All about the bust

style

Inspired by easy access to the boobs, these are the outfits that are in rotation right now – as a newly-nursing mama. 

First up, ASOS; they have an amazing selection of basics, as well as nursing/maternity dresses and tops, so cute that they don’t even look like nursing specific garments.

ASOS DESIGN Maternity Nursing Cami With Clips 2 Pack SAVE
C$52.60


Zara is a treasure trove of items that aren’t nursing specific, but sure do fit the bill. 

I can’t wait to wear this in Mexico when we head off with our little one in tow. 


Zara checked dress
Draped checked blouse, riding the plaid trend from fall into winter.
Zara dress
Oversized patchwork shirt – Zara
Bird satin tunic – Zara



The basics already in your closet can also find their way into nursing-friendly outfits. 

I made a point of sectioning off my closet, moving conducive items to the front of drawers (I fold Marie Kondo style, like library books in my drawers, spine up), and in the closets I have a section just for items that ‘fit’ as nursing wear. 

The penchant for sleepleisure is perfect for moms (or anyone, really). A cool relaxed pant and pajama-style top are easy, breezy, with full front access. 
This screams chic, while maintaining the comfort needed to plunk down on the floor, change a quick diaper or feed a writing child. 
Chicnico is on to something with this mustard-hued sweater. Wear anytime, anywhere. Almost. https://www.chicnico.com/collections/cardigans/products/chicnico-stylish-open-collar-oversize-casual-solid-color-cardigan-3?lshst=collection

From a site that boasts ‘sexy but modest’ clothing… this is definitely a wear-on-repeat idea. I have a Halston Heritage-inspired vintage silk dress, handed down from my mother, that looks pleasingly similar to this one! https://www.sexymodest.com/products/brigitte-button-down-maxi-dress

More great cardigans from Lauren McBride. Versatile and cozy. https://www.laurenmcbrideblog.com/2018/08/feel-nice-with-qvc/

Rounding out the on-trend items on deck, we have a jumpsuit, onesie, or romper. I have a gorgeous crush velvet version in navy blue from Aerie/American Eagle. It’s surprisingly easy to wear and layered over a cropped t-shirt it actually functions like a nursing outfit, but also looks amazing and feels like a playsuit. Velvet is in demand this season, but has staying power since it keeps cropping up when the temperatures drop. https://www.stitchfix.com/?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=pinterestschedule

An easy, ‘yes.’ Who doesn’t have a patterned longline blazer or cardigan? Wear it over lingerie or a bedroom inspired tank. Double yes. https://www.chicnico.com/collections/cardigans?utm_source=zucardiganpin-3&utm_medium=zucardiganpin-3&utm_campaign=zucardiganpin-3&pp=0&epik=v%3D1%26u%3DvG1DZXtTbiXVFlycJY74k91QGpu-nsuv%26n%3DdfRx8Pk_e0HpPQERQArRtw%3D%3D

Basic, in the best possible way; buttons, waffle knit, loose and versatile. This even has snaps instead of buttons. I couldn’t ask for more. 
https://www.instagram.com/p/BnwgFpDHN6V/

What I like best about all these pieces is that many are items I already own. Others, I will be able to keep wearing them long after my little one has graduated to solids… which is, I think, a solid investment. 

Put a Ring On It – But Keep Your Mouth Shut About Other People’s Rings

Wedding

Even though I’m already married and the ‘ring search’ is far behind me, I still love looking at engagement rings and seeing what is new and exciting in that world. On a blog I was reading recently a woman posted the following:

“I see so many posts about moissanite and never realized it’s as popular as it is. I was under the impression it was a relatively new creation. I have had several people ask me if my diamond ring is “real” and I have to admit that it bothers me. Also, how do you even respond to that? Anyway, I am looking forward to reading other points of view.”

My thoughts:

I think my perspective is definitely shaped by the fact that I do not care about other people’s opinions about my ring and I also don’t have friends who would ever judge my relationship (or my financial status) based on the ring I’m wearing. When planning our wedding with my spouse we decided, deliberately, that we did not want expensive or ostentatious rings. What we did want were one of a kind, unconventional and unique rings that suited our style and our lifestyle. I work with my hands and would be nervous to wear something too precious. Not that I didn’t try on a variety of rings… but every time I tried a stunner with a gem that was raised too far from my finger, I felt like I’d get it caught on things, destroy it and every surface in my house, but mostly …like it was totally impractical.

