Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Postpartum Outfit 1.2

I’m showing you another one of my outfits right now.

You’ll notice my go to outfit these days is a high waisted shirt and a button down shirt. There are other things I wear and like too. But this is my favorite combo. Comfy, cute, nursing friendly, and flexible size-shifting-wise.

As I discussed with you in my last outfit post: My tricky postpartum issue is that normally I’m an hourglass figure, and the clothing tips for that are all “Show the waist” because if you don’t it adds a lot of visual weight to your body. But postpartum the waist, while it does go in on the sides, goes out where the baby used to live. Most postpartum advice is loose-ness to cover that up. But then, there goes the waist as well -- which at this stage adds a lot of visual weight. But I think what might be worse than the visual weight, is just that fact I don’t feel like myself in those waist-baggy outfits (it’s not what I’d ever wear normally)-- and so I just always feel messy and not put together.

So it’s taken me till baby #3 to really feel like I’ve gotten a grasp on dressing postpartum.
(Now, for family and friends who are worrying over my heart and/or sanity -- I’m not obsessing over this for emotional reasons. It’s just that I have a lot of engineers in my family tree, so my mind defaults to “why” --- “Why does that work?", “Why doesn’t that work?” “Let me fix it." But my interests lie in girly things -- so I’m engineering outfits. I’m not feeling bad about myself and trying to hide. I’m pursing a mental hobby.)

I’ve tried to look for experts on dressing your body shape and their thoughts on this scenario. Sadly no one has shared such a thing. Its like this “problem" is unsolvable. I even asked an expert on her blog how to handle an hourglass figure postpartum. When I saw she responded I got so excited!! I thought I was about to get some massive wisdom lightbulb fireworks. But what she shared was essentially,  “Wear spanx.” (Actually any brand of shapewear.) Not exactly what I was looking for.

But in a weird way that encouraged me that I was on the right track. It said to me, “Postpartum or not…hourglass-es you have to highlight the waist to flatter your body in clothes.”

So the goal now lies in getting my clothes to go in at the sides, while not making too big of a fuss over the belly. This being my 3rd baby, I think I have a lot more grace for the left over bump. I know its temporary. I know anyone who’s opinion matters to me, knows I have a new baby, they get the bump’s existence. 
By the way -- I always actually wear my hair up -- little fingers pull hard!

And  If people make eye contact with my belly I don’t take it personally -- I know its a curiosity because postpartum figures are so often left unaddressed or hidden from view -- people are just interested in it -- I like to assume it’s in the same “how does that work?” kind of mind frame I’m in. Honestly it wouldn’t make a lot of physical sense if the belly went away on instant, like we wish it would. I think people want to confirm physical sense exists, because magazines say it doesn’t (mom had baby yesterday, back in bikini today) and people are just are checking the math on reality when they look me over. I don’t fault them for that. 

Anyway, bla bla bla….outfit!

This skirt is something I altered/made from a way-too-large free skirt I had after my first baby. As I shared in this post money was so tight with our first babies I really couldn’t spend money on postpartum clothes. So this skirt was literally worn as often as possible, if it wasn’t in the wash it was on my body because nothing fit me. (Which is why I wrote that 'What I wish I Knew - Clothes’  post -- if only I knew to save my money as a single lady to afford clothes as a mom.)
The skirt works because 1) It’s comfy. 2) It has a wide waist band that is fitted to the small part of my waist.

You can still see my belly from the side. But I’m alright with that -- its kinda like the reverse of ‘work what your momma gave ya.'

(I might be switching this skirt out soon for a black one I hope to have time to sew. Black matches more of the stuff in my closet.)

My shirt is a Portofino from Express.
     ‘The Mom Edit’ convinced me that this is an excellent postpartum option. Only the ladies on that site seem to treat money as no object when shopping. I do not. 
     Express does put them on sale regularly -- but I wanted to save more. So to be thrifty I went into Express and tried some on to see what fit me (I’m wearing a Large) and the general styles I like print-wise (I don’t like ones where the pockets get outlined, or draw a lot of attention -- it makes my nursing sized chest look strange.) And then I shopped for a deal on one, on ebay. MUCH more affordable.

I like to blouse the shirt out a bit in the back.
Why is the shirt a good postpartum option? Well it’s a button down -- those are great for nursing. The drape of the fabric is very flattering. When you wear it untucked (with pants or shorts), it floats in at the sides, but hovers over a belly.
The sleeves are made to roll up, which does the thing where the sleeve length draws your eye to the small part of the waist.
And it’s a bit long-ish, so it’s ALMOST ok with leggings. (Not really on me, but if you have great legs and thick (non-see thru) leggings it’d work.)
Why it’s not my favorite, favorite postpartum shirt -- it’s polyester, not cotton. So I haven’t been able to wear it on warm days and not feel way too sweaty. But I think for fall and winter I’ll really like it.

I also have this shirt in a solid color (Hot Coral) and I think I like how that one looks better. But I can’t wear it as confidently because it not only shows wetness pretty obviously. Milk and spit up actually dries darker too until washed. (I’m not sure if all solid portofinos do this. I’m thinking each fabric kinds does it’s own thing.) So I think I’ll be reserving it for when our wetness is more under control. This one, with the print doesn’t even look wet when wet.

Also... portofino shirts are all sheer to varying degrees. Some you could get away with wearing alone, others not so much. And it’s hard to tell which is which when shopping online. 

This one with the print is pretty ok alone. But I’m wearing it with this nursing tank from Target - because it’s super comfy and easy. It’s not the most flattering on the chest -- as I find for most nursing tanks on my very large chest. (I’m wearing a Medium. The Large fits better over my boobs, but then the band on my ribs is too loose. My constant issue when breast-feeding.) But it fits (good enough) and feels good -- so it work great under less fitted tops like this portofino.

I like this outfit because I actually feel really, really pulled together. Like I’m in ‘get stuff done office wear.’ I’m really motivated in this one -- because it makes me feel on top of things. Yet it’s very comfy. (Often comfy feels the opposite of ‘get things done’ -- more like cozy up and sit. Not this one.) And it’s works great for taking care of babies. It also didn’t hurt that I got numerous compliments from the hubby this morning either. :) 


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