I know, I know. I’ve only been a mom for four months. But in this short period of time, I think I’ve truly come to understand the meaning of “mom style.” Finding that “sweet spot” when it comes to postpartum style can be challenging. Maybe you gained or lost a lot of weight, or you’re recovering from a painful delivery, or your body shape has permanently changed. To be honest, I watch the videos in my mom groups about loving your new body and as much as I champion other moms to feel that way, I’m not quite there yet. I think it’s incredible that my body grew a human but I’d be lying if I said it’s not a big change physically and mentally, but being so hard on ourselves is just exhausting. I love clothes and expressing myself through my wardrobe so having to quickly adapt to my new lifestyle, body, and size was an adjustment that I didn’t have time to prepare for and quite honestly didn’t see coming. I made a bunch of rookie mistakes the first few weeks; uncomfortably squeezing into some of my pre-pregnancy clothing, buying pieces that I was attracted to but weren’t at all practical, and of course, wearing things that couldn’t withstand drool, spit-up, and all of the other wonderful things motherhood brings. Here are things that have helped me during this transitional period:
Tops that covers my behind are a priority.
I don’t want to worry about having to pull my shirt down while carrying an infant, car seat, diaper bag, purse, and keys. I love comfy tops like kaftan-style blouses, boho, and dolman-style tops.
I used to tease my sister for the number of kimonos she owned but I get it now. I always thought they were too complicated to style because they required multiple layers. However, I found there’s really nothing more simple than a basic black or denim tank layered with a solid or floral kimono. Plus, (see point number one – they cover my behind!) I get my kimonos everywhere: Burlington, Walmart, Target, Gabe’s, Goodwill. I don’t like the ones that hit right at my hips because they look odd on my frame. I like the ones that hit right around my calves.
I’ve always loved the sleek and simple look of slide sandals (as opposed to flip flops) and slides are so incredibly uncomplicated when you’re rushing out of the house with a baby in tow. I loved the A New Day Jozie Slide sandal from Target so much, I bought a back-up pair for later. The black and tan come in a wide size, so if your feet grew wider after pregnancy (me!), they are the perfect width.
You know how some people who love black and neutrals have a hard time buying or wearing prints? I have the opposite problem. My closet contains an obscene amount of prints. I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving bold prints and colors, but they are certainly harder to style than neutrals and blacks. Ever since I had a baby, I find myself grabbing solid shirts a whole lot more to save time. I’m getting my color fix by accessorizing or using printed kimonos as a focal point. I’m a big fan of these high-neck trapeze tanks from Old Navy. They come both in regular and plus-sizes. I have them in black and denim. But be careful, I’ve shrunk my fair share of these in the dryer. Now I dry them on low heat.
When maternity leave ended, I knew it was time to snap out of my funk and let the leggings go. I spent a good few weeks preparing for my back-to-work wardrobe. I bought comfortable, stretchy-waist ankle pants that could withstand my desk job and professional flowy blouses. But for the weekends and in this heat, I just couldn’t squeeze my body back into skinny jeans. Old Navy made the best straight boyfriend jean last year that they haven’t brought back again. These boyfriend jeans are a good alternative. They are mid-rise so they hit at just the right spot for postpartum women.
I can’t wear them underneath my pants, it’s too uncomfortable. I wear these high power shorts under dresses and they make a huge difference.
I’m still working on getting one because I need to get measured properly, but many people have recommended the bras in the widget below.
I haven’t worn a bodysuit since I was probably 8 years old. Hear me out: bodysuits are an absolute must-have! They are perfect for layering when I’m wearing revealing strap dresses or blouses with huge sleeves and I don’t want to have to deal with complicated bras or cleavage. I also love to wear them with high-waist skirts. Not the most user-friendly if you’re nursing but still a great piece to have. Plus they can also double as shape wear. I like the ones with cap sleeves.
Lipstick and statement earrings.
When I was on maternity leave, most days I’d try to make time to do my makeup because it made me feel awake, fresh, and productive. But some days I wouldn’t have the time or just didn’t feel like putting on a full face and freshen up my hair. Instead, I found a low bun with statement earrings and lipstick was a quick fix to brightening up my face.
And one thing that makes you feel beautiful, regardless of the size.
Whatever that is for you, buy it. For me it was two things: a $2 vintage maxi skirt I thought would never, ever fit, and a suit for work. For so long, I felt like I could never wear the things I love again and the skirt was a reminder that I absolutely could. The suit made me feel confident and put together. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THE SIZE. It doesn’t matter if it’s a different size than what you were pre-pregnancy -bigger or smaller or if it’s a style you’ve never wore before: if it makes you feel confident, wear it. And remember, motherhood is a journey, and this is just one stop on that ride. Our bodies and styles will continue to evolve and change. Sure, allow yourself to have those bad, frumpy days but make sure you’re intentional about having the positive days outnumber the bad ones.