Oh, Cartagena! You are magical! If by any chance you follow me on Instagram @julietatorresd, you may have seen we just spent 3 weeks in Colombia. Even though we could be traveling other places, we always go back to our country because of one thing: Family. We usually spend our time in Bogotá, but this time we decided to do something different: leave the kids back in Bogotá with my family and take a few days for just the two of us. Cartagena was our choice and it was the best decision.
I’ll be writing a travel guide to Cartagena soon, but for now, I wanted to share what I decided to wear to this magical city. 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. It’s not pretty and that 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 it’s just a second and may not show everything.
But you know what? I’ve worked hard for my postpartum body. It’s not back and will never be, but I nourish it the best way I can, I move it regularly and I’ve been more consistent with my diastasis recti workout. My gap has closed significantly and I can see the waist I used to have coming back. Although, I have to admit the word tummy-tuck has been in the back of my head lately.
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. It doesn’t matter what I do, my saggy skin is there. As a matter of fact, it’s even more noticeable now that I’ve lost some weight and my diastasis has closed more. That’s my problem area and I work around it. But I can highlight my legs, waist or small upper body.
Keeping that in mind, this is what I wore for 3 days of uninterrupted time with my husband in one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been to: Cartagena! Just so you know, there’s high-rise or full torso smoothing underwear involved. Also, thick waistbands in pants and shorts are magic.
1. One Piece Swimsuit with High-rise Wide Leg Pants
swimsuit (size 4) I scarf (on sale) I sandals (on sale) I bag
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, whether I’m playing with the kids in the water, wearing it as bodysuit or in a rooftop pool in a hotel of Cartagena. I like to replace the ties that pants come with for either silk scarves or leather belts.
My pants are Aqua exclusive for Bloomingdale’s but they are gone, so I rounded up similar below.
2. Vertical Striped Jumpsuit
My love for jumpsuits, specially vertical striped ones doesn’t seem to go away. They are easy and put together at the same time. Perfect for a quick change before dinner. Shop very similar and other striped jumpsuits below.
3. Bikini Top with High-rise Shorts
bikini bottoms I bikini top (on sale) I shorts (similar)
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 this bikini with high-rise bottoms. I’m not super-comfortable in a bikini yet because my stretchy skin goes above my belly button and it can peek out very easily, so for the most part I had these high-waisted shorts on. TIP: When you have a soft stomach even if wearing high-waisted bottoms, go for thick waistbands. They slim the waist more and help conceal that mommy 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. Doesn’t squeeze my middle, which is a problem with this style, and the vertical lines and print helped conceal my mommy tummy. You can choose the style you want for the top. There’s a halter version or a strapless one. The print is so good that there’s even one-pieces in it. Check below.
4. Sheath Dress
I LOVE this dress. Yes, you can see a little bit of a tummy there, but as Jennifer Garner once said: “I have had three kids and there is a bump… It’s not going anywhere.” OK, in my case it’s two kids, but same thing.
On another note, I love this brand LIKELY. I’ve liked a lot of dresses from them. Below are my favorites because mine is practically gone.
5. High-waisted Trousers and a Crop Top
OK! So I thought about this one a lot. But when I noticed the pants covered my entire problem area, I just went for it. I walked and biked in this outfit, and I felt amazing. Again the trick of getting pants with a thick waistband is key for a soft lower stomach. These are the Leigh ones from the Nordstrom sale. Check and you may get lucky if someone returns. This would work with a pretty bikini top too.
I found some similar pants and two sets that I’m obsessed with from Reformation. See them below.
Did you notice I mostly wore one bag with everything? This Rattan bag is so spacious I ended up choosing it over the rest I took because I could fit some makeup, my wallet, even my camera. When I’m out with the kids I can fit a date bottle, snacks, my phone and some other things. I haven’t given it a break this whole season.
6. A Beautiful Floral Dress
Didn’t exactly wear it in Cartagena ’cause I had worn it two days before to my 30th birthday party, but it was perfect for Cartagena too — and it’s in stock, so I had to include it! It’s GORGEOUS!
dress (wearing XS)
I could not have been happier with this dress. It’s mid-length and I wore it with these Sam Edelman nude sandals.
That’s all…. Mamas get out of that comfort zone! Try things you wouldn’t normally. They may not work but what if they do? What if there’s a confidence boost hidden behind them? Sometimes the only judgy eyes are ours and nobody is noticing our flaws but us.
Follow me over on Instagram (@julietatorresd) for more mommy tummy, ways I dress it and a raw and vulnerable take on motherhood. I believe social media shouldn’t be for the good things only.
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!
Thank you!!! It’s a beautiful city. Hope you go one day!
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.
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.
Awww thank you!! and I hope you go soon! I may be biased but I love my country
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.
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.
YEs to wearing what makes us feel awesome!!! Thank you!
Que linda! You look adorable!
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!
(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!) ?
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?
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!
So beautiful-You and the city!
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.
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.
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…
Omg, u killed it! It looks effortless and super sexy, all of it.
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!