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nursing

transitional dressing: postpartum

transitional dressing: postpartum

Several of my friends are getting to the postpartum oh-shit-I'm-no-longer-pregnant-but-nothing-fits stage. Well, guess what? Nothing should fit. Anyone who says differently is delusional or had a very unique experience. You just grew a human with your body! I didn't fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans until around 11 months postpartum and I'd say I'm pretty lucky. And it's not just your tummy that's different, your body is holding onto fat stores all over (this article explains why). Here's my advice (and I don't say this very often): buy new stuff. It's the only solution. You need real clothes for the size you are.

You don't have to go all out (and you probably don't have the time). Budget a small amount. As I mentioned in this post about transitional dressing, this is one time it's ok to buy clothes that are inexpensive. See this post for nursing basics and why you want to buy things that you don't care about getting ruined.

When I started looking for a few examples for this post, I got a little jealous. I honestly feel like there are better options now than there were for me last summer! At minimum, you should have 1 or 2 pairs of jeans or other bottoms, a few fun non-clingy tops, a couple of decent basic tees in neutrals to dress up with jewelry and scarves, and a couple of nursing friendly dresses. Leggings can still work when you add one of these tunics for a little polish.

Here are a few of my picks for an affordable, indestructible, nursing-friendly wardrobe. Click the arrow on the right for more. Anyone else care to share their experience or advice?

(These images are affiliate links, which generate a few cents for me when you click but don't cost anything for you)

 

cos stores review

cos stores review

Finding clothes that are casual, comfortable, and still a bit cool is hard. Some days I actually miss my office job (the grass is always greener, right?) because it gave me a chance to dress up. Not that I couldn't wear a belted pencil skirt and heels to Target or to dig around in a client's closet if I really wanted to, but, well, I don't want to quite that badly. But I still want to look cute, and not just in tee shirts!

During a conversation with one of my good friends who I've never met in person (what, you don't have those? thanks, internet), she recommended that I check out COS. I'd heard about this Swedish store (part of the same company as H&M) and remembered that they'd recently opened a store in NYC and started shipping to the US. Laura had visited the store and thought the clothes were decent quality, so I decided to check it out online. I really loved what I saw - clean lines, minimalist shapes, moderate prices. I ordered a truckload of things (when shopping online, always order a lot - multiple sizes, colors, etc, - you never know what's going to work) and ended up with two tops that go with my current uniform of top/skinny jeans/ankle boots. 

This winter, I'd been looking for things that are nursing-friendly, somewhat warm, and aren't too form fitting (thanks to my non-existent baby weight loss fitness regime). Even though I didn't want attention on my midsection, I still wanted something that fit in the shoulders and chest. Most of the tops I'd been finding were loose all over, with dropped shoulder seams that just made me look wider. By coincidence, these both have interesting back details - at top, a split back, and above, pleating. Also coincidentally, it seems I chose the same (Madewell) necklace to wear with them on different days. What can I say, it's a fave. I'm really happy with both tops, have worn them multiple times in the last few weeks, and got lots of people asking me where they were from. Here's the grey top above (on sale for a great price!). Unfortunately the charcoal top at the start of the post seems to no longer be available. As for sizing, one top is a S and one is a 6, and I'd say that's pretty true to American sizes for me right now, I'm usually between a S and M. You have to make a decision quickly, as you can only return items within 14 days, and unfortunately, the return shipping isn't included.

What do you guys think? Will you check out COS?

Edit: When I looked closely at my account info, it seems that I paid $6 shipping for my COS order and wasn't charged for return shipping, so I might be reading their policy incorrectly. Also, the jeans in the first pic are
great for moms or anyone else who doesn't want to show their tushie to the world - they're Old Navy Rockstar High Rise Super Skinny Jeans. And with that link, I now have to tell you there are affiliate links in this post. If you're not a blogger and are wondering what that means, it means that I make 5 cents anytime anyone clicks on the link. I've made $18.86 to date. Raking it in, I tell ya.

 

real life

real life

It feels like it's been a while since an outfit post. It's hard enough getting out the door these days (baby, dog, winter gear) without snapping pics, but then I realized I've only posted outfits on those occasions when I get dressed up all fancy. That's not real life, so here are a few real life outfits - snow, rain, overexposures, and all.

st louis personal stylist

Neiman Marcus poncho (similar), Gap jeans, Madewell necklace (no longer available), Sam Edelman booties. As an aside, this poncho is a silk cashmere blend, but I've managed to continue wearing it even with a grabby 7-month old - maybe because it lifts over his head while nursing?

mindful closet - st louis personal stylist shopper

Forever 21 top, H&M scarf, Old Navy jeans, Sam Edelman booties

mindful closet - st louis personal stylist shopper

Neiman Marcus poncho, James Jeans, Blush necklace (have you been to Blush? it's the cutest boutique in downtown Kirkwood - you should go!), Sam Edelman booties

mindful closet - st louis personal stylist shopper

Old Ann Taylor LOFT cardigan, old Gap tee, Gap jeans, flea market necklace, Franco Sarto booties. I'm realizing that all the booties I'm wearing in this post are suede! People always tell me they don't want to buy suede because they won't be able to wear them in the rain, but clearly, I don't let that stop me. I just use a basic spray suede protector and don't splash in any puddles!

mindful closet - st louis personal stylist shopper

Old Zara cardigan (similar), H&M scarf, Gap jeans, Sam Edelman booties. I bought a couple of cheap scarves this fall to change things up a bit - it's a bummer this one isn't available online in the camel color anymore - I love it!

mindful closet - st louis personal stylist shopper

Eddie Bauer parka, Paige jeans, Sam Edelman booties

Whew, that's a lot of outfits! I'm going to go ahead and wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - I hope everyone has a calm and restful holiday! Keep in touch on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!

