Best Breastfeeding Shirts

Fashion and function aren’t mutually exclusive

What are the best breastfeeding shirts?

Are they essential for your nursing wardrobe?

I have a confession to make. When I was pregnant and became noticeably so, I couldn’t wait to shop for maternity clothes. Motherhood Maternity, Target, online, didn’t matter so long as they were cute and comfy. It’s the only time in my life that I was excited to buy “fat” clothes. That’s one of the reasons why we wrote this article The Best Breastfeeding Shirts”.

Later on, before the baby was evicted from the comforts of my womb, I invested in some nursing shirts. I’d decided to breastfeed, which is a wonderful decision, I might add. It’s not only the most natural nutrition for your baby, but it helps you lose the baby weight a LOT faster while eating more calories than you’d normally need. I kid you not! You can literally have your cake and eat it too.

The not-so-good side of nursing wear

But I have another confession to make. While the nursing shirts I bought while raising my first two babies were supposed to be great for public feeding, I still didn’t feel comfortable nursing in public. While cute and trendy, they were a little awkward with big old flaps and buttons.

By the time I got the shirt unbuttoned, the flap out of the way then the nursing bra panel unhooked, the baby was already screaming for her dinner and yanking away any blanket I tried to use as a shield. Nothing triggers, “Let’s all glare at the bad mom,” quite like a screaming baby in a restaurant. So I usually ended up going out to the car or to a dedicated “nursing room” depending on where we were.

By the third baby, I had no shame, just fed him wherever we were. I had two little girls to keep up with too. No one bothered me about it. I think they saw the bags under my eyes and the mismatched earrings and the coffee stains on my shirt and wisely chose to walk on by…

Let it be known that in no circumstance did I ever go to a public restroom to feed my baby. Would you eat your meals in a bathroom? I think not. If someone tells you to do that, tell them they can take their dinner and eat in the restroom if they have a problem with it.

Find what fits your budget, your body, and your taste. Here’s a rundown of our list of best breastfeeding shirts for your reference:

ProductPhotoCustomer RatingFit as ExpectedCost
Sofsy Soft-Touch Rayon Blend Tie Front Nursing Top**EDITOR'S CHOICE**76%$$
OCHENTA Women's Roll-Up Sleeve Plaid Flannel Shirt45%$
Chulianyouhuo Breastfeeding Shirt Long Sleeve
57%$
Caramel Cantina 3 Pack Women's Nursing Cami68%$$$
Undercover Mama Black and White Nursing Tank61%$$$
Happy Mama Women's Maternity Jersey Dress 69%$
Kindred Bravely Maternity & Nursing Sleepwear Set73%$$$$

We’ve come a long way, baby

I don’t know what changed between the first decade of this century and now, but today’s nursing shirts are way better designed than those earlier versions. You can barely tell them apart from regular shirts. No bib-like flaps and huge cutouts. Today, it’s even easier for moms to covertly feed a baby and avoid the stares.

Every state but Idaho now has no laws restricting moms from feeding their babies in any public venue. Get with the times, Idaho!

The only thing holding you back from public nursing (unless you’re in Idaho) is personal preferences and your wardrobe. I can’t do anything about your personal opinions, but I can show you how to spruce up that nursing wardrobe from merely practical to stylish AND practical.

Tips for nursing wear

There are really no life and death decisions in the nursing wear department, but there’s nothing wrong with fashionable clothing, even if you haven’t showered since the last harvest moon. When shopping for nursing wear, there are a few simple things to keep in mind:

  • Stretchy is good. Choose fabrics with some give so you’re not fighting the shirt to make room for the baby to eat.
  • Wear a nursing bra that you can open one-handed. Ideally, you want to have the baby in position and ready to latch on when you pull down the bra flap.
  • If you’re not wearing an actual nursing top, try a stretchy tank top under a button-down shirt. You just unbutton the first few buttons then pull down the tank top neckline, and it’s dinnertime.
  • But what about dresses? Life doesn’t stop when you have a baby, so there will likely be a wedding or a party you will attend while you’re nursing. Choose a style of dress that allows easy access for feeding so you’re not fighting with sequins and shapewear. A pretty wrap style dress is a great social event option.
  • Don’t break the bank. You don’t have to spend crazy amounts of money on nursing gear. There’s something for every price range, so look around until you find something that fits your budget.

