Sure, pregnancy was a “beautiful” time in your life and you got to spend a good wad of cash on a new maternity wardrobe, and some of the clothes were even cute; but, let’s face it, even the most fashion-conscious momma-to-be can have a hard time looking stylish and sexy at nine months pregnant, and even the most stingy expectant woman can get sick and tired of her maternity clothes by her third trimester. Despite what many people say, looking good while pregnant can be challenging, not to mention exhausting.
So, when it’s finally all over and you finally get to say “hello” to your new little one, you also get to say “goodbye” to fashion misery, right?
Wrong. In fact, the postpartum body is often trickier to dress than the pregnant one. However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done, so don’t despair.
First, you need to take a good, hard look at what you’ve got to work with. If you’re like most postpartum women (read: not celebrities or anyone else you know who only gained 10 pounds during their pregnancy), then you’re carrying some extra weight throughout most of your body, you’ve got a bra size you’d never thought possible, and your belly still looks several months pregnant, only flabbier. [You may also have stretch marks and varicose veins you don't want anyone (not even your husband) to see - but as long as you cover those up until they fade, you're fine.]
Keep in mind this is an article on how to dress the postpartum body – how to look good now – not on how you should be trying to lose your baby weight and only look good once you accomplish that feat. You just brought forth life, which is accomplishment enough for awhile.
First, while you may be tempted to cover everything up with oversized T-shirts, your husband’s sweatshirts, and comfy pants, and while you may also find you need to wear some of your maternity clothes for awhile after giving birth, try to keep such clothes restricted to only the first few weeks postpartum and when it’s just you and your family at home.
However, eventually (it’s true!), you will want to leave the comforts of your home and venture out into society again, and remember that you’ll probably have visitors in those early days, too, wanting to meet the baby and, if you’re lucky, bringing meals and/or gifts and even offering to wash some dishes. And you won’t want to look like a train wreck.
Besides remembering to shower, comb your hair, put on lipstick, and apply foundation to cover the dark circles under your eyes, you’ll need to figure out how to dress your postpartum body. The keys to keep in mind are comfort, style, and, if you’re breastfeeding, function:
- Stick to natural fabrics that breathe and are easy to wash and dry – namely, cotton
- Wear clothes with a little bit of stretch to them
- Make sure your shirts are long enough to cover any tummy imperfections; aim for shirts that fit at the top of the hip
- Choose clothes with structure; e.g., a jacket or blazer
- Try layers
- Look for bold, bright colors mixed with neutrals
- Wear flowing tops with empire-waist seaming to give the illusion of a smaller waistline and a flatter tummy; V-necks to flatter your new silhouette; and pretty short or three quarter-length sleeves for nice detail and to hide flabby upper arms
- Wear mid-rise, straight-cut, wide-leg pants/jeans
- Wear A-line, knee-length skirts that flow away from the body
If you’re breastfeeding, investing in a few good nursing bras is absolutely essential. It’s also a good idea to buy a few nursing tops; you can even find nursing-friendly dresses. If nursing tops are too expensive, try tops with buttons, zippers, or pull-away V-necks.
Accessorizing is important, too, and can draw attention away from your postpartum trouble spots. Jewelry, scarves, belts, shoes, diaper bags and handbags can really add a certain “something” to your outfit, and the good news is you don’t need to worry about whether or not your pre-baby accessories will fit you! Of course, feel free to treat yourself to something new; after all, you deserve it.
Don’t forget that, out of necessity, the diaper bag you choose will become your everyday essential accessory. This is your opportunity to choose a diaper bag that is not only functional, but fashionable and stylish, so you can really look and feel like the hot mama you are!
Do you agree or disagree? Perhaps, I missed something? Either way, I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic… just let me know your alive!