A hot topic among quad moms (and probably most moms for that matter), is the post-pregnancy wardrobe. In fact, every few weeks or so, a new mom posts something about wardrobe woes. Regardless of how much weight is shed or exercises completed, I doubt that anyone’sis ever exactly as it was before pregnancy.
Several weeks back, my quad mama friend, Rebecca, excitedly reported that she finally lost the last bit of pregnancy weight. That was a proud moment! However, she was dismayed after ordering a dress online that didn’t reveal her hard work. She posted a picture of herself in the new dress and sought feedback. The group was split in their opinions of the dress. Some said she should proudly show her “post pregnancy body”, while others candidly reported the dress was not “The One”. Based on the photograph alone, it seemed apparent to me that she did not feel beautiful in this dress even though she is beautiful. After all, she was back to her pre-pregnancy weight. The problem was not her body at all, it was the dress.
I’m not a fashion expert by any means. However, over the past year, I’ve worked at embracing a new style of clothing that flatters my body. I realize that I’m extremely petite and the majority of people around me do not see that I have anything to conceal. The fact is, I do. Despite my efforts with rehabilitation exercises and losing all pregnancy weight, excess skin, a distended naval, and a “muffin top” remain in my mid section. Again, I know that most people do not believe this problem area exists, but I know it does, and the wrong clothes make me feel self-conscious. I considered baring it all to prove the grim details, but opted not to. If I revealed what makes me feel self-conscious and uncomfortable, then what’s the point in expertly masking it with the right clothes? Instead of showing the parts of myself that I don’t like, I’m sharing how I make clothing choices.
When I saw Rebecca’s frustrations, I shared a few pointers, and to my delight she headed my advice. Finally she found a Little Black Dress that flatters from an online clothing company, Fresh Produce. This company offers beach-inspired clothing with flowing, forgiving lines and an array of colors and sizes. This is perfect for a post pregnancy body and busy moms, I think. Rebecca’s photographs in the LBD exude confidence and beauty.
Here’s what I told Rebecca-
In the past, I often wore fitted clothing, which now only highlights that nice “muffin top”. I’ve been replacing my old clothing with loser fitting, flowing tops and pairing them with a slim leg line. When I do this, I mask the stomach area while highlighting the slimmer parts of my body. Before pregnancy and during pregnancy, dresses were a wardrobe staple for me. Even now, I’ve found a way to keep them in my clothing rotation. I now choose dresses with an Empire waistline and gather just above my stomach region, skimming over my stomach instead of clinging to it. I also like A line dresses that are narrow above the stomach and flair out, drawing attention to the thinnest parts of my body and camouflaging problem areas. Gathering or pleating around the neckline or waist helps fabric keep from bunching around the “muffin top”. I also consider material and find that 100% cotton and cotton/ polyester blends are more forgiving than lycra and spandex, which cling (unless you are talking about shape wear).
After dishing out all these tips to Rebecca, I wondered how I would fare finding a dress from Fresh Produce, following my own advice. I was ecstatic when Fresh Produce extended an opportunity to test drive one of their pieces. Considering what I suggested for Rebecca, I chose the Melody tank dress in eggplant. I chose the eggplant color because I find deep colors flattering for my skin tone and wanted to veer away from the cliche black. It’s a simple tank dress made of 100% cotton with an Empire gathered waist and scoop neck. I also appreciated that it is machine washable and dryer safe. Having quadruplets in the house means paying attention to washing directions is impossible!
When my dress arrived, I immediately put it through the washer and dryer test. I was slightly concerned about bleeding considering the dress was a deep jewel tone. However, it did not run onto the rest of our load at all and came out looking as it did before. As an added bonus, it’s run in the dryer kept me from needing to iron or steam it. Goodness knows I don’t have time for that!
As a mom on the go, I found the Melody tank dress ideal for moments when I wanted to look cute, yet be comfortable while caring for four toddlers. I first wore the dress to the babies’ one year well check up. Since we are usually confined to the house, I consider any outing worth getting dressed up, and that includes appointments. At the same time, I am taking care of four babies so I need practical, comfortable clothing. A hidden feature I love is the pockets. When I’m out with the babies, it seems I always need a place to stash a tissue or lip gloss. I wore the dress a second time for one of our afternoon field trips to the pet store. Even though I was wearing a dress, I wasn’t concerned about loading or unloading babies from the van (in sweltering Texas heat), or toting babies around because it was absolutely comfortable and modest enough. To date, I’ve only had chances to wear my new dress while out with the babies, but it’s dressy enough for a future date night, especially when paired with fun accessories.
Prior to the arrival of the quadruplets, I enjoyed comparison shopping, and of course trying on clothing and touching them to assess quality. In recent days, my time for shopping is slim and I am learning the art of online shopping. I was admittedly hesitant to try online clothing shopping, but was pleasantly surprised with the quality, style, and fit from Fresh Produce. Along with our typical online purchases, I’ll now add clothing to the list. If you’re in the market for fashion forward, yet practical and comfortable clothing, be sure to visit Fresh Produce.
P. S. I would like to thank Fresh Produce for kindly sending me the Melody tank dress for review. I received no further compensation and all opinions expressed are 100% my own.