Wednesday, November 11, 2015

More Postpartum Clothes

*Please excuse the weird formatting on this post -- centered typing , with some photos off center. I tired to fix it, but there is a glitch that won’t let me*

So I’ve been snapping photos of some of my outfits for a bit.
These don’t all have fantastic qualities, they are just stuff I feel ok wearing right now.
The photo quality is terrible - sorry.
Honestly, I still have lots of days where I’m not dressed, and am bedraggled looking. But, for real, this smaller, coordinated closet gets me dressed (and in a sane-looking way) SO MUCH MORE than I ever was after baby #2.
Some days I’m just in jeans and a loose black v-neck T-shirt (which didn’t earn a photo) but some days that feels like a big win.

So I’ll just throw these photos at ya, with a pinch of explanation.
I should make this into multiple posts, but I don’t have the time. I want to knock it out in one fell swoop.


I wear these oversized men’s Hanes V-neck Ts, a alot.
I bought a bag of 7 in an X-Large. (I’d wear a medium if I wanted a standard fit)
I like them big for wearing as tunics, or to knot them at the waist.
So these are perfect because they are cheap and easy to get a hold of (and they look like the pricey ones fashion bloggers pay more money for to get the same big baggy messy chic for -- and mine are gonna get spit up on.) If they get stained, oh well have 7. (It equaled paying like $2 a shirt.) 
I also like wearing cotton for breathability. 
So I wear these all the time. I wear them to bed a lot.
The neck line is low enough that I can just pull it down to nurse.

So lots of things I like.
But 
I don’t like the sleeves on me.  They are too long and loose and make me feel messy.
So I took all my shirts and (one at a time) rolled the sleeves up, twice, and sewed around the top of that cuff.
Before/After
It feels like a major improvement.


Still loose and big -- but not in such a bad way.


So these shirts are on me all the time. And no, they aren’t gorgeous. But they work. 

Here’s a day where I rolled out of bed, threw on leggings and a sweater over the shirt I slept in, and then the mail man rang the door bell that day and after I answered I thought “Sweet, I’m in PJs and didn’t even feel bad about it.”  (Prior to this wardrobe revolution, the moments where the door bell rang unexpectedly usually had me feeling super pathetic in my mismatched, non-fitting, nonsense that I was adorned with.) (I didn’t have make up on, but at least I had clothes on!)


Here’s the same concept, but tweaked by using a “moto jacket” -- which is actually an active wear zip up.
TheMomEdit taught me the trick for moms to be able to wear blazers/structured jackets -- you need to get ones that are stretchy! You know how you can’t maneuver with tight jackets, so you don’t ever put them on with kids?…Get stuff that looks like the structured pieces, but are made of knits. Washable wonderful knits. I have two other blazers that I bought with this in mind. 
 






I’m not wearing this outfit, below, much these days with the weather cooling off (I’ve had a struggle finding pants with fall coming -- skirts are so postpartum friendly.) But during the warm days this was one of my favorite outfits.
The skirt is a vintage thrifted pleated skirt that I had added a wide elastic band to the waist to modernize a bit. (I added that while skinny, so it’s kinda tight right now.)
It’s a floaty-outy skirt, so I like to imagine it would look sorta similar without my postpartum belly under it. (Which isn’t totally true -- but you tell yourself what you need to, to get to the day. :) )
But wearing it at the natural waist does help. If I pull it up higher than that it does immediately go back to “she’s pregnant."
This shirt is my most reached for thing after those white tees.
I bought it at Target when Bronson was about 2 or 3 weeks old. It was one of the only things that fit over and, looked semi acceptable, on my brand-new-mom body. And it’s looked better and better as time goes on. It’s so comfortable and so versatile. With this skirt it feels classy.

With jeans it feels causal.
By the way for jeans I grabbed a pair from Goodwill for $6 to tide me over since nothing, maternity or otherwise, was fitting and I wanted jeans for Fall weather. Honestly I counted it as a pants miracle that I found them. But I did pray before I ran into the store -- it’s one of those things that could be seen as selfish and vain, but I see it as God’s love ,in a Matthew 6: trust him with the small stuff (which feels big) way.
I don’t remember which jeans I have on in which photos (I had on a few pairs that covered me but didn’t say on right when I sat, before I found the Goodwill pair.) My Goodwill pair fits the best of the stuff I’ve had time to try on since having Bronson -- they aren’t supermodel pants. But they fit. And they cost $6. And kinda awesomely they are Eileen Fisher -- which new run something like $150 - $180. So…pretty sweet $6 find. Even if they are a bit dated and bootcut (which she isn’t selling anymore.) And one extra perk of these particular pants -- they didn’t lable them with a number size, just “medium” and to a postpartum momma that’s kinda awesome. Anyway -- rambling again.

