4th Trimester Style: Minding the Gap

August 28th, 2009 § 22 comments

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.

Three Cheers for the Thrifting Fairies

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.

Three Cheers for the Thrifting Fairies

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.

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§ 22 Responses to 4th Trimester Style: Minding the Gap"

  1. brandy says:

    You look fabulous regardless of the “apron” left behind. I always say that there is NO aspect of our lives that our children don’t touch…body, mind and soul. And I am insanely jealous at your thrifting luck. I rarely find such great brands and I’ve yet to find a single pair of shoes for me. Congrats!! And your prego outfits are constant inspiration for me as I’m currently 23 wks pregnant with #4.

  2. Jenna says:

    You look awesome in this outfit. The jeans (jealous) fit you spectacularly.

  3. Kathleen says:

    Those jeans are fabulous, especially because they cost only $8! And that’s great that you’re embracing Stacy and Clinton’s saying, “Dress the body you have, not the body you want.” But I have faith you’ll get to the body you want eventually too. :)

  4. mamichan says:

    it goes to show that fit really matters!

  5. Chelsea says:

    Such an inspiring post! It’s so easy when your body changes dramatically to give up and wear sweatpants until you “deserve” to dress adorably again. The thing that women forget is that they can look fantastic no matter what their shape or size, and looking great increases self-confidence and self-esteem.

  6. angie says:

    You are stunning! People would kill to look like you post-baby. I love how you have not let yourself go whilst you attend to a dear little new voice. That’s truly inspirational.

  7. Nadine says:

    You look so good, and are so sensible about the physical changes you’ve experienced. This outfit is fantastic – love the colours and textures – and the background!

  8. 7′s for just $8…unbelievable! ANd they look great on you!

  9. Clare says:

    You look gorgeous. And I’m so jealous of your thrifting karma!

  10. Luinae says:

    Those jeans are utterly fantastic. And 7′s for 8$? Consider me very jealous- you have to love thrifting!

  11. Kari says:

    Gosh, E., you look incredible. Not just the fact that I can’t see a bump in sight, which I don’t, but also that you look so ecstatic and joyful. It’s been so fun to see how smoothly you adapted your style to your changing body since you began blogging. I’m not & have never been pregnant, but if I ever am in the future, I’ll know that maintaining your individual style is possible with some patience and creativity throughout & after pregnancy.

    And… I just noticed my blog is listed in the bibliography section, which I didn’t realize before. Thanks for the link!

  12. Jane says:

    I don’t know what amazes me most – how far the $30 went or how amazing you look. It took me a while to get my body back after each of my four pregnancies but I am smaller now (apart from my chest which expanded due to all the breastfeeding and has stayed a nice shape) than I was before I had my children. I think you have the right attitude.

  13. Trisha says:

    Great attitude. You look amazing in those jeans no matter what number is on the tag. v. jealous of your Goodwill finds; they have inspired me to make a trip to my local thrift store and see what can be had for $30.

  14. Super cute! Great finds, and you look amazing.

  15. Cyn says:

    Oh yeah, thrifting is where it’s at.

    You always look fantastic, and as you’ve shown, a big part of that is attitude. I’ve never had children, but I still think your posts documenting the changes in your body have been very honest and positive. I think after all the trimesters are complete, it could warrant a permalink- a lot of Moms could benefit from something like this.

  16. Jess says:

    $30 for some fabulous finds! Amazing! And you do look wonderful!

    I loved the tutorial about making skinny jeans. I, however, don’t even know how to operate a sewing machine. I’m assuming you do?? Would be willing to share some insight?

  17. [...] the pair of jeans I’m sporting here. These indeterminately colored jeans were part of my thrifting haul a few weeks ago. They were bootcut and, as such, were quite flattering. But I’ve been having [...]

  18. [...] more high waisted skirts, a proportion that was unworkable while I was still sporting my baby bump. Since my residual bumpage continues to keep me out of my pre-preggers pencil skirts and higher-waist…, I’m trying to find ways to create the illusion of a high waist by experimenting with pieces [...]

  19. G&D says:

    You look so fantastic! I’m 24 weeks pregnant right now and your pregnancy fashion has been such an inspiration to me. Thank you!

  20. [...] I’ve managed to move one more size closer to my pre-preggers state, and given how swimmingly my first post-partum thrifting excursion went I felt fully justified in seeing if the thrifting fairies would do their magic once [...]

  21. [...] forget to check out her blog Academic Chic, especially some her posts about her maternity style and dressing her post baby body… I can’t help but love everything she writes [...]

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