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How to Dress Postpartum | 21 Tips to Feel Confident Again

Learning how to dress postpartum definitely comes with it’s challenges. It’s a bit of a learning curve every time, no matter how many times you’ve been through it. Luckily these 21 tips should help jump start you in the right direction and get you feeling confident in your body. 

This post is all about teaching you how to dress postpartum so that you can quickly start feeling like yourself again!

how to dress postpartum

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How to Dress Postpartum

Why is it so important to learn how to dress postpartum?

First of all, I want to start by saying that YOU ARE NOT YOUR WEIGHT. We should all strive to eat well and exercise to keep our bodies as healthy as possible but whether or not you have the perfect figure does NOT add or subtract anything from your value.

Your body created life and birthed a little human. Don’t expect yourself to spring back the next day and just ignore the people who claim they did bounce back that quick. Eat well, move your body, and appreciate all that your body did for you and your baby. 

This post is intended to help you learn how to dress confidently now rather than waiting till you get your pre-pregnancy body back. I hope these tips help you celebrate your body and all that it’s done.

Embrace Your Maternity Clothes for the First Couple Weeks

You just pushed out a baby and will essentially be wearing diapers for the first few weeks. Don’t stress over your outfit. Diapers don’t look great with anything anyways. Rest and recover, snuggle your baby, and get cozy in nightgowns and comfy pajama sets. I personally loved this button up nightgown for postpartum and it’s also completely nursing friendly. I have it in the charcoal gray but it comes in a ton of cute colors. 

Temporarily Hide Clothes that Don't Fit

Postpartum emotions are hard enough to deal with without your pre-pregnancy jeans staring you down every morning. I highly suggest gathering up all those tight fitting clothes from pre-pregnancy (resist the urge to try them on) and either putting them in a drawer that you don’t look in or storing them away in a tote. 

Don’t open that drawer or tote until you are at least 6 weeks postpartum. If things still don’t fit (and they probably won’t) put them back away in their drawer or tote for another month. Don’t let yourself check more than once a month. 

There is no use in taunting yourself or making yourself feel bad. You grew and pushed out a little human. It took 9 months to do that and it is going to take some time to get back to your pre-pregnancy clothes. 

Buy Jeans a Size or Two Up

Jeans are one of those things that automatically make you feel more put together. Jeans are also a staple to put together tons of outfits. However, your pre-pregnancy jeans are probably one of the things least likely to fit at the beginning of your postpartum journey. Instead of trying on your favorite pair of jeans over and over and losing confidence each time, head to the store and buy a new pair of favorite jeans (or two). 

I personally suggest getting them at a thrift store or off a clearance rack so you don’t have a lot invested if you don’t end up wearing them for very long. 

Invest in Bras That are Comfortable AND Supportive

A well fitting bra is a staple for a flattering outfit. Since your breasts have probably changed size, especially if you are nursing, you may need to invest in a few new bras. A supportive well fitting bra will give you a great silhouette, smooth lines, and enhance the look of every outfit. 

Avoid Styling with Belts

Belts can actually make you look shorter by separating the two halves of your body. Plus they tend to draw attention to your waistline, which most of us are trying to avoid postpartum.

Wear Dark Colors

While lighter colors tend to make people look wider, dark colors tend to have a slimming effect. Since darker colors hide shadows they tend to minimize any lumps and bumps and leave a flattering silhouette. 

Opt for Jeans with Zippers Rather Than Buttons

While a zipper is standard on jeans, buttons are meant to draw attention to your waistline. If you aren’t confident in your waistline yet, you may want to shop for jeans with a zipper instead of buttons. 

Make Sure You Have a Few Good Leggings

The stretchy and forgiving nature of leggings makes them some of the best clothes to hide post baby belly . The Mothers Essentials Postpartum Legging is specifically designed to provide compression to your belly to support recovery and help you look slimmer. I also highly recommend getting Mothers Essentials Postpartum Legging so they fit great on the good days AND the super bloated days.  

