When we moved from California to England we only brought 5 suitcases and a stroller with us. I really pared down on everything we owned, especially my wardrobe. Before we left I got rid of dozens of clothing items I no longer liked or wore and only kept 30 pieces of clothing. And, like magic, I had a capsule wardrobe on my hands!
It’s been three years since then and though I haven’t documented every change in my capsule wardrobe, I have successfully kept about 30 items in my wardrobe for this entire time. (Insert applause here!) Every time I got something new, I kept it in my color palette and got rid of another item that I already had. This way the numbers stayed the same and I was able to adjust a few items that I didn’t like or didn’t work for me anymore. If you’ve never made a capsule wardrobe before and would like instructions on how to do that, I have a whole post on it here.
Well, in case you missed it, I gave birth to my second child, my sweet boy, Jude, this past June. His pregnancy brought maternity clothes into (and out of) my wardrobe. And now that he is nursing like a champ, it has brought many nursing-friendly outfits into my closet. Since I’ve had a new baby abroad, it has also changed my mindset a bit when it comes to nursing and modesty. So, be sure to read through and see the pictures of my favorite dresses at the bottom of this post!
After living in England for 3 years I have definitely adapted more of what I would call the European mindset when it comes to modesty and nursing. When I had my daughter back in Los Angeles, I nursed her until she was 2 years old. I’m very thankful we lasted that long! But every single time we were in public to nurse, I would use a nursing cover. And not just the kind that hung over the front, the stretchy kind that went all the way around the back. I was not going to show anything while nursing!
That changed what clothes I chose for my wardrobe. I mainly had button-down shirts, jeans, and loose t-shirts that I could easily pull up. And I had some dresses and skirts, but only for Sundays. Using a cover all the time gave me more freedom in what I was wearing because it didn’t have to be all that nursing-friendly if I was just going to cover up myself totally with a cover.
Well, here in England, I’ve seen many moms breastfeeding in public without a cover and, while some have seemed totally immodest, most are very discreet. Now I don’t think that you always need to use a cover to nurse in public and I don’t usually use one now. But in order to still be modest about it, you do have to select your wardrobe wisely.
Dressing to be Feminine
I have also been thinking a lot about what it means to dress in a feminine way. While I don’t think that trousers or jeans are immodest (I still have a pair of jeans!), I would say they are less feminine than dresses or skirts.
We have lost what a sense of feminine dressing is in our culture today. Most women are feminists and that changes how they think about what they wear. In my own life over the last few years, I have seen the detrimental effects of feminism and it has turned me off to the movement as a whole. But that’s another story for another time. As it pertains to how I dress, I have moved away from the jeans and T-shirt look to more dresses in an effort to be more feminine looking each day.
Wearing dresses used to be reserved for Sundays, I had a few that I’d wear during the week, but they would be short and I would wear them over leggings. That is not the case now! I wear a long dress most every day and I love it.
The dress I put on this morning is not only feminine looking, it’s comfortable! I’ve taken time to find dresses that are made of either cotton, linen, or viscose, making them just as comfortable as a t-shirt.
Believe it or not, you can do everything in a dress that you need to do as a mom and homemaker. I even wear mine out to work on my garden at the allotment! Don’t let the fear of ruining a dress reserve it for only Sundays at church. Most stains can be washed out. So just wear the dress, no matter what your project is for the day. It will be okay and you’ll look cuter and more feminine while doing it!
Now, how do I make dresses work with nursing? Well, I buy nursing dresses!
This is something that’s totally new to me this time around for nursing. I think before I almost despised the look of nursing specific clothing. You know, the shirts with the line that clearly goes across your chest? No, that look wasn’t for me.
But… It kind of is now! Funny, how the Lord humbles us, isn’t it?
I really appreciate dresses that have that line across now and wear them all the time. Maybe because it’s a dress, it’s a bit easier for me to stand it. I’ve also found some very cute floral options and I really enjoy wearing those as well (see pictures below).
There are still a few dresses that are not specifically made for nursing. The shirred dresses or milk-maid style dresses also work well for nursing access, I just pull down the front to feed. Unless I have a sweater over the top to pull up, I do use a nursing cover for these ones when I’m out! And I still have one button down dress that I wear and use a cover with as well.
I do still have one pair of jeans, but I do not wear them that often. I also have two skirts that I like, but I haven’t been wearing either, so they are not counted in my current wardrobe. I am struggling to find a way to wear them and nurse easily, I always want to tuck my shirts into them but then hate re-tucking after nursing. Let me know if you have a solution for this!
I do continue to wear my summery dresses all year round by adding leggings underneath and a cardigan or sweater over the top. Each layer adds up and keeps you cozy w
I am really enjoying what I wear every day now. And I’m thankful to God for His ability to teach me things throughout every area of life, even the clothing that I wear.
Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but the woman who fears the Lord shall be praised.” That doesn’t mean that beauty doesn’t matter, it is still beauty, it should still be cultivated as you would cultivate any other virtue. But what lasts is honoring the Lord with your beauty and femininity, that’s what I strive to do in my outfits each day.
My Nursing Wardrobe
So, what’s actually in my wardrobe. Here’s the list of items with their short description and there are pictures below of my favorite dresses. I will try to upload a few more pictures as I have time and wear outfits over the next week or so. And I’ll have to find another reward for my 5-year-old photographer ☺️.
When planning a capsule wardrobe, you don’t need to count your underwear or workout gear, so please know that I do have these items and wear them, including a few pairs of leggings for underneath all the dresses
As I counted up my things, I realized I only have 24 items at the moment! That’s fewer than I thought!
Clothing items total: 24
Knee length, diamond pattern
Frugi knee length, floral
Pink asos floral
Blue asos floral
Blue cottage w/ buttons
Blue floral cottage
Pink Maxi cottage
Long navy w/ knot
Striped zipper with tie
Pink mock neck
Grey mock neck
Linen baseball tee
Leather Brown ballet flats
Blue flats with bow
Pink tennis shoes
Leather Ankle boots
Navy ball gown
I hope this post has inspired you to wear more dresses and find ways to make your clothes work best for you! Let me know what you think of my ideas in a comment below!