Finding tops that make breastfeeding easy, but don’t compromise on style are almost impossible to find…until now. Enter Emily Hsu, founder and president of Au Lait, a NYC-based nursing wear line that offers fashionable tops catering to the needs of the breastfeeding mother. Emily believes that although comfort is important, it should not come at the expense of looking your best. We sat down with Emily who gave us her fall fashion tips and styled 3 inspiring looks for the busy, nursing mom on-the-go!
Emily: Fall is my favorite season of the year and if you are like me, I try to spend as much time outdoors as possible before winter strikes. When you are breastfeeding, trying to figure out what to wear is probably the last thing you want to worry about! Here is my Fall style guide for nursing mothers:
Look 1: Casual/Weekend
Credit: The Tee Dress in Charcoal (Au Lait Shop), Waxed Canvas + Leather Diaper Bag (LocknKeyLeathers), Grid Pattern Scarf (J.Crew), Metallic Leather Loafers (Marni), Rings by TOMTOM Jewelry – (TOMTOM), Night Out Legging (Hatch Collection), Knitted Hat ( Zara), Baby Baggu in Magenta (Baggu), Nora Wedge Boots (L.K. Bennet), The Pullover Cardi (Au Lait Shop)
Weekends are really about being comfortable while still remaining stylish. This sounds easy but we know how hard it is to even think about looking stylish when you are nursing.
I recommend starting with the Au Lait Tee-dress, which can be worn alone or as a long top, pairing it with leather leggings, and a wine-colored knit cap that seems to be everywhere this season (you can’t drink, might as well infuse a little bit of wine somewhere~)! Wedges are red-hot and back in the game so throw away those uncomfortable heels – just a tiny bit of wedge gives you an instant lift and it actually helps you re-build your core. Throw a baby Baggu into your diaper bag just because it has saved me so many times when I needed to carry soiled baby clothes home! Punk is still very much alive so a couple pieces of punk-inspired jewelry rounds out the perfect casual look.
Look 2: Business/Work
Credit: Red Coat (Weekend by Max Mara), Sunburst Stone Pin (Carolee), Cable Skirt (Tibi New York), The Blouse in White (Au Lait Shop) , Ballet Flats in Varina ( Salvatore Ferragamo), Leopard Print Pumps (Dolce & Gabbana), Super Flared Wide Leg Pants (Alice + Olivia), Transport Tote (Madewell), Rose gold-plated diamond bracelet & Fiji rose gold-plated bracelet (Monica Vinader)
If you pump at work, I recommend starting with a good nursing blouse tucked into a textured skirt or a pair of menswear-inspired trousers. Most moms stop wearing jewelry once they have a baby, but brooches are an easy (and cheap) way to make a statement and it comes right off with your coat or cardigan so you can cuddle with your little one the second you step home. Add a bit of flair with some leopard print chunky heels (stylish but comfortable!) but toss the sneakers on the walk to the subway and slip into a classic pair of ballet flats instead. Pump-at-work moms need to choose their bags carefully and this chic tote not only looks professional but is big enough to hold your pump and ice pack.
Look 3: Dressy/Formal
Credit: Tank in Black (Au Lait Shop), Petite Pear Necklace (J. Crew), 3.1 Phillip Lim Ryder 31 Minute Medium Clutch (Phillip Lim), House of Holland Full Skirt in Oilslick (ASOS), Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Blemish Control (Smashbox), Pinch Minimergency Kit (Pinch), Layered wool-felt skirt (Vika Gazinskaya), Ester Suede Pumps ( Giuseppe Zanotti), Vintage Diamond & Sapphire Drop Earrings (Doyle & Doyle), The Tank in Ivory (Au Lait Shop)
The last thing you want to spend money on is an evening dress that you will end up wearing only once and let’s not even talk about the logistics of trying to pump/express milk in a gown in a public place! Good thing full lady-like skirts are back in vogue and nursing moms don’t have to struggle to find a dress to look dinner party ready. I recommend you start with the Au Lait nursing tank that is versatile enough to take your look from day to night. A statement necklace will help dress up the neck line and add a pop to your lady-like outfit with a dash of blue! The chunky heels provide extra balance and ensure your enjoyment on your precious night out. Breastfeeding might throw your hormones all out of whack, so a primer with some salicylic acid (breastfeeeding compatible and Paula’s Choice approved!) will keep any flareups at bay. We picked this specific clutch because it is rare that an evening clutch can hold so much so go ahead and toss a mini emergency kit in there because you just never know.
Emily is the founder and president of Au Lait, a NYC-based nursing wear line that offers fashionable tops that cater to the needs of the breastfeeding mother. Utilizing her knowledge in fabrics and garment construction, Emily decided to solve the two biggest issues with nursing and breastfeeding tops: privacy for the nursing mother and designs that avoid the drab look that nursing tops feature today. Although comfort is important, it should not come at the expense of looking your best. Au Lait features brand new feeding systems that offer both easy access as well as privacy for the nursing mother.
Since giving birth to baby Avery in 2012, Emily has been a work-from-home mom consulting in the fashion industry and creating Au Lait.