After I gave birth to my son, I was feeling pretty good about myself. I hadn’t gained that much weight during the pregnancy and I quickly lost what I had gained. I didn’t think too much about clothes those first few weeks, but when I had to attend an event at a local mall three months after his birth, I decided to pick up a few new items for myself.
Some jeans I liked were on sale so I took a pair into the fitting room to try on, which I don’t usually do. I prefer to try-on at home and return later if necessary, so I don’t know why decided to try on this particular pair. I honestly expected they’d fit perfectly since this was a brand I’d purchased many times in the past. To my extreme horror, however, they looked absolutely terrible. Pregnancy, as well as the lovely “shelf” that forms after having a c-section, had wreaked havoc on my body and nothing looked as it once did. I’m not an emotional person, and that’s one of the only times I recall wanting to sit down and have a good cry because I felt so sorry for myself. Instead, I called my best friend and asked her if she had gone through something similar after her own c-section and she assured me that jeans shopping is not something one should do alone after having a baby. It is traumatic.
Since then, I’ve obviously had a second baby via cesarean section and things are even more out of place than they once were. I’m not sure I’ll ever look the same. While I’m incredibly self-conscious about my stomach now, I’ve also learned how to dress to minimize that part of my anatomy so that it’s not something I spend too much time despairing over. We are who we are, and while I’d like to get rid of my plus size postpartum c-section “shelf” and have six-pack abs, I know that my scars, lumps, and bumps are there because my body housed my two children.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are a few tips for picking out clothing that will help minimize your plus size postpartum belly.
Try Fit and Flare Dresses
A good Fit and Flare Dress can be your best friend! Honestly, this style of dress was my friend before I had children, but it’s pretty much the only style I will wear now. Fit and flare styles are a little tighter on top but flare out at the bottom, which will help de-emphasize any tummy troubles.
I love this Striped Scuba Fit and Flare Dress from Lane Bryant! I felt great wearing it and think it’s really flattering. Even though it’s a horizontally-striped pattern, the diminishing space between lines pulls the eye downward and doesn’t make you appear any wider, which can often be a concern with horizontal stripes. Another plus to this dress is that it’s made from scuba material. If you’re looking for a forgiving fabric, you can’t go wrong with scuba! Scuba glides right over the body, and the material is a little thicker so it won’t highlight any trouble areas. I wouldn’t mind an entire wardrobe made of scuba, actually.
Cinched Waists and/or Belts Are Your Friend
If you’re plus size and you’ve had a c-section, fit and flare dresses should become a staple in your closet. They’re incredibly forgiving! While this is a fit and flare style, I wanted to point out that A-line dresses are also a plus size postpartum woman’s best friend. An A-line dress starts flaring out almost immediately and provides a fairly similar silhouette to a fit and flare.
I didn’t do it here, but the high cinched waist on this Chambray Off-the-Shoulder Fit and Flare Dress is screaming for a cute belt! The skirt of the dress is loose over the stomach, but a cute belt will help pull the eye up even more than the cinched waist already does.
The Right Jeans Are Out There
After that disastrous trip to the mall back in 2015, it took two years for me to pull on another pair of jeans. As much as I wanted to wear jeans, I just couldn’t bring myself to go through the agony of trying to find a pair I liked. Jean shopping can be brutal under the best of circumstances but it can be absolutely brutal when you’re not feeling great about your body.
I’m happy to report that I finally found a pair of jeans that I love! Plus size postpartum women NEED to get themselves over the Lane Bryant to check out their line of Tighter Tummy Technology Denim. It’s a game changer! Somehow these jeans help hold things in enough that I don’t think you can even tell that my stomach is a big problem area for me. Not only that, but they’re also… comfortable! Wearing these jeans feel nothing like a plus size postpartum girdle, which is what I was expecting. I don’t know what Lane Bryant did, but these jeans are miracle workers!
Of course, as much as I love these jeans, I still wouldn’t wear them with a crop top or anything. I’m not THAT confident! I prefer wearing tunics and long blouses because they help camouflage my postpartum belly even more.
Dress Your Plus Size Postpartum Body with Confidence
If you’re a plus size postpartum woman and you’re feeling a little less than awesome about your stomach, remember these styling rules:
Thanks to Lane Bryant for partnering with me on this post!