Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I Had A Baby--NOW What Do I Wear? (Plus--Fun at Flickr!)

You all are savvy and stylish and smart, and I need you to put your thinking caps on and help me out. I've been writing a series of posts at The Working Closet about maternity and postpartum dressing; for Friday's post, I'm putting together a shopping guide, a What To Wear After the Baby Pops Out and Where To Buy It kind of thing. (Links to the entire series can be found here, at the bottom of the post.)

I'm thinking about two different stages of postpartum: that six or eight weeks immediately after you give birth, when your maternity clothes don't really fit any more (and you really, honestly, are sick of wearing them anyway, and you would rather set fire to them in the driveway than wear them ONE MORE DAY--or was that just me?) and that window from about the two month mark to the baby's first birthday, or whenever it was that all the baby weight finally went away and you were (sort of) able to get back to your pre-pregnancy clothes.

That would be the LAST baby's SECOND birthday for me, just in case you're wondering.

The Working Closet
is primarily a blog about what to wear to work, but this week I'm thinking about what to wear on maternity leave (yoga pants and super soft nursing tees) AND what to wear once you go back to the office. And what I need from you is this: what did YOU wear post-baby? Where did you shop? Were there things that you loved,things that fit well and looked great? Or do you have cautionary tales of Things Not To Even THINK About Wearing? Were you nursing? Pumping? Both?

I'm looking both for specific style recommendations (machine washable EVERYTHING) and brands (I bought lots of things on sale at Old Navy, because I was only going to wear them for a short time--again, that was TWO YEARS). Links are also fabulous, if you've got them.

Leave your suggestions in the comments here, or e-mail me at fridaystyle DOT susan AT gmail DOT com, or just stop by on Friday and participate in the discussion. And please, tell me where I can find you. Because I'm all about giving credit where credit is due.

Bonus: Flickr Fun!

Last fall, Chris and I conned a bunch of you into photographing your shoes every day in November. Fear not, NoBloShoeMo will be back, but not until NOVEMBER because Chris is a stickler for the schedule.

In the meantime, I want to invite all of you to join The Working Closet's Flickr pool. Starting September 1, I challenge you all to show me what you are wearing to work, every day for one month. Or longer! I will be posting every day, too, because my kids will be back in school and I will (most likely) not be lounging around unshowered and in my yoga pants and ball cap.

Not that I'm doing that TODAY or anything. No no no.

Sign up now, and get ready to show us what you're wearing. Other women's clothes can be the best source of inspiration, honestly, and it's fun to see what's hot in other cities and other offices (including the office the doubles as your kitchen table).
add to sk*rt


Blogger regan said...

is it okay to post to the group if we occasionally, sometimes, not that often, wear jeans and a tee shirt to the office?

Please don't hit me. Your advice really did help me, I just don't follow it everyday.

August 08, 2007 3:27 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Absolutely! I'm serious about wanting to see what real people REALLY wear to work.

Also see above about me and yoga pants and ball cap. And no shower.

Oh yeah.

August 08, 2007 3:31 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

When I went back to work I wore button-up shirts and slacks. Every day. I was pumping at work and needed to have access without completly exposing myself, in case someone should wander into the room with the shut door that said, "do not enter."

I think you're right about the yoga pants and comfy tees for the first 6 weeks. Except that, if you're going out without baby - put some real clothes on. You'll feel more "human". And some lipstick.

What else should you wear post-partum? Anything that highlights your boobs. Assuming yours are humongous. It'll make you feel sexy. And make you forget that your jeans are a little too tight.

August 08, 2007 3:52 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I didn't go back to work until my baby was 18 months old. I still didn't quite fit into my old clothes so I bought new. 2 pair pants: 1 charcoal gray, 1 black; 2 sweater sets of a tank and 3/4 sleeve cardigan: 1 black, 1 white; and 2 trendy patterned blouses: 1 red and 1 blue. I honestly can't remember wearing anything else for the whole 5 month contract. I only worked 3 days a week so I got a lot of mileage out of those few pieces. The tops all coordinated and combined to make 8 different outfits. I could go over 2 weeks without wearing the same combination twice.

The pants and sweater sets were very classic but up-to-date. I still have them in my closet. I still have the tops too but I don't wear them as often. The brands were 9 West, Ann Taylor and a department store house brand.

August 08, 2007 6:14 PM  
Anonymous Wendy said...

My only advice was to buy new clothes that fit. I made the mistake through out my first pregnancy and months after. I bought things "with room", because I thought it would make me look smaller. It didnt and I am sure you knew that. I wised up the second time around, even if I wasnt happy with the size.

I didnt work, but have been striving to look better when I am out. I mainly shop at Ann Taylor Loft, GAP, and the Limited. I stuck with soft tees, shorts (during the summer) and then jeans (during winter). I tried on things that I would never have tried on before, because I hoped for something to make me look better. Somedays were hit and others were miss.

