August 31, 2011

Reader Question: Hiding a Post-Partum Pooch During the Last Hot Days of Summer

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!

since finding your site (yesterday), i have spent hours reading, looking, absorbing- i. love. it.
i found your blog when i did a google search for "how to hide baby pooch"…that in itself should tell you the state of my union. sadie, my precious third (and LAST) girl arrived a month before my 35th bday. and, much to my dismay, the weight is in no hurry to leave this uncomfortable body. i know i will be back to a version of my old self in the near future-but until then i have to find a way to dress myself that doesn't lead to tears EVERY time i walk out the door. the heat here makes it impossible to "hide" without a heat stroke. please, oh pullleeease, give me one "uniform" idea for this miserably hot weather. i am still about 20-25 lbs OVER where i need to be- think 5ish weeks postpartum. yep, de-pressing. i am desperate to feel somewhat put together as i conquer the last of the poooooooch.
hope you are all settled in from your move!
sunni

 

 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.

  IMG_4943_2

(wearing:  Madewell denim shorts, J Crew ribbed tank, Free People lace tank, J.Crew military vest, wedges from Target, Salt sunnies, Makr rucksack, Stella & Dot gold hoop earrings)

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)

 

Post-Partum Pooch Hiding Summer 1

 

 


Post-Partum Pooch Hiding Summer 2

 

 

 

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.

Screen shot 2011-08-30 at 8.34.20 AM   Screen shot 2011-08-30 at 8.35.30 AM

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!  

xo,

S

 

 

14 Comments
  • Erin
    August 31, 2011

    Thank you for this! Very timely for me.
    I completely agree on the importance of transition clothes. I was on a super tight budget when I had my first child, but I bought a couple of well-fitting and flattering items and they were worth every penny. And for moms who do plan to have another baby: the transition wardrobe also works great for the first half-ish of your next pregnancy!

  • Shana
    August 31, 2011

    Erin – great point!!!  Thanks!!!!
    Sent from my iPhone

  • Rachel Hill
    August 31, 2011

    Hi Sunni, I’m feeling the heat here in Hotlanta too! I moved her with my hubby from Los Angeles last September when I was 5 months prego and just barely missed the heat wave. This summer, however, has been brutal. And by the beginning of it, I had a nearly two year old, a colicky 5 month old and waaay to much pooch and extra baby weight hanging on. I hate how everyone say’s nursing just makes the weight simply melt away. Maybe for some, but nursing just made me hungry! I think I might have actually gained some weight post partum, so I’m feeling ya. I had a few tricks in the spring that I gleaned from this amazing blog, but during these dog days, it’s been pretty unbearable. I do second the maxi dress idea. Even if it doesn’t hide the pooch totally, I just feel so much more put together in one, and I NEVER would have tried one before reading this blog. They are actually really really easy to pull off with little ones. Just make sure the straps have enough give if you are still nursing. One that I got didn’t, and it was a pain. That said, the maxi dress will transition beutifully into early fall with the addition of a sleeveless vest/sweatery type top. It hides the pooch and kind of pulls everything together. There are always so many great suggestion on this blog, but our whole family’s monthly clothing budget is less than many of the single pieces found here. Honestly though, the clear explanation of what you’re going for has helped me find similar things at Old Navy, H&M and Kohl’s. If you have an idea of the right silhouette, you can find a few pieces that will make you feel less cringe-worthy. Good luck, and let’s hope it cools off soon! I’m always up for meeting other moms in Atlanta, since we’re new…. if you want to get together, contact me at my family blog!

  • Shana
    August 31, 2011

    Rachel – I love your thoughtful comment – thank you for taking the time to leave it!!  And I wish I could always find budget versions of pieces but the retailers often don't list their full stock online or they have really crappy websites.  Sigh.  Love that you are having luck finding similar pieces…and feel free to share your scores!!!  :)
    Sent from my iPhone

  • Heather Novak
    September 1, 2011

    Great info for us Mamas. I just linked to your blog today (!) in a post “What is Thong With This Picture?” More people need you than we know! Oh. My.

  • Lisa
    September 1, 2011

    I found my tummy hiders (I’m 2 years postpartum, so I can’t really call it a baby pooch anymore) at Anthropology – on the sale rack. Gotta second the loose tank uniform (just be sure to wear a thin tank underneath to keep your unmentionables hidden.
    I also LOVE my yummie mummie slimmer tank. Although it is too hot to wear these days, I can’t wait to pull it back out for the fall.

  • sunni
    September 1, 2011

    yay! thanks so much for arming me with info and ideas to find my pooch-hiding Eatin’ top so i can get my groove back. and i am lovin the free people sale online.
    and rachel, thank you! i’ll get in touch soon.

  • beth
    September 2, 2011

    This was such a great post! I wanted to add in a favorite pooch-hiding, arm hiding, boho top I found at Anthropologie. It is perfection – flowy silky overlay that is long enough, a longer attached tank beneath it (and while I am not nursing in it, a woman at Anthropologie said she is able to) and a print that adds distraction in general. It hides it all on me! I can even fit a slimmer tank under it for smoothness if need be.
    It is called the Fernery Top: http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?navAction=jump&id=21121538&parentid=SEARCH_RESULTS&color=049

  • Shana
    September 2, 2011

    Beth – LOVE.  You made my day.  Thanks for the pick!!!
    Sent from my iPhone

  • jan
    September 3, 2011

    I’m so glad to have stumbled across this blog a few months ago. I love your ideas that are so practical for moms, yet so stylish!

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