When it comes to getting dressed in the days and weeks after giving birth, we can guarantee you’ll be thinking primarily about practicality and comfort. Every garment must pass the following two-question test: ‘Can I wash this easily?’ and ‘is it comfortable’?
Besides fit, comfort, and washability, you’ll also want clothes that allow for easy breastfeeding or pumping, and possibly that offer some tummy concealment or control.
But buying a whole new wardrobe for a body that is still very much in transition just doesn’t seem practical. Focus instead on making sure you have a few key pieces that will get you through this transitional time in style and comfort.
Embrace the Drape
Stay away from fitted and tight clothing and opt for drapey and easy to wear fabrics like jersey and lightweight cotton. Look for dresses and tops that ruche or cross around your tummy. Shy away from bulky fabrics like chunky knits, which only add bulk. Instead opt for flowey silhouettes that create either a straight cut or more of an A-line shape. Think: a tunic dress with your favourite go-to thick black leggings—it’s the ultimate mom outfit. Lastly avoid large floral or graphic prints—remember the smaller the print the smaller you look.
Go Long for the Win
So many of us have fallen in love with long, hip grazing cardigans. They elongate our bodies, hide many sins, and can add some excitement to even the most basic outfit. They are a must-own for any woman and there are plenty of maternity options available as well. The open fronts mean these versatile pieces work as well postpartum as they do during pregnancy. Whether you like a solid neutral, pop of colour or stripes, just look for a cardigan that can easily pair with jeans, leggings, or even a dress.
Be the Lady in Black
I am guilty of loving black a bit too much. But this easy-to-wear colour is so slimming, and whether you reach for navy or chocolate brown, wearing an outfit all in the same colour from head to toe makes for instant smoothness and creates a long, lean line. If wearing all-black sounds dull and boring, break up the darkness with some pops of colour. Add a long hip-grazing solid colour cardigan or vest, a floral printed scarf, or a long necklace.
Find Jeans That Move (with) You
Having a pair of jeans in your wardrobe that you can mix and match is the key to easy and fun post-baby dressing. The problem for most women is that their maternity jeans are comfortable but frumpy, and the pre-pregnancy jeans just don’t fit. So what should you do? My suggestion is to wear your pregnancy jeans for a while, especially right after the baby. The elastic waist can act as a bit of a tummy control and the loose fit will feel welcome. When you’re ready to purchase an in-between pair, look for something with plenty of stretch, a low price point, and consider a higher rise that comes up to just below your belly button. Low rises will result in slippage and you constantly having to pull up your pants.
For some, the thought of putting on a pair of Spanx after pregnancy sounds like a form of torture, yet others simply prefer the look of shapewear underneath their clothing. I am by no means suggesting that you be uncomfortable, but if you would like to minimize lumps and bumps, simply adding a shapewear tank can make a difference. Shapewear not your thing? Not a problem. Try a heavyweight cotton, spaghetti strap layering tank that will act like shapewear and that you can easily wear underneath a sweater, blouse or any low-cut top.
Finally, reorganize your closet so that the items that fit (and you feel good in) are front and centre. Move the rest to the back to reassess in a couple of months. If you can start the day by easily accessing and seeing at a glance only the items that make you happy and fit you properly—the day is off to a good start.