Dressing postpartum was much harder than I anticipated. The first 2 months are hard. And the following few months are also quite challenging. You’re adjusting to a new body, trying to wear things that are nursing-friendly, and also just want to be comfortable with a capital COMFORT. I’m breaking down the postpartum clothing I have and/or will be purchasing for baby 2 so I’m better prepared for dressing myself postpartum.
A few notes about making a postpartum wardrobe
(Keep in mind, I’m really focusing on the first 1-3 months PP here but it applies for longer. If you want my best style tips checking out this post: Dressing Your Postpartum Body)
- To Size Up or Not Size Up? Definitely, the hardest decision is whether or not to size up. And, this makes buying things tricky. Personally, I size up in underwear and bras as well as comfy loungewear like joggers. I typically don’t size up in things like jeggings and leggings or in loose tops like tanks, sweatshirts, or cardigans.
- Simple, grab-and-go pieces. The KEY to a postpartum wardrobe for me is that I can grab and go. The last thing I want to think about in the morning is what to wear. I focus on really simple items that all pair well together. I personally have cleaned out my wardrobe of anything I won’t be able to wear the first 3 months PP so I don’t even have to think about it. Everything in my dresser will work PP.
- Easy-Care – Basically what I’m saying here is don’t get anything that needs to be dry cleaned. Typically we might splurge on a nice robe or fancy comfy sweater, but do yourself a favor and stick to easy-wash, easy-care items for the first few months.
Ok, let’s jump into it. This is my postpartum wardrobe must-haves. To me, it’s kinda like a postpartum capsule wardrobe. I spent a lot more time and effort with this pregnancy being intentional about making sure my wardrobe will be better prepared for newborn life.
This is something I did NOT have with my first that I’ll definitely be getting myself a comfy robe this time around. I had a “cute” robe, but what you really want it something super comfy and not too short. You’re going to spend a lot of time walking around without a bra on and spit up on your shirt, it’s nice to have something you can just grab and throw over your outfit or PJs.
Stylish PJs/Nightshirts (that are nursing-friendly)
You will THANK YOURSELF a million times over if you get yourself a few pairs of comfy but cute PJs for postpartum. You’re gonna wear them DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY. And, likely many guests, family members, and the postman will see you in them. So, you want them to be comfortable but also it doesn’t hurt if they look cute so you can feel a little more “put together”. Also, make sure to opt for something with buttons or a nursing top so it’s got easy access. I love this set from Target, which you can get in shorts or pants depending on the time of year, because they are button-down. I also love nightshirts for sleeping so I have this one (short sleeve) and this one (long sleeve).
Joggers were pretty much one of the only smart postpartum purchased I made before my first arrived. They are great for lounging at home but you can also throw on a tee and sneakers and totally run errands in them. Personally, I preferred sizing up in mine for postpartum.
So, at any other point in my life I actually DON’T like high-waisted jeans. I’ve never found them to be my style or comfortable. But postpartum they are the bee’s knees. They just give you the support you want in the belly.
I love these jeggings for the first month postpartum (consider getting one pair a size up from your normal size for the first few weeks and then one pair in your normal size) because they have an all elastic waistband so they are super comfy. You can get them in high-waisted (although I did find mid-rise to be comfortable PP) and they also come in Short, Regular or Tall (which is helpful for me at 5’9″).
Then this is my go-to postpartum jeans for like weeks 4-20 postpartum. They are called “jean leggings” but they are more like a jean (with a button and zipper) but they just have amazing stretch. They quality is SO good, you’ll wear them for years.
High-Waisted Postpartum Leggings
If I could only choose ONE postpartum item, it would be comfy AF, well fitting, postpartum leggings. They don’t even have to be postpartum specific although it’s nice to get a postpartum legging because they often offer added tummy support which is very comfortable in the first 3-4 weeks PP. I’ve ordered 3 brands and will keep you updated and which turns out best for PP.
Especially if you have winter/fall babies like me. It’s all about cute loungewear with newborns. Things you can hang around the house in but run to an appointment if you have to, so I love having some cute and comfy sweatshirts that are just no fuss. I also love the style with the snap-up sides right now because it’s actually super convenient for nursing (and works during pregnancy too!) I’ve gotten some of my favorites from Aerie like this one, which has side slits.
Loose Tees and Tanks
I lived in Old Navy Luxe Swing Tanks postpartum with my first. They are super comfy, super forgiving around the waist, and loose and easy to nurse in. They also hold up well to the wear-and-tear of newborn life and can be worn alone or layer great with cardigans. I literally owned every color.
Speaking of which, both my babies are winter/fall babies so give me ALL the comfy cardigans to throw over my outfit or PJs. I love cardigans because you can put it on top of leggings and a tee and suddenly you have an “outfit” respectable of running errands or going to the doctor’s office. I own this one from Amazon and will likely buy at least one more color because it’s just comfy and versatile. This Target cardigan is a second favorite because it’s nice and lightweight and fits perfect (not too bulky at the shoulders like some cardigans).
Ok, I’m very deliberate to type that as “nursing-friendly bras” and not just “nursing bras” because I learned that many bras (particularly bralettes) can be nursing friendly even if not designed for that.
I do like to keep some nursing bras in my stash, I like this one, this one, and I am buying this one. Sometimes they are easier to nurse in on-the-go or if you’re wearing something a little more “complicated.”
However, I find for every day, most deep v bralettes work really well too and are often way comfier. I own this one, this one, and this one, all of which have very easy boob access.
I find that very lightweight, seamless undies are best. I buy this pair and this pair which are my two favorites and just size up. I can wear those through pregnancy and then use them postpartum, too.
You might also want to consider a few pairs of high-waisted underwear, this can be specifically comfortable for the first few weeks PP and if you had a c-section.
Comfy but Cute Sneakers
I LIVED in my Converse Slide-On Chuck Taylors postpartum. They pair with jeans or leggings and are such a simple “throw them on” shoe because they don’t require lacing or tying or buttoning. It’s jut a quick grab and go shoe. My pediatrician even commented that I was a “cool mom” wearing them – so there’s a plus, haha!
I couple pair of socks with grippers on the bottom made their way into my hospital bag and I also wore them home postpartum a ton. In addition a pair of comfy house slippers (again, also with good grip because you’ll be carrying precious cargo around) will get used A TON. I prefer “slipper boots” because they got up around your ankle. They are warmer and feel more sturdy. I’m also planning to get these slipper slides.