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So, you have this baby. Most likely, there is some major event (be it a wedding, black tie affair or ceremony to celebrate how awesome you are) that just happens to be immediately following this whole having a baby thing you have going on. What in the hell can you expect to look like in the first month, and more importantly, what should you wear?! You can't try on clothes now since that big ol' bump will be drastically smaller, but other parts of you might be...um...bigger. Here are some suggestions if you find yourself in this quandary:
The Wedding Bridesmaid
Is the bride pushing you to get the dress fitted? Yeah, it won't work. What you need to do is OVER-estimate on this one (think your original proportions + at least 1-4 sizes up depending upon how much weight you gained, the restrictive nature of the dress, etc...). With alterations, you can always take IN, but it is much more difficult to let OUT. Find yourself an emergency seamstress for the week of the wedding to do a last minute fitting and book them, making sure they understand the turnaround time.
The Black Tie Affair
In your daydreams, you sashay into the room in your 6" stilettos, svelte and toned, well-rested and freshly highlighted. Oh hell no. Depending upon how soon the event is after you give birth, your ankles might still be swollen, you probably won't have time to get your hair done if you are exclusively breastfeeding every few hours (I ALMOST tried to smuggle my baby in under the color cape but thought the toxic fumes would not be beneficial for his overall well-being). You might still be soaring on adrenaline so good for you, but this cuts out after the first few weeks of not sleeping and you crash. My pediatrician laughed at me during our first two visits when I was bright-eyed and busy-tailed, saying "Just wait." She was right.
Ok...back to your ensemble. I don't think Shelli Segal knows this, but she makes some amazing maternity/post-maternity wear. Here is what to look for- a structured top with a little give (or corset-type adjustment) in case your boobs explode. Try for an A-line that flows from just below your bust line; nothing form fitting or rigid material. You can also go for a dress with ruching.
The Cocktail Party or Patio Party
A simple dress in a loose jersey fabric can do wonders if you are pregnant, but it can cling to the unwanted curves that stayed since you recently gave birth. It definitely provides the stretch necessary to adjust to all sorts of size madness you go through. Some structure with draping works well; just make sure you have quality material and aren't trying to squeeze into a bodycon dress.
Here are my shopping suggestions. I chose everything from Zappos.com for a reason- free shipping, free returns for 365 days. YOU GET A YEAR TO RETURN IT. You can purchase anything you want in multiple sizes, try on at home, and return what won't work.
Pick Up Strapless Gown- Laundry by Shelli Segal $240.99 @ Zappos.com
Split Sleeve Color Block Dress- Laundry by Shelli Segal $155.99 @ Zappos.com
One Shoulder Drape Dress- BCBGeneration $89.99 @ Zappos.com
Dress #1- See how it is fitted on top and clever draping will disguise your post-baby bump? I love this little number; part Grecian goddess, part Red Carpet stunner...and the color is a knockout!
Dress #2- You might be able to get away with a drop waist as long as it is elasticized. I am not sure if this particular one has give, but this gives you a general idea. With the drop waist, you are pulling in the fabric at your largest point, which carves a waist.
Dress #3- Again, the draping provides post-bump camo and keeps a more structured top.
HERE IS THE NO NO: Please, please, please for the love of your self-esteem, do not purchase a dress with the words "trapeze" or "swing" in the title. You will still look pregnant. This is maternity wear in my mind and I would refuse to wear it unless I was pregnant!
NOW for the undergarments... Spanx. The best thing to happen to women's clothing and the worst thing to happen to romance. Luckily, you won't be in the mood for romance so soon after baby comes so hop aboard the Spanx train! Make sure to get something that comes almost up to your boobs; you need to have room for the distribution of wealth.
Super High Power- Spanx In-Power Line $38 @ Zappos.com
BEST of luck to you- I want to see photos of you post-baby looking like the hottie you are!!