Postpartum style tips
As you might know, I recently had a baby no4. Little Maddox Matis was born at the end of February. Prior to my pregnancy, I had a pear shape body so my wardrobe consisted mostly of outfits that emphasize my waist. In addition, I spent the biggest part of last year wearing maternity clothes which emphasize the cute round bump. The postpartum waist is not the area women want to attract attention to and therefore the biggest task I had post-delivery was to re-learn how to dress myself. Majority of the principles I used pre-pregnancy no longer serve me and I found that using principles for dressing apple shape body worked best: disguising mid-drift, drawing attention upwards or the legs (if you are proud of yours) and creating vertical lines and the illusion of a waist by layering. Here are a few examples of the outfits I wore and why I chose them
That is the most flattering cut of dress postpartum as it skims over the body and doesn't cling to the waist
Summer print shift dress is perfect for dressier occasions. I teamed it nude mules and Italian leather handbag. It is made from light stretchy bengaline fabric with is really comfortable to wear. In addition, the dress is fully lined so that prevents clinging and smooths out the silhouette.
Cotton polka dot dress is super comfortable. Its straight cut so it skims over the body and doesn't cling around the waist. Once again, the dress is fully lined. It also a very versatile style so it can be dressed up or dressed down
Loose fit tops
Another way to camouflage the post baby pouch is with loose fit tops. They do not need to be particularly baggy, just loose enough to fall over the waist.
This Ice cream print T-shirt is made from good quality cotton which has a little bit of weight to it so it is not too flimsy or clingy. It's not too baggy so it looks quite smart while it falls over the waistline creating a much smoother silhouette. I love the simple print and the rolled up sleeves.
For a smarter look, I chose this striped blouse. Once again, the fabric is natural high-quality cotton- breathable, easy to wear and wash really well. The stripes are mixed between horizontal and vertical which adds a little edge to this simple classic blouse. I teamed it with a pencil skirt but it would work great with high rise jeans or smart tailored trousers
High rise bottoms
There is nothing more unflattering than clothes that are too tight and dig into the soft flesh. Once the baby is out women are left with this soft post-baby pouch. I recommend choosing high waisted bottoms that go over the tummy holding it in and not cutting right across the softest part breaking up the line and drawing the eye. Both of the skirts I chose have a higher waist the end just above the soft tummy at the slimmest part of the waist. The blue skirt has an elastic waist with allows for a more comfortable fit while the pink skirt has an elastic insert at the back which meant that the waist fitted me perfectly even when sitting down.
The raised waistline can also 'salvage' some A-line dresses too. This polka dot wrap style dress has a waistline that is positioned just at the bottom of my rib cage which is the slimmest part of my waist and because it is A-line it kicks out from there skimming over my lower tummy camouflaging the post-baby pouch. The wrap style neckline also draws the attention upwards creating a more flattering look.
Final principal for dressing apple shaped or post-baby figure is to layer. A light knit jumper is great for warmth as well as adding an additional fine layer to smooth out the silhouette and fall over the tummy area.
Adding a fitted blazer is a great way to create a vertical line elongating the silhouette and making it appear slimmer. It is also a great way to create that feminine hourglass curve creating an illusion of a more defined waist without actually clinging to you. Win win if you ask me!
The outfit I wore in this video combines all of the principles outlined above. I am wearing high waisted jeans that hold my tummy in, combined with a loose fitting shirt dress (i am wearing it as a shirt as I am quite tall) and a fitted blazer. I feel comfortable, I don't feel too self-conscious about my larger figure and I think it still captures my personal style.
Now that we have dealt with the outside, let's have a quick chat about taking care of the inside. Having a baby is a huge event and it changes your life in so many different ways. Sleepless nights, post delivery pains, this new little person you love more than anyone could imagine- it is such a mixture of emotions and really hard work too. We believe that true beauty comes from within and there is nothing more beautiful than the glow of true happiness. Here are some of my tips for post-partum self-care:
Drink lots of water
If you are breastfeeding you will need to drink a lot of water to produce the milk. Even if you aren't breastfeeding drinking plenty of water will help to flush away all the pregnancy hormones and help with the tiredness too.
Once the baby is born there will be plenty of people who will want to visit and cuddle your little treasure. These are also the people who will be more than willing to listen, so talk to them. Taking care of your new baby and spending extended periods of time at home can make you feel isolated. The post-pregnancy hormones and tiredness can wreak havoc on your emotions too. Be assured that you are not alone and people around you do want to help you in any way that they can so talk to them. If you had a difficult or traumatic delivery, get your story out, vent. Sharing in your worries and concerns as well as in the unbelievable joy will help you feel supported and less alone.
Looking after a new baby can be very demanding and if you are spending the first few weeks mostly at home it might be easy to forget about yourself. Shower regularly if you can.
Warm water can be calming and rejuvenating and the cleansing process itself can give you a huge energy boost and make you feel so much better. Even if you are having a pyjama day- shower, wash your hair and put clean pyjamas on- you will feel so much better.
If you are the kind of person who is used wearing make-up try and put a little bit on whenever you can. Even if nobody can see, you see you and life with a newborn can be tough enough without scaring yourself in the mirror. If if it is a little bit of tinted moisturizer or lipgloss or mascara- whatever will help you feel and look more like yourself again.
Appreciate your body
I have spoken out frequently about the need for women to love their bodies the way they are, learn what their best features are and concentrate on those. Mostly it was done in the context of learning to dress your body type and not beating yourself up for what you are not. In the early weeks of the postpartum period, women's bodies are sore, out of shape and might look completely alien to women themselves. As I have mentioned at the start of this blog I had to completely re-learn how to dress my body as my shape changed completely. It is easy to feel frustrated and down about the fact that we no longer have this gorgeous bump and what we are left with is stretch marks, saggy skin, and extra weight however what I want you to do is take a moment to think about what your body has been through. Really really think about it. Your body has created and grew a whole new person from his tiny eyelashes to those cute little toes, millions and millions of cells that work in perfect unison to keep your baby alive, thriving and growing. You didn't need to sit there with a diagram trying to figure out how to build your baby's digestive system or blood circulation system, your body did all of that all by itself while you were watching Games of Thrones or having coffee with your friends. Ok, so your body looks a bit battered, maybe bruised or cut or torn but it sure has a lot to show for it!!! Be kind to it, appreciate it for what it has created. If you love your baby, love your body for giving it to you!
D a la mode