Three pregnancies taught me a lot about how to build a postpartum wardrobe. The postpartum period, often called the “fourth trimester,” is a difficult time to dress. Weight loss can be slow, and it takes most new moms a year or more to settle into their figures. But after nine months of wearing maternity clothes, I'm always more than excited to start shopping for my postpartum wardrobe. Elastic waistbands, stretchy tees, and flowy tunics have filled my closet for long enough.
6 Tips for Building a Budget-friendly, Practical, and Stylish Postpartum Wardrobe:
Don’t Throw Out Your Maternity Clothes Just Yet
I know how exciting it is to (finally!) get rid of your wide-band maternity jeans, but don’t be too quick to trash them. Typically, it takes a month or more for your uterus to return to its normal size. Give your body a grace period, and wait to start squeezing into your pre-pregnancy jeans until you’ve had plenty of time to heal.
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Take Breastfeeding Needs Into Account
If you are nursing, don’t forget to dress for easy breastfeeding. For most moms, this means purchasing tops that can easily be lifted up, pulled down, or unbuttoned to feed a new baby.
Buy a Few Transitional Items
Remember that your body may continue to change for the next year or so. Your postpartum wardrobe should include a few transitional pieces, clothing that won’t look ridiculous if you weight changes by five or ten pounds. Tunic tops, leggings, and shift dresses are great choices.
Know When to Splurge and When to Save
While your body is in transition, wait to splurge on your favorite brand of jeans and find a less expensive equivalent to wear until your body has stopped changing. Avoid buying expensive tops, as these won’t fit for long if you purchase them shortly after giving birth.
Of course, there are also some items that are definitely worth the splurge. Don’t be afraid to get fitted for a few nursing bras. Also, don’t shy away from buying underclothes that fit well, as it’s hard to feel comfortable when the basics don’t fit!
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When it comes to trendy pieces or items for a special occasion, it's always a good idea to try shopping secondhand before you buy new. Thrift stores, consignment stores, and online secondhand stores like ThredUP can help you find a unique piece at a great price so you don’t feel guilty if the outfit no longer fits you in six months.
Dress It Up With Fun Accessories
Personally, I find it most convenient to build a postpartum wardrobe filled with basic pieces I can easily mix and match. To avoid feeling bored with what’s in my closet, I often find some fun, new accessories to dress up my outfits. This could include new shoes, jewelry or a purse—all items that will stay fresh throughout all your postpartum changes.
Ultimately, building a postpartum wardrobe should be about choosing what items that will make you feel like you. During this time of transition, it is easy to become discouraged, believing your old self is disappearing during days filled with round-the-lock feedings and yoga pants. Prioritize pieces that fit you well and make you feel the most like yourself if you want to feel the happiest in your new body.
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