By Dani Jansen
Just because I’m a mom doesn’t mean I want to dress in cardigans and khakis all the time. Though I’ll confess to owning what my husband thinks are too many cardigans, sometimes I want a little edge to my style, something that says, “I still listen to cool music.” But as a mom, I also want something that says, “I’m comfortable and safe to wear around grubby hands.” It’s a hard combo to find, especially in plus sizes.
This is why I was incredibly excited to learn about the clothing brand Leche Libre. They have created some very fashionable, yet practical nursing clothing. When I saw their Kickstarter campaign to expand their product line into plus sizes, I immediately decided I had to become a backer. Their Kickstarter page proclaimed “Leche Libre is a body positive brand empowering all women to confidently breastfeed wherever we damn well please, in killer style.” It was a campaign that spoke to me, and I happily awaited my reward.
In the meantime, Maman Loup arranged for me to review one of their straight size pieces. I was excited to get my hands on a Leche Libre item before my reward would be ready—I get a wee bit impatient when I find a new brand I want to try. For the review, I picked their Audrey Dress in blue in a size 16. When it arrived, I was seriously feeling the retro vibes and paired the dress with a polka dot headscarf. Definitely cool mom, right?
The dress has some serious STRETCH: very important for the mom trying to keep up with an active baby. Despite the stretch, the silhouette is fitted and flattering. I have to admit that I’m most comfortable wearing the dress with my Spanx tights or a pair of tummy tucking leggings.
The straight size 16 fits, but it’s snug. If you’re someone who hates to have things touch your tummy, you’ll want to follow their size chart carefully. However, with a little help from my underthings, I’m more than happy to wear the straight 16, even though it’s technically a bit small for me by a couple of inches. Bless stretchy material!
Since I’m often between straight and plus sizes, I can stare at measurements for hours wondering which size I should pick. It’s frustrating and leads to a lot of returns. This is why I’m happy to be able to tell those of you debating sizes that I also got to try a Leche Libre plus size 16. My reward for being a backer was this chic reptile tunic that is both cat and baby approved. (As a side note, this fabric doesn’t pick up cat hairs! A definite plus for pet owners.) In terms of sizing, the plus size 16 is definitely a looser fit on me, but I like that it still has a fitted shape.
Like the dress, the tunic comes with pockets. We all know how thrilling it is to find clothing with actual pockets—especially pockets big enough to hide your phone from baby.
The dress and tunic also provide relatively easy breastfeeding access. Leche Libre uses zippers at the bust to create discreet access to boobs. In a couple of instances, I found the zippers got stuck briefly, which annoyed the baby who wanted his milk NOW, not five seconds from now. But I feel the inconvenience is worth it given that the zippers mean that large-busted moms don’t have to worry about their bras showing. Most nursing wear I’ve found uses layers or cross-over designs, which can gape if you have a big bust.
The features I love in these pieces:
- Pockets! Glorious, glorious pockets!
- Funky designs.
- Machine washable.
- Great range of sizes!
- Company run by a body-positive mompreneur.
The features I’m less enamoured with:
- The material can wrinkle
- The tags say tumble dry low, but to maintain stretchiness, I wouldn’t put these pieces in the dryer.