23 June 2009 — Softest Thing

June 23rd, 2009 § 16 comments

23 June 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Gray crop cardi: Target
  • Purple tank: H&M
  • Denim skirt: ON Maternity
  • Patterned wedges: Kenneth Cole Reaction, via DSW

End Notes:

I picked up this fluttery little swing cardigan from the Target clearance rack for $4 last year. I wasn’t sure if I could wear it while preggers since it adds extra volume, but turns out it’s soft and drapey enough that it actually works. As an added bonus, its shorter length helps to break up my endlessly long torso. Winner.

At my “birthing class” last night, we talked about the postpartum period and, interestingly, one of the things we covered specifically was the need for a new mom to take some time out to care for herself and her own appearance. (I cannot, however, say that any of the women in the video were looking particularly stylish. Ah, hospital educator videos.) Back in April, many of you gave me fantastic advice on caring for your own appearance in those early days of mommyhood and I continue to be so grateful for the affirmation and encouragement to get out of pajamas each day and put on “real clothes,” even if those real clothes are very soft, very comfortable ones.

So now I’m asking for names, people. Where can I find a cuddly, light open-front cardi or chic hoodie? Who, in your opinion, makes the softest tanks or camis in the whole world? What are your best recommendations for comfortable but still parents-in-law-visiting appropriate bottoms? Who knows where I can get a button down shirt dress that doesn’t wrinkle? What is an item of clothing you have that you would totally be happy sleeping in — it’s that snuggly soft — but is still a “real” garment?

23 June 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.


§ 16 Responses to 23 June 2009 — Softest Thing"

  1. Sal says:

    It ain’t cheap stuff, but anything by the line Velvet by Graham and Spencer is BUTTER soft. Scour eBay, thrift, the sale sections at chickdowntown.com, shopbop.com … those guys know how to do soft, stylish knits!

  2. kng says:

    i don’t know much about being preggers or being a new mommy, but i do know about being a law student who’s overworked and has trouble getting motivated to get dressed and put together for the grocery store or a trip to the law school since most of my day is spent in front of my desk and american apparel really has saved me! ignoring all their horrible press, they do great cotton pieces. two winters ago i invested in a pair of their black cotton leggings and two turtleneck tent dresses to get myself out of my style rut. i have worn and washed these babies more than 100 times since i got them, they are my favorite thing to throw on in the cooler months, i pull them on immediately after they get out of the dryer, just to wash them immediately again to throw them on once more! best part is, i automatically feel chic and put together once i add a few accessories– a slouchy suede boot, a long gemstone necklace, and done!
    as far as durability of the items go, the leggings have been my only pair i’ve worn since 2007- and just now did they get saggy in the knees and become inappropriate for day dressing- but they’re still perfect for lounging and working out. the dresses- i bought the gray & forest green, the gray has worn beautifully and looks as good as new, the green shrank two inches in length so now is best worn as a tunic over jeans, but the fabric has not pilled on any of these items and that’s saying a lot considering how much i’ve thrown them in the dryer! these are my favorite items from there, i also have a fabulously cozy cotton hoodie dress from them that i LIVE in (great over skinny jeans, leggings, boots). trust me, the prices are absolutely justifiable, links below, so looking forward to your casual chic ensembles!


  3. Diana says:

    I love that cardigan!
    I’ve always loved American Apparel for the softness of their clothes.

  4. kng says:

    ps- michael stars is also fabulously soft, but a bit too pricy to justify- i just invested in a few pieces off the hautelook sale last week- so you may want to wait until a sale to check those pieces out.
    also, yummie tummie (which i adore as a layering piece!) just came out with a nursing tank- i dont have any experience with it so i can’t recommend that exact product, but their other products are really really great

  5. vintage_mck says:

    Alternative Apparel is fantastic and you can usually find them on amazon.com – I have a few of their cardigans and they feel like pjs – as for bottoms – I would go for jersey skirts, and leggings are always wonderfully soft and comfy with the right tops… They may not be your style currently but maybe try them once -

  6. teri says:

    hi there – keep your maternity clothes – you will probably be using the ones in your early stages post partum, as you get back to your original figure…

    I gave birth aound the same time you will last year – a bit later – and fall in the midwest is a great time to be post partum imho. :) layer soft camis under t-shirts (i like the GAPS best). you really don’t need to buy any expensive, mommy post partum outfits -honestly, save your money!

    i lost weight very fast and was able to get back into my pre-preggo clothes within a month or so and the way that you are carrying (your hips haven’t betrayed you the way mine did) you will be back to your ‘regular cloths’ in no time.

    as others have said, if you are breastfeeding, wrap or cross-ver tops are great. empire waisted maxi dresses are great. no wool or mohair (on hubby either). irritates babies.

    for me, i went back to taking care of my apprearance immediately – using all the facial products i was banned from using while pregnant, got my hair done – i love make up and i dress business professional for work at a uni.

    my daughter watches me get ready in the morning, i tell her i am putting on my make up, putting mousse in my hair, teasing my hair with a comb, whatever – but i scared her once with the blow dryer and learned my lesson on that!

    it’ll be fun if you have a girl to get dressed up in front of her. :) they do pay attention and seem to really soak it all in, esp. if you talk about what you are doing while you do it.

    oh but don’t wear perfume for a few months – i just started to and it doesn’t seem to bother my baby.

