When I was pregnant, I couldn’t wait to wear ‘normal’ (ie not maternity) clothes again, but the moment I looked in my wardrobe the day after returning from the hospital I burst into tears. Admittedly that was partly because I was over-tired and in pain from the c-section, but a large part of it was because I was overwhelmed.
Firstly, I wasn’t convinced that what was in my wardrobe would suit me any more (or fit) as my figure has changed since giving birth. I’m a lot wider in the bottom area, and stomach and thighs too. Secondly, I had no idea what would go with what. I used to be so confident about layering and matching or purposefully not-matching. I’d pull out a pair of skinny jeans, choose a top, an outer layer and some cute shoes or match a dress with a leather jacket and ankle boots and be out the door within minutes.
Pre-pregnancy, I used to see something I wanted to wear and think of ways to make it stand out, but I couldn’t find one item of clothing that I actually wanted to wear. Was I bored with my clothes after looking at them in the wardrobe day after day for 9 months? Maybe. Was I worried that they would make me look fat? Definitely. I used to buy clothes to show off my size 10 figure and had memories wearing them and getting admiring looks. I knew I wouldn’t look as good in them post-pregnancy and that made me depressed.
So what did I do? I wore sports clothes every day for two weeks. Matching leggings and a vest top was so easy and it was so comfortable. I wore gym kit to hospital appointments, to my favourite cafe and even for Sunday lunch at the pub. ‘Are you going to the gym?’ my fiance said sarcastically the first time I wore it, knowing full well that I couldn’t exercise because of the cesarean. The low point came when we took Rory to the centre for births, deaths and marriages to register his name and I was in some black leggings and a shapeless blue Asics top. I refused to take photos, knowing that I looked so bad. ‘We’re going to Westfield, NOW!’ my fiance told me. I didn’t argue.
Rory was only two weeks old, so I was really worried about taking him to a busy shopping mall. Would we be able to fit the pram among the clothing rails in the shop? What if he got hungry? And what about all those germs buzzing around?
I wasn’t really comfortable with the whole germ thing but I figured that he’s been to cafes, to the local pub and on countless trips to the park and survived. If I thought about germs each time I left the house then I’d never leave and I think that would be far worse for his development. But with the food thing, I was really impressed to find out that there were ‘family room’ at Westfield. These rooms have changing mats, a microwave for warming up baby food, huge toilets that you can use at the same time as your potty training toddler, a TV playing cartoons and comfortable seating for breast-feeding mothers. Whatever age your youngster is, you can feed them in comfort. As for the pram, if you bring a friend or your other half then they can look after the baby while you try things on so you don’t have to worry about the pram. Having a baby to occupy him kept my fiance entertained while I tried things on. In the past, he’d have been sitting outside the changing rooms on his own for ages.
The biggest difference in shopping with a baby is you don’t want to waste time going to lots of different shops, just to see what they have. Before I had Rory, I might have had a nosy around New Look and then compared that to what they had in Zara and then had a browse around H&M. That was when I had all the time in the world to shop. With Rory in tow, I knew I had to be a lot more time efficient and so I headed straight to All Saints as I felt my wardrobe was lacking some basic essentials that I could wear every day and feel trendy in. All Saints also tends to stock clothes that are made from really high quality material and I think that’s important now I’m a mum. I want clothes that won’t go out of shape in the wash (as I’m guaranteed to get sick down it) and I want clothes that I can wear to push a buggy round a park that won’t chafe or rub or catch in anything. But at the same time, I want to look as good as I can – taking inspiration from celeb mums like the Kardashians and Jessica Alba.
This cream blazer reminds me of the Kardashian sisters, particularly Kim (post Kanye’s influence).
It was £228, which is more than I’d usually spend on a blazer but I think I’ll be wearing it often. If you think of it in terms of value per wear, it would work out to a reaosnable price as I’ll get more than one season out of it. The waterfall effect is flattering on my post pregnancy flabby (jelly like) stomach and the cream colour is gorgeous for summer. Also, the quality of the fabric is incredible – it’s partly silk and you can definitely feel the luxury.
I also bought a selection of tops for different occasions because I didn’t feel I had anything I liked at home and these three tops could see me through all scenarios. I’d wear the cream Drina cardigan (left) for chilly Spring days and for days when I think I may be lounging round the house more than going out, because I feel more alert if I’m up and dressed in nice clothes rather than sports clothes. The Ria cropped jumper (centre) is such a cool shape and would be great for evening drinks outside or to put on when a summer bbq runs into the night. However, the main reason I bought it was because it gives me an incentive to work hard to lose the baby weight on my stomach. The shirt in the photo on the right is the Hill shirt. You can get cheaper shirts but the attention to detail on this one is mind-boggling. The fabric is super soft, it’s a lovely length falling to the top of the thighs and every single button is engraved with ‘All Saints. Made in Portugal.’ It’s good to know it’s not made in a sweat shop somewhere.
I didn’t need any jeans as I had lots of pairs beforehand and I could find a couple of pairs in my collection (of about 12) that still suited me. However, I always feel more confident in heels and I fell in lust with the Iris heel boot. I have cowboy style ankle boots from last season but nothing as feminine as this point toe ankle boot. As the heel is quite chunky, I cam see myself being able to push a pram round while wearing them and not lose my balance. I bought them!
What (if anything) have you bought to make yourself feel better after pregnancy? Please share – I’d love some more inspiration! Talk to me on social media (babyvipsblog) and I’ll always reply.