 Layer it over shirts for another look.

I’m off to the library to get this week’s homeschool book load.
Big bags = hiding belly. Form and Function win!

And this outfit is not great, it was born of laundry desperation. 
But I took a very stretchy black tank top and wore it like a bandage mini skirt so I didn’t feel gross with leggings as pants. Good enough for me.






My other very reached for shirt since the weather cooled off is this shirt I’ve had since last fall.

Aw -- look at me all skinny and innocent -- not pregnant yet, not knowing what was about to hit me (42 weeks of feeling like I was dying.) It’s kinda hard for me to look at that girl -- she was so much more optimistic, so much less battered emotionally. But I know I’m wiser and kinder now, so there’s that.
Here I am thinking I just had like 5 more weeks of feeling like crap. ha.



Anway -- the shirt still works. Still comfy.


I gave it a whirl with this skirt. It’s not the best -- but it works.

Tried it with this skirt. Same thing -- not the best outfit I’ve ever seen. But hey it’s an outfit. And for a new mom -- an outfit is a good thing.

I can’t decide if the bagginess is a good or bad thing with my postpartum shape -- but either way, I wear it cause life isn’t about perfection right now. And it’s very very cozy.




I wear this shirt sometimes. I bought it on clearance at Kohl's while I was pregnant.
Pregnant

It’s drapey enough for now to kinda hide stuff. It doesn’t give me my hourglass waist back -- but whatever. I can open it up to nurse in. And I always gravitate towards this blue in clothing.
Postpartum

A couple sundays ago I took my “little” black dress and added the kimono I sewed while pregnant
 
And got something I felt pretty dang stylish in.
 (Snapped the pics on the way out the door.)



So that’s the fun of the capusle -- it gets me to try new layers of things I wouldn’t have thought of before. And sometimes it’s ok and sometimes its great. But it hasn’t ever really been a “WOAH NO.”



Ok, pause, let’s talk ankle boot body science for a minute.

It took me a while to like ankle boots. And part of  that was figuring out how to make them flattering for me. (Short, curvy girl with thick calves. Which is essentially all odds against making these boots work, because they cut you short and add weight.) And while other shoes might be more flattering on me I’ve made them work.
And lately I’ve wanted them to work even more so because my calves are thicker from pregnancy weight so my taller boots aren’t very comfortable. And my other dressy shoes aren’t very warm.

So what I’ve learned is I need my ankle boots to be short enough that you can see my ankle getting smaller. If they are too taller they hid that and it really adds weight.

And with bare legs I use tan boots the way you use nude pumps --- similar color to elongate the legs.
So that was working great until I didn’t want bare legs any more with Fall temps and black leggings are happening.  The combo isn’t bad, but I really wanted black ankle boots to keep the visual elongation happening.
I bought my tan ones at Walmart a couple years ago and love the proportion and haven’t run across black ones like them since.
Until last week -- I found black ones at Walmart now! (See them here.) 

Awesome! Now I’m set. 
(I was willing to pay more, but couldn’t find this portion anywhere else.)
Of course having longer black leggings on would elongate better (and I have longer ones) but I still think this works and looks a little edgy.

The black boots also work nicely with dark jeans, skinny or otherwise.






In other news, I got my hair cut and highlighted yesterday. Thanks to my wonderful mom who came to babysit and a great stylist who took me last minute.
This is something new moms should definitely do --- get ur huir did go get your hair styled (I’m too white to say that lol.) I feel SO much better about myself right now. My hair was just a messy grown-out-from-pregnancy nothingness.
And now I’ve started shedding it by the fist fulls (a postpartum “perk” for those of you who don’t know. You stop shedding any hair while pregnant -- giving that “great pregnancy hair” you hear all about. BUT you lose it all at once starting around 3 months postpartum for months and months your hands and house will be coated in hair. mmmm. I love it -- no. It’s the worst.)

So I felt like all my color from my hair and face was gone. Looking in the mirror -- bad hair, major under eye circles, baby weight -- not fun. But getting your hair done -- ahh, so much (so much) of a mood booster. I can’t recomend it enough to the new mommas. YES, it is really hard to figure out how to accomplish because of babysitter and sometimes babies won’t take bottles. But it was just an afternoon of that stuff.  Yes it’s pricey. But it’s gonna have good mood benefits for DAYSSSS.

