Friday, October 21, 2005

Looking cute while nursing a baby, or: "Down with Mom Jeans!"

Claudia writes:

"Have any advice for a new mom? I work from home and will be taking care of my son, however I do not want to get lost in that world new mothers seem to inhabit after giving birth. The frumpiness is just overwhelming. What are some essentials I should stock up on?"

Congratulations! You're in for a wonderful time with your little one. Enjoy every moment of his little coos and gurgles, but there's no reason you have to feel frumpy while doing it. We'll help.

First of all, AVOID MOM JEANS. I see so many women out there with those ghastly high-rise jeans. They're guaranteed to double a woman's butt size, show off every bit of loose skin gained in pregnancy, and scream: "I have no time to look good because the ravages of raising kids have destroyed my fashion sense."

This is really key. Don't buy high-rise jeans to cover up any baby fat you may have. Instead, go out and invest in a couple good-fitting pairs of stretch jeans. Stretch is God's gift to woman. If you get a modern wash, preferably something dark and 'worn', it can add a youthful flair to your look.

I especially like these stretch jeans from Eddie Bauer:

Don't balk at the price--there are stretch jeans available at That French Boutique as well for about half the price.

Make sure you try the jeans on and sit in them for awhile. Don't be discouraged if you need a bigger size than what you wore pre-baby. Remember that size is only a number, it doesn't define beauty. Comfort is key, so make sure the jeans are loose enough to give you plenty of freedom of movement. Too-tight jeans are the sure sign of a woman in denial! But I think I've said that before.

Now, what about tops? My advice to you is to avoid ANYTHING that's not cotton. You and your baby may go through several outfits a day. There's a reason why most baby clothes are made of cotton: it's durable, it washes quickly, and it can handle all the spit-up and poopy diapers that are such bastions of babyhood.

I've heard that Ann Taylor Loft's tops are friendly to nursing moms. Their generous sizes guarantee that your girls will not be squished, and right now they're having a sale on some adorable tops in bright colors. Try and buy colorful items like shirts in red or pink. They'll give a much-needed lift to your day if you're feeling discouraged about your changed looks.

I'd also recommend buying a little velour jogging suit. They can be found everywhere these days and are well worth the investment. Get it in a color that makes you feel happy and pretty, like this pink suit:

The jogging suit is a great invention. It's designed to look cute and curvy while still being very comfortable. Like cotton items, it can also take quite a beating at the tiny hands of your little offspring.

Keep in mind that your body may have changed significantly. The key to not feeling frumpy is wearing things that fit properly. At this stage in your life, it's better to have one pair of $100 jeans that fit properly and make you feel good than ten $15 jeans that only remind you of where you used to be.

I have a friend who just had her second baby a few months ago. She looks fabulous. Her secret, she tells me, is that every time she feeds her babies, she drinks a liter of water. The pounds just melted off!

Last, you may not have time to do your hair, but try and wear a bit of makeup even when you're going to be at home all day long. It doesn't matter that no one sees you at home. YOU see you, and you'll feel better if you take those extra few minutes to put on some foundation, blush, and lipstick.

Congratulations again, and enjoy your new baby!