Monday, 27 July 2015

Affordable clothes part one: Nursing clothes

I'm one of these people who always has trouble finding clothes to fit me. I am small. Really small. I'm just about 5 foot tall, have a slight physique, small boobies and narrow shoulders but wide hips. Take a look at my post about self image and boobs. And to cut a long story short I get really frustrated with the clothing industry.
My latest annoyance had been with nursing clothes. Firstly they are expensive and nearly always double up as maternity wear which means they have a big space for a bump...and if you breastfeed past 9 months chances of your bump having disappeared are rather high. Having a big baggy bit of fabric under ones boobs is not the most flattering of things. Also their designs seem to be a bit boring and certainly not the kind of style that I feel myself in (of course there are always exceptions like Mama Feels Good: I LOVE their nursing tops). And lastly being such a small person they are nearly always too big for me - my experience is that they smallest size is size 10 which is just too big for a scrawny wee one like me (I'm roughly the size of an average 12 year old except I have boobs and bum), so I look like I'm wearing a sack. Not to mention the hidden slits that you're meant to pop your booby out of sometimes being in the wrong place.

So, what on earth do I wear? My pre-baby clothes are mostly high necked so totally unsuitable for breastfeeding and I'm quite a fan of tea dresses (again high necked) which of course are again totally unsuitable for nursing. Having a baby is pretty expensive as we know so replacing an entire wardrobe is just unrealistic when you've got about £16 left to your name.

Nearly everything I now wear is secondhand, predominantly from charity shops but also from table top sales, car boot sales, hand me downs and eBay, Gumtree and Facebook. Then there is the odd occasion I buy a new item off the high street when I'm feeling flush having saved so much money buying secondhand.
I get compliments very often and people asking me where I got my nursing clothes. I can proudly say "it's a charity shop special!"
So what do I look out for? Generally wraparound/crossover tops and dresses that allow you to slip one side down or button down tops. I personally prefer jersey fabric as there is so much more 'give' than cotton or whatnot. 
Underneath I wear a stretchy strappy top that can easily be pulled down on one side or if it's very warm just a crop top style nursing bra like this one: 
http://www.emma-jane.com/sleep-nursing-bra-371.htm
I'm more of a 'pull the top down' type of breastfeeder than a 'pull the top up' type...I'm still quite self conscious about my wobbly, stretch marked belly and would prefer to keep it covered. Although I quite often wear a tight strappy top with a loose top over the top which I pull up then pull down the strappy if you get what I mean.
If I'm wearing a button down or pull down/across type top sometimes it feels like I'm flashing too much flesh - sort of boob to shoulder area exposed - so I wear a small scarf or something or if I'm wearing a card over the top that hides a bit of skin. A nursing cover would never work as it'd be ripped off by Baby D within seconds plus I don't want to hide away, I'm proud of feeding my baby.

Here's a selection of some of my bargains...(please excuse my strange face pulling and funny angles, selfies are quite tricky!)
Charity shop purchases, the most spent is £6 on the zigzag dress (that I look miserable wearing in this pic!)
I'm actually in the process of setting up a little affordable nursing clothes business...watch this space!

Happy bargain hunting.

Dawn x

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