What I Wore In Cartagena, Colombia

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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.

My postpartum body changed what I wear, so on our Cartagena getaway, I got out of my comfort zone. Here are the 6 outfits that made me feel sexy & confident.

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

At first on my vacation in Cartagena, Colombia, I was still getting comfortable w/ showing skin. So, I started w/ a cute 1-piece swimsuit & high-waisted, wide-leg pants to keep covered.

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.

For my 1-piece swimsuit & wide-leg pants outfit, I like to replace the pants' tie with a silk scarf or leather belt.

similar swimsuit l similar pants l sandals l bag

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 & put-together at the same time.

My love for jumpsuits is big. They’re easy and put-together at the same time. Perfect for a quick change before dinner.

A nice jumpsuit is perfect for a quick change before dinner on vacation.

similar jumpsuit

Shop Gorgeous Jumpsuits


3. A Bikini Top With High-Waisted Shorts

Pairing a cute bikini top w/ high-waisted shorts is a easy, comfy way to be ready to get in & out of the water.

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.

IF you have a soft stomach — even if wearing high-waisted shorts or bathing suit bottoms — go for thick waistbands. They slim the waist more & help conceal the tummy.

similar bikini bottoms l similar bikini top l similar shorts

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

The ruffles of this pretty dress work well to distract from a softer stomach, which is just inevitable for me after having 2 kids.

similar dress | bag

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

The longer I was in Cartagena, Colombia, the more relaxed I felt about showing more skin. From a 1-piece swimsuit to a crop top...

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.

Getting trousers with a thick waistband is vital for concealing a soft lower stomach, for me.

similar top l similar pants bag l similar sandals

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

I go for printed dresses w/ the most colors in my color palette, which always helps it stay in rotation + go easily w/ my closet year after year.

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


My trip to Cartagena, Colombia, was the best way to get out of my style comfort zone.

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.

Besos,

Julieta

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.

My postpartum body changed what I wear, so on our Cartagena getaway, I got out of my comfort zone. Here are the 6 outfits that made me feel sexy & confident.

24 COMMENTS

  1. All your outfits look sooo good! Like your swim suit/body suit idea too. Also looks like a beautiful City, would love to go sometime! Thanks for sharing!

  2. What great styles and looks you’ve put together. I, too, am a bit nervous about bikinis… but I would be open to trying high-waisted ones… just to see, anyway. What sort of exercises do you do for your diastasis recti?

    • Thats what I did I wanted to see how one would make me feel. I loved the variety and it was a nice break form the one-pieces one been wearing for the past 5 years. I initially got the “Loose your mommy tummy” book by Julia Tupler. I learned what to do and what not to do. I do her breathing exercises. Then this year I started using the Sweat App and have been doing the post-pregnancy workouts. Very gentle moves that have helped my diastasis.

  3. muchas gracias for your candidness – you look amazing! having babies is not for the weak! 😉 they put our bodies through a lot! one day we’ll get to Colombia! my husband’s family is from there.

  4. You look amazing! I hope you continue to rock these outfits and feel great about yourself while doing sp! Thanks for giving the rest of us mommas a positive take on the realities of post baby bodies, and the encouragement to be kinder to ourselves! I loved your comment about approaching dressing yourself as you would someone else, with a kinder and gentler approach.

    • Thank you!!! And it’s really my pleasure, there really needs to be more talk on the realities of postpartum bodies. Not just the usual “how to get your body back” I always I can help even just one person feel better.

  5. Love this! Thank you for the inspiration. You look great, and here’s to all of us feeling good in our bodies and wearing what makes us feel awesome.

  6. Thanks for sharing your postpartum body! My tummy, after two kids and now 3 years after the birth of my 2nd, looks like yours. My DR is now down to 2 fingers. I crossfit and run marathons and I’m starting to feel more confident because of what my body can do! It’s just nice to know that other mamas out there look like me… it doesn’t seem like enough of us are willing to show it. Thank you!

  7. (Also, you’re totally a babe and look beautiful! I got too caught up in being excited by someone sharing their strong, beautiful postpartum bod!) ?

  8. Wow! Love how you did bright colors and flattering patterns. Trying to move away from all dark solids here… While we’re at it, what’s your smoothing underwear of choice?

  9. You look stunning in everything!! I love that you got out of your comfort zone and rocked cropped tops! And the pic of you (in that gorgeous dress!) with your family is breathtaking!

  10. What an incredible post!! You look fabulous in all of it. And I love the inspiration in this post, too. I especially love both of the dresses and the high waist Leith pants. I just ordered them, as a matter of fact! Also, I, too, wore a bikini this summer for the first time in about 15 years. I don’t love my body in it, yet, but I’ll get there.

  11. Honey, you look AMAZING. And your outfits like great! I love seeing how all you different mommas play to your strengths. It gives me inspiration that maybe one day I’ll figure me out and not look like a schlub :)Thank you for your vulnerability and strength.

  12. You look amazing! Question- I assume you’re wearing a strapless bra with many of these adorable outfits. Which one do you recommend? I tend to avoid dresses/shirts if I can’t wear a regular bra because I have yet to find a strapless I don’t hate…

  13. Thank you so much for sharing these fabulous outfits and for talking about diastasis recti. I am rehabbing my DR after baby number 3 and I’m also facing some pelvic floor issues, apparently those issues are related. I knew I would have DR during my third (and last!! Lol) pregnancy since I had it during my second pregnancy but I was not prepared for pelvic floor instability. I’ve learned that DR and pelvic floor problems affect most women who’ve had multiple births. My body is stronger every day and I work diligently to close my abdominal gap, stay as healthy as possible and stay moving. I actually look fine but am emotionally recovering from the toll of three babies in 5 years and from the shock of a pretty large diastasis and saggy skin. It’s so inspirational to see someone as beautiful and confident as you facing the same issue and just being open about it. I love your posts and am so thankful for your honesty and advice. I also think you are helping women identify an issue that often goes undiagnosed. So many women think that they just need to work out harder and they don’t know they may have DR. It’s not your fault mamas and it can be rehabbed. So go you! Thank you!

  14. I really loved your high waisted shorts and high waisted bikini. You noted similar items, but not those specifically. Could you reference where those can be purchased?

    • HI Jennifer. This post was first published a few years ago, so I can’t link to the same things I wear, but I searched the web for similar items. I love the high-waisted swimsuits by Agua Bendita, which have been my go-to for years.

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