Finding and shopping for clothes, well, sucks. Especially after you have had a child and are thinking about having more. You are then in, what I call, the Preggo-Zone. The dreaded need to find post pregnancy clothes.
This is the zone where you can’t fit into your old pre-kid clothes because your hips, butt, boobs, waist, <insert other body part here>, grew, shrunk, sagged and/or somehow shifted. I also had a closet full of work clothes, but after my baby, I became a work-at-home Mom so the high heels and cashmere turtlenecks weren’t cut out for my new breastfeeding, spitup, at-home lifestyle either.
Maternity clothes aren’t a solution because they are often too big post-pregnancy or if you are like me, it is winter and all the pregnancy clothes are for summer. However, you don’t want to spend money on new clothes because you might become pregnant again and start the dang cycle all over!
The solution is to find quality clothes that you can wear now, while breastfeeding or running after a toddler, that can handle the constant washing that ensues as a result, but still can be worked into your next pregnancy.
Tall order, huh?
Well, it was a solution I had to find. I was tired looking like I either rolled out of bed or was about to go into a board meeting when I went off to playgroup. I was walking around the mall when I saw a store I had always wanted to check out, but was constantly afraid to walk in the door. Why? Because I was convinced that all the slim, 20-something women in athletic gear would giggle when I shelped in with my 1 year old in tow. I was also convinced they could not possibly have any clothes in my size. Yet, I put on my “I ran seven marathons once” face and marched into the store.
First, let me say that the sales associates could not have been more accommodating, understanding and helpful. Second, they listened to my concerns (aka post-baby hips and belly pooch) and yes, they carry up to size 12.
Clothes Nirvana. <Insert angelic music here.>
I found pants that fit child bearing hips. I found tanks that curved over the belly pooch and tops that were long enough to cover it too. I found hoodies that hugged my curves rather than hiding or strangling them. I also could see that the tanks and tops could stretch to deal with a growing or shrinking pregnancy belly, and would be long enough to keep the belly under wraps too. The hoodies could be unzipped as a pregnancy progressed and there were some specialty tops that have style both before, during and after baby.
The clothes are pricey, but they have versatility, quality materials and the performance factor – these clothes are made to handle actual marathons. Or in my current case, the daily mommy marathon I endure. Specifically, most of the fabrics have tags saying they are preshrunk and are created to withstand 5 years of physical abuse. They are machine washable and dryable so you can throw them in with the rest of the family laundry, though keep them separate from any velcro bibs as it can wear at the fabric. (Note: Fabric softener is a no-no with any performance apparel as it can clog the wicking ability built into the fabric.)
So these clothes hold up to sweat and tears. (Probably spitup and blowouts too.) Thus, it may be worth investing in a couple of pieces if your budget can swing it. Better yet, it’s a perfect request for a holiday gift or a birthday present. (They have gift cards…wink, wink.)
So to help you out, I put together a list from their current product line that I think can work for someone who is looking for a new “Mom” wardrobe, which can also work during another pregnancy and post-pregnancy too. So head to their website (regular shipping is always free!) or a local lululemom athletica store and check out my following must have items:
For pants, check out the Still Pants or Relaxed Pants. They fit without hugging every nook and cranny. Although my personal favorite are the Still Pants. Another option is the Studio Pant (lined or unlined) that is great for winter. This is my other hands-down fave. For a more fitted look that can still be worn with a pregnancy belly is the Groove Pant. Fun colors on the waist band and there is even an organic option. All the pants come in regular or tall and can be hemmed for free! at any lululemon store.
For tank tops, I frankly love all of them. They are long and stretchy, but two to highlight are the Power Y Tank and the Power Dance Tank. You can see why. Good alternative to a nursing top as it can be moved around. Their long sleeved tops are fabulous too.
Some other fun pieces are the Savasana Wrap and the Express Yourself Wrap. These are stylish, functional pieces can be worn with cute leggings, like the Wunder Under, and boots, but can handle a large pregnancy belly if you start sporting one of those.
I also like the Stride Jacket, as a hoodie, for around the house or a trip to the store. It has zipped pockets so they don’t bulge out where you are wearing it. It has a fitted shape, with a cool curved design, so you look like you have some sort of figure, but it is not too fitted that you can see every bump. These are common issues I have had with hoodies from other well-known retailers. A more winterized version that is pretty similar in style and fit is the Scuba Hoodie. It is really toasty.
Needless to say, I am now a huge fan and feel silly for having never stepped foot in the store before. So check them out. I have a feeling you will be really glad you did.
Watch out credit card, here I come….