Monday, November 18, 2019

postpartum review: learning to dress your new body

Hello! Coming at you today with a review of items I've purchased over the last month or so. We have a little random assortment of items here, from maternity items (that I wear as a non-pregnant lady), nursing tops, slipping pants, and winter jackets. A little bit of everything! A big lesson for me is now learning how to dress my "new" body. My chest is a bit bigger, my sides are a bit softer, and I'm working on figuring out what feels good when I wear it. I'm also trying to figure out what I can wear that accommodates nursing/pumping, which has definitely had it's trials and errors. What used to work doesn't always work with pumps on, and what I used to wear casually on the weekends isn't convenient for nursing in public, so it's been a rough go at figuring out what works for me!

For reference, I'm 5'9''. I'm currently a size 12/large in most items. 

 Maternity Drapey Nursing Knit Cardigan

Okay, starting off with my favorite item in this post. Gap is currently having an amazing 40% off everything + an additional 10% off sale, so I wanted to share this first! I actually own very few nursing tops - as most of my tops are on the looser side, and I only nurse in casual situations (ie I don't nurse at work), I have found that most of the clothes I own can easily just be lifted up on one side and can nurse pretty discretely. But as winter, and therefore more layers, approach, I have found it a bit more difficult to just lift up a top and nurse. I came across this drapey cardigan and ordered it on the spot. You guys...even if you aren't pregnant or nursing...this cardigan is awesome. It's soft, it's long, it has a flattering hemline, the drapey neck is cool and different without being weird...and if you happen to be nursing, it's also conveniently open for easy access. I honestly love it so much that I'm going to order it in black as well. I got it in a large, and think it's true to size, maybe just a tiny bit on the larger side.

 Gap Boyfriend Stripe Popover Shirt
Sticking with the Gap purchases, anything that's striped, popover, and boyfriend style, and I'm in. I purchased this in a tall medium, which was my usual pre-baby size, but definitely didn't really account for the nursing chest and squishy midsection I currently have (this is not a complaint, but more of a reality of where my body currently is 4 months postpartum). I wish I had purchased it as a tall large instead. Maybe I'll re-order it during this great sale...and then add on the white striped popover as well ;)
 Kenneth Cole New York Wool Blend Boucle Coat
Next is a coat I also talked about on Instagram because I was debating getting the pink version...and then my more sensible side reminded myself that I would never wear a pink coat. Anyway, this is a Kenneth Cole wool coat that has a funnel style collar and asymmetric front. Reviews said to size down, so I'm wearing a medium here. Overall this is a fine coat...I just didn't love it. Even though it's $140 on sale, I found that it looked kind of cheap? Like you can see the hidden button  areas on the front, which why have hidden buttons if you can see where they attach? I also don't really need another "nicer" coat - I only wear dress clothes once in a while, and I find that I also reach for my more casual coats anyway. If this were under $100, I think I would maybe get the pink version just to have ONE fun coat that isn't grey/black/tan, but for now, I'll stick with my boring coat closet.

 Free People Ottoman Slouchy Tunic
You have probably seen this sweater all over instagram - I swear I've now seen it on like 14 girls. I first saw it on Pinteresting Plans, and ordered it in two colors immediately. When will I learn that what looks good on really long lean posing girls on the internet may not work on me? First of all, this sweater is stupid expensive...because it's Free People, and that's just how it is. It really does feel nice on though - the fabric is a cotton/nylon combo that's heavy without being bulky. It's a tunic, which is what I wanted, so points for it covering my butt. The neckline is okay, maybe it's just sitting a bit weird on me because it just came out of the box, but it's slightly different and I like that. It has dropped shoulder sleeves, which are awful and should be banned from all clothing. The middle of the sweater has just a bit too much fabric, which makes me feel bulky - again, something that the slimmer girls may not struggle with but I prefer something a little more fitted when it's all oversized so I don't totally get lost in there. Overall, this is not a bad sweater. It can be cute, and style appropriately, I could love it...but for the price, I want to love it all the time, and not for a perfectly posed instagram picture.
 BP. Cozy Thermal Tunic Sweater
Next are four tops, with one basically worse than the next on me, so this is going to be quick. First is the BP sweater above. At under $40, and in a color I usually love, I was hoping that this would be a win...but it's awful on me. I took it out of the package and honestly questioned what I was thinking. The neckline is awful on me - it just makes me look so square! The fabric is thin and flimsy and that weird knit that we used to wear in the 90s. Maybe this looks good on other people, but it was a big no for me. I'm wear a size large.
 Caslon® Turtleneck Tunic Sweater
Okay, so this Caslon turtleneck tunic isn't terrible, but it's not great either. At around $70, it's pretty expensive for how thin this is - you can see right through it! The model online makes this look much thicker and cozier than it is. Really that's my biggest complaint - the neckline is fine, I like the length, I don't even hate the weird line in the's just too thin. I'm wearing it in a large. 
 Curves 360 by NYDJ Perfect Blouse
I have to wear business casual to work a bit more often over the next few months, so I wanted a few new tops for work, since the majority of tops I own are still from when I was in medical school. How do you argue with a top called the perfect blouse? Well, first of all, it's a bit ridiculous to charge $90 for a 100% polyester blouse. On top of that, this just doesn't fit me that well. I think if I was currently less endowed, this would be a fine blouse for work (but not for that price). I actually really like the sleeves and the flattering neckline. Don't love the wear pleating by the shoulders and the awkward length it hits me on my waist - tucked in it looks fine though. I would be willing to pay like $40 for this top, but since it's more than double's going back. 

Side note, I just read the reviews online and this one caught my eye:

"Great transition piece for the youth to feel like they have choices and autonomy"

Agreed, SoCalMommy. 
 Treasure & Bond V-Neck Top
Hello, the 80s called and said they don't even want this shirt back.

It's horrible and that's all I feel I have to say about it. Size large, in case anyone really wanted to try this...

 BTFBM Women’s Fashion Leopard Print Shirts Long Sleeve V Neck Button Down Lightweight Relaxed-Fit Tops Tunic Blouses
Next is a top from Amazon. I'm not a big Amazon clothing shopper - there's SO much stuff on there, and I don't even know where to start. But after I found that LL Bean dupe sweater, I went to see what else that brand sells, and found this top. Quickly glancing at it in this picture, it's a fine shirt. But in real life, it is like the cheapest feeling shirt I've ever tried on - it's like polyester x 100 - I felt like I was wearing a plastic bag. For $20, I wasn't expecting like the nicest shirt ever...but this was just awful. Cute pattern though!

 Seraphine Women's Striped Cotton Maternity & Nursing Top
The last item is one that may look somewhat familiar to you if you follow along on instagram, as I actually own in this already in black stripes! I bought this shirt when I was pregnant on a whim...and I ended up loving it. It's like a magical shirt because even though it's technically a maternity shirt, it also fits me like a normal shirt now that I'm no longer pregnant! It doesn't have any ruching on the side or a bunch of extra fabric in the front, so it's perfect for being an undercover maternity shirt that I can still wear postpartum. Because it's a bit looser, it's great for nursing as well. I just loved it so much that I bought it in the red stripes as well. I have it in a size large and find it fits true to size. I love all the Seraphine items and really wish I had purchased this adorable sweater when I was pregnant because I think it's the cutest. Maybe next time ;)