Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Nothing Fits After Having Kids!

I'm sure every woman has gone though a time in their life when they've stood in front of their closet and whimpered those two awful words- "nothing fits".  Whatever the reason, now is the season for embracing the best version of you!  Summer time is a perfect time to break out the accessories, play around with colorful accents, even try out a new floral or print. There's just something about the abundance of sunshine and freedom of summer that makes it easier to reinvent your style. 
Step 1- First off, embrace YOU. What is your best or most favorite feature? Your legs? Waist? Arms? The negative can be too easy to focus on- looking for the positive is the most beneficial challenge. There is something good there, so find it and then dress to show it off.
Step 2-You have a new body, so try a new style. I had never worn skinny jeans until after I had a baby. Now they are my go-to silhouette! You never know what’s going to work until you try it. Now is a great time to experiment.
Figure out what works for your lifestyle. I can’t wear skirts anymore – anything short enough to keep me from tripping is also short enough for my toddler to flash my undies to anyone in view. So, um, no more skirts. This summer, I’ve turned to shorts more and more because they’re so practical. Bermudas are especially nice because they can be rolled up for a different look.
Find something that makes clothes feel like “you.” For me, that was seeking out styles with baby-safe embellishments (no sequins or beads, please). These are also easy to DIY. A ruffle or a bit of lace can make a regular t feel special and even dressy without sacrificing comfort or practicality. The same goes for patterns.
Consider a color palette when shopping. There are some colors I just don’t wear, and there are some that I wear all the time. That awareness makes those colors feel like mine, even if it’s just a plain shirt.
Play with patterns, especially on top: Even if you’re a solids girl at heart, now might be the time to start exploring florals, geometrics, and abstracts. Your body is in flux and may have a few lumps and bumps in unexpected places. Instead of squeezing into shapewear or beating yourself up, try not worrying about it. Patterned tops and dresses distract and downplay.
Consider your figure-flattery prioritiEmpire-waist tops and dresses will mask your midsection, but may also make your torso appear short.
  • Best for: Gals who want to downplay their hips, tall women
  • Blouson-style tops with elastic bottom bands will give your belly some room, but may also draw attention to your hips.
    Best for: Athletic and boyish figures, gals who want attention drawn to hips and bum
  • Wide-legged pants are often comfy, but may make you look big all over.
    Best for: Days when comfort is top priority
Embrace the tunic/legging formula: Leggings and jeggings offer comfort and sleekness, tunics offer comfort and style. That’s a double dose of comfort, people!
Don’t mourn the loss of your old body. Just embrace what you’ve got now. Live in the moment, right? You never know what tomorrow might bring.

Take care of your body. But not just with exercise, food and sleep…

Sometimes you feel like your body is pushed to extremes. You can go months without a full night’s sleep. You put off going to the bathroom for hours. You find the energy to chase after your toddler even when you can’t manage to make yourself a coffee.
Take that extra few minutes to shave your legs. File your feet if you get callouses. Pluck your eyebrows – whatever you feel like you just never get to do. You will feel sooo much better after! And no one will be the worse for the few extra minutes it took you.

Get a new wardrobe.

This one is tough. It takes money. And it takes accepting that you’re not going to fit in your old clothes again right away. And even if you do, your old clothes probably won’t fit you the way they used to. Maybe styles have even changed.
Those are clothes that can bless someone else now. What you need is a set of clothes that look fantastic on you at this moment, as you are today. If it’s been a year and you are still wearing your maternity clothes and yoga pants, it’s time to go shopping.
Look for things that will make complete outfits, so you don’t have to spend too much time picking out what to wear each day. Take note of how your body and your tastes may have changed. (I’m loving brighter colors than before, too – I find they pick me up and add a cheery note after a long, sleepless night. And I think I’ve changed from a pear shape to more apple-like now.)
Your lifestyle is different now, too. No matter what you were doing before, now you’re a mom. And even if you’re still active socially and working, etc., your basic role in the universe has changed.
Not to say you should get white sneakers and mom jeans, but rather, the opposite. Find the well-fitting, comfortable clothes that let you feel like you look good but let you move and groove without fuss as you go about your day.
It’s worth the investment. Even if your weight is higher on the scale than you’d like, you’ll see you can look – and feel – wonderful just as you are right now.
A note about finding the time to go shopping
I find it incredibly hard to shop at the mall now, with little ones in tow. Instead, I have found the retailers online that carry clothes that fit me and flatter my new shape. I wait for mega sales and then pick up wonderful bargains. My favorite clothing brand right now is Boden. Every July and December they mark their clothes down as much as 70%, and I swoop up body-skimming (and slimming) tunic tops, fun sandals and cute jersey dresses. The best part is that I’ve found many of the styles look great within a range of different weights – some things I was wearing when I was 15 lbs heavier still look great on, and I hope to keep wearing them as more weight comes off. Nicer pieces I may get tailored as I go.

And one more clothing tip.

Get new undergarments!
I don’t know if you have found this same thing, but I realized my pre-pregnancy underpants ended right under where my belly protrudes, making it look even worse. A higher rise takes care of that and smoothes things right out. See some more recommendations in my Super Mom Kit post.

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