    BTW – have a very comfy, soft terry cloth robe. i know, it is hot as heck right now, but you will like it for comfort and the baby will too. :)


  7. lrm says:

    Congratulations on your impending transition to motherhood!

    I agree about continuing with your normal beauty routines — it made me feel so much better to have showered and be wearing mascara.

    How about foldover jersey skirts? I also kept wearing my maternity denim pencil skirt. A lot.

    I also like the tank tops from American Apparel. Nursing tanks have always seemed like a waste of money to me. I just wear a tank top or camisole that’s stretchy enough to pull down under my shirt so that my belly isn’t exposed.

    I had a gift certificate to JCrew and used the whole thing on Jackie cardigans, which wash really well. Discontinued colors often go on sale.

    Good luck!

  8. Maureen says:

    They are not cheap, but Lululemon makes great incredibly soft tank tops from organic pima cotton. I think they are $36 a pop, but I wear mine almost every day – under a v-neck or a cardigan or on their own. Another bonus is that they do a great job covering bra straps and are nice and long, which I like, though they will hem the tanks free if you would prefer a different length.

  9. Anna says:

    I’ve never had a baby, but I have noticed that fit, style and color can be essential to making a casual outfit look stylish. Baby blue, baggy, elastic waist and ankle sweatpants will look terrible, especially if you pair it with a matching sweatshirt. But a pair of straight leg, drawstring-waist sweat pants in black or eggplant and in your size, paired with a tank and cute cardi will look just as stylish as a pair of jeans and a blouse and probably function better for a baby.

  10. ShopKim says:

    I have no suggestions on soft clothes but I just wanted to say that I’m totally impressed that you are still wearing those shoes! With a month left, I always felt too wobbly to wear anything that high.

  11. T says:

    Check out motherwear.com for cute nursing dresses. Their clothes are pricey, but I bought several dresses from them when my children were babies, and I always received compliments on my cute clothes from people who had no clue my dresses were nursing dresses! Nursing shirts are not necessary, and can in fact complicate nursing, especially when you and baby are trying to figure it all out, but if you find yourself craving the simplicity of a dress (like I often did), nursing dresses from Motherwear are fabulous, made of soft cotton, nice for mom and baby.

    And if you are looking for soft comfortable clothes for both baby and mom, check out Hanna Andersson. Cute cute cute, soft and comfortable. Watch for sales! I never got into the mother-daughter matchy-matchy outfits, but I have purchased clothing for myself from HA, and they’ve always been extremely soft and comfortable.

    Good luck this last month. I am impressed by your ability to walk around in those wedges! I retained so much water in my pregnancies that my ankles had fat rolls on them. You look fabulous.

  12. Sarah says:

    Dittoing Sal. Velvet by Graham and Spencer dresses could do double duty as nightgowns, they’re so soft and stretchy and comfy. However, they maintain a lot of structure for knits, and so they’re uniformly flattering. I think I have something like four, and two tops, all sourced on eBay except one (Anthro sale).

  13. Mitra says:

    Boobdesigns.com for the most truly fantabulous, soft, long-lasting nursing wear. I had a shortsleave T and 3 longsleaves and they lasted very nicely through two babies. Very worth the money.

    Also I love organic cotton, and Blue Canoe goes the distance – I have had some items for YEARS and they still look good. I have cotton Ts, yoga pants, and skirts by them, and even the black ones still look fine! A miracle, really. You may want to re-dye after a year or so (of frequent wear) but the cotton itself does not pill or look worn. Darker colours may fade a bit. However, after 3.5 years of weekly wear, my Blue Canoe black T-shirt is still immaculate enough for me to wear to work. I consider that pretty amazing!

    In general, organic cotton, pima cotton and high-quality french terry will likely be the softest and easiest to maintain. Invest in a good, biodegradable stain remover – I like Ecover – because spit-up, which is par for the course for many babies after a good burp, especially in the early months, leaves grease stains. You will be wearing these easy items a lot and keeping them looking good will keep you feeling good.

  14. polly says:

    I got tons of mileage from 2 pair of yoga pants from Sam’s Club. The brand is Bally, and they are sold in a 2 pack. The foldover waist style ( not the runched waist version). They held up really well even after going through the wash many times.
    I’d check TJ Maxx for cardies. I have a short sleeve, hooded, cable knit, zippered version – Ralph Lauren brand, that is nice with soft yoga pants.
    Also, Target carries a decent nursing tank.

  15. e. says:

    Thanks, everyone, for your helpful comments and suggestions. I have a couple of eBay watches going now :) And Teri, I love the image of your little girl watching you get ready in the morning — how sweet!

    As for the wedges… my feet have swollen a little bit, but if the shoe fits, wear it, right? Sometimes I feel like I have to squeeze in some extra wedge love now before I take a little break from heels immediately post-baby!

  16. Joellyn says:

    For camis, I love love love the cotton camis from Banana Republic.


    The cotton stretch is perfect, the neck scoop is perfect… I hope they keep them in their lineup.

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