I got the funniest text from a friend the other day that went something like "Hey, needing a blog post on how to dress your post-pregnant self without buying a new wardrobe that won't fit in a few months and also not wearing maternity clothes anymore because I just can't.'
Oddly enough, that description didn't make a great blog post title so I'm simplifying it but still including all the necessary details on how to dress your "in between" body.
It's been two years since I last gave birth but it feels like yesterday. I'm fairly certain that all I wore for the first six weeks was my blessed maternity clothes. But then you hit that awkward phase of post-pregnancy when the maternity clothes don't fit right but your "normal" clothes don't fit either.
If you're living there right now, I feel you. It's tough to be in transition and that's where you are. Not only are you dead tired, emotionally drained, and dealing with nasty hormones, but you also are most likely dealing with the most limited supply of clothing options you've ever had.
Regardless of how long it's been since you had your last baby-- hey, maybe you're feeling four months along with a food baby. You can navigate this in between phase with grace. So let's get to it!
First of all, stop trying to buy clothes that used to looked good on you. This is not the "you" that you're accustomed to. Start thinking about clothes that look good on every body. Including the body you're rocking right now.
Start thinking about styles that are going to flow away from your body in certain areas, while staying close to your body in others. Enter: the swing dress.
Swing dresses are your new best friend. They have enough structure to be flattering without hugging the areas that you do not want to be hugged. Old Navy has some cute options right now that are so reasonably priced! Throw on a denim jacket and some converse and you're set. If you're a nursing momma, look for dresses that button down the front for easy access for baby.
As far as tops go, peplum fit will cover over a multitude of problem areas! Also, loose fit v neck tee shirts with a button down (left un-buttoned) is a way to enhance your waist line without necessarily having to feel constrained by the buttons. Keep those button downs around for when everything goes back to normal. You'll button again. Promise.
Your pants will probably be your biggest hurdle but this is where maternity jeans come in handy. No one is handing out medals for fitting into your normal jeans three hours after giving birth (though if you did that, just WOW!). So if you need to hang onto the maternity waste line for a bit longer, then DO IT.
Once you're out of that phase, get some pants that have a good amount of stretch to them. Target has great jeggings that are super affordable so you don't feel like your wasting money on something you won't wear that long. Chances are, you might need a good pair of in between jeans at some other point in your life so hang onto them!
Also, please PRETTY PLEASE for the sake of all that is good in the world, take advantage of the fact that Athleisure is a thing and it is a good GOOD thing. Crop up those pants, throw on some cute nikes and a loose fitting tee and walk into motherhood like whoa.
Think about items like cardigans, jackets, cute shoes, and jewelry that will always fit no matter what! You can dress up the most basic outfit with accessories. Some of my favorites are a great pair of comfortable booties, a good cognac bag, amd a slimming leather jacket.
I think as women we beat ourselves into the ground over not being a specific size by a specific time but just cut yourself some slack. You're in transition and it's nuts-o right now. The last thing you need to be worrying about is your body image. Sometimes it seems like we punish our current selves for not being where we feel we should be by saying things like "I'm not wasting money on buying for my body type right now".
But guess what? This is where you are right now and even though it's not where you'll be forever, it is worth it to feel good about yourself no matter what stage of life your body is in. So don't be afraid to invest in some in between pieces. Rest assured you can find a TON of cuteness that will carry you from "post-baby" bump to "what baby bump?"
I'll leave you with a bit of perspective... It took me a solid year and a half to lose all my baby weight with Rowe. And I didn't even gain that much to begin with. But between nursing for sixteen months and just struggling with consistent eating and exercise, I was like a Yo-Yo of weight management.
I lamented over my body and if I could go back and say CHILL OUT, I would. You have so many years to be where you're really comfortable. These are baby growing years and baby growing is tough stuff. You're amazing and don't you forget it. Stick those maternity pants back on and own where you are while getting excited that you won't be there forever.
So much love to all of you!!