Despite the consistently hot temps, I'm mentally transitioning to Fall. I've been working on articles about Fall trends, some reader questions about the best Fall work wardrobes and shoes, gleefully browsing through the Sept issue of magazines (holy moly – have you picked up the Sept Vogue? It's almost as heavy as Pax!)…when this reader question came across our email:
HI from hotlanta!
I think the "find a way to dress myself that doesn't lead to tears" is what got me. 'Cause I have BEEN THERE.
Sunni, the post-partum pooch sucks. It just sucks. Mine is still decently big and hard (I have that diastatis thing going on where the muscles split). And hiding the pooch in hot weather is almost impossible. Once the temps cool, you can turn to a poncho (I loved mine) or those huge pooch-hiding sweaters that we covered last winter….but for now? Ugh. It's tough.
That said, first and foremost, try a shaper cami. You can check out our favorites and our pictoral evidence on the value of the shaper cami here. Shaper camis made the biggest difference to my post-partum self, and the best ones are made of micro-fiber. Shaper camis may be hot, though, so may not quite be the silver bullet you are looking for.
Next, either find a top that hides (really truly hides) the pooch and pair it with a pair of shorts for maximum summer cool.
I've talked about my favorite pooch-hiding top before, and YUP. I'm STILL WEARIN' IT. Boring? Perhaps. But this top hides everything. Even on a full stomach. I call it my Eatin' top.
To find your own pooch-hiding Eatin' top, look for any of the following:
- Major swingy-ness – the swing of the top needs to start above the bustline, not below it (like an empire waist). Empire waist tops will only make a big post-partum pooch look pregnant.
- Pattern – patterns help disguise
- Texture – a fabric with some heft or texture (lace, actually, is great)
- Craziness – a top that has some pleats, strategically placed ruffles, or some extra tiers of fabric tacked on
- A banded waist bottom can work, if the top overall has enough fabric.
Where to find? Personally, I have luck with Free People. They have a crazy-boho-vintage vibe going on that includes lots of swing, texture, and random bits of fabric tacked on. Here's what I'm finding now for post-partum Eatin' tops:
(NOTE: Fab shoes and sunglasses always help)
Alternatively, spend some $$ on a dress. Either of these would work. The advantage here is that a dress can be casual (hello, flip-flops) or fancy.
Ruffled dress is by Patterson J. Kincaid and retails for $188 at Saks, the silk maxi is the Lulu Silk Maxi by Gypsy 05 and retails for $209. I've been wearing the heck out of the ruffled one simply because it hides everything. It's the dress equivalent of my Eatin' shirt.
The Gypsy 05 maxi was worn by one of my good friends in her last trimester…and did a decent job of camouflaging an actual pregnant belly, so I have high hopes for post-partum use. Just keep the banded part below the pooch and let the blousey fabric hide the belly.
Lastly, I know there's lots of advice out there warning us not to spend money on transitional clothing. I get it…BUT. I'm a big fan of buying one (or two) fabulous pieces that make you feel like a million bucks regardless of your current shape…then wearing them every. day. Literally! Every. Day. This isn't like high school where wearing the same thing two days in a row would be considered social suicide. And it sure seems like my pooch from baby #2 is going to be hanging around for a while….so let's all cut ourselves a break. Especially in hot weather.
Hope this helps, Sunni. Good luck!! And let us know how your pooch-hiding comes along…we're always looking for new pooch-hiding tips!