Because I have large breasts, to begin with, I stayed away from button up shirts. I have to go up a couple of sizes and I hated that I looked like I was wearing a tent. Besides, I found tees easier to deal with when nursing. My babies were impatient, never would have waited for buttons. Hell, they couldnt wait for me to move the bra away.

Oh that reminds me, keep up with your correct bra size. It does wonder for your figure to have them front and center instead of down and droopy.

August 08, 2007 7:09 PM  
Blogger Abbey said...

I bought jeans at a thrift store, paying $8.00 per pair. I had jeans to wear that actually fit, and didn't feel bad the next month going back and buying the next size down.

August 08, 2007 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Maggie said...

I found that shopping at the teeny-bopper/cheapo stores (like Forever21) were helpful. While I'd never do that normally, (in fact, I'm usually the person who makes fun of those stores) you can actually get some fairly decent stuff to help you through the transitonal period and not spend more than $15. Particularly, if you're breastfeeding because you'll need some items that are a bit roomier on top, and it's simply not flattering to borrow your husband's XXL t-shirts.

August 09, 2007 6:28 AM  
Blogger Alecia said...

I wore (and am still wearing at 8 months post-partum) a lot of fitted cardigans with a t-shirt or tank/cami underneath and a forgiving flowy skirt on the bottom. You could also do a jacket instead of a cardigan if you're in a more formal environment.

Just recently I had to face facts that I will need more time to get back to my pre-pre-pregnancy shape (after 2 pregnancies in 2 years I think it will take another 2 years to really get back into shape). I bought several pairs of work pants in a bigger size, some from Target (on sale for $11.98 each!) and the Nordstrom half-yearly sale ($100+ pants for $24). Now I have several outfits to mix and match - enough that I don't feel depressed when I open my closet because there's Nothing To Wear That Fits.

I also bought one pair of jeans from Old Navy and a couple of wrap dresses from Macy's on sale to wear to the last of the summer weddings I have to attend and to dress up for date night with my husband (which only occurs about once a month at this point).

I think that wrap tops (or faux wrap tops) in general are quite forgiving for the post-partum body. They emphasize the bust in a good way (as another commenter recommended) while also being forgiving on the tummy.

I have found that since I'm short with short legs (sigh) tunic-type tops, while comfortable for at home, can make me look pudgier, shorter, and worse, still pregnant.

Empire waisted tops/dresses can go either way - they are definitely something that can be flattering or can look like I'm still wearing maternity clothes. They are a MUST to try on.

I do like the current trend for longer-length tops because they fit over my breastfeeding assets without being too short in the torso.

August 09, 2007 10:16 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

That first 6-8 weeks post-partum, I think it's quite sensible to wear the early maternity pants (not the tops, though, no no no) -- you know, the ones that look like regular pants except the 'waistband' is about 4" and soft cotton/spandex elastic.

My younger is 19 months and older is 3 years and I know I am never going to have my (not that great to begin with) pre-pregnancy figure back unless I go for a tummy tuck. Sadly, I'm now just trying to find anything that doesn't look hideous on this body.

I'm a software engineer and I'm afraid I'd be banned forever if I posted what I wear to work some days. My underwear never shows, though, so at least there's that.

August 09, 2007 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second what has been mentioned before- I nursed/pumped and so I wore alot of nursing tanks under cardigans or jackets and wrap shirts (Babystyle); I like the fit of Ann Taylor Loft business pants.I bought a few pair after the babies and then had them altered when I lost the weight. What I really love are the Libby Dibby skirts. I have an unholy number of them and they work for playdates as well as working. I wear them now as much as I did post-partum. I also think wrap dresses are really great choices. Sorry for the dissertation!

August 09, 2007 7:59 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Those Libby Dibby skirts are FANTASTIC! I want one. Or three.

Thank you!

August 09, 2007 8:02 PM  
Blogger WkSocMom said...

I always thought mom write (Mary's) photo a day was so much fun, but (silly question) how on earth do you take a picture of yourself every day. Do you have someone else do it? We try to snap the kids in a certain position (next to a soccer ball) once a month and we're always off a few days. Would love to get ideas and share mine.

I too went with lots of button down shirts, but am such a spaz I often had to take the whole shirt off to make sure I didn't spill/leak when pumping. Soon after I went back to work I wore my "early preggo" clothes and was deternined not to wear maternity, even though I could not get all the weight off. Surprise, surprise, I was pregnant :)

August 09, 2007 11:14 PM  
Blogger WkSocMom said...

Ooh, those skirts look cool, but not sure about the patterns on me. I love wrap skirts, but have been known to flash a bit. Also found it completely untied upon standing up before learning the knot first - was always alone then fortunately. They look so much better than skirts on me now.

August 09, 2007 11:18 PM  
Blogger Kelli in the Mirror said...

I work at home, so unfortunately I won't be an inspiration to anyone. I shouldn't tell you how many days I wear the same jeans in a row.

Well, actually, that depends on what art project I did with the kids that day and whether anybody wiped their snot on my thigh.

But I'd still love to see what "real" people wear! Outside of the house!

August 13, 2007 1:57 PM  

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