Here’s my so-much-longer-than-I-really-wanted-it hair before.
And to be fair it never really looked that good -- this day was a fluke. 
(Which is why I left it down for the one set of photos.)
And then I immediatly put it up in a bun to keep away from baby hands.


Here’s my hair now -- yay! It took me 20 seconds to brush through it. (Prior to the cut  it was, no joke, like a 15 minute affair.)


 



Locals, if you’d like my new found stylist’s info let me know. She did a fantastic job and is really sweet. (She also has curly hair -- which is a bonus if you do as well -- cause she knows the drill.)

12 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, the photos with your new hair are so so cute! Not just your hair, you look great overall! I love the kinda edgy look of that outfit, especially the jacket. :-)

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    1. Aw thanks. :) Sassy hair makes way for sassy clothes. :)

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  2. I needed that advice on the ankle boots! I'm not short, but I have big legs and feel like ankle boots just make my feet look tiny at the bottom of my giant legs. I'm going to try what you suggested :)

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    1. Oh good! One other thing that helps with that (which these boots do somewhat) is for the opening to be roomy and loose, the space they create around the opening makes your legs look skinnier.

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  3. Lydia- I have been loving the legging with bandage skirt look- you can add a really flowy shirt or open flowy sweater/wrap and it's very postpartum friendly. Its great also for boots- any kind and the legging are comfortable. The trick is to have enough layers so you don't feel like you're showing too much leg (leggings + skirt) or butt (skirt + flowy shirt). I made two bandage skirts and my husband complained they were too short and tight but he didn't realize that there would be so many layers covering everything. When I wear these outfits I feel super comfy yet chic- I'm sorry I don't have any photos but I think you could expand this look if you liked it. Hope that helps!

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    1. oooh what a good idea, sounds perfect -- for some reason, even with all my sewing that I’ve been up to or about to do, I didn’t think of sewing any of those.
      I did grab a knit (but not quite bandage tight) mini skirt from TJMaxx the other day (super cheap -- like $12 I think?) in hopes of getting more out of my leggings. But I didn’t have leggings on while shopping (and I haven’t gotten a chance to try them on again at home) so I need to double check that I like them before I decide to keep them.

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  4. Yeah I made mine out of extra maxi skirt material (usually a long dress I hemmed) and just used a plain elastic wait band (nothing fancy but it will never be seen). I got my inspirtation from Lucy Lui on Elementary (there are lots of images on google)- she wears a lot of shift or shirt dresses with the look but skirts and flowy tops are a must for breastfeeding! I look forward to seeing what you come up with- its so fun to create great new outfits from such little excess fabric or a new combination of old clothes.

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  5. Lydia, Do you think you could do a post on nursing outfits that aren't exactly marketed as nursing like that I could possibly find in my closet that would work. I'm going to give it another shot this time around and have a feeling I'm going to need ideas. And oh maybe where to find nursing bras that are affordable and are tanks necessary?

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    1. Good for you! I don’t know the circumstances from last time, but finding a professional lactation consultant (usually the independent ones, who don’t work out of hospitals are the best) can be a major help getting through nursing road blocks. (They can diagnose tongue or lip ties that doctors might miss. Help with latches. Help with supply issues. Etc.)
      For clothes -- Really the only thing I do is try on a top (or dress) and see if I can get my boob out of the top of it easily enough. I don’t really like lifting my shirts up from the bottom (but I do have at least one in my closet that I have to do that with, but I wear it much less.) For me it’s frustrating trying to keep the excess fabric out of my way when I lift up my whole shirt. But for other people it’s not a big deal.
      So I look for stretchy necklines (I can pull down under my boob and they will stretch back in place after), crossover necklines (you can pull each side over) or button-downs (just unbutton the top few to nurse.)
      Bras are kinda hard to recommend in general because everyone is built so different -- I’m a super hard to find size so I often have to alter bras to fit. But I’d suggest starting at Target and Walmart -- they have cheap but effective nursing bras and nursing tanks.
      Here’s a nice blog post that might help some more: http://makingitlovely.com/2011/02/08/nursing-fashion-guide/

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  6. Love the new hair! And you look tiny in that jacket with the button at the collar! Need to get my hair did so bad!

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    1. Alisia! I’ve been thinking about you and hoping you’re doing well! I hadn’t heard from you in a while.
      Thanks. :) (I think that’s just the magic of wearing a really oversized shirt. ;) The pregnancy weight is most certainly coming off a lot slower after this pregnancy than my other two. I feel like I’m still recovering physically from all the sickness so I haven’t put any effort towards “eat right” or exercising. I’ve just been doing the day to day and hoping my body remembers health over time.)

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