5 Women on Getting Dressed After a Baby
05.30.17

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We’ve asked moms-to-be about how they “dressed the bump” during pregnancy and the learning curve that comes with. But what about after birth, with a whole new body to dress? We spoke to five moms about their experience: what’s changed, what’s challenging, what’s fun and what advice they’d give to anyone in a similar transition.

Shilpa Prabhakar Nadella, Senior Fashion Market Editor, Glamour Magazine

Gave birth to her daughter Aria in December 2016.

How has your style changed since you’ve given birth?
Time is of the essence now! I used to have more time to style looks out of various pieces every morning. Now I wear pieces that are easy to throw on but have details that make them special. I was never a person to wear A-line silhouettes, but now that’s exactly what I gravitate toward.

What are your getting-dressed challenges?
Your body definitely changes after giving birth and I find that my style has become even more tailored and refined. Clean lines and simple details have become my go-to elements. I also find myself using accessories — specifically, jewelry — to dress up my looks. A block heel has replaced the stiletto in my life as I am always racing out or racing home to see my daughter.

What’s been really fun about getting dressed post-pregnancy?
I’ve definitely been exploring new shapes. I used to hate to highlight my waist but now I gravitate toward pieces that do. Maybe not having a waist for nine months during pregnancy made me realize it’s actually one of my favorite things to accentuate.

Any advice for those in a similar style transition?
Post-birth, don’t buy something unless you really feel comfortable in it. You’re settling back into your new and somewhat changed body and if you don’t feel comfortable in what you’re wearing it will definitely come across. Also, exploring new silhouettes is a must because your day-to-day needs change. I am a big online shopper. After giving birth your sizing can vary; I almost always order two sizes these days because some pieces look better form-fitting while others look better loose. There’s nothing worse than trying on something you love, then realizing the size is sold out.

IG: @shilpapnadella

Pernille Teisbaek, Stylist and Creative Director at Social Zoo

Gave birth to her son Billy Bjoern eight weeks ago.

How has your style changed since you’ve given birth?
Since Billy spits up a lot, we end up getting milk on most of our clothes. I act on this like a new “fun” styling challenge by choosing colors where you don’t see the milk stains that much. Whites and creamy shades with practical denim jeans or skirts are ideal. Slightly printed shirts work too — stripes or checkered, as it kind of blends in. Overall, my style is more simple now than it was before, but in a good way. It doesn’t bother me if he spits on a cashmere Céline knit. It can easily be swiped off and doesn’t stain.

What are your getting-dressed challenges?
It’s primarily the TIME, especially in the morning. I don’t really have time left to dress myself, so I need to start preparing my outfits before I go to bed, which hasn’t happened yet. Otherwise, I’ve been very fortunate to fit back quickly into my normal clothes again. It’s been heaven to wear clothes I haven’t been able to fit for nine months.

What’s been really fun about getting dressed post-pregnancy?
I take it as a challenge, which for me makes it fun.

Any advice for those in a similar style transition?
Hide away your silk blouses and dresses as they will never look the same after being through the little spitting machine. You walk many miles with a stroller, so a good tip is to invest in some comfortable sneakers that you can wear with most of your wardrobe. Spice them up with a pair of funky socks.

Sai De Silva, Digital Influencer/Blogger

Gave birth to her second child, a boy named Rio Dash, on April 12th.

How has your style changed since you’ve given birth?
Since I just gave birth six weeks ago, I reach for pieces that are loose-fitting and functional. I gravitate toward items that allow me to nurse easily but are still stylish. After the birth of my first child, I swapped my heels in for sneakers and I find myself wearing denim more than ever.  I probably own 12 pairs of stylish “mom jeans” that all look the same. I just can’t seem to stop buying them.

What are your getting-dressed challenges?
My biggest challenge is finding pieces that allow me to nurse but don’t sacrifice style. Unfortunately, I can’t wear a lot of dresses because I’d have to strip the entire thing off before I could nurse. I’m a mom on-the-go, so I need accessibility.

What’s been really fun about getting dressed post-pregnancy?
Having an excuse to not wear any type of body-con dress (although I secretly miss it).

Any advice for those in a similar style transition?
My biggest word of advice is to buy pieces that you can fit into in a few months down the road. Your body is still transitioning after birth and what fits now might not fit later. I love a good pair of high-waist jeans to keep it all in and a loose-fitting, V-neck tee that allows me to nurse.

I also recommend stylish tops that have hidden side-zippers for woman who nurse, like Loyal Hana. If you’re in need of a bigger-bust bathing suit to fit your new girls, then I suggest ASOS for a variety of pieces.

