When you’re overwhelmed the first month with your new baby, being stylish isn’t exactly a priority. But wearing something that makes you feel good can have a positive impact on your whole outlook. Get tips — plus advice on what to wear if you’re nursing — from Alison Sweeney, host of The Biggest Loser and author of The Mommy Diet: A Month-by-Month Plan for a Healthy Body and Mind Before, During, and After Pregnancy.
1. Don’t expect to squeeze into your old clothes right away! Too-tight clothes are never attractive, so even if you can lie down and zip up your jeans with pliers, don’t. Have patience, and remember that it took you nine months to get up to the size you were when you had your baby, and it might take nine months to get back to your former size.
2. Hang on to a few of your favorite maternity pieces for a little while. Nothing tentlike, please, but maybe a great pair of jeans that look like normal designer jeans with an internal adjustable waistband, or a cute top from before you got really big. Yes, it’s tempting to burn the pregnancy clothes the minute you have your bundle of joy, but some of them might help you look good and feel comfortable during the transitional first month (or two or three).
3. Skip the superbaggy clothes. Baggy clothes aren’t hiding anything; they just look sloppy.
4. Wear dark colors, keep the silhouette simple, and avoid bright prints that call attention to themselves. (“Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers, don’t wear it,” Liza reminds me.)
5. Empire waists are still your best friends.
6. Buy two (affordable) bras at a time. Your bra size may change many times over the next few months, so don’t go out and buy a dozen bras at once, but have two that fit you well right now.
7. This is still not the time to invest in expensive clothes—your current size is not permanent. Look for inexpensively flattering pieces from stores like Target, and maybe a few trendy pieces from Forever 21, or borrow some cute pieces from friends who’ve gone through the same transitional period. (Other moms understand—and are usually happy to help out by lending clothes or giving you hand-medowns.)
8. If you want to treat yourself to something, think about a cashmere wrap or cardigan that can cocoon you and still look good a size up from your normal size.