Style

Dressing a Postpartum Body / Dos and Don’ts

Dressing a postpartum body via thelovelylauralife.comDressing a postpartum body via thelovelylauralife.com Dressing a postpartum body via thelovelylauralife.com

First off, let me start of by saying saying thank you.

THANK YOU.

Sincerely. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I will forever be grateful for the wonderful responses I received from you on my last capsule post.  Your comments were nothing but encouraging. At a time in which I let myself be completely vulnerable + opened up to share with you that this smooth sailing capsule journey has hit some turbulence, that I may potentially prove to be a capsule failure, dropout… *insert negative descriptor here* — you simply said…

Lady, it’s okay!”

And to be perfectly honest? It is!

After some further reflection on my own thoughts + the thoughts you so graciously shared with me I realized something I should have realized a while ago. My capsule/wardrobe funk? Directly correlated to my body funk. And my body funk? Well I’m afraid to admit that it is simply the land of postpartum.

Prior to implementing a capsule wardrobe I was highly susceptible to emotional clothing purchases — I know many can relate. Practicing  a capsule wardrobe (via Unfancy) gave me enough structure to curb those bad habits, reignite my creativity and solidify my sense of style.  All contributing to a huge confidence boost.  Then I gave birth to my second baby and was riding on all of those highs for about the last six months.

Of course, as I approached the 6 month mark I began to acknowledge that I hadn’t achieved my superficial weight/body goals and began to talk down to myself. Something I honestly haven’t done in a long time.

All of these emotions: feelings of inadequacy, failure, self-doubt resulted in me wanting to resort to old habits for a quick band-aid fix…

I keep saying/writing these words: Dressing a postpartum body isn’t easy.

But mamas, if we’re being really honest with ourselves — has it ever been easy to dress any body we’ve ever lived in?  Have we ever been good enough for ourselves?

I’m not so sure.  But I am sure that it has to stop.

So, six months into my postpartum season with my second baby,  I’m starting a postpartum style series. I’m shooting to do one of these posts a week for as long as feel there is valuable information to be shared + conversation to be had. It may only be for the next six weeks, or it may be for the next six months — time will tell. :)

Just to be clear, I won’t be giving tips on how to best hide a waning baby bump, how to dress to look thinner or any of that crap —  I’ve never bought into the dressing for your body type mumbo jumbo.

BUT I will be giving advice on: pieces I have found to be versatile for nursing + rapid body changes (growth + loss), lessons learned and truths that we seem to always forget. I hope you’ll stick around for it all and help guide the dialogue a long the way.

Here are my extremely abbreviated dos and don’ts of dressing a postpartum body:

DO

Love yourself and your body.  It’s the only self + vessel you’ve got — and it’s freaking awesome.

Remember that you’ve always been hard on yourself, and had at least a tiny streak of perfectionism.

Place yourself around positive, motivating, supportive and loving people. Don’t have any? I’m your gal.

DON’T

Fixate on superficial goals. Trust your body.  Give it time.  Choose to not buy into the hype + world projected ideals.

Compare yourself to every other mother (and their body) out there. It truly will rob you of the joys you could otherwise experience.

Find yourself company to body shame-rs. As much as you can, stay away from this type of dialogue. Or even better, work to reverse it.  We speak life with the things we say.

Have any suggestions to kick off our ‘dressing a postpartum body’ dialogue?

Hat: Forever 21 (old), similar
Top: Old Navy maternity (refashioned by me), similar
Bottoms: American Eagle
Shoes: Madewell (old), similar
Bag: c/o Lily Jade

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    sarah
    October 5, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Love your blog, especially the capsule wardrobe posts. You also inspire me to eat better too, would you consider writing a meal plan/grocery post? Would love to see what you eat on a regular basis and how you budget it. I have 3 kids so would love some new ideas

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 5, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      Thank you Sarah :) And I’m so glad! Absolutely. This is an area I admittedly struggle with, but have worked pretty hard to get better at. I would love to share in some of my successes (and failures) so I will take you up on your suggestion! :) Thank you for feeling comfortable enough to request!

      • Reply
        sarah
        October 5, 2015 at 12:39 pm

        I think we would all live off pizza and chocolate given the chance! But being a mum you have a huge responsibility to set a good example and give your kids a healthy start to life and good habits for life. Excited to see the post. No pressure!

