Harper & Bay Kickstarts Fashionable, Washable Breastfeeding Dresses For Nursing Mothers


(Photo: Kickstarter/Harper & Bay)

Before I had a baby, dresses were probably my favorite thing to wear. They were easy to style because you never had to worry about matching tops and bottom, they were comfortable, and the way the fabric fluttered around my legs always made me feel fancy. After the baby, though, I didn’t know what I was supposed to wear, especially since I was breastfeeding and could not figure out how to wear clothes and make 24/7 breast access possible. I wound up just wearing my husband’s old boxers and sitting topless in my apartment for six months while my neighbors learned to close their curtains and look the other way. Now, however, there’s a pretty cool fashion line of breastfeeding dresses designed specifically for nursing women that is getting its start on Kickstarter.

Most of the breastfeeding mothers I know wear separates when they leave the house with their babies, but Harper & Bay has designed a line intended to let women continue to wear dresses while still being able to breastfeed without having to strip all one’s clothes off. The initial line has four styles, a built-in crop-top style with either a pencil skirt or a full skirt, a swing dress, and a raglan-sleeve dress with invisible zippers hidden in the seams that allow the front panel to drop away at any moment. It does seem pretty convenient, and I particularly like the crop-top skater dress and the raglan sleeve option.

The crop-top dresses look like something Kim Kardashian would wear, but I mean that in a good way. They’re 2015, Lanvin-wearing Kim Kardashian, not 2010-era Kim Kardashian. They’re fashionable and cool, but the fabric and cut look extremely comfortable. This might be one of those magical unicorn dresses that makes a person look all put-together and professional, but actually feels like comfy pajamas. Also, the crop top design means it is possible to just stick a baby’s head right up under there, so a person can breastfeed at will without having to unzip or unbutton anything.


(Via Kickstarter/Harper & Bay)

They seem like a pretty cool option, and I like the idea because anything that makes nursing in public easier is a pretty good thing. Honestly, my awkward clothes always made me a little more reticent to try. (I’m not sure these dresses have a solution for “got self covered from shoulder to hip in milk and now smell like old cheese,” but at least they appear to be washable.) They’re also not very expensive. While the kickstarter says the dresses will retail for $98 or more, they’re currently available from $68 up to about $80 apiece, depending on how many of them you want.

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