Pregnancy has three trimesters and we all get so excited to run out and shop for new clothing to show off our newly blossoming body. But there is a definite fourth trimester – postpartum. It’s when you are nursing or healing or in zombie land and you really just don’t want to look pregnant anymore. You need clothing that is loose and universally flattering. Or you may need boob-access for the nursing or pumping mamas. Or you may be like me….have irrational fears about bleeding from incisions or from ya know…birth….and completely resist wearing anything white. But then there is another phase….I like to call it the Fifth Trimester. It’s what comes next. That mysterious phase after all that. After the baby comes. After you settle into what you’ve become. You may be back at your pre-pregnancy weight….but things are different. They have shifted. Maybe body parts are closer to the ground with a little more swag. Maybe some things have taken a different shape and movement. It’s not bad necessarily….just foreign….like eating a chicken sandwich after being a cheeseburger fanatic. I have literally looked at my reflection four times now and thought….What-the-heck-is-this-thing?! And WHAT THE HECK DO I DO WITH IT?
Well…if you are like me, you may feel a bit lost in the clothing department. I wanted to offer some assistance. I am coming into this stage of life where I am proud of my age but it means that I need to dress in a new way. A way that is flattering. But not too sexy. Maybe a little sexy. But ya know…not in a Jessica Rabbit kinda way. I want to be comfortable and able to still chase the kids without flashing my crack every time I bend over or have my muffin top on spotlight. I want to be pretty and relaxed but still look put together. So this is my cheat sheet of sorts….to help anyone out there that is also joining me in the great blue beyond of the Fifth Trimester. (also I realize that sounds like a sci-fi movie trailer. I blame binge watching Stranger Things.) Click on the links to shop….
Stretchy Jeans Or Jeggings
Who loves sweatpants? Everyone in the universe raises hand. Isn’t it awesome that companies now make leggings that look like jeans? It’s unbelievable. And flattering. And thank goodness this whole skinny-jean trend is around because the jeggings look SO SIMILAR. I have ALL of the ones listed above and yes ALL of them are amazing. Some definitely feel more like a jean (The Lucky Brand one is really convincing) and some are definitely more legging (Old Navy!)….but all of them don’t pinch or bind or make you feel like a turducken.
Tunic Style Shirt
Bending over is part of mom life….and you gotta cover it up in the back and tunics do just that. I love them with leggings and boots and they even look smart over jeans….stretchy jegging jeans that you will swear are sweatpants 🙂
I have about 8 lace embellished tshirts and I wear them pretty much anytime I am in a rush but need to look half-decent. Curriculum night at school? Stretchy jeans and a lace tshirt. Church with sunday school duty? Maxi skirt and a lace tshirt. It’s immediately more fancy….but yet….it’s still a tee. It’s like the red carpet version of your mom-wear.
Admitting right now that peplum tops scared me. I don’t have much of a waist….and it doesn’t get trained to do much more than just hold up my torso. And to say that peplum tops made my fifth trimester list is really tricky. Because it’s not ALL peplum tops. They need to hit you at the right spot of your body….cinched where you are the smallest….which is different on different body types….especially after the great continental baby shift has occurred. So find the one that gathers where you need it to and make sure that the lower panel….the bottom train….whatever you call it….make sure that it is long enough to hit right around your widest point or your hip bone…whatever comes last. It’s not flattering if that lower panel is too short. BUT when it fits right….it’s SOOOOOO right. And it’s instantly tailored looking for all moms to throw on with jeans or pixie pants or skirts or whatever.
Dresses with pockets
You all know that skirts with pockets are basically manna from mom heaven. And so it should go without saying that dresses with pockets are equally amazing. You can hold your phone, your keys, your oversized bottle of Tylenol because someone doesn’t want to sleep ever again (thanks kids), your Paw Patrol band-aids and your child’s paci all in there within reach so that you can still hold your little ones hand as they ask you politely to cross the street with them.
My sister told me that I had to put a long cardigan on this list because last year she wore that pretty much every day. I would say this is a mom-staple but in the fifth trimester, it really helps pull everything together. I would go even a step further to say that you want a DISTRACTING cardigan….so it can be long….it can be frilly….it can be patterned or pieced….but it needs to be a cozy layer that fits you and hides those lumpy bits that you are working on evicting.
Button Down Shirt
A button down shirt sounds like a cop out but there is really convincing evidence that it helps after the body has entered this new phase. First….it’s cut so that it isn’t TOO tight on the body. Secondly…the buttons or gathers under the buttons….they hide the mommy-tummy really well. And D….it’s got a tailored looking neckline with a collar or a flattering v-neck. All of these things help the confidence soar and are flattering. Pair it with your distracting cardigan or your stretchy jeans and you have a real winning combination.
SO there you have it people…some of my favorite recent picks for dressing for the fifth trimester. I gotta know….what would you put on the list? Anything that is a must-have for those gravity shifts? Any item that is comfortable and beautiful….put it right there in the comments……dangitohman….I forgot Spanx 🙂 Next up….ways to fight mommy-brain. (spoiler – I don’t remember what they are! ha!)