Are you ready to shop? Here are our top picks for best breastfeeding shirts, including a dress and pajama set:

Sofsy Soft-Touch Rayon Blend Tie Front Nursing Top 

 

I’m a sucker for pink, so this one really drew my eye. It’s actually a “berry” color, but who cares? It’s super cute. Plus it comes in 5 different colors if you’re not fond of this one. Super soft rayon fabric stretches easily and even hides that mama’s belly.

The openings are found under the shawl tie wrap thingy, which can be tied in the front, back, or side to change up the look. It’s made extra long to cover your rear, too. See, no reason you can’t look cute when you’re a new mama!

Reviewers loved the feel of the fabric and overall design. Some reported that the tops may be sized too large, so consider ordering a smaller one that you normally would. Also, some women noted a problem with wrinkling. Other than that, this cute top is affordable and a good option for going out or staying in.

Pros
  • Soft fabric
  • Stretchy and comfortable
  • Can wear the tie different ways
  • Longer coverage than other tops
Cons
  • Could wrinkle easily
  • May be sized too large (order smaller)


OCHENTA Women’s Roll-Up Sleeve Plaid Flannel Shirt

While not an actual “nursing” shirt, this cute plaid button-up is wonderful for when you’re home with the baby. If you’re going out, just layer it with your favorite nursing tank top. Voila! Instant fashion.

What I love most of all is that red plaid isn’t the only color option. There are about 35 color/pattern options for this cutie. So whether you’re feeling more lumberjack or more girly, there’s a color for you. It’s also one of the cheapest options on our list.

The main drawback to this shirt is the sizing. Many women said they ordered a much larger size, and it was still too small. The Asian/US sizing chart may be off. It would be a good idea to study the size chart and even contact the manufacturer or seller to ensure you’re getting the proper size. Some of the options do have free returns, so keep that in mind.

Pros
  • Warm flannel
  • Can roll up sleeves or leave them down
  • 35 color/pattern options
  • Affordable
Cons
  • May be sized too small (order larger)


Chulianyouhuo Breastfeeding Shirt Long Sleeve

Okay, so I’m not sure how to pronounce the brand name, but these tops are really stylish! There are 12 color/pattern options to choose from, whether you like brighter or more neutral colors. They all feature stripes, however, like these or straight stripes with solid color sleeves and neckline. The cotton blend material (think workout shirt) should be breathable enough for indoors and outdoors, while stylish enough to wear to work or an outing.

Some moms didn’t like the thin, workout-style fabric. Others thought the scoop layer underneath showed too much. However, with a patterned one like this, it would be less visible. The sizing of these may run too small, so you may want to order a size or two larger. There are free shipping options on some of the styles.

Pros
  • Breathable
  • 12 color/pattern options
  • Affordable
Cons
  • May be sized too small (order larger)
  • Fabric has a workout top feel


Caramel Cantina 3 Pack Women’s Nursing Cami

Why buy one nursing cami when you can buy three? This multipack comes in these awesome bright colors and a neutral pack of black, white and gray. Remember the plaid shirt above? Put one of these under it, and there ya go! You can also wear it without any layering in hot weather or when you’re at home. There’s a built-in bra, but no pads, so I’d recommend you keep your nursing bra on with this or you could wear it with removable nursing pads.

These shirts tend to run true to size compared to the others we’ve listed so far. But remember that even if you’re normally a B cup, you could easily be a D or more when your milk comes in, so don’t buy these bra included tops too soon. Moms found them to be very comfy and a good length.

