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
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.
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
(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)
(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!