Oh, Cartagena! You are magical! If by any chance you follow me on Instagram @julietatorresd, you may have seen that we go back to our homeland one to two times a year. Even though we could be traveling to other places, we always go back because of 1. familia, and 2. Colombia, the second most biodiverse country in the world, packs some of the most magical places.
We usually spend at least half our trip in Bogotá, visiting our two big families. But then, we do a family trip to a new place, and then we like to include a little getaway without kids. We leave them back in Bogotá with my family and take a few days for just the two of us. Cartagena was our choice this time.
What I Wore Postpartum In Cartagena, Colombia: Finding Confidence Out Of My Comfort Zone
More than exactly what I wore, I wanted to share that I wanted to get out of my comfort zone.
You may be familiar with my postpartum-belly situation, which has changed what I wear in many ways. I often (all the time) feel over-conscious, even if you don’t see it in the pics. Remember, a pic is just a second and may not show everything.
But you know what? I’ve worked hard for my postpartum body. It’s not “back” because it never left. It changed.
I nourish it the best way I can. I move it regularly and have been more consistent with my diastasis recti workout.
Every time I help someone get dressed, I always try to highlight their best assets and balance their silhouette, so this time I looked at my body with a compassionate eye instead of a judging one and decided to do just that. My stretch marks and saggy skin are there regardless of what I do. That’s the area I don’t feel comfortable showing, so I prefer to highlight my legs, waist or small upper body.
Originally posted in 2018, this post has been updated for 2023. Since then, I got an abdominoplasty to repair my muscles and remove the extra skin. Now, I have my hip-to-hip battle scar and even went up a few sizes. These are still outfit formulas I wear and swear by.
6 Confidence-Boosting Vacation Outfits I Wore In Cartagena, Colombia
Without further ado, I wore these outfits for three days of uninterrupted time with my husband in one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been to, Cartagena!
High-rise or full-torso smoothing underwear is involved. Also, thick waistbands in pants and shorts are magic. I also recommend leaving room in your bags to support the local market and getting a gorgeous dress or swimsuit there. I get most of my swimsuits in Colombia, and the quality is the best.
1. A One-Piece Swimsuit With High-Waisted Wide-Leg Pants
That was Day 1. I was still warming up, so I kept it covered for the most part. This swimsuit has been on repeat all summer (here’s a similar one), whether I’m playing with the kids in the water, wearing it as a bodysuit, or in a rooftop pool in a hotel in Cartagena. I like to replace the ties that pants come with, with either silk scarves or leather belts.
Shop Versatile 1-Piece Bathing Suits
Shop Loose Linen Pants
2. A Comfy Yet Sexy Jumpsuit
My love for jumpsuits is big. They’re easy and put-together at the same time. Perfect for a quick change before dinner.
Shop Gorgeous Jumpsuits
3. A Bikini Top With High-Waisted Shorts
On this day, we rented a boat and headed to the islands surrounding the city. I knew I would be in and out of the water all day, so I wore a bikini with high-rise bottoms. I wasn’t comfortable in a bikini at this time because my stretchy skin went above my belly button and could peek out very easily, so I had these high-waisted shorts on for the most part.
TIP: IF you have a soft stomach — even if wearing high-waisted shorts — go for thick waistbands. They slim the waist more and help conceal the tummy.
Now, let’s get into this gorgeous bikini. I’ve had such a hard time with bathing suits as a mom, but I REALLY wanted a high-waisted bikini. I fell in love with this one (this is a similar set: bikini top, high-waisted bottoms). It doesn’t squeeze my middle, which is a problem with this style, and the vertical lines and print helped conceal my mommy-tummy. I’ve also realized a pattern will conceal the lumps and bumps easier than a solid color, so I’ll go for a printed bottom even if I choose a solid-color top.
Shop Printed Bikinis With High-Waisted Bottoms
Shop High-Waisted Shorts
4. A Flirty Dress
I LOVE this dress. The ruffles work well to distract from a softer stomach, which is just inevitable for me after having two kids. As Jennifer Garner once said: “I have had three kids, and there is a bump… It’s not going anywhere.”
On another note, I love this brand LIKELY. I’ve liked a lot of its dresses. Below are my favorites because mine is practically gone. Or try this pretty green dress from Reformation.
Shop Flirty Dresses
5. High-Waisted Trousers With A Crop Top + Flatform Sandals
Did you see the progress from picture one in a one-piece swimsuit to a bikini and now a crop top? This is the order I wore things there, and with every outfit, I felt more and more relaxed about showing more skin.
I walked and biked in this outfit, and I felt amazing. Again, getting pants with a thick waistband is, for me, vital for a soft lower stomach. This will work with a pretty bikini top, or even better, if you find a great linen trouser set like this one from Reformation, you can then mix and match it with other pieces in your closet.
Shop High-Waisted Trousers & Sets
Shop Sexy Crop Tops
I know these can be scary, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear them — the styling is everything. I wouldn’t have worn mine without the pants that covered a big part of my stomach. So, find what’s more comfortable for you and rock a sexy little crop top.
Shop Flatform Sandals
You do a lot of walking in Cartagena, and there are cobblestone streets, so block heels and platform sandals are necessary.
Did you notice I mostly wore one bag with everything? This rattan bag is so spacious, I chose it over the others I brought because I could fit some makeup, my wallet and even my camera. I can also fit a water bottle, snacks, my phone and other things when I’m out with the kids. I haven’t given it a break this whole season.
6. A Beautiful Printed Dress
In every warm-weather/beach vacation, I bring a gorgeous floral or printed dress with a sexy detail like a cutout, slit or neckline. I go for prints with the most colors in my color palette, which always helps it stay in rotation and go easily with my closet year after year.
Shop Sexy Printed Dresses
That’s all… Mamas, get out of that comfort zone! Try things you wouldn’t normally do. They may not work, but what if they do? What if there’s a confidence boost hidden behind them? Nobody notices our perfect imperfections but us.
Do you want to stop wearing black, know what colors make you glow the most, and fine-tune your style? I’ll be opening spots in the upcoming weeks. Be the first to know here. You can also join me on IG (@julietatorresd) for casual-chic outfits. I’d love to see you there.