It’s about that time of year again where almost every person is excited and hopeful for the warm summer months ahead but at times feels a little displeased when making the connection that your wardrobe is soon to shift into clothing that is a bit more revealing. We are about to ditch the sweaters and leggings we’ve been hiding underneath throughout the winter and if you’re like me that can leave you fretting months later as we’re itching closer to summer (finally!). If you’re one of the lucky ones that is carrying around a fully cooked baby as the temps are rising it can be especially tricky to know how to dress to flatter a body that has a new shape after the birth of your baby.
It was May last summer that within one week I went from wearing over sized maternity clothes to hauling a newborn and a toddler around TJ Maxx panicking and searching for clothes that would be fit to flatter. Throughout my pregnancy with my son I ate healthy, exercised a few times a week, gained around the recommended 25-30 lbs, yet still after he was born I was left looking at the numbers on my jeans now a few sizes bigger, my hips had expanded a few inches, and was purchasing clothes larger than I was used to wearing pre-pregnancy. I was focusing on the numbers of the size and mortified by it when I should have been patient with myself and my body. I even looked pregnant a few weeks after I gave birth to him! Shocker? Not really. Folks, this is normal – even though society likes to claim otherwise! This is called a postpartum body. Believe it or not, the term “postpartum body” does not only count for a week or month after you’ve had a baby. Postpartum can be 1 year later, 5 years later. Heck! Even 15 years later… I still consider that a postpartum body. It’s easy to feel discouraged and let negativity shower over your self image when your body has gone through such a large change in such a short period of time, but regardless of your figure (whether it’s new or not) you can LOVE your mom bod. Here are a few tips I learned with my postpartum body last summer to help keep you looking and LOVIN’ on yours for the summer!
1. Stretch it out.
No, really. Maternity clothes. This is for my mamas that just delivered a baby struggling to get into their jeans. Stretch those babies out. I was determined to throw them away as soon as I got home from the hospital. Letting my maternity clothes sit in my closet was a sign I was never going to try to loose the extra pounds. Right? Not. Maternity clothes were made for a reason. They are stretchy and comfy and everything a mama needs when her body is healing after having a baby. For the c-section warrior mama’s out there, this is especially important! One of my favorite pair of maternity jeans that were comfy and stylish worn throughout my entire pregnancy, I still wore for months after my son was born. Spending $40 on maternity jeans didn’t feel so bad when they ended up getting worn for over a year! If you have too much pride to do this, then just at least make sure you have jeans that FIT you and flatter your figure.
2. Too fitted is a no-no. Kimono’s are a go.
One of the best perks of wearing a kimono is it can be worn anytime. Pregnant with twins? Awesome. Five years postpartum? Great. Kimono’s are flattering for any figure, any shape, and any person. They pair great with shorts, pants, dresses, any clothing piece really! Kimono’s come in all types of styles and prints so they are a great piece to have in your closet that can really voice your personal style when it comes to fashion. My favorite kimono’s found so far were mostly from Forever 21. They were affordable, decent quality, and a variety of materials. They come in light, airy materials for summer or thicker material for the other seasons. If you are a nursing mama and living in the tanks this summer, the kimonos are a great way to give your body some coverage while still having easy access. A light blazer is also a great option.
3. Solids, Statement Stripes, and everything nice.
There are not many things I dread shopping for. I’m a woman who can usually find the joy in everything. Swimsuit shopping will never be one of them. Its not my body image or anything related that dampens my mood while on the hunt for good swimwear. Swimsuits are like thrift store shopping… you may find one good one for every few hours you spend searching. Especially while I was newly postpartum through the summer months, I needed a few qualities in my swimwear: straps to hold my giant nursing boobs (because of course I was chasing a toddler as well… didn’t want to pull any Chrissy Teigens… although we all know she can pull it off), higher waisted or thicker straps, and most importantly-UV protection. Some examples of details to look for that will flatter include color blocking, ruching, darker colors, and dainty patterns. Let’s not forget that one pieces can also be edgy, too! I also found a new love for skirt bottoms or cover ups when I was over dealing with perma-wedgies bending down picking up and chasing after my toddler at “relaxing” days at the beach. The more comfortable you feel, the more confident you will look!
4. I never met an accessory I didn’t like.
It’s true. I have about 100 necklaces hanging in my closet currently and I might have even more added before I’m done writing this post. I have no shame. If you love accessories, make them functional for you. This summer, UV exposure will be at an all time high, so make sure you find a cute sun hat or sunnies to protect yourself! Remember that length in necklaces will create the illusion of length in your torso. The longer the length of the necklace, it will help elongate your torso. A great accessory for nursing mamas is a versatile scarf that you can wear as a cover-up but also be easy to discreetly nurse in. Shoes are also on my list of things required to conquer the world. Add a little heel in to help you stand tall and proud to rock that fabulous mom bod you have. My favorite shoes that have heel but are extremely comfortable are my TOMS wedges. Don’t forget you can also add a pop of color with your accessories! A navy striped maxi with a teal bangle and nude shoulder bag? Swoon.
5. Mix it up & ditch the match.
Were are in 2017 mamas, there are no rules. Sure, clothes still need to fit right, but you can mix florals with geometric or graphics and people will love your boldness and flair. Mixing it up as long as it is done tastefully can really take the eye off of a postpartum tummy and straight to your outfit only. A graphic top with a floral kimono or blazer and color block or chambray pants? Winning. If mixing and matching is hard for you try sticking to a strict color palette to start with. Not bold enough to mix it up? That’s great! Wearing prints head to toe is big for the summer fashion. Floral jumpsuit or maxi? I’m already jealous.
When you’re finding your summer style make sure to find things you are comfortable in. Your confidence will radiate in things that you feel good wearing. Push yourself to try new things and most importantly have fun while doing it.