Closet London are a retailer who will always stand out to me. Why? Because they were the first big company (that I know of) to put a breastfeeding friendly selection of clothing on their website. You do need to know how to access it though (you search for breastfeeding). All this because a group member sent them an email tipping them off about Can I Breastfeed In It? UK! You spoke, they listened! Now for the other retailers to follow suit…
Closet London were kind enough to send me some dresses to review (as with other reviews, I’ve not been paid to write this, the reviews will always be my honest opinion). I picked out a selection which I deemed to be breastfeeding friendly. Here’s my pick!
As a reminder, I’m a size 14-16 (mainly 16) with a 36H bust. All dresses are size 16 unless otherwise stated.
Out of the BF friendly selection they had available, this one appealed to my ‘hippy’ love of colour and tie dye. Not that this is tie dye but the pattern is very similar! It has the important feature of coming in at the waist so really giving an hour glass type effect. The first thing that stood out to me was the fabric feeling quite taut – usually not a good sign when it comes to that easy accessibility! It’s a fairly light fabric which feels quite silky to the touch. It also has a built in belt that does up at the front (for a change!). Now I quite liked this… mainly because with all the stuff I have that does up behind, I often feel it dig into my back when I’m driving or just sat on the sofa – not what you want when you are stuck cluster feeding for a few hours! As for getting a boob out, it’s doable. It’s not as easy as some tops/dresses but I can get my fairly large bust out. Although I would advise that if your boobs are relatively bigger than my 36H’s you may wish to size up. Smaller busts could get two boobs out at a time but I struggled (although just about doable).
- Good for big busts
- Has pockets
- Nice light material – perfect for summer
- Has excess material around the v-neck which allows you to cover more of the cleavage if you wish to
- Very flattering to waistline/mum tum/bum/arms
- Nice length – great with leggings/jeans (comes down to mid thigh on me)
- Can (just about) get out both boobies so tandem friendly
- Fabric isn’t stretchy
- Advisable to wear a vest top underneath else you could be revealing a bit more than you want to
I admit, I’m not usually a Kimono fan. It’s never really been a style that’s appealed to me. But given the opportunity to try something new I thought why not! This one I wore to work – although can be worn casually too, I feel this dress would also work well for a formal occasion! The fabric is fairly thick (feels very high quality) and has a bit of stretch in it. This can be worn without a vest top beneath and the v-neck can be adjusted somewhat depending on how much cleavage you wish to show. The waistband comes in at a very flattering point and the fabric from the waist down is designed in such a way that prevents those lumps and bumps being obvious! I found this dress to be quite tight around my bum compared to how it appears on the model on the website but that didn’t bother me too much. Still appeared to be flattering and I think the fabric itself is a big contributor to that! It is taut enough to not get loose around the v-neck yet contains enough stretch to get not just one but two boobs out (for all the tandem feeders out there!).
- Good quality fabric – forgiving on ‘wet patches’
- Good fit around the bust and waist
- Kimono style means flattering sleeves for arms
- Stretchy enough for TWO boobs to easily be accessible (not easy for the baby/toddler to pull down though!
- Bit on the short side – I don’t feel I could wear it without leggings underneath. Those with great legs could definitely make the most of it!
- Bit tight around the bum (not as advertised on model)
(in the sale, only size 12 left at time of writing but other colours are available on the website)
This dress was only available in a size 14 – but I’m awfully glad they sent it anyway! Perfect breastfeeding dress! It was a little tight on my arms due to it being a size below what I usually wear but the rest of it fit beautifully. It comes in gracefully at the waist and hangs down in a flattering fashion. The fabric is fairly heavy and feels expensive. It’s smooth and sleek – like a better quality version of the Krisp knot dresses but not as stretchy. The big selling point for me though is the length. Seldom do I come across a dress of this length. It came down to just below my knees. I COULD ACTUALLY WEAR THIS WITHOUT LEGGINGS AND WITHOUT RISKING EXPOSING MY BUM TO EVERYONE AS I BEND DOWN TO PICK UP MY TODDLER. WIN! All in all it made me feel thin and stylish – a good combo although you would need an formal-ish occasion to wear it to or a smart dress code at work!
