Nordstrom, and beyond, and this simple t-shirt at Amazon comes in 16 colors, sizes XS-XXL (XXL = size 20). The pictured top is $55-$62. Boob Round Neck Short Sleeve Maternity Nursing Top (also pictured at top in the “lift up” example)|
|Gap and Old Navy both have great selections of maternity and nursing clothes — and the brands’ frequent sales make them one of the most affordable options. Another pro: If you prefer black, navy, gray, and other urban colors, you’ll find them available in almost every top. The pictured top is $14.99-$26.99 at Gap, available in six colors, sizes XS-XL. Scoop Neck Nursing Top|
|Momzelle specializes in nursing-friendly t-shirts, dresses, and more in basic colors. My favorite piece: this sleeveless shell top, $38 at Nordstrom and Amazon. Momzelle ‘Josiane’ Sleeveless Nursing Maternity Top|
|Milkstars is another great brand that’s been around for a long while. They offer several work-appropriate tops and dresses good for maternity and nursing, but this highly-rated drapey one is one of my favorites. It’s $64, and available in 5 colors, sizes XS-XL at Amazon and Figure8. Milkstars Jolie Drape Neck Maternity And Nursing Top (also pictured at top in the “secret panel” example).|
|Bun Maternity has a ton of great workwear and nursing clothes, including basic styles like this simple tank top. I like the combination of access — and the fact that the snaps are at the shoulder, helping make nursing access more discreet. The pictured top is $45 at Nordstrom and comes in eight colors, sizes S-XL, but note that Amazon has a very similar style for $30. (Amazon carries the whole line of Bun Maternity items as well.) Pictured: Bun Maternity Nursing Tank|