Reader Q | Wedding Guest Dresses For Postpartum Moms

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This post was originally published in — whoa — 2012, and, frankly, I’m having trouble wrapping my brain around that fact. So here we are, a whole decade later, and What to Wear to a Wedding is still one of our readers’ top questions. I swear we could dedicate an entire month to wedding guest attire. For this post, specifically, I wanted to focus on wedding guest dresses for new moms.

What To Wear To A Wedding At 2 Months Postpartum?

When I first wrote this article, it was in response to ‘Meg in Philly’ and my oldest was only two-years-old. Now, all these years later, my advice was still pretty sound, but a few of the styles of dresses could use a modern upgrade. Here’s what Meg asked:

Hi!
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 had also attended a wedding postpartum after Raines was born…but I was 9 months postpartum, not two!! Anyone attending weddings a mere two months after giving birth is a total rock star.

What to Wear to a Wedding is still 1 of our readers’ top questions. I swear we could dedicate an entire month to wedding guest attire. For this post, I want to focus on wedding guest dresses for new moms.
We brought tiny little R.  The only time he ever slept through a feeding.  Ever.

Ten years and two babies later…I’ve learned a few things about dressing as a new mom — after just having a baby and nursing. And while I do think that you should (first and foremost) just wear whatever the heck you want, I do understand wanting to play down the postpartum figure.

Just Had A Baby? 5 Wedding Guest Dress Ideas For Postpartum And/Or Nursing Moms

I rounded up a few of my favorite dress styles for those postpartum, nursing days. All of these dresses fall, on a varying scale, from either distracting the eye away from the stomach (a technique I still swear by) to using volume or other tricks (knots, draping, ruching, texture) to hide it.

Many of these dresses are nursing-friendly, too. Only a few are actual nursing dresses, but most of us have figured out (or will eventually figure out) how to nurse in regular clothing.


1. Wedding Guest Attire For New Moms: Start At Shop BURU

ShopBURU is an online boutique specifically for new moms. Morgan, the founder (and now, designer) of Shop BURU not only designs clothing with nursing mamas in mind, but she includes how-to-nurse information in the description of each piece. (This dress, as one example, has a hidden front zipper for nursing.) Additionally, most (if not all) of the pieces she designs are machine washable.

ShopBURU is an online boutique specifically for new moms. Morgan, the founder (and now, designer) of Shop BURU not only designs clothing with nursing mamas in mind, but she includes how-to-nurse information in the description of each piece.

floral dress, left | skirt | floral dress, right

Best of all? Her designs are gorgeous. Morgan likes classic, timeless pieces…but with some drama. While her collection is ultimately, very practical, it always feels a little fancy, too, making it perfect for special occasions. I can attest to the timelessness of her designs. Even, ahem, 11 years postpartum (haha), and I’m still happily shopping at Shop BURU (just bought these pants, actually).


2. Wedding Guest Dresses For New Moms: Find Stretchy, Ruched Dresses

Stretchy dresses with ruching are probably my top pick for wedding guest dress ideas, simply because these are still the dresses I love to wear, all these years later. They’re comfortable, flattering and sexy as hell.

The first place I’d start to look? Norma Kamali. While all of her designs are gorgeous, her Grecian-goddess Diana dress is my favorite. It’s timeless, beautiful and comes in a ton of colors/fabrics (I’m seriously considering this daring one).

Stretchy dresses with ruching are probably my top pick for wedding guest dress ideas, simply because these are still the dresses I love to wear, all these years later.  They're comfortable, flattering and sexy as hell.

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Note: Most of these dresses do benefit from shaper underwear, but there’s often enough ruching that it truly doesn’t matter.


3. Wedding Guest Dresses For New Moms: Distract With Patterns

Wildly pretty dresses are a joy to wear, and a great print can make up for a lot of sleepless nights And if said dress also has some design details that provide further camouflage (ruching, tie-waist, ruffles, swingy shape, etc.,), that’s a bonus.

Wildly pretty dresses are a joy to wear, and a great print can make up for a lot of sleepless nights  And if said dress also has some design details that provide further camouflage (ruching, tie-waist, ruffles, swingy shape, etc.,), that's a bonus.

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4. Wedding Guest Dresses For New Moms: Look For Knots, Pleats, Twists Or Strategic Drape

If you don’t want to go with pretty florals or bold patterns, there’s plenty of other design details that can help hide a softer stomach. A strategically-placed knot, a bit of intentionally twisted fabric, or a well-placed drape not only has a cool, nonchalant vibe, but is wildly flattering, as well.

If you don't want to go with pretty florals or bold patterns, there's plenty of other design details that can help hide a softer stomach. A strategically-placed knot, a bit of intentionally twisted fabric, or a well-placed drape not only has a cool, nonchalant vibe, but is wildly flattering, as well.

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5. Wedding Guest Dresses For New Moms: Try Trapeze, Empire or Other Swingy Shapes

Dresses with voluminous silhouettes can easily hide a postpartum stomach. A trapeze dress, for example, has volume that starts just under the shoulder and swings out. Empire waist dresses have a swingy skirt that starts just under the bust (and ones with a poufy skirt do a better job of hiding a stomach, rather than highlighting it). Drop waist dresses don’t flare out until lower on the hips, but most have more room in the waist (they’re almost never fitted). Even a traditional shift dress can work postpartum, as long as the waist is comfortable, and not too fitted.

Dresses with voluminous silhouettes can easily hide a postpartum stomach. A trapeze dress, for example, has volume that starts just under the shoulder and swings out. Empire waist dresses have a swingy skirt that starts just under the bust (and ones with a poufy skirt do a better job of hiding a stomach, rather than highlighting it).

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The Best Strapless Bra For Nursing Mamas (+ Do I Need Spanx?)

While a few of these dress choices can be worn with a regular bra (or nursing bra), most of my dress options require a strapless bra. Oddly enough, strapless bras were one of my favorite bras to nurse in. I preferred the strapless bras with really thick, molded foam cups (the kind that retain their shape.) Because they retain their shape, they were easy to flip down to nurse…and then would just snap back up into place.

The best strapless bra for nursing mamas (based on my own experience and reader recommendations) is Wacoal’s Red Carpet Strapless Bra. I’ve also a tons of luck with ThirdLove’s strapless bra as well.

In the early postpartum days, I did love me some shapers (Spanx or otherwise) under my clothes. The extra support felt really good after my C-Section, and there’s no doubt that these shapers do help hide postpartum stomach softness. That said, while most of these dress will look amazing with a little help from Spanx…I tried to source dresses that don’t really need it.

If interested…I swore by Yummie for light support and Spanx’s shorts, otherwise.

Hope this helps!!

xo,

S

Oh, hey, Pinners!

What to Wear to a Wedding is still 1 of our readers’ top questions. I swear we could dedicate an entire month to wedding guest attire. For this post, I want to focus on wedding guest dresses for new moms.