In the end, my ring was made by a friend who is a jeweller; it’s unconventional and we used rough diamonds, so no sparkle really. No one has ever asked if they are ‘real’. However, many people have asked about the ring, the design and where they can contact the creator (Breanne Morrow at White Feather Designs).

View More: http://sweetheartempire.pass.us/alison-allia-engagement

Photo by Sweetheart Empire. Rings by White Feather Designs

View More: http://sweetheartempire.pass.us/alison-allia-engagement

Engagement photos by Kate O’Connor of Sweetheart Empire

I think what bothers me about the idea of people asking the original poster these questions is this: why are they asking? Is there some further question they need to have answered? Why do they care?

Maybe they are a gemologist? Maybe they are looking for an engagement ring. But if it’s because they want to know how costly the ring is… why? It’s none of their business and it’s super tacky that they are asking.

Perhaps they want to know because they are considering their options, or maybe see the value in a ring that doesn’t support an industry that has some problems (conflict diamonds, environmental impact), but you can probably already tell that this is their view based on the way they ask.

At the end of the day, I don’t know why it’s anyone’s business what you choose for something as personal as your wedding/engagement rings.

A Few Good Picks

style

Here is my fall line-up of nursing-approved, affordable fall-into-winter items. I mostly haven’t purchased anything new (either for maternity or breast-feeding), but here are the five items I’ve added to my rotation.

Not really a fan of uniform dressing, but this tunic/dress is going to save my life. I made the mistake of going out for lunch at a nice place, once already, in a dress that required a whole half top/sleeve removal to allow feeding access. This Old Navy Swing Dress is cheap and cheerful (about $40 but with a bonus 40% off and free shipping).

 

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I got it in three colours. Layered over pants, open over another top, or with leggings and over the knee boots, this is going to be a go-to piece for all my nursing days when I’m out of the house.

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Next up, also from Old Navy, and also on sale (!) the Chambray utility onesie…

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With summery shoes this will be perfect in Mexico when we head for a winter getaway, but also for fall with rolled cuffs, a slubby scarf and some lace up combat boots. Open to the waist with a tank, or with a contrasting, or embellished belt – this piece is pretty versatile. Today I wore it with a half-up topknot and this teddy bear coat from Chance and Fate. So comfy. Paired it with pineapple embroidered velvet slides… No big deal.

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My goal is to buy as little ‘new’ stuff as possible – this might be it. As my sister-in-law (also breast feeding) said: “oh, yay… (not) another cross front top.” When maternity options are underwhelming, I’m going to try to be inspired by what’s already in my closet. Challenge accepted.

Baby is Here! Bring on the Winter Coats and Layers

style

Let’s be honest; I had no idea how motherhood would impact my fashion choices… but it’s fair to say that unless we are expecting company (10 days into our journey with a newborn) I’m wearing the same thing he’s wearing: a diaper and no top.

So, here is a roundup of my favourite layering pieces for fall and the transition into winter!

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The teddybear coat is definitely on trend, but I picked up one from Chance and Fate that is long and cozy, with just the right amount of cuddle. This color gray stands out from the rest of the sherpa coats we’re seeing this season. Mine is pretty much identical to the one pictured below:
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Plaid Print Blazer $148 . OAK + FORT … not the warmest, but the plaid layer is still going strong! Alternately, try this beauty…

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Soho Boy-Fit Blazer  $126 OLIVE

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A classic utility jacket is the perfect layering piece for lighter chills and it has all the pockets a no-handbag wearing new-mom could ask for.
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I have an amaaaazing coat similar to this, which I got at a clothing swap for freeeeee. It’s still a go-to! I am also a fan of layering my easy leopard print blazer over plain black to take the ‘lounging at home’ look to a slightly elevated, ready-for-visitors level.
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H&M Down Jacket ($199) Last but not least, I invested this season in a puffer coat; try this one in charcoal, or (like I did) try the H&M army green calf-length version for maximum protection from the elements. I love how airy-light it is, while also being roomy enough to zip baby into the front while he is in a carrier.
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LOGG olive green long parka H&M
Speaking of baby, here is our little fox. Thanks for bearing with me while I make this transition into the busiest, craziest job I’ve ever had. xo
Kingston.jpg

Why you can’t be ‘racist’ towards a white person

Open Letters

Trigger Warning: this post deals with identity politics and might raise some hackles if you have strong feelings about race, privilege and power. I invite you to read with an open mind. These views represent what I have come to understand, as a person who studied Equity and Diversity in university and has spent the last decade, plus, trying to be a better, more informed ally to those who experience marginalization.