- Amazing fit – comes in at the right places and stays away from the bumpy bits
- Tandem friendly – Stretchy enough to easily get out a boob or two!
- Great length
- Another good fabric for being forgiving on those pesky ‘wet patches’
- Easy to quickly wipe off toddler stains
- Struggle to find a con on this one – I guess it’s just annoying that it’s a bit too posh to wear day to day! Not that it’ll stop me wearing it around the house!
Love the print on this dress! A perfect ‘occasion’ dress! To be honest, I think I’d also wear it casually during the summer! The fabric is lovely and lightweight. The design of the dress allows for larger busts AND enough fabric to pull down for accessibility. It’s not a stretchy fabric. It does also get a bit ‘plunge-y’ so some may prefer to wear a vest top beneath to be on the safe side although there is a bit of ‘excess’ fabric available to play with around the v-neck. Like the others, it comes in nicely at the smallest point of the waist and drapes forgivingly over the lower half of me. No shapewear required! Woohoo! As with the previous dress, LOVE the midi length.
- Flattering print, fit and length
- Lightweight ‘flowy’ fabric
- POCKETS (who needs clutch bags anyway when you have a changing bag to lug around?!)
- Forgiving on ‘wet patches’
- Could only get to one boob (not much of a con but I’m struggling to find them!)
This dress was one of those cases where the model wears it completely differently. On the website it looks quite loose against the model’s hips but on me, it’s fairly slim fitting! Not sure if it’s me edging towards size 18 or if the dress comes up a bit small in the bum area – I’m hoping it’s the latter! Even with it being slim fitting, the drape across the front hides a few ‘sins’! There’s not a lot of give in the fabric of this dress but the plus point in this is the fact it ‘holds you in’ a bit! It accommodates my bust nicely but does require a bit of effort to ‘pull down’ for boob access. Smaller busts would find it a bit easier I think. It’s quite a short dress – not one I’ll be wearing without my trusty leggings at any point but I’m sure there are plenty of you out there who could pull it off ‘legging-less’ no problem.
- Flattering fit – good shape at waistline and clever drape of fabric over belly.
- Holds a larger bust well.
- Quite versatile – could be worn casually/on a night out/at work/posh dinner etc
- Tighter than appears on model around the bum
- Quite short – probably not what you want when you’re chasing a toddler about but fine for a night out!
- Just the one boob is accessible at any one time – and it’s not as easy as some of the other dresses to ‘pull down’
Last but definitely not least, we have the Peach Floral Kimono. I’ll be honest, it’s not something I’d usually pick out from browsing the website for the print or style. As said earlier, Kimono’s were never a style I was drawn to and the colours on this dress aren’t something that would usually ‘pop out’ to me as I like my purples and bright colours, but I admit, I was won over when I tried it on. Although is very similar to the Kimono reviewed above, it does have a few differences (other than the print). The wrap effect on the front for one. Although for me, this does mean that I will only wear it with leggings, it provides a bit more freedom to move! Also means it’s not as clingy. With added pockets big enough to fit a decent sized smartphone, you have a practical dress you can wear across a variety of occasions, including weddings and work!
- Flattering waistband
- Mixture of print and well placed fabric means it’s flattering on curves
- Fits large busts well
- Tandem feeder friendly
- Need to wear a vest top underneath (unless you can find a nice nursing plunge bra!)
You might be thinking: “Ouch, that’s a bit expensive considering I’m on maternity pay at the moment” but the quality of these dresses is really quite apparent so they could be seen as an investment! Alternatively, there’s some similarly nice breastfeeding friendly dresses at very affordable prices in the sale.
A treat especially for you all…
Closet have given me an exclusive discount code for you all use when ordering! Just enter NATALIE15 at checkout!
This will give you 15% off full priced items. This code will be valid for 6 months, so until the end of August.