Biker Shorts are Key for a Summer Recovery

Since having a baby right in the middle of the summer, I am quite literally living in biker shorts. I highly recommend getting a pair of biker shorts with a crossover waistband and/or a pair with no seam in the front. Aerie’s Offline 7″ Biker Shorts are a seamless, quality, and affordable option. 

Get a Few Pairs of Comfortable Shoes

If you’re also one of the unlucky ones that have to get rid of shoes every time you have a baby cause your feet grew, this one is for you. Since foot and ankle pain are very common postpartum due to the hormones still wreaking havoc on your body, good shoes are a must. 

Order Some Nap Dresses

A nap dress is relaxed or stretchy around the torso and/or chest and then flowy and on the longer side. Nap dresses are known for being comfortable enough that you could take a nap in them. They are the perfect flattering style for postpartum and can easily be slipped down to breastfeed if you are nursing. If you are looking for postpartum dresses for weddings, special events, church, or just a fun coffee date these will give you both comfort and fashion. 

Go High Waisted

Whether it be leggings, biker shorts, underwear, swimsuits, jeans, or really anything…go high waisted! Not only will it look better but it will definitely feel more comfortable too. 

Use Prints as a Distraction

Patterns and designs can actually act as camouflage for any lumps and bumps you may have postpartum and create a slimming effect. 

Wear a Light Colored Jacket Overtop a Dark Color

Wearing a light colored jacket (or shacket) over a dark color creates the appearance of an hourglass figure, especially if the jacket is left open. This is also a great way to add light colors into your wardrobe while still getting the slimming effect of the darker color underneath. This Corduroy Shacket in the off white color is an adorable option if you are postpartum in the fall. 

Celebrate Your Assets

When you are learning how to dress postpartum, the key is to focus on the things that you like about yourself rather than the things you want to improve. Most of us are trying to hide our stomachs while we are recovering postpartum but that doesn’t mean you should try to hide your entire body in baggy clothes! 

Find a part of your body that you love and draw attention there to celebrate it. Accentuate your legs in cute dresses, use neck lines and jewelry that show off your collarbone and shoulders, or show off gorgeous hair in an adorable hair do.

Avoid Paper Bag Pants

Paper bag pants have a ruffled high waist band and loose legs. Since they draw attention to your waistline, they may not be the best choice when you are newly postpartum.

Consider Shapewear

Whether or not your wear shapewear is totally up to you, but it is an option that may help you dress more confidently postpartum. Shapermint Body Shaper Shorts are great for smooth lines under dresses and this ShaperX Bodysuit works great in combination with any bottoms or under any outfit. 

Consider the Half Tuck or French Tuck

Sometimes tucking in shirts fully can cut your body in half and draw attention to your waistline. A French tuck where you tuck in just 2-3 inches in the front or side of the shirt or a half tuck where you tuck in one side in the front will both give you some shape and also make your legs look longer. 

Go for Flowy Button Up Tops

With the French tuck and half tuck in mind, flowy button ups can provide shaping while also being relatively forgiving. They are also the perfect easy option for nursing moms. 

Pair Leggings with Asymmetrical Tops

Asymmetrical tops create soft slimming elongating lines that are highly flattering to your figure. Asymmetrical tops also pair super well with leggings for a comfortable outfit that looks good on any postpartum body.

Try Shift Dresses

A shift dress is a short dress that hangs straight down from the shoulders. It does not have a fitted cut and generally hangs very loose. The forgiving nature of a shift dress is a great option while you are still gaining back your confidence postpartum.

This post was all about the best styles, products, and tips to help restore your confidence in your postpartum body. I hope you are able to walk away from this post ready to celebrate your body and all it has done over the past 10 months. You are strong and beautiful and you deserve to feel confident. Have patience with yourself. You’ve got this!

-Beautifully Busy Mom

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Meet the Author

This post was written by Monica, a mom of two who knows just how hard it is learning how to dress postpartum. As a mom who has also struggled with her body image, her passion is to remind you of your beauty while you tackle the postpartum phase.

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