A couple of weeks ago I recapped my experience of trying to dress stylishly through my 6 months of “obvious” pregnancy. Now post-bump I am picking my way through the new style challenges of the so-called “4th trimester” as all my internally displaced organs rearrange themselves and my hips try to decide if they ever want to return home. So many of you have been very kind and gracious in complimenting me on the quick recovery of my waistline, and I certainly appreciate your encouragement. Still, in the interest of intellectual honesty, you should know…
I am a long way off from fitting back into my pre-preggers pants and skirts.
Oh, yes, good readers, I have some significant jiggly below my stomach that seems to be in no real hurry to leave. Between having a torso of epically long proportions and carrying low throughout my pregnancy, my post-preggers body has managed, weirdly, to achieve a flat abdomen with all the squish hanging out below. I’m serious.
Ultimately I remain relatively unfazed by this state of affairs. My body is recovering from some pretty dramatic stuff, and having my beautiful son in my arms is worth a pooch below the belt. Still, the fact remains that the clothes that made me feel best pre-preggers — my favorite jeans, my denim skirts, my beloved trousers, and my sleek pencil skirts — must remain relegated to the basement for a while longer.
So that left me with a couple of choices:
- Resign myself to wearing only stretchy fabrics and maternity pants for the next three months
- Obsess crazily about crunches and carbohydrates in an attempt to hasten my return to pencil skirts
- OR fill this style gap with new (or new-to-me) clothes
I chose the third option and, a few weeks ago, ventured out to the my neighborhood thrift store with a budget of $30. An hour and many garments later, I left with a pair of gray trousers to cut into bermuda shorts, two pairs of jeans, three tops, and a pair of wedges. Seriously, it was like Christmas.
But here’s the thing. Those pants and jeans? They’re two sizes larger than my pre-preggers size. At first it was a little bit of a blow to my ego to pull jeans from the rack that my post-baby hips absolutely refused to fit into. But then…then I slipped on this pair of jeans and did a happy dance in front of the mirror.
They fit perfectly and, in doing so, made me feel like I had my pre-preggers body back early. I mean, if they can make my legs look three days long I could care less what number is stamped on the tag. And as if the thrifting fairies weren’t already being exceptionally kind, the jeans were 7 For All Mankind — my first time owning this coveted brand — and cost only $8. And those pants-turned-bermudas? They’ve become a sleek, go-to staple in recent weeks. And that other pair of jeans? With some minor alterations, I have a custom-fit pair of harder-to-come-by straight leg jeans.
So while I’m still committed to getting back into shape, this little thrifting trip has made a world of difference for my postpartum self-esteem. Again, I’m dressing the body I have now, and dressing it in “real” clothes. Clothes with waistbands. Clothes that are flattering. Clothes that, perhaps most importantly, let me delight in being a mom, without fretting or feeling guilty about worry over my body. To me, that’s worth much more than $30 at Goodwill.