Awesome to hear when you're 8 months pregnant. Not an awesome reality when you're 8 months postpartum.
While I'm only 1-2 pounds away from my pre-baby weight, there's a lot more of me in front than there used to be. (I like to blame three months of bed rest, the c-section, and a husband's schedule that makes it near impossible to work out.)
So, after the better part of a year of fighting with myself, here's what this clothes-loving girl has come up with.
Rules for Postpartum Dressing: Fall Edition
1. NO KNITS
This means no tees, no sweaters, and NO knit dresses. You can be bummed out about it or you can pack them up and put them deep under the guest room bed like I did. You look at tshirts on clearance at Target, you think, maybe I'll just get some in a larger size. They look so comfy. But then you try one on, and instead of looking like this:
You look like this:
Wear them to wrangle your baby, wear them to work out, wear them to sleep, but just don't in the outside world.
2. Say hello to blouses
Barf, I hate that word. It either sounds old-fashioned or skeezy. But they're the best! Button-downs are your new best friend, and, thankfully, they're in right now. I'm not talking ugly striped office shirts here. There's chambray, chiffon, flannel, and you can't go wrong with a fitted denim shirt (a modern one - no embroidered Winnie the Pooh, please). Personally, I think patterns camouflage the best. If you've been wearing all knits since high school now's a great time to grow up and check out all the sweet button-downs out there (I just can NOT call them blouses).
Urban Outfitters - though I would suggest black jeans, NOT neon hot pants ; )
Kohls - I wore this in teal to Jaina's dedication, and felt really good in it.
This pic makes it look pretty lame.
Insider's tip: You can also raid your husband's closet for some fun flannels. Roll up the sleeves a little, and pair these with skinnies or leggings.
Insider's tip #2: Button-downs are the BEST for nursing.
3. Get yourself a killer haircut
If you're still taking prenatal vitamins for nursing, chances are your hair is still pretty gorgeous. Take advantage, girl, and rock some locks. Invest in a cut that does the work for you so you don't waste precious child rearing hours primping. It's a lot easier to be "just okay" with you're clothes when you're "yeah, baby!" about your hair.
Now's also a great time for new glasses, maybe a nose piercing, or mastering a new makeup technique.
4. If you're not thrilled, add a scarf
Scarves cover a multitude of evils, and, again, they're super in. They both bring attention to your face and camouflage the belly. Recently, I've been into head scarves. My husband just shakes his head, but I like it, so whatevs. (He's shaking his head at "whatevs" as well.)
5. Embrace the funky pant
They're everywhere right now, and they're my surprising new staple. Expect to buy all new pants after your first kid cause your actual bones have moved. There's no working that off. And since you're buying new ones anyway, why not make them fun? You can go for some bright, funky colors:
6. You will wear a lot of flats, make them nice to look at
During my pregnancy, I couldn't wait to wear heals again. Then I realized, once the baby's out, you're still carrying eight or more pounds around, close to 20 if you add the car seat and diaper bag! So my heels still wait patiently for me. (I might rock some wedges come spring, we'll see.)
I've gotten a lot of wear out of my Toms and Chucks this fall. I took a quick cruise though DSW's flat selection. Here are some beauties:
7. Just buy the Spanx
This is one of the only items I bought for myself since she was born. Everything else I found in my closet or I asked for for Christmas and my birthday. It was not cheap, but it is so worth it. I tried on a few cheaper brands, and there was a very noticeable difference in quality. I got what's called a High Waisted Brief (such a sexy name, right?), and I think it's way better than the bike short style. The Spanx version has contoured elastic to keep your butt the right shape (I think some flatten you out completely. We're looking for stomach flattening, not butt). Get it in black, not that creepy "flesh tone". Then you can pretend you're a vintage pin-up or something.
Insider's tip: go to the bathroom first cause it is not easy to get on and off.
Here's just the link to the one I got cause no one wants to see that.
Some final thoughts:
The boxy crop top is not a good trend to participate in right now. Just don't do it.
The one style of dress I've found that comes the closest to minimizing that pesky belly is the peplum dress. I got one of these for my birthday dinner, and after layering control-top tights and my squeezer (that's what we call Spanx), I looked pretty good.
Most books and websites will tell you that your maternity wardrobe will get you through postpartum, but that just isn't true.Yes, your maternity clothes will fit, but they highlight everything that you don't want to be seen. All of those cute tops and dresses that showed off your bump will just look really awkward. You'll get a lot of strangers looking confusedly from your belly, to the baby in your arms, then back at your belly, then awkwardly looking away once they realize they're staring.
Just remember, you don't have an annoying body right now for no reason. It's for this very cute squishy reason!
Lord willing, in a year from now I'll have a very inspirational post about exercises to get rid of post-baby belly! We'll see.