Last week saw the arrival of the new royal baby, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, and oh how proud we felt of Kate standing in front of the worlds media having recently given birth and in full postpartum tummy bump glory. Ok, so her hair looked amazing (when doesn’t it!), but you only had to look deep into her face to see how tired she was and how all she really wanted to do was get home, climb into some loose cashmere pyjamas and have a cuppa.
Those first couple of weeks after having a baby is all about going into hibernation and enjoying the time to bond both with the new baby and with the rest of your close family members. Visitors are all well and good, but they should make the effort to come to you and should, quite frankly, accept you in whatever state you happen to be in. If you haven’t managed to get dressed that day, then so be it, it is a time for you to recuperate and not have to worry about putting make up on or worrying about whether your top matches your trousers. But, there comes a time when you do need to face the outside world again and how nice would it be to step out into the street without the worry of people looking at you thinking “Ooo hasn’t she let herself go”.
It is perfectly acceptable to still be wearing maternity clothes after you’ve had a baby. It takes a while for your body to adjust and spring back to how it was and an elasticated waistband is so the way to go. It is very difficult to go clothes shopping after you’ve given birth as something that may have suited you before, may not any more. Changes to breast size (particularly if breastfeeding), waist and general weight gain can play havoc with your confidence and make a trip to the shops even more daunting. We’ve put together some helpful fashion advice to make you feel more yummy mummy and less slummy mummy!
Sorting out what goes on under your clothes will give you the illusion of smoother lines and create an overall better silhouette. If you’re breastfeeding a good fitting nursing bra is essential and we would always recommend that you get yourself measured and fitted by a professional before making any purchases. Your local NCT branch should have a qualified bra fitter and they also offer a fantastic range of maternity and nursing bras on their website – www.nctshop.co.uk. If you are particularly paranoid about your wobbly mum tum then investing in some ‘suck ’em in’ pants is the way to go. Spanx offer a fantastic range as do many other high street stores. Just make sure you try them on, because if you buy them too loose they will roll down and not support you enough or buy them too tight and you are going to be really uncomfortable and walking round like a mannequin, unable to move or bend. It’s amazing how something that no one else can see, can fill you with so much more strength and confidence and that alone will radiate an air of beauty.
Cut out the size label
It really should not matter what size you are after you’ve given birth. Of course you are not going to be the same as before you got pregnant. It took nine months to put that weight on and realistically it’s going to take double that to get it off. But, if the number on the clothing label bothers you that much, then why not just cut it off? What you do have to remember is that wearing the right size is going to be far more flattering than trying to cram yourself into the size you want to be.
This is particularly beneficial if you are a breastfeeding mum and want to retain a sense of discretion when you’re out and about. Although nursing tops have come a long way they are not always the most fashionable looking garments. You can create the same practical effect, but for considerably less money and, in our opinion, with much more fashionable results, by layering up a couple of vest tops. Whether you stick to monochrome tones or liven it up with some clashing brights, you will look great whilst still having easy access at feeding time. Be careful not to layer yourself up too much, because although a couple of loose layers will help hide your tummy, put too many on and you will add too much volume and make yourself appear a lot larger than you actually are.
Now is the perfect time to have fun and experiment with your wardrobe. Rather than feeling worried about what to wear, why not embrace this as an opportunity to explore a completely new look. Printed fabrics are a new mums best friend, because they can pretty much hide any stain you throw at them. Go one step further and choose a print in baby food colours. Shades of orange (why is most baby food orange?!), yellow, brown and green will all help disguise the fact you’ve had carrot mush hurled at you.
Don’t rely on black
For many of us, black is our safe colour, but in actual fact there are only a few people that can truly pull the colour off. After sleepless nights, wearing black, particularly on the top half of the body, is far less forgiving on the face and can make you look even more tired and older. Think about wearing more flattering shades of navy, chocolate brown or burgandy which will liven up your complexion and why not mix it up with some bright accessories to help with your new positive image.
Above all else, please don’t worry too much about your appearance. First and foremost is the care of your baby and that should take priority over any fashion woes. As long as you are enjoying quality time with your new addition, your happiness will radiate and that is more beautiful than any item of clothing. As fashion guru, Gok Wan says, “Don’t make the mistake of thinking ‘it’s only for a couple of months’. Oh honey, you wish! My Gokmotherly advice: invest now, so that your capsule wardrobe of brilliant baby-friendly basics see you through from baby bump to post-baby bulge in style.”