A Perfect Post-Partum Outfit: Pooch Hiding, Nursing and Babywearing Friendly


PC096231 I love this pic.  Despite the fact that Pax was born 3 weeks ago, I hardly look post-partum at all!  Happy day.  Unfortunately, it's only a trick of the eye, due in large part to my husbands mad photography skills, the sweet cape/poncho thing I'm wearing, and the fact that I squeezed into a Belly Bandit (talked about here) per J's instructions:  "put it on so tight you can barely breathe!"

Belly Bandit or no, this will be my default (aka wear everyday) post-partum outfit until I loose the pooch.  Or at least until I lose most of the pooch.  Or summer hits…whichever comes first. 

So here's what's working for me:

Gilligan O'Malley's nursing cami (that M sang the praises about here…and BTW – they are fitting nice and long), a Splendid v-neck tee (bought a size or two up) and the star of the show, Madewell's Novella Caplet, $88 (which they are quickly running out of).

What makes this outfit perfect for post-partum?  Well, on a pooch-hiding scale, this caplet scores a 75% (without the Belly Bandit)…meaning I only get asked when I'm "due" roughly 25% of the time. 

(My current fav was the Sephora chick, who, after realizing her mistake, attempted to make it better with this little gem: "OMG!  I'm so sorry!!  It's just that I can tell that you are usually really skinny, you know?  And right now, you're just not…you know…skinny."  Moral of the story?  Don't go shopping 3 weeks post-partum.  Not necessary and bad for self-esteem.)PC096274

But in addition to pooch-hiding, the Novella Capelet allows for easy nursing, and a few times I've actually been able to nurse without have to bust out the official nursing "cape".  Or hooter hider, or whatever they are called.  I prefer to call them nursing "capes"…it makes me feel like a super-hero.  "Just a second, Pax, let me find a phone booth…"

Lastly, and this IS the Holy Grail of post-partum clothing, I can easily baby-wear in it.  

Cold outside?  I can actually button it up over the babe (I bought it a size larger, just for this purpose):


Is this my best look?  No, it is not.  But it's a heck of a lot better than this:


Would you guys hate me if I only did articles on the various ways to style this capelet…you know, just until June? 

Sigh. I'm sure M would do an intervention before then.  So…I guess you're safe.  But seriously – PPW THIS, Bee-yotches!*


*Price Per Wear




  1. It’s a magical outfit!
    btw – i broke down and bought skinny jeans for our family portraits. I wore them with boots I already own and a trench. It’s entirely your fault that I looked as good as I did. Thank you!

  2. Shana, we would NOT be mad but as I’m due any day now, I would LOVE some fresh ideas for winter post partum outfits. I’m so sick of being huge, I really need trying to have a little style after baby to look forward to!

  3. LOVE that outfit Shana! I think we need a whole post on babywearing-friendly outfits, because since I wear mine every day I’ve had to get creative! Off I go to write down some ideas…

  4. Oh Emily – your comment makes me SO happy!  Good for you!  (and a trench?  Wow – nice touch)
    Stephanie – two words: Bella band. But thank you!!
    Rachel – “sick of being huge” – sing it, sister.  By the end of the pregnancy it was hard to remember a time WITHOUT a belly.  I’ll work on more postpartum options.
    Lane – LOVE this idea!!! I remember struggling to find good ones with R, too.  Totally worth an article!  Or 6.
    M – he’s so proud of that lens.  It’s like living with paparazzi at the moment…
    Zarah – yes.  Yes it is.  I so wanted to love it (see lane’s comment- good babywearing outfits are so hard to find)….but…sigh.
    Jacci – OMG I LOVE newborns!!!! LOVE.  :). Thanks again, chicky!

  5. yes! love this outfit!! i second the idea of posting on winter postpartum/nursing friendly/babywearing friendly outfits. i’m right there with ya, sister. my second is almost two months old, and my 2011 resolution is to look as fab as i can despite this challenges of this stage of life! thanks for your blog!

  6. Gang – I screwed up. In the original draft of this article (AND my comment above) I keep crediting the Bella Band with sucking in my post-partum gut. M pointed out, however, that the Bella Band is that rather soft, stretchy thing we use to hide our unbuttoned pants while pregnant.
    Ummmm….that’s NOT what I’ve been using to control the pooch. What I meant to say is that I’ve been using the Belly Bandit – a much wider, thicker, stronger gut-hiding contraption. We first mentioned it here: http://www.aintnomomjeans.com/2010/02/strategiestoavoidlookingpreggoafterbaby.html
    I think I love it.
    Anyway, the article has been updated with the correct product name. Sorry for the confusion!!

  7. Super cute! Any tips on finding a cool cape for those of us who don’t buy anything for $88? Lol. One time I bought an LBD for like $75 clearance, but usually my purchases are more like $15 clearance rack sweaters. It’s worth it to be able to be a SAHM for me, but it’d still be fun to have cute things like an awesome cape!

  8. Wow, what a perfect babyfit dress and I hope that it will finish down mothers’ worries to carry and pick babies. Now, mothers will carry babies without getting tired. I hope that this dress would get too much popularity in mothers due to its comfort.

  9. Maman A Droit – I haven’t been ignoring you, just trying to find something similar! I haven’t been able to find anything that buttons (except the Old Navy cape we featured in our style rules part 1 article)…but Forever21 has some cute ponchos for around $20. http://www.forever21.com/product.asp?catalog_name=FOREVER21&category_name=outwr&product_id=2000012144&showBACK=OK
    However, I did see many VERY expensive options…which often means that the cheaper brands will follow along so keep looking…

  10. Thanks! I’ll keep an eye out! It’s so hard to justify spending much on “trendy” things that I’m afraid I won’t be able to wear many seasons.
    But I do love the look of the cape on you!
    Maybe some of the expensive ones will trickle down to TJ Maxx or dept store clearance racks while they’re still somewhat in style so I can snatch one up!

  11. I love this outfit! My only complaint about the nursing tanks is the uni-boob look it gives! I am flat as it is and this makes the girls even flatter! On the other hand I need a tank to cover my pooch while nursing!
    I second what a previous poster said about needing a whole post on Babywearing/nursing friendly tops!

  12. Tamara – oh, uniboob. How I hate it. But I’m not yet willing to give up the nursing cami (especially since I’m now doing shaper camis)…but hmmm…there is this one…let me find and get back to you…

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