February 20, 2011

Beyond the Empire-Waist: The New Shape of Pooch-Hiding Sweaters (Perfect Now and Into Spring)

Asdf  After R was born, pooch-hiding was a cinch.  Empire-waisted tanks, sweaters, & tops were everywhere.  This time around?  The whole empire-waist silhouette feels a bit…tired.  Boring, even.  Instead of looking cute and fresh, my trusty empire-waisted tops are just making me look (and feel) pregnant. (It could just be that my pooch is bigger this time around.  But let's not go there, shall we?)

It took me some time, and a bit of trial & error, (shopping research, of course!!)…but the good news is that there is a new silhouette that does a killer job of hiding the pooch.

Remember the over-sized tops of the 80's?  Well, it's like the 80's sophisticated older sister.  Say hello to your new pooch-hiding silhouette, the dolman/slouchy/swingy-yet-fitted/drapey/thin knit sweater.

(I couldn't come up with a fancy name.  M is better at that.) 

But seriously, here's the front view.  I challenge you to find a pooch!


(wearing: Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent Oversized Cardigan from piperlime.com, Flexees shaper cami from Macys, JBrand Houlihans from Anthropologie, J.Crew flats, Salt sunnies, Chan Luu necklace, Bloom earrings.)

So here's the deal:  These sweaters are worth spending money on.  The best ones are nice and thin (think drapy not bulky), can be layered under various jackets or go over multiple tee/tank configurations, and will be your go-to piece now, this Spring, during cool Summer nights, and next Fall/Winter.  The dolman sleeve helps to hide both the pooch and upper arm issues, and a lower neckline flatters a full bust (and allows easy nursing access).  The silhouette makes skinny jeans a no-brainer, and also looks good over flares (giving you that whole cool boho vibe).  The price-per-wear (especially for post-partum moms) is low, low, low.


The sweater I'm wearing in the pics is Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent's Oversized Cardigan.  This workhorse of my post-partum wardrobe is currently on final sale at Piperlime for $85 – down from $295!  So snap it up, people.  (Note – care label says it's dry clean only.  I've successfully washed it on delicate cycle and let it air dry.)

Here are my top five:

I contemplated an article showing all of the various ways to style these babies….but it would end up being longer than our five-part series on plaid.  Skinnies, flares, shorts, skirts, flats, boots, TOMS, rainboots – you name it, I've probably worn it with this cardigan.  Hunh.  Maybe I should pick up another on super-sale. 



ps.  Thanks to all of those who voted for us in the 2011 Bloggies!!  We'll find out the winners on Feb 27.  Gulp. 


  • Molly
    February 21, 2011

    Oh chickie! You know I’ll be going back to this soon. Mental note made–love all the picks, postpartum or not.

  • Fran
    February 21, 2011

    I like this idea, which you rock very stylishly, but I’m afraid that I would end up looking like a Frump in it…? It seems like this drapeyness would best serve the long and lean type. I am by no means curvy, but I’m petite and possessed of 5 (ok, more like 8) extra baby pounds. I’ll keep on the lookout for something similar that I can try on to maybe convince myself… you haven’t steered me wrong yet…
    case in point: I am LOVING my papaya orange tiered windbreaker from Loft. It is PERFECT for San Francisco weather. A joy to wear. I totally copied you. I am, alas, a follower.

  • Shana
    February 21, 2011

    We're all pretty much followers when it comes to fashion, Fran. Is anything ever really new?? ๐Ÿ™‚
    The key to avoiding frumpiness is to make sure the knit is thin and drapey, and to watch the length. This style of sweater also comes in cropped versions…which might actually be perfect on someone 5'2"ish.
    I always have trouble when silhouettes change so dramatically. The best thing to do is order a bunch and try 'em all on!
    Good luck, Chicky!! And so glad you're loving the windbreaker. I was SO excited about that find!!
    M – thanks for the comment. Was a bit worried you'd be sick of seeing that sweater by now, lol! Lol
    Sent from my iPhone

  • Lisa
    February 22, 2011

    follower too (the AT Loft windbreaker is sitting in my closet waiting for warmer Ohio weather – also picked up a coordinating scarf).
    The dollman look is great for post partum pooch (even if your baby just turned 2 like mine). Gap has some great tshirts with this style that are loose on top, but fitted along the hip line. I love mine (but I couldn’t find it online anymore). I’ll be wearing it into spring.

  • Kelley
    February 22, 2011

    New follower here…I am hooked. Love love love all your suggestions. I’m definitely intrigued by the oversized cardigan (can’t beat that price!), it would look darling with skinnies and my TB red flats. But, like a PP, I’m concerned that I might look a little frumpy, so I think I might size down, in the hopes that shrinking the proportion slightly will help.
    A suggestion for a similar look, but more preppy/tailored would be the Land’s End Canvas Fine Gauge Boyfriend V-Neck Sweater, on sale for $16.99. It doesn’t have the dolman sleeves, but with the fine knit, open v-neck and slouchy body, it is definitely figure flattering. I have it in several colors.
    Keep up the fabulous suggestions…would love to see some new posts on baby/kiddo clothing too…

  • Shana
    February 22, 2011

    Kelley – thanks for the comment!!! And I love the sweater you reference – nice tip!!
    Sent from my iPhone

  • Shana
    February 22, 2011

    Lisa – Thanks for commenting!  But YES – the Gap in Denver is full of those tees….hunh.  Wonder why they aren't online?  We seriously have a TON.   Have you checked out the sleeveless cowl neck?  (part of their new Spring collection)  I love it.

  • Emily
    February 22, 2011

    Can we go “twinsies” on this one? I LOVE this sweater!

  • S
    February 23, 2011

    Em – Of course. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jania
    February 25, 2011

    New reader, and just received this sweater in the mail. Love, love, love it and I love your blog. I just found out I am pregnant with baby number 2 and this will be great for now until about 5 months and then again post. Thank you!

  • Shana
    February 26, 2011

    Jania – congrats on #2!!! And am so glad you got this sweater.  Seriously one of my very best purchases.  ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sent from my iPhone

  • Apol
    January 20, 2012

    I agree…when I got pregnant, I found out that these lose fitting blouses and sweaters can be stylish and still gives you shape.

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