Postpartum Style

There is a funny thing that happens when we talk about maternity fashion. We all get really excited to dress a cute little bump for a few months and then we get excited about dressing a cute little baby once it's born. Not very often do we get excited, or even talk about, dressing ourselves after the baby is born.

Before I had Tate, I sorted my clothing, setting things aside I thought might flatter my post baby body or that I thought would be conducive to nursing. But after I had the baby, I had the soul crushing realization that I wasn't dressing my body, I was dressing the body of a stranger. I can't tell you how many times I cried in front of my closet or in front of my mirror because I hated what I looked like and I hated what my clothes looked like on me. I finally got that baby out of me and I was ready to bounce back. Unfortunately, it just took time.

After receiving an email from a reader who is pregnant with her first baby, I have decided to start talking about postpartum fashion. I want to share with you the things I did right and wrong, what I would do differently next time, and some of my favorite tips, products, and styles for postpartum. For the next few weeks look for posts from me and some fellow bloggers to help you through it.

What advice would you give on getting dressed after having a baby?


  1. Thank you thank you thank you for this. I just had my first on Thursday and today we have to leave the house for the first time. I am quite scared to approach my closet! I am excited to see what you and other bloggers say

  2. This. All of this. No one prepares you to feel like you are inhabiting someone else's body after you give birth. My advice would be to buy stretchy skirts and leggings, capri if summertime, and jersey dresses- buy them in a normal size, even if it is bigger than your normal size, b/c at least you are wearing "normal" clothes and not maternity clothes. That was huge for me. And buy slightly blousy shirts that look great with the stretchy bottoms but aren't so huge you feel dumpy. Elle tee shirts from Kohl's were a huge part of my wardrobe. Good for nursing, good for hiding lumps and bumps but still feminine. Mix and match bottoms and tops, and your wardrobe goes a long way. And as you mentioned, give yourself time. Yes, you want to be back to your old size as soon as the baby is out, but it just won't happen, unless you are freakishly lucky. Nurse, nourish yourself, take walks, and give yourself time. And getting away for manicures and pedicures is also soul saving. It helps you feel prettier and gives you some to yourself.

  3. I had a dear friend tell me to plan for Post Partum dressing to ward off the baby blues. I bought a pair of my favorite jeans one size bigger and went ahead and had them shortened. I was in them about 5ish weeks after the baby? Japanese Weekend is GREAT for post partum style. They have a During and After line that works for maternity and nursing. I bought two maxi dresses and a couple of short, basic dresses in fun patterns, 1/2 from my local boutique, and 1/2 from Mom Plus Baby on ebay. I still wear them for swim cover-ups. It is a good idea to buy one, basic dressier dress for newborn pics. It should be fitted on top--ideally a stretch cotton, with an a-line skirt in a non-clingy material. Something like this, but longer:
    Or like this:
    or this:

    It's not necessary to be able to nurse in this because you'd only wear it for pictures or for a date or anything you have to dress up for.

    Mine was from Lands End Canvas and was much more neutral (white with a khaki twill bottom), but they don't have anything like it now.

    I think that Bravado Nursing tanks are worth every penny. I wore these a lot with yoga pants or stretchy skirts and cardigans. Long cardigans are better at first with yoga pants, you can switch it up after that first month.
    And if it's in the budget, you could hide anything under this beautiful dress:

  4. I love the idea of talking about postpartum fashion! I'm not pregnant now, but after I had my son I had a really hard time in the beginning finding things in my wardrobe that were suitable for wearing. I never thought about what I would wear after he was born. I never thought it would be so difficult either! Like with everything else that comes with having a baby, I realized I had to basically re-learn how to dress my body. My only advice would be to wait until after baby comes to make any big purchases like new jeans or nursing bras, because the changes your body will make are incredible. Not only did I lose the baby bump, but I lost my butt too! Non of my jeans fit. And as for tops, if you're breastfeeding, layers were good so that I could still wear non-nursing tops with nursing tanks underneath.

