Your Curated Postpartum Wardrobe
Motherhood duds to get you through figuring out life with a baby.
Becoming a mother is a beautiful thing, but it can be a struggle to see that beauty reflected in your post-pregnancy wardrobe. Where you once had a favorite pair of jeans, that fits-just-right tee and a few go-to staple pieces to pull an array of outfits together, you now see a cluster of items that possibly aren’t comfortable, certainly aren’t spit-up proof, and maybe just don’t feel like you, as a new mom.
Having recently delivered my fourth baby, I know the trials and tribulations of finding anything to wear after pregnancy. I also have a knack for always being super pregnant during the summer months, leaving me with nothing to wear for any lingering warmer days of the fourth trimester and about 20 turtleneck sweaters I’ve collected across many winters. When I say I’ve looked in my closet and cursed my clothes, I totally mean it.
The truth is that with a newborn—and small children in general—we may not always don the polished exterior we desire, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be prepared for whatever our week throws at us. For me, knowing I have what I need to put something together in a pinch makes all the difference (and it keeps me from getting too close to the edge of insanity). Here’s what I’ve learned makes an efficient postpartum wardrobe that’s flexible, functional and versatile.
For Everyday Parenting
Repeat after me: My mom uniform is deserving of real clothes that are a step above whatever I wore to bed. (But if you wanna rock your pajama set all day, you won’t receive an ounce of judgment from us!) My personal opinion is that the simple act of getting dressed is life-giving, and it helps me to rise to the occasion of caring for others all day. These pieces have been in my weekly rotation for years and helped me transition from the early newborn days to life with a baby and postpartum body:
Never used one off the courts? You’re missing out! The possibilities are endless in this shorts-and-skirt combo that was made for mom-ing and all the bending that comes with it. You’re basically an athlete, so dress like one.
Try it: Outdoor Voices 4.5” Skort
Leggings, for postpartum? Groundbreaking. … But really, you need them. You need quality support leggings that wash well (because you’ll be washing them often) and can go from pregnancy to post-baby to the gym for a workout and beyond.
Jeans That Fit
It took me way too long to get on board with buying postpartum jeans once I was ready to slip into something other than sweatpants. Don’t torture yourself with trying to squeeze into pre-pregnancy pants while your body recovers and just buy some more. Not to sound dramatic, but they have the power to make you feel human. (IYKYK.) Also, mom jeans are a whole vibe you can 100 percent own as the mother you are.
You may not give a lot of thought to what goes underneath your clothing, but boy does it matter. That initial layer can make you feel more supported and comfortable in whatever clothes you choose to wear once you move on from the hospital mesh undies.
One-Pieces with Pockets
Whether it’s a romper, jumpsuit or a pair of overalls, a ready-to-wear ensemble with pockets is a great go-to for multitasking moms carrying a phone, bottle, wadded up burp cloth, remote, diaper that needs to be thrown away, lip balm …
Try it: HATCH Lenora Romper
Lots of Loose Flowy T-shirts
A basic tee is more than loungewear and can be worn as-is, tucked into pants, tied to the side, etc. There are plenty of ways to change the overall feel while wearing something made for the task of tending to kids and sporting their bodily fluids. It’s gross but it’s true. Tip: A V-neck or scoop-neck shirt is easier for nursing.
Try it: Daily Ritual Jersey Tunic
A Cozy Knit Sweater
When in doubt, I knew I could always grab some leggings and my favorite knit sweater to feel somewhat flattered while also comfortable. It also worked well over dresses and with joggers. I used my first one so much with my third baby that I bought another one for my fourth.
Try it: Goumikids Chunky Knit Sweater
For the Workplace
Whether you’re dressing for the company office, the home office, or just the occasional Zoom meeting, these pieces will up your professional appearance and help you get your (other) job done.
I can’t tell you how many times I have grabbed one of these to elevate an outfit with mere minutes to spare. It’s the equivalent of the trench coat you throw over sleepwear to quickly grab your morning coffee; no one cares what’s underneath it because the outside looks so good.
Try it: Everlane Oversized Blazer
Neutral Wrap Dress
I like neutral pieces because they go with everything and can be used interchangeably with different looks. It doesn’t feel boring, but predictable, which is sometimes very helpful when you can’t focus on finding your OOTD. A wrap dress is a great nursing- and pumping-friendly option that can adjust with your body as you move through postpartum. Another option is a maxi dress if you find the wrap-style design uncomfortable.
I don’t wear shoes in my house but can’t stand being barefoot or in slippers in a full work outfit. I started buying cheap flats and sneakers to use inside without tracking in dirt and the grime from public streets. The finishing touch of adding shoes makes me feel ready to get things done.
Try it: Old Navy Faux-Leather Mules
The humble button-down is so versatile while also providing easy access for breastfeeding—even when using a baby wrap! They’re a classic for a reason and will stand the test of time.
Try it: Gap Chambray Denim Big Shirt
For the Vanity
Your morning routine may need a few tweaks, too. These products help me get camera-ready with little effort.
This provides just enough coverage to even things out without the use of application tools.
As the name implies, you can cover more than one base with this all-in-one miracle-worker. They’re buildable and very easy to apply. (Aka: It’s hard to mess it up.)
Try it: RMS Lip2Cheek
I like brow wands because they’re not meant to be so precise. It’s for more of a work-with-what-you’ve-got situation, which is always my situation. A few quick swipes, and you’re all set.
Try it: Glossier Boy Brow