IG: @ScoutFashion

Luam, Choreographer, Director

Maje jacket, River Island shirt, Saint Laurent boots, vintage traditional Eritrean earrings, A Pea in the Pod jeans

Gave birth to her daughter Senai Milena Simon on May 1, 2017. “I’m a first-time mom!”

How has your style changed since you’ve given birth?
My style before pregnancy was fun, comfortable, edgy, chic. I’m a chameleon due to my profession/lifestyle and often have to make one look work to transition between several extremes. In one day, I may have to go from sweaty dance rehearsal to a meeting with an artist to a gala event, so it’s all about starting with a strong, classic base. Details and accents change up the look of the moment and convey power in each setting.

I stayed with my aesthetic during pregnancy, just with less-high heels. I wore all my usual pieces to the very end, sprinkling in necessary pregnancy-fit gear such as designer preggo jeans (on sale) and sleek shirts that accommodated my belly and allowed me to keep as much of my silhouette as I could. Hide the belly and you hide your figure; embrace the belly and you show off your curves. Much more flattering.

What are your getting-dressed challenges?
Making the decision early on not to succumb to, “I’m sleep deprived so I don’t care what I wear,” was key. I may be sleep deprived, but I’ll still kill it in my favorite low-heeled Saint Laurent boots I found at a crazy sale last year. Fly does not mean uncomfortable. When Senai looks back on this, I want her to be like, “That’s my mom!”

What’s been really fun about getting dressed post-pregnancy?
I’m actually having more fun getting dressed after giving birth. First, I’m way more efficient. I have just enough time to get it together during Senai’s morning nap, so I have to be decisive. Also, I guess I feel more empowered to BE more for her. Before, I was getting dressed just for myself and the world seemed like enough. Now there’s this new dimension to me. I feel like I have a greater responsibility in how I do everything, especially when it comes to what I project. I’m taking more risks, getting more creative and loving it.

Any advice for those in a similar style transition?
Tip 1: Pregnancy jeans with the high-waist stretch material are a great go-to soon after birth. They hold together your new belly and look amazing at same time. I LOVED my AG jeans, Paige Denim and 7 Jeans from A Pea in the Pod. I’m trying to negotiate how long I can keep them because the skinny fit and wash/distress are my new favorites now.

Tip 2: Silhouettes, silhouettes, silhouettes. After giving birth, my body felt like an alien so I played with different drapes and silhouettes as I recovered: super-stretch skinny jeans, asymmetrical flow-y shirts, tunics with tall flat boots, etc. It wasn’t about hiding; I just didn’t want too much material touching my body as it healed. I embraced the silhouette of the day that accomplished this and made it A Look.

Tip 3: You don’t need to run out and buy a whole new pregnancy wardrobe. Some items are necessary, especially late term, but you can do a lot with your current wardrobe or with buying clothes you can wear after pregnancy. And find your tribe of moms. I can’t tell you how much of a lifesaver it was when my mom friends donated a whole bunch of casual pregnancy tees that I wore my last trimester. Save, save, save!

Anything else you’d like to add?
Comfort is so important. You have to feel good in everything you wear. In going through my closet during pregnancy, I realized this wasn’t always the case and wore these items less. I focused on my core wardrobe and built it up from there. Now, I feel great in everything I wear, can run around for days with no wardrobe pains, and can’t wait to eventually teach Senai the ropes of being fabulous, driven and purposeful.

IG: @luamky

Eden Grinshpan, TV host, Cook and Soon-To-Be Restaurateur

Gave birth to her daughter Ayv Rose Nivron on April 8th, 2017.

How has your style changed since you’ve given birth?
Before pregnancy, I was always in high-waist jeans and a tee. During my pregnancy, I was either in sweats, maternity jeans (it’s not as bad as you think…there are some decent maternity jeans now thanks to Madewell, Hatch and ASOS), onesies or my husband’s sweats. After birth, my body has definitely changed. My waist is wider and my boobs are bigger, so I don’t fit into most of my jeans right now and a lot of my tops are tight. I mean…really tight. It’s also important to wear clothes that allow me to breastfeed easily, since I’m basically breastfeeding every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Onesies, loose dresses, oversize T-shirts and button-downs work best.

What are your getting-dressed challenges?
My body has definitely changed since giving birth. I don’t fit into any of my jeans so I’ve been rocking a lot of loose clothing. Also, I’m breastfeeding so my boobs are HUGE. I’ve never had boobs before so learning how to dress them has been interesting. It’s hard with big boobs!

What’s been really fun about getting dressed post-pregnancy?
Having cleavage for the first time in my life.