(this post contains affiliate links)

joie rancher top for less

joie rancher top for less

The Joie Rancher top has been on my wishlist for awhile. It's a great basic top that can be easily dressed up with an interesting necklace or scarf. Of course, for my current place in life, a silk top is no longer an everyday wearable item. While on a recent shopping trip, I saw an affordable version of the Joie top at Forever 21. I hesitate to say "knockoff" since it's obviously a simple design, but the shirts are very similar.

Click images for sources

Click images for sources

The Forever 21 tops are on the left above, and the Joie tops are on the right. I picked up four of them, one in each color shown above, and two in white (insurance against certain staining). They are flattering, washable (100% polyester), and nursing friendly. I love that these tops are as easy and comfortable as a tee but a bit more polished. They may not look or feel quite as luxurious as the higher quality version, but they are infinitely more practical.

Here's the patterned version, with Gap jeans (which were on sale in store for $13), thrifted necklace, and Target sandals.

transitional dressing: nursing style

transitional dressing: nursing style

As I've mentioned before, we're all constantly going through transitions with our wardrobe. There are new jobs, different workplaces, new sizes, new lifestyles, new levels of activity, new stages of life and different needs to go with each of them. Until last year, my wardrobe needs had been the same for quite some time: that of a 30-something married lady without kids working full time in a professional environment. In one year, I went to being a self-employed, casual-clothes-wearing, occasional-event-attending, first-pregnant-now-nursing mother.

After Matteo was born, I was so excited to pull out my pre-pregnancy clothes until I realized that shift dresses, fitted peplum tops, and silk blouses were no longer functional in my wardrobe. I was left feeling (once again) that I had nothing to wear. With the exception of the last four weeks or so, dressing for pregnancy was really pretty easy, especially when compared with my new challenge: dressing for easy breastfeeding access and yet another new size. For clothes to be easy to nurse in, there are a few requirements:

  • Must be able to wear a nursing tank or bra underneath - no skinny straps or trendy cutouts
  • Must be able to unbutton, unzip, lift up, pull to the side or pull down
  • Must be easily washable, because you will be constantly covered in milk, spit-up, pee, and/or poo (on special occasions, all at the same time!)
  • Must be affordable enough that you won't mind when it gets permanently stained or worn out from washing. Most of the examples below are from places like Forever 21 and Old Navy.

I've found the nursing tank to be the most valuable player in this new wardrobe. I'm at heart a pretty lazy person, and if I'm at home, I do not want to be fighting with extra layers of clothing. When I do go out, I'd like to only throw one layer on top and be done. The first week we were home from the hospital, I sent my husband out to buy five of these Target nursing tanks. The consensus on the interwebs was that they were the best, and I agree. For the time spent at home, this was my uniform:

When I got "dressed" for the day, I wore jeans instead of yoga pants. I know, fancy, right?

And yes, those are maternity jeans. Not only did I not fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans, (which should be a given, by the way) but I had underestimated how comfortable an elastic waistband could be!

When we had visitors, I'd throw a lightweight drapey cardigan or kimono over my nursing tank and, along with my jeans, had an actual outfit!

Click image for sources

Click image for sources

After a few weeks, we were getting out in public a bit and I started to want to make a little more effort. Button downs and tops that can easily be pulled up were what worked best, along with a few pairs of new pants in a larger size. Although I do have a couple of nursing bras, I usually still keep that same base layer of nursing tank+jeans. Another benefit of wearing a tank is that when you pull up your top layer to nurse, you're not revealing your post-partum belly to the world.

Click image for sources

Click image for sources

I love all the flowy, bohemian white tops that are in stores this summer, and they're great for nursing.

Click image for sources

Click image for sources

Since I miss dresses so much, I had to figure out which ones were possibilities. Of course, shirtdresses work, as do styles with wraps or zippers. Here are a few:

Click image for sources

Click image for sources

(Don't you love that Target shirtdress on the top left?!)

After finding a few new pieces that fit these requirements, I felt like I could re-enter the world without having lost my personal style. Anyone else have any tips to offer?

the shirtdress

the shirtdress

This will be the fastest post I've ever written...sorry folks, but sleep will always take precedence over blogging! I'm working on a full post about how to stay stylish while nursing, but for now, photographic evidence will have to suffice.

easy for nursing - the shirtdress mindfulcloset.com

I've already whined about not being able to wear dresses as much as I'd like, but the one exception is dresses with zippers or buttons down the front. I was lucky enough to find this one at Savers and I've worn it just about every time I've ventured out of the house since.

nursing style mindfulcloset.com

Happy Monday! (It is Monday, right?!)