  5. Oh, thanks for this! I just had my second baby three weeks ago and I had completely forgotten how hard this postpartum period is, with the stranger's body and lumpy nursing pads, etc. Looking forward to reading more.

  6. i second japanese weekend clothing. i wore a few of their shirts a bunch after i had my daughter and while i was still nursing. really pretty prints, and super easy nursing.

    i love the fashion tips on the blog ain't no mom jeans. they talk a lot about what kinds of things flatter a postpartum body. check out the "postpartum moms" and "nursing moms" section of this page:

  7. Postpartum is such a difficult time. I love the idea of talking about it, because I was not prepared at all for how it would be after I had my first... and now that I'm pregnant with my third, I think I could still use some tips! Thanks!

  8. This is a great idea. I was a mess after I had my daughter. Sigh. I feel like I've developed better style and am more confident overall now, so if I were to do it all over, I would have tried to find a few basics that worked for me after having the baby (a skirt, tunic top, comfy black pants, etc.) and then add scarves and jewelry and cardigans/jackets to make me feel more polished and put together.

  9. Great idea for future posts. One thing I would recommend is a great nursing bra that looks good under clothing (hides nursing pads, etc). I naively went out and bought a few from Target, only to be horrified that the thick nursing pads showed through them - so great, not only do I still have a belly but now I have lumpy boobs. A good friend suggested Bravado nursing bras and that's what I wear now - the girls look good in them and they are easy access for nursing.

    Also, I'm 6 months post partum and I have somehow lost my butt I've come to embrace skinny jeans/slim legged pants and long, dressy tunics. Until I can find some pants that flatter my butt, I'm covering it up until then!

    1. Hi Jennifer.
      After my 2nd, I lost my butt too. I had no idea that could happen! Boobs, yes....but the butt? I miss/need my big round butt, bc I have no boobs left after breast feeding LOL .

      I agree, tunics are great!

  10. I love this idea! I have an 8-month-old, and I was so unprepared for post-partum dressing. First, I wish I had known to spend the money and get some good Bravado nursing bras. (Like Jennifer who posted above, I wasted money on several unflattering Target nursing bras!)

    I also wish I had known to not buy much in those early maternity-leave months. Now, I have several pairs of pants that are way too big on me, because I felt like I would never lose the weight. (It turns out I should have just waited a few months.) I could have gotten by with maxi dresses, leggings and long tops for those first few months.

    Also, I got this amazing loose, bubble hem blouse from Gap that hid a multitude of sins, and it helped me feel cute when I left the house for things like parties or concerts.

    And, finally, I wish I had known that I didn't need to worry about buying actual "nursing clothes." Once my little one came along, if a shirt had a good stretchy neckline, then that was nursing-friendly enough for me.

  11. I'm excited. I'm going through this right now and could use the inspiration. I need to stop wearing my maternity clothes--haha...... but seriously.

  12. After having 4 children, my main advice is be patient with yourself! I have lost the weight after each child, but it just takes time. Focus on accessorizing as you are between sizes or working with a limited wardrobe. And don't be afraid to keep wearing those comfy maternity pants with the elastic band on the belly! Way more comfortable than the traditional waistband right after having a babe : )

  13. Great idea! After my first was born, I was a mess. After my second, I was a mess again! At least the second time I knew not to expect too much too soon.
    My favourites are shirts that you can nurse from without lifting the shirt: deep v-necks (from American Apparel), cardigans/zip-hoodies and tank tops (just pull the tank top down). Scarves are a must: they make me feel pretty and slightly glamourous while at the same time hiding the flabby belly, milk stains, and the boobs when I'm nursing. No need to carry along a nursing cover too!
    As for pants-- I always struggled with those. I wish I had bought tights before the baby was born because shopping for tights in the postpartum period was a nightmare. So: tights.
    Can't wait to read your next posts!

  14. That is a beautiful picture of the two of you :)

    I just did a post about mommy's fashion...please check it out. Whatever you wear, it got to be comfortable, easy to move around.


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