A few moms didn’t like the body-hugging fit. I get that – nobody wants to display their post-baby lumps. But remember these are great for layering under a looser shirt. If you’re on a budget, however, these tops aren’t terribly expensive, but they’re on the top tier of prices we’re listing here today.

Pros
  • Comes in 3 pack
  • Built-in bra
  • Comfy, stretchy and good length
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Body-hugging fit might be a turnoff


Undercover Mama Black and White Nursing Tank 

This 2-pack of nursing tank tops is really popular, mostly because of the long length that keeps you covered and because of its strapless design which attaches to your nursing bra. No more dealing with extra straps that get twisted up as you go through the day. It makes a fantastic undershirt, with the basic black and white that can match with anything. It’s also stretchy and roomy for full-busted women.

Note that this design does not include shapewear like similar shirts from the same company. Some women found the sizing too small to be comfortable. A few mentioned that the attachments were not compatible with their nursing bras. If you’re not sure, email the company, and they can probably tell you if the shirt will work with your bra. It’s a bit more expensive than some tanks, so do the research before you commit.

Pros
  • Comes in 2 pack
  • Strapless, long length design
  • Attaches to your nursing bra
Cons
  • Pricey
  • May be sized too small (order larger)


Happy Mama Women’s Maternity Jersey Dress

Remember when I said you’ll need something nice to wear to special occasions as a nursing mom? Well, this one works as both a maternity AND nursing dress. It comes in 17 lovely solid colors, including basic black and white. The soft jersey material is stretchy and provides ample room for a growing tummy and fits nicely over your nursing bra.

There’s no reason to look frumpy just because you’re a new mom. Wear it to a wedding or a baby shower or even at the office. This dress is one of the most affordable on our list, so it’s a win-win for beauty and budget.

Keep in mind that you get what you pay for with most clothing, and this is one of those. Several women thought the material was too thin (try a darker color) and the sizes ran small (order larger).

Others didn’t like the length and said it was too short. So a nice pair of leggings would be a good option if you’re a taller woman. Some also noted a chemical smell that lingered somewhat after washing, and that it wrinkles in the wash, so hanging to dry would be the best approach.

Pros
  • 17 color choices
  • Affordable
  • Dual maternity and nursing dress
  • Machine washable
Cons
  • Fabric may be thin and see-through with lighter colors
  • Could be too short on taller women
  • Needs to line dry to prevent wrinkling
  • May be sized too small (order larger)


Kindred Bravely Maternity & Nursing Sleepwear Set

 

One of the challenges I faced while nursing was finding pajamas that worked well for 2 AM, blurry-eyed feeding sessions. Sure, tank tops are fine, but in colder months (or if you’re cold-natured), you want more coverage at night. These cute pajamas are perfect for that – not too hot, not too cold, just right like Goldilocks likes it.

The set comes in 10 different colors. The elastic waistband works great to accommodate both the pregnant and post-pregnancy belly. They’re simply pretty, unlike those frumpy, curtain-like nursing gowns I once wore.

The biggest drawback I could find is price, as this set isn’t particularly cheap. It would be a good investment if you want some nice PJs and a good thing to ask for as a baby shower gift. Some moms didn’t like the fit, saying they were too small for late pregnancy and too big afterward. Consider ordering two sets – one larger and one smaller. Our bodies change pretty dramatically throughout pregnancy and after childbirth, so it’s always good to plan both a maternity and post-partum wardrobe.

Pros
  • 10 color choices
  • Dual maternity and nursing pajamas
  • Machine washable
Cons
  • Pricey
  • May need to order two sets if using both before and after birth.


No matter what clothing you choose, the important thing is that you’re happy and comfortable in it. Breastfeeding is a wonderful time to spend with your baby, but those months will fly by, so make the most of it. You can look good AND be comfortable while feeding your baby more now than when my kids were babies.

 

You may also like these posts:

Best Electric Breast Pumps

Public  Breastfeeding

What Are The Best Manual Breast Pumps

Best Baby Gliders

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