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Everything You Need To Know About Postpartum Fashion: 5 Style Essentials You’re Going To Need

By Anna Hartman··  6 min read
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POV: You’ve got an adorable new human to care for and, at this point, you’re practically running on caffeine, dry shampoo, and baby coos.

It’s likely that your last thought while recovering from birth and adjusting to your new life as a mom is what you’re going to wear for the day, but let me tell you why it shouldn’t be. The first 12 weeks after you’ve given birth can be the most crucial for taking care of your mental health and ensuring that you’re doing everything in your power to remain healthy and joyful for your tiny new addition. 

It’s a well-known fact that when we look better, we feel better (leading to a baby who feels better too – yes, your mood affects your newborn’s development even as early as 1 month old). As one woman stated beautifully, “​​The woman who is well dressed despite her busy day is the woman who is saying, ‘I value myself, I’m not rushed, I’m in control’. The mother with a months old baby who manages to actually get dressed and wear some lipstick is saying, ‘I’m still here, I’m still me, holding on’. How we get dressed speaks volumes without saying a word.”

Now, all of that isn’t to say that I expect any new mom to spend hours getting ready each morning just to walk around her house in a dress and heels. After navigating through postpartum myself only a year ago and having a baby who needed to nurse as often as every hour throughout the night for months, trust me when I say that I can empathize with you not wanting to prioritize your outfit.

In the same breath, I will tell you that from my experience, I felt a significant difference in my overall mood, energy, and productivity on days when I put effort into my appearance versus days when I didn’t change out of my pajamas. In order to feel the positive effects of pulling yourself together during the postpartum period, you don’t need to be impractical or uncomfortable in any sense. 

Today, we’re getting into the five style essentials that saved me throughout the first three months post-birth and the items I recommend to all new mommas. These wardrobe staples allowed me to get dressed with ease, comfort, and practicality while boosting my self-esteem, and I’m confident they’ll do the same for you. 

1. Stretchy Black Leggings

A solid pair of stretchy black leggings will carry you far in life – especially when it comes to navigating your new role as a mom. Between the food you’ll spill on yourself while juggling breastfeeding and the bloodstains that are bound to pop up, black leggings are great for hiding the appearance of foul play.

Since I wasn’t even close to fitting back into my jeans during the postpartum period (and honestly, who wants to wear tight jeans at that point anyway?), black leggings were my go-to. They were easy for pairing with a billowy blouse in order to feel pretty and pulled together while remaining comfy. 

For Your Closet: Simply Vera Vera Wang High Rise Leggings, $26

Simply Vera Vera Wang High Rise Leggings

2. Billowy Blouse

Which brings me to my next essential: you’re going to need a billowy blouse (or three, depending on the spit-up situation). Once again, anything tight is going to feel incredibly uncomfortable on a healing body. If you’re breastfeeding, this is especially true. During this time, your breasts will be sore and engorged, and the last thing you’re going to want is a top that feels restrictive. Opt for a relaxed, flowy blouse that you can easily slip your baby underneath when it’s time to nurse. 

For Your Closet: Old Navy Shirred Double-Weave Long Sleeve Blouse, $34.99

Old Navy Shirred Double-Weave Long Sleeve Blouse

3. Flowy Maxi Dress

As an ultra-feminine girl myself, there’s not much that I enjoy more than slipping into a beautiful dress. I’ll be honest – the majority of my closet is packed full of dresses perfectly color-coordinated from pink to… well, just different shades of pink, but you get the point. 

Whether you’re sleep-deprived and just trying to get through the morning, or you’re having the time of your life while soaking in all the newborn snuggles, galavanting around your house in a flowy maxi dress will make you feel polished and ready to tackle anything the day throws at you (yes, even poo). 

Choose a casual, loose-fitted dress with a soft, lightweight fabric, and you’ll feel just as comfortable as if you were wearing your pajamas. If you're nursing, go for either a wrap dress, something with a stretchy V-neck design, or a nap dress to make on-demand breastfeeding easiest.

For Your Closet: A New Day Ruffle Sleeve A-line Dress, $23.99

Women-s Short Ruffle Sleeve A-Line Dress - A New Day

4. Casual Overalls

Now, I will say that this one shocked me which is why I was sure I needed to share the tip with you. My mother-in-law gifted me a gorgeous pair of pink overalls right before I gave birth to my son. They weren’t maternity, but they were oversized, so I wore them often in my third trimester since they were basically the only thing that fit me. 

After giving birth, surprisingly enough, I ended up wearing them even more (and I still style them weekly to this day). With the loose fit and adjustable straps perfect for accommodating a wide range of sizes, they have quickly become one of my favorite wardrobe staples over the past year. 

Pair a basic white tee, button-down shirt, or billowy blouse underneath for a simple but stylish look. 

For Your Closet: Free People Savannah Overalls, $128

Free People Savannah Overalls

5. Button-Down Shirt

Lastly, an oversized cotton or linen button-down shirt for lightweight, comfortable wear with easy access for nursing is a must. With your hormones all over the place in the first 12 weeks of postpartum, staying cool is essential so you’re not drenched in sweat. 

You can dress a white button-down shirt up by doing a front-tuck into a pair of mom jeans for running errands, or dress it down by pairing it with your classic black leggings around the house. 

For Your Closet: J.Crew Cotton-Linen Beach Shirt, $79.50

J.Crew Cotton-Linen Beach Shirt

Closing Thoughts

These five style essentials aren’t all that daunting, now are they? Whether you’re cozying up inside with your new bundle of joy or venturing out into the world for walks, doctor's appointments, or to visit family, getting dressed should be a part of your routine that you look forward to. You’ve got to wear something anyway, so why shouldn’t it be an outfit that makes you feel confident, happy, and energized? 

Remember to soak in those adorable baby snuggles because this postpartum period won’t last forever. Someday soon you’ll be scrolling through old photos on your phone and wishing you could transport yourself back to these hazy days filled with spit-up and sleepy smiles – I know I am.  

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