  • Reply
    Karin Rambo
    October 5, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Love this post Laura! These are things I deal with on the daily as I figure out how to dress my postpartum body. :) Thanks for sharing!

    http://www.truncationblog.com

  • Reply
    Julia
    October 5, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks for this post! I think you really hit the nail on the head: we need to patient and kind with ourselves. I’m just about to “graduate” (about 4 weeks left, eek) and I find myself worry quite a bit — right now those worries are centered around the baby and her health, but if all goes well (and please cross your fingers for me!), I can imagine how quickly those worries will shift (or enlarge themselves?) to include my body. I have this fantasy that as soon as I get home from the hospital, I’ll fit back into everything I used to wear — I know this won’t happen, but man, I just *wish* it would! Anyway, I love the honesty in this post and I’m excited for this series on your blog! I have a small blog if you’d like to check it out (I had a bigg(ish) one like five years ago, but got internet-shy for a couple of years and only started over again last year). Anyway, love what you’re doing here!

  • Reply
    Anne-Michelle Frances
    October 5, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    I love the postpartum series! I started following you because of your maternity capsule wardrobe that Unfancy referred to, and now I am six weeks pospartum and still figuring out how to dress for this changing body, even though this is my fourth (and last) child! It’s another challenge buying new clothing, knowing that I will never need these larger sizes after I lose the weight because I am not going to be having any more children. My oldest is eleven years old, so the clothing that looked great all those years ago is totally out of style now. So glad I didn’t hold onto it! But, I still often don’t know how to dress in the now. My baby needs me to have this extra weight on me to keep her snuggly, comfy, and warm, but I feel so much pressure to lose it and lose it fast. I started working out again yesterday, the day after I hit six weeks, and I have been on a food cleanse for the past two weeks already. I’m doing it in a healthy way, but it’s so wonderful to hear that it’s OKAY to be the healthy weight that we are and to ACCEPT it within ourselves and GO EASY on ourselves! In the meantime, I created a Tween Capsule Wardrobe for my 11-year old daughter, and that takes away the pressure of shopping for me and focuses instead of basics for her :) Keep doing what you do!! http://www.theallergyfreeproject.com/minimalism/my-athletic-tweens-capsule-wardrobe-fall-2015/

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 6, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      So much truth here lady!

  • Reply
    Kelley
    October 5, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    You don’t even have to be a momma to appreciate these posts Laura. Thank you. Thank you for being honest. Thank you for sharing both the good and the maybe not so good. It keeps your blog real and human.

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 6, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      Aw thanks Kelley! It is my pleasure. :)

  • Reply
    Lauren
    October 6, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I’m over a year removed from the birth of my twins, and I am still struggling with exceptance of my postpatrum body.

    While shopping is one of the last things you want to do with a new baby, having clothing that fits your new body is the best way to start feeling better about yourself. Start by buying a new bra and some new underwear – having good underpinnings makes everything look and feel better. Then maybe 1-2 new bottoms and 3-4 new tops. White (for cool skintones) and cream (for warm skintones) matches everything and hides spit up. Re-introducing makeup and an easy hairstyle also makes such a huge difference, even if you don’t plan on leaving your house.

    I also try to avoid looking in the mirror too much because I start to pick at all my flaws. But when I do look in the mirror, I’m normally holding one (or more!) of my babies. Seeing their smiling reflection as they look at themselves and at me and the big grin on my face makes me feel so much prettier. They love me regardless of how I look and that is what is most important.

    xoxo,
    Lauren
    http://laurenhooperetc.wordpress.com

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 6, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      Some really good tips Lauren! I hope you’ll stick around for more talks!

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    October 6, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I also found your blog through Unfancy and am loving the postpartum series. I am almost six weeks pp with my second, and after a pre pregnancy wardrobe cleanse, NOTHING fits. Looking forward to encouragement and advice through this awkward time.

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 6, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Yay! Congrats on your little one mama! :) And, I FEEL you. I hope I have good things to offer!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    October 10, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    I’m excited about this and the fact that you will be doing more outfit posts!

  • Reply
    Speaking Life + This Year’s Anthem | The Lovely Laura Life
    January 4, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    […] a few of my favs from 2015: Dressing a Postpartum Body/ Dos and Don’ts, More Confessions of a Capsule Wardrobe Wearer,  Fun Refuels the Spirit, Operation Blanton Farm […]

  • Reply
    Marti
    January 20, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Just came upon your post and signed up to your site! You are just lovely! I’ve never gave birth to children, but adopted, but I tell you, I look at pics pre-mom and post-mom and I’ve aged. I’m 50 and have a good figure. Actually like my body, as I’ve always wanted to be curvy, which, I changed through surgery. Now, 15 years later, I want my old self, non-enhanced body back. Just need the money and the support from my hubby. Any thoughts?? Btw, be happy your body is able to conceive. For me, I’m just blessed with 2 perfect little fellows. Hugs!

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