A friend asked recently: What’s a topic you’d love to deep dive into with a group of people that you rarely have time / energy to “go there” with?

I answered: why you can’t be ‘racist’ towards white people. In recent weeks, I had tried explaining this to a 15 year old boy and got very little traction.

My big question for this young, white boy was ‘what do you gain by being ‘right’ about this? Do you benefit somehow by maintaining that people can, in fact, be racist towards you? This claim of ‘reverse racism’ seems to soothe our ideas about equality – people can be ‘mean to us’ too, after all. But is this effort to establish that white people can be treated as badly as others have been treated by white people missing the point? Arguably, no person or group will ever be able to top white people’s treatment of … any minority.

A friend of a friend very sweetly and sincerely asked for my thoughts on this issue. She wrote, “Hi, we don’t know each other and have the lovely E as a mutual friend but I’m curious – why can’t someone be ‘racist’ toward a white person? I’d have thought that racism doesn’t know ‘colour’. Is racism racist? I think intolerance of one race against another race would qualify as racism, regardless. But maybe I misunderstood!”

Here is my best effort to succinctly unpack the question and offer some answers:

 A simple definition of racism is about someone treating another person poorly (or worse) because of bias/prejudice based on one’s race.

But racISM is about power and power is systemic. There has never been a time when white people were disenfranchised or without systemic power (even if they are the only white person in the room). Peggy McIntosh wrote a very effective essay and list of questions you can ask yourself, which can help to put this into perspective: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack of White Privilege. 

So, while someone can be prejudiced or treat someone in a way that discriminates against a white person based on their racial bias, there will never be/has never been a time when those attitudes were also supported by systems of power that allowed another group to use those avenues to oppress white people based on that aspect of their identity. That doesn’t mean there aren’t disenfranchised white people, or people of colour who have power, etc. But generally, the ability to wield power in conjunction with bias and prejudice about race leads to Racism (capital R).

So, while I might sense or know for sure that someone has treated me with prejudice or inequality based on my ‘whiteness’ I don’t stand to lose my housing, be shot by police, be prevented from moving freely and safely, be taken off a voter list (as is currently happening in Georgia), be denied job opportunities, be followed by security in a store, have speculations about me being a _____________ (insert racial stereotype). To equate whatever prejudice I might experience with the centuries-long murder, enslavement, oppression and pervasive inequality experienced by other races would trivialize the real, lived experiences of minorities (largely perpetrated by colonizing white nations and the legacy of these institutions).

Long answer, but hopefully makes sense. It’s hard sometimes to square this with the definition of racism as just ‘treating some X, based on race’ but equating the treatment of any minority with a white person’s limited experience with racial bias obscures a lot of the history and pervasive, lasting impacts of colonization and racialized violence.

When we cling to the simple definition of racism, one we might use to explain this idea to … elementary students, we overlook the nuances of this issue which isn’t black and white. Even if, on the surface it is about colour, it’s also about… power, access to power and legacies of inequality … of power.  I’m hoping that by looking at those grey areas we can stop holding onto our privilege (to claim we are also experiencing racism), while simultaneously not acknowledging that we have privilege. This doesn’t suggest that we can’t be made to feel bad, be treated badly, or be lumped into a category with every other potato-hued person… which can feel pretty shitty. But that feeling is not comparable to the suffering experienced and real fear visited on people who are not white, now and through history.

Thanks for this question! I’m always still learning and really appreciate exploring this topic, as well as input from others who know more than I do/ can offer insight.  Please feel free to offer you ideas, questions, insights, etc., nicely and politely. I am, after all, Canadian and while really being a fan of diversity, I’m also a huge fan of civility. Thank you!