August 21, 2012

Reader Q | What To Wear To a Wedding When You Are 2 Months Post-Partum?

Reader Q: 

Hi!
I am 2 months postpartum and looking for a dress to wear to a wedding in September. I was hoping to wear something in my existing wardrobe but alas I am not quite back to my pre-baby shape. I used to be a size 0 and now, well, I'm not (sigh).

One issue is this voluptuous chest I now have (I'm breastfeeding). I used to be barely a B cup and now I'm a D! I have no idea what neck line or dress shape will flatter my current shape. I'm not comfortable in strapless dresses and would prefer something that is not too tight. I'm 5'2" and currently about 123 lbs…and still sporting a small pooch.

Any suggestions?? Thanks!
Meg in Philly

Answer:

Meg in Philly, you might be my body twin.  I also attended a wedding post-partum after Raines was born…but I was 9 months post-partum, not two!!  Chick, you are a rock-star.

We brought tiny little R.  The only time he ever slept through a feeding.  Ever. 

IMG_0316

I can soooo relate to your email.  And since I obviously have had weddings on the brain recently, I was able to quickly whip up some options for you.

(And readers – Meg later clarified that the baby will be staying at home, so thankfully nursing won't be an issue.)

I have essentially five different dress styles that I think work best for pooch-hiding.  And they basically fall into two categories:

  • Hide the Pooch
  • Distract From the Pooch With 'the girls' 

So here we go….

Dresses That Will Hide The Heck Outta That Pooch

  DressHiding

(Clockwise from top left:  TBags Ruffle Mini Dress in blue, $166 at Zappos | Jules Dress in colorblock, $188 at JCrew | Green Palm Party Dress rents for $85 at RentTheRunway | Orange Ruffle Dress by BCBG, $228 at Nordstroms)

 

1. Trapeze Dresses (With Bonus Layers)

Trapeze dresses flow out, over the pooch.  But here's the thing:  THESE ARE NOT EMPIRE WAIST DRESSES.

Trapeze dresses will drape from the TOP of the bust, NOT under the bust.  

There's nothing worse, post-partum, then an empire waist*.  An empire waist will show off a pooch, making you appear pregnant, while a trapeze silhouette will hide the pooch.   And I love that all of these trapeze dresses have some sort of ruffle or layering goin' on.  All of that extra fabric will help to hide the pooch. 

*Some empire-waist dresses combine an empire waist with a super-poofy skirt.  This works (it's the kind I'm wearing in the pic above.)

2.  Shift Dresses (With Spanx)

Shift dresses, ones that are cut slightly away from the body, like J.Crew's above, are great post-partum.  Layer Spanx underneath them, and voila!  The pooch is tamed.  The only downside to these dresses is that they tend to be fairly conservative up top, so if you are already feeling very busty, these might make it worse.  And please:  keep 'em short.  The vibe is mod, not mumu.

(NOTE:  Meg, when I first had Raines and shot up to a size D, it felt like I had grown a set of inflatable life rafts.  Consequently, I was so uncomfortable in strapless bras and most of my clothes.  But now that I've lived with my D cups for several years (lots of nursing and another pregnancy)….I finally realized something:  D is not that big.  I'm now comfortably rocking strapless and high-necked tees and other things I never initially thought possible.  So it does get easier with time.)  

 

Distract From The Pooch With Your Twin Weapons (Hint:  The ones attached to your chest)

  Girls

(Clockwise from top left:  Adrianna Papell Lace Bodice Sheath, $158 at Nordstroms | Riller and Fount Black Draped Cowl-Neck Mini Dress, $156 at Piperlime | Haute Hippie Electric Rose Dress, rents for $85 at RentTheRunway)

 

3. High-Waisted Magic Dresses

I don't understand why these work so well.  But a high-waisted skirt post-partum looks downright amazing.  At least from the front.  The side view – even in Spanx – will reveal the truth.  But only to people who are really looking for it (and no one should be really looking).  The deep v-neck top would be gorgeous on a large bust.  

4. Blousy, Drop-Waist Dresses

Again, wear Spanx. Then shimmy the dress down so the tight part of the mini hits under your pooch.  Between the Spanx and the blousing, you'll be covered.  And the top of this dress?  AWESOME.  You can even wear a regular bra…but make it a pretty one, it'll show.  (I'd do a pretty royal blue.)

5. Distract With…Everything Else

This little floral number is a great example of pooch     camouflage.  There's a crazy pattern, some longish ruffles, a sash, and a whole lotta busties up top.  In short?  No one will be looking for a pooch.  Wear some Spanx, and people will FREAK when they find out you are only 2 months post-partum.

 

Hope this helps, Meg!! Let us know what you decide!

xo,

S

5 Comments
  • Margo Red
    August 22, 2012

    For the sake of humanity (and many a breastfeeding mom’s dignity) I’d like to point out: many engorged nursing boobs are visibly VEINY. There have been so many times I’ve been around a lactating woman wearing a deep v-neck, tank top, or low-cut shirt (or tube top – really?) and the first thing that catches my eye isn’t their gigantic “girls,” it’s the purplish blue veins etched across their cleavage. This goes for women with darker skin tones too, not just pale ladies. I’m not saying that women should be ashamed of their enhanced blood circulation. Rather, if you’re lactating and you think you want to show off your bodacious tah-tahs, please get an objective second opinion on what the world sees (veins, veins, veins) vs. what you want them to see (Pamela Anderson).

  • Lauren
    August 22, 2012

    I wore a dress much like the Nordstrom lace-topped one above at three months postpartum to a cocktail party, and got loads of compliments (and disbelief when I mentioned the baby at home.) Another perk of this skirt style is that as I lost the baby weight, the silhouette just got more and more flattering. I can still rock the dress now; I highly recommend that one!

  • Cornelia
    August 22, 2012

    Great options! I’ve been on the hunt for a dress (I’m 7 months postpartum & nursing). For one wedding I’ll have baby, one I won’t — so I’m opting for something that I can pull down or easily shimmy the top down — assuming I would be in a private space to nurse or pump. I made an appt. at Nordstom for their personal shopping service – recommend it if you are near one. It’s free. I love the time saving aspect -and you can specify exactly what you’re looking for. So nice to have a little help! LOVE YOUR SITE, ANMJ!!

  • Amanda
    August 22, 2012

    I want to make one suggestion that may or may not be useful – make sure you really are wearing the right bra size. I cannot tell you the difference a properly fitted bra makes. Before pregnancy I wandered around for years wearing a 34B. I had a proper bra fitting at Nordstrom and discovered that I was in fact a 30D. The difference was amazing. When you bra doesn’t fit, your boobs will drop lower and sort of off to either side. This makes you look bigger than you are. Another site that explains how to size yourself correctly is Breakout Bras. I had to turn to this site for nursing bras after having my daughter. I ended up ballooning up to a 30G (and this is not something you can just walk into a store and buy.) And I am only about 5ft tall, so you really have my sympathy about feeling large on top. I know what this feels like. Wait another 3-4 months and you will probably drop down in size. I know I have.

  • Meg
    August 22, 2012

    Thanks for these great suggestions! I’ll let you know how I make out…

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