Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Postpartum Outfit 1.1

In my imaginary life I have the time, dedication, and help to put together a really cool looking wardrobe capsule series. One that looks like un-fancy. (I know I could actually do that. But I also know I never will, right now. I don’t have the time or dedication or the photographer.)
      Since I’m prone to "all or nothing" I know I’d be prone blow this series off completely due to my lack of ability to totally knock this out of the park. But I don’t wanna do that. I think there’s a place in this world for these ideas. So I’m just gonna show up.      
     Here I am. Phone Selfie. Mom of three; 2.5 months postpartum. Haven’t worked out yet. My kids asking me to make them breakfast as I quickly shoot these photos.

I know every body is different, so my body won’t look exactly like any one else’s. Everyone bounces back from pregnancy at their own rate. And I’ve bounced back differently after each of my three pregnancies. It’s not a competition. I’m sharing this hoping to give helpful tips for dressing in the in-between stage. But what I share probably won’t work for everyone. We are all unique. 

If you see me in person in these outfits there is major potential for you to think “Hmm she looks bigger/ rounder in real life than in the pictures.” That’s because pictures are flat. I’m not sucking in, trying to over-pose or edit these photos into something better than real life. I just can’t be 3D on here. 

I’m gonna talk too much in this post because I’m not sure of how I’m going to break down this series or how often I will make time for it. So, for better or worse, I’m pretty sure I’m about to over-share right now in case I don’t share later.

I’m hoping to regularly share pics like this of things that are working for me and share why. And I hope to get time to create a post showing you all the pieces in my capsule wardrobe -- but the fact that I’m going to need to keep changing my wardrobe as my body shifts makes it hard to know just when and how to do it. (Plus you know, the whole mom-gig time constraints.)

(By the way, if we are just meeting. I’m a stay at home mom. So my wardrobe will reflect that.)

Anyway….today’s outfit.

I recently bought this skirt at Kolh’s on clearance (cheaper in store if you can find it, than online) because I had nothing to fit me for my grandpa’s wake and funeral. 
I was looking for things that would work for that occasion, but could also mix and match with my other usual stuff.
To the wake, I wore this skirt there with a silky (not silk) black shirt that has a v-slit neckline, I wore the shirt tucked in. I had to untuck it to nurse. Which isn’t ideal, but was ok for a short occasion. But the silkiness of the shirt did cause the skirt to slide down a lot -- so that also wasn’t ideal. (But I decided I could pretend it made me look skinny to keep pulling up my skirt all evening. lol. I know it didn’t. But you know, looking for the positives.)
For the funeral, I bought this nursing friendly dress at Kolh's in black. It’s very versatile and flattering. I’ll have to show you it on me later. 

Anyway, today I put the skirt on with a light chambray shirt (found in the men’s section on clearance last year at Mejier (sort of a Walmart-like grocery store, but better, around here) layered over a black tank. (I tried it without the tank first, but with the knotted waist, the shirt was sliding around showing more skin than I wanted to show.) 

My tank is one of those “wear you own bra slimming tanks” -- I found it for around $5 at TJMax while I was pregnant. (It’s this one.) Honestly it doesn’t slim much at all, but it does smooth and hold things still. This one is actually comfortable, so I figured I’d use it today.

I’m trying to be really transparent here in hopes of being helpful to others trying to figure out how to shop during this confusing stage. But I’m not going to share my weight(s) because I think it’d make me feel uncomfortable and and I also think it would make others feel that way as well. And I’d like this to stay as competition free as possible.

This shirt is a men’s medium. I do wear this shirt when at my normal weight -- but it’s more of the loose messy chic fit then.

This skirt is a large. When at my pre-pregnant weight I would have probably worn a medium or maybe small. I don’t know that this skirt will fit right once I lose the weight -- I think the waist will fall to my hips, and the stripes not be flattering there.

My tank top is a medium. No idea if I’d keep wearing it at my normal weigh.

For a research-based look at the difference I’m dealing with on my body, 
here’s a flash back to where I started out. At 10 weeks I was looking pretty much my normal self.

Ok this side by side is actually really exciting because it’s showing the effectiveness of this outfit. 
(I was pretty surprised to be happy instead of bummed seeing these next to each other.)
I’m carrying 25 more pounds on me right now -- it’s all over, but of course most obvious on the belly. 
But in these photos I just look a little wider on the whole. And my belly isn’t calling out for attention.
It’s a good outfit -- not an instant return to my figure.
I’d look a lot less similar to my old self in these photos if I put on that same black dress.

Why this outfit works postpartum:
Maxi skirts are so great. They are just as comfortable as pajamas, but look nice and put together. They also work so well for moms because when maneuvering with babies and kids, you don’t worry about flashing anyone too much.
Button down shirts are becoming a favorite of mine right now. Cotton ones are breathable (breast feeding burns calories all day, so you kinda feel like you are light-workout sweaty all day.) Buttons are nursing access. And leaving some unbuttoned creates a v-neck which is the most universally flattering neckline.

Ok here’s some body shape science for ya:
If you wanna look into how to flatter your body shape this sight has been my favorite.

I’m a short (5’ 2.5” often lying to say 5’ 3” ;) ) hourglass figure when at my normal weight. Right now I’m an inch too big in the waist to technically be an hour glass in proportion. So right now with my postpartum waist adding in rules for an apple body shape helps.

For hourglass figures, hiding your waist can visually add a lot of pounds. (Being short doesn’t help my case any.)

But right now I’m carrying baby weight on my belly, despite the sides of my waist still going in.

So if I obscure my waist with overly large tops trying to hide my pooch I just make myself look heavy.
To look my best, I have to find a way to get that waist indent to show, without drawing too much attention to the left over bump.

 So I’m trying to kind of combine all these “science” “rules” to create a new combo rule that seems to not be addressed anywhere I can find online. “Hourglass body shape during the postpartum stage.”

So here’s a break down of how I’m using these tricks for this outfit: 

The way the stripes land on this skirt does me a favor. The wide waist band with horizontal stripes, hitting on the smallest part of my waist, seems kind of counter intuitive, but it works because it draws attention to the small part of me. 
And the stripes V-ing down over the rest of my belly creates a elongating effect. (Elongating always equals slimming.)
Tying button downs at the small part of my waist works because it shows that my waist does go in (leaving this shirt loose does NOT show that) and the knot actually kinda of camouflages the leftover pooch. By adding fabric right over the pooch in a knot, it kind of makes it seem like it’s just the knot holding the fabric out, not my belly. It’s a pretty effect trick.
Also, rolling up long sleeves to 3/4 length not only helps with my over-heating temps-- it also helps to draw the eye to the waist indent.

So this outfit is working on a lot of levels.

Why it might not be the BEST:
Technically my body type should wear the prints on top because prints on the bottom can make me appear bottom heavy instead of evenly proportioned between should/chest and hips.  And this skirt’s stripes are not really doing my butt any favors. So perhaps this skirt would be better in plain black with the seams still in the same locations.

But sometimes you just say good enough. (Especially since I am usually only seen by 4 people all day long.)


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