Any advice for those in a similar style transition?
Wear clothes that are stylish but most importantly, comfortable and easy. Your body changes so much throughout this process. I would make sure you have an awesome onesie that can transition from beginning to end, something baggy that can be belted. I loved my Electric Feathers onesie for this specific reason. I was able to wear it during my pregnancy without a belt and even though it’s baggy, I still felt great that I could wear something from before I got pregnant. Also, since you belt it, the piece fits after you give birth, too. (That’s what I’m wearing in the picture.)

IG: @EdenEats  

Photos by Edith Young. 

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  • J

    One important thing to remember is not to throw away clothes that are currently too small during fits of despair! They will eventually fit again (mostly)

  • Kay Nguyen

    Wow their styles are amazing! Great blog as always <3

    https://www.myblackcloset.com/

  • mcfot

    This is such a great article – I wish I had taken more of the post-pregnancy time into consideration while I was pregnant because I found that wardrobe period to be much more challenging than dealing with maternity clothes. I tried to take a “sustainable” approach to maternity dressing by mainly buying pieces that I thought I could wear post-maternity as well (Hatch, for example)… but I was pretty annoyed to discover that many of these pieces didn’t take “accessibility” into consideration, i.e. being able to be opened for breastfeeding/pumping without getting fully undressed. It’s something I didn’t really appreciate until dealing with it first-hand. I found it quite difficult and stifling to have to dress for a very professional workplace while still breastfeeding/pumping. I wore a lot of washable button-ups (the comment above re silk is very true, don’t bother with it until your baby is… an adolescent? IDK.) and pants in varying sizes because my post-maternity body changed on a literally daily basis. Most of my professional dresses were unmanageable because they weren’t low enough or stretchy enough to accommodate breastfeeding/pumping. My recommendation is, since you may be dealing with breastfeeding/pumping while at work for quite a while, consider investing in pieces that will serve you well in this regard and still look nice. Wrap dresses, crisp button-ups, nice stretchy T’s that you wear with a blazer – things like that are really great. I also recommend hiding the portion of your closet that you won’t be able to wear until you aren’t a walking tap – you’ll feel less sadness each day since you won’t be looking at these dresses and shirts that you can’t wear, and when you finally get the breastfeeding to less of all-day consideration, you’ll feel so happy to see those pieces again!

    • Basil

      Totally agree on hiding clothes you won’t wear for a while. In a fit of nesting (and waiting for the baby to turn up), I organised my clothes into “things I can still wear while super pregnant, things I can wear just after giving birth and while nursing and thing a I’m not realistically wearing for at least a year”.
      I actually found it really hard to find advice on what to wear post partum (particularly if you’re breast feeding) and learned the hard way not to wear dresses that don’t have a button down front (I ended up feeding my baby in a bathroom, stripped down to underwear as I couldn’t feed in my dress).

      There is hope for the silk shirts – I now wear them to work and other times when I’m not around a toddler for an extended period of time

  • Kattigans

    Loved this piece and this line from Luam: “..and can’t wait to eventually teach Senai the ropes of being fabulous, driven and purposeful.” Can she adopt me part time? I want a cool mom like this or to be a cool mom like her. And no, I’m not a mother yet, but a girl’s gotta have goals 🙂

  • flamesonthesideofmyface

    This is all practical advice – but the other thing to leave room for is the fact that your brain gets re-wired when you have a baby. There’s actual science behind this. While this doesn’t mean you’re going to completely change as a person, for me it meant that all those fussy, twee, Zooey Deschanel-esque Anthropologie dresses HAD. TO. GO. Yes, you could say I went through my second emo phase after I had my first kid, and it perfectly coincided with the athleisure trend so it was great timing. Leggings, black Nike Frees, leather jacket (so wipeable)! I may be a walking cliché but I’m comfortable. I follow trends that are practical for my life while admiring the heels Leandra wears from afar, but I would feel inauthentic wearing those shoes, like a kid playing dress up for a life that’s not mine, you know? Even last night for GNO, I wore a (washable! faux!) suede Zara jacket and flat boots. I just splurged on what are essentially an overpriced pair of designer Birkenstocks (on sale, but still). But I feel like when you embrace the life that’s yours, (and make it fabulous!) instead of trying to make the old stuff work, it’s like a mini-moment of enlightenment.

  • Sandrine Calme

    Great article!

  • Sarah

    Aw, I was so happy to see this! There’s often a focus on women retaining their pre-baby identity, and of course there are many elements of a woman’s life/conception of herself that don’t change upon giving birth. But, there are many that do…in a wonderful way! And celebrating that sartorially is a really fun thing. Personally, after a few weird months of limbo in a postpartum-fashion-cocoon, my style is probably better than it’s ever been because I know myself better than I ever have. Cool to see how other women approached that transition!