When I was pregnant with my now two-year-old daughter, I spent a pretty penny on stylish maternity clothes. Then the baby arrived. It didn't take long for me to adopt a uniform of sweatpants, a stained tee, and sneakers.
My pre-baby clothes didn't fit. My maternity clothes didn't fit. I didn't have any time anymore. A quick glance around the playground tells me that I'm not alone in falling into a style rut. "When you become a mother, you're exhausted and redefining yourself. It's so easy to put yourself last," says Marlisa Sailer, a mom of two and a stylist with Style For Hire, a national network of stylists. While it feels impossible to care for yourself when you're putting everyone's needs first, Sailer says it's crucial to our self-esteem to look and feel good during this huge life transition - and to avoid these common mom fashion faux pas.
Still wearing maternity clothes
I've got a friend who wore her maternity jeans one year after giving birth. Way. Too. Long. Just had a baby? You get a two, three months max. Then, it's time to put away the maternity clothes (no matter how comfy those elastic waistbands are). If the styling feels safe, buy some regular clothes in your new size that mimic your maternity clothes - sort of. "An empire waist is okay, but look for tops that don't have gathering as that will only add fullness to your middle," says Sailer. Wrap tops and dresses are also great, especially ones that cross over higher on your rib cage to draw attention to the leanest part of your body.
The way-too-mom jeans
My mom - and zillions others - wore pleated, peg-legged pants that she thought covered her pooch but only accentuated it. My mom-jean problem isn’t pleats. It’s the low-rise, bootcut pants that push my muffin-top up, and flash my crack or granny panties every time I bend down. The fix? Look for a higher waist jean (with a flat front, of course). Look for the button to sit at your navel or up to two-inches above it. As Stacy London says about the higher waisted styles, your gut will be “locked and loaded.” Another option: a skinny jean or cigarette pant tucked into boots. “This makes you look thinner because the heaviness on the bottom detracts from any thickness at your waist,” says Sailer. Brightly colored skinny jeans are especially fun and hot for fall.
Sloppy looking sneakers
I traded in my heels for comfort during my pregnancy and I never looked back. While I try not to wear my running sneakers anywhere but the gym, and at least rock my Converses instead, I’ve got to admit that sneakers are sneakers. But apparently, I don’t have to choose comfort over style. “Instead of flip-flops or trainers, try a pair of ballet flats, studded slippers, flat boots, or if you want height, shoes with platforms across the entire foot,” says Sailer.