I was pondering postnatal fashion this week after I achieved my personal best record of wearing the same outfit 3 days in a row (bar underwear, I am not a 15 year old boy trying to prove how crusty I can get). Achieved only through my new found grooming habit of walking past mirrors very fast (giving the pretense of a sleek blur) and because Preschool is out for half term, I no longer have to keep up the façade that I change my clothes daily.
Obviously, now you’re all wondering how I maintain both my fashion prowess and nonchalant attitude to postnatal fashion? And what do I mean by bringing out your Lando?
Firstly, I lower my standards. Then I lower them a touch more. Just a smidgeon more…there that’s it! The only way is up from here on.
Now apply this to yourself – standards lowered? Good.
It’s all about the expectations you set yourself. Managing to actually get dressed is a feat some days. Then when you are dressed you get vommed/poohed/dribbled on and that’s just from your own birth ridden postnatal body. There isn’t anything that’s not leaking after you’ve had a baby.
Then whilst wearing my sling (new-age device to ensure you absolutely never pee on your own again), my husband remarked how I looked like Lando (that guy from Star Wars) – baggy leggings, sling strapped ensemble, boots, oversized coat, Post childbirth broad gait, moustache…He’s not far off as you will gather from the picture below and the resulting tips that follow.
Now, Let that all sink in….Now pick yourself up, pull up your saggy leggings, dust that toddler off your iPhone and read forth into my postnatal fashion insights and you yourself can become a postnatal Lando too:
#1: First pick your favourite (comfy) outfit.
Get used to it. You will wear this outfit 50% of the week (the other 50% will be spent wearing your jammies).
#2: Those maternity jeans with the sagging waistband – thinking of chucking those now you’ve popped the sprog out?
Think again. That forgiving waistband will comfortingly nestle your new overhang like an old friend. And you may as well make friends with that new flubberdygulleon as you will be trying to dress (tuck in) that guy for the next year or so (many more).
#3: You will consider why maternity wear is not just normal wear.
Who doesn’t love forgiving waistbands and bust flattering crossover designs? And look they are still in your old size *brain fooled for minute.*
#4: Leggings. Are. Your. Friend.
I know, a few years ago, you scoffed at the thought of those people who wore these everyday tucked into their Ugg boots. *Swallows pride*. You are one of those people now and god damn it, you are comfortable and warm. Just don’t go too far and wear the ones with the holes in the groin (yes they are the softest most comfiest pair you have but it is obscene to flash your fanjo through that fraying peephole).
#5: Squirty booby tops (Nursing tops)
First time mums will get all variety of nursing tops – ones that poke nips out of your armpits, the ones with poppers at the shoulders (dismantled with one fail swoop by a clambering baby), the two layer type which cause a lot of FFS’ing trying to get the correct body part through the correct compartment. Second time mums – just pull down/pull breast out of whatever top you have that’s semi clean or close to hand. Your tops will gain that tell tale sagging necking. Tell everyone the top is a ‘cowl’ design.
#6: Pad everything out.
The last time you did this was probably in your early teens, stuffing Kleenex down your bra. Little did you know then, that you would do this again when you had run out of nursing pads cursing the one-ply toilet roll of shopping centres loos. You will leak. From places you never knew. Don’t even get me started on the brickettes you have to lodge in your knickers.
Which brings me on to knickers or rather pantaloons as they can only be referred to now. You briefly (LOL, pun) tried the paper ones (someone is having a laugh who made them – pants that disintegrate on touch with moisture that aren’t used for a joke valentines gift? Ridiculous). You were given a couple of net pairs by the hospital but feel like you should be in a nursing home wearing those and have settled on ginormo-pantaloons that sit just under your nips, doubling as a bra.
You briefly (there’s that pun again, not even funny the second time) try on sexy knicks from yester year and its remarkable how even your lady flaps have even put on weight. You tuck one flapette in and wear them for the day as you are out of clean knicks. You do this only once as the chaffing, standing awkwardly, and subsequent thrush are just not worth it. Sigh. Times certainly have changed.
#8: Nursing bras – urgh.
Nothing is sexy once it has a soggy boob pad secreted in it. Just strap in Bill & Ben, pop their absorbent hats on and go forth.
The best bet in the early days (and for life) is just to wear black. Semi covers leaks (apart from a kind of white deodorant like rim around leaking nips), and is slimming so you feel like a baby hippo (an improvement on a full sized adult hippo).
#10: Hair a la Croydon
Tied back, slicked back. No need for hairspray or miscellaneous posh hair product – you have grease now and a bit of sick in it. You may think of putting it down. Its OK to think that. Keep it as a thought. Hair down gets caught in cute little fingers and pulled, a lot.
NB: On the subject of hair – you will shed hair from your head a couple of months postnatally, but don’t worry folks, you will regain it in other places. Swings and roundabouts.
#11: Nothing tight around the belly area.
You do not want the causal look up and down by the new-born baby well wisher who’s just asked you when you had the baby to stop at your tummy. You’re already a bit (naturally, hormonally) oversensitive. No need to fuel mother in law types with a catty comment about getting back into shape, you’ve just had a baby FFS!
#12: Baby Wearing/slingdom
Its a great idea, until you literally have a baby strapped to you 24 tedious hours a day and when the baby’s not there, your faithful sling still hangs making you looking like a stand in for Starwars’ Lando (this is what my husband tells me I look like).
#13: Footwear: Three options.
- Slippers, accidentally left on. You will get out and return home before you realise you are wearing them.
- Ugg Boots or other ugly-yet-comfy boot equivalent.
- Nice riding boots purchased after reading a Mumsnet thread on how the set of school runs mums dress. You attempt what is know as a ‘Boden-Joules’ and pair with jompers and a gillet, only to regret your decision when you get pissed on with rain, mud gummed to the boot leather and are struggling with an obserdly heavy infant car seat complete with screaming infant. Normally on returning home you just kick off your shoes, but now have to face a zip whilst breastfeeding said screaming infant.
#14: Handbag: Not anymore. You will have ginormo-bag.
First timers will have a baby bag full of usefulness for every eventuality all neatly sectioned. Second-timers wedge a nappy in their purse and consider using old till receipts as wipes. All valuable space second time around is taken up with half eaten toddler snacks to abate that little firstborn savage.
Remember those swimsuits that dear old granny used to wear – control panel tummy, reinforced crossover bust? You don’t need to remember them, you have one now. If you haven’t succumbed yet, you are wearing a battered speedo suit which is thinning on the arse. That’s about as close to sexy swimwear as it gets.
#16: Shopping for the soggy middle
Remember to shop in the more forgiving shops. You will try on a pair of jeans in your old size in H&M, maybe even realistically one size up from your old size. You will leak from your eyes, and elsewhere, at the sight and frustration to squeezing your new soggy middle into these. Next time you will shop online and from more forgiving size shops (M&S, Monsoon, Next) but then mourn the loss of the ‘trendy shops’. *Stands longingly looking at the trendy kids in bodysuits & cropped articles at door of Topshop remembering trends the first time around.*
NB: The previous experience leads you on a reminisce of your previous body where you hunt through old Facebook photos. You will mutter how skinny & firm you were then and how you should of been more grateful to other mums/other half/ person behind you in Tesco’s queue.
Take refuge in the fact, that every other mum is having the same naff time over dressing her new body. Well I hope they do, or I come across as a right sloth.
You don’t even have to of birthed a baby from your physical loins to dress this badly either – just the sleep deprivation associated with children kills your fashion sense.
May the Leggings be with you….