Comfortable yet Chic {Mom} Clothes #1

Or clothes for anyone that wants to be comfortable all the time …

After you give birth you actually kinda need to live in your pajamas for a while because you are mainly just cuddling and feeding baby for months. So even if your ‘good butt jeans’ do fit, they don’t make sense to wear. You need clothes that are first and foremost comfortable (for you and baby) and secondly easy access to those milk pillows.

I ended up wearing my old sweat pants with Brian’s really baggy shirts … and not in a way where he’s like, ‘its so sexy when my girlfriend wears my white t-shirt’ like in a 90’s movie poster. And it’s not like I’m was blowing my hair out and curling my eye lashes either. Its a slippery slope and I was hanging out at the bottom of it.

I kinda just looked like I had no self-esteem.

I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I thought, ‘Yeah, that’s just about enough of that’. It was time to find cute clothes that I could wear around the house, possibly sleep in if I need to and possibly leave the house if I need to – and all the while be breast-feedable. That is a tall order, especially when you can’t leave the house to shop very often. But I did, and here is what I found:

Comfy Chic Mom Clothes

1. Grey suede Oxfords Sadly I haven’t bought these … yet, but they look like cute day shoes that look like I care.

2. Striped pants I own these and they are VERY comfortable. They hide my not so flat belly really well because they have a really loose fitting waist (I have a medium and it fits perfectly so go one size bigger than you normally would with these), and they even make my butt look good – not awesome, but a semblance of what it used to be. Sure, they are kinda pajama pants, but with some flip-flops and the right top, they can double as ‘oh hey, i live in california and mainly i go to intelligentsia and do yoga’ pants. They would probably be great maternity pants, too.

3. Trouser sweat pants These are great ‘bed to errands’ pants. They are almost as comfortable as sweats, yet they have cute pleats and a cut that says, ‘I’m trying’.

4. Denim shirt Duh. Its cute, buttons up so I can pull the girls out, and it doesn’t wrinkle easily so no one will know that i’ve been in bed all day.

5. Blue polka dot scarf In case you are anti-hooter-hider (which I’ve needed less and less as we’ve gotten better at navigating that situation). This scarf is pretty lightweight and cute. Plus you could just throw it on with a simple t-shirt to distract from your other parts that are less exciting to look at these days (I’m projecting, obviously).

6. Metallic slippers I’m cute and cozy yet I have enough glam to hint that I still have a bit of sex appeal hidden deep inside.

7. Striped shirt I love this shirt because it has enough structure to make your ribcage look small, but its loose enough that it doesn’t hug your belly. Plus it buttons up and its lightweight. I’ve worn it A LOT since I bought it.

8. Patterned shirt Because I can’t get enough ‘fitted but not tight’ button ups. Charlie would prefer that I don’t wear these because he doesn’t think i am unbuttoning them fast enough and screams to try to convey that thought, but one must clothe ones top.

9. Striped cardigan I don’t have this but I love it. I’ve been dying for cute, cuddly, cozy sweaters to cuddle with Charlie in. And I like that this is bold and distracting. It has enough style to look like you aren’t on the edge of giving up.

10. Cabled cowl cardigan I can sneak little Charlie under this sweater effortlessly – again with the cozy, blousy and yet presentable.

I shall be wearing many of these things this weekend with my parents in town, lounging around and going on walks. This is going to be a regular series for me because now that i’ve found comfortable clothes that aren’t embarrassing, its all I want to wear. Check my pinboard for many more and stay tuned to more posts.

Happy weekend, folks.

  1. Jo

    This is a great post. I’d add Land’s End Starfish Pants to the mix. They look nice enough to go out in and not feel ashamed but are comfy enough to wear when no one is looking. Great list Em! You have fabulous taste.

    p.s. Would you ever consider posting a ‘post partum’ pic? I feel like its healthy for women to see what REAL women look like after birthing a human, instead of this “flat abs 6 weeks after baby” bull shit. Just a thought…I’m sure you look amazing and I love to cheer on a new mama body!

    • Emily

      Yes! I keep meaning to. I started working out this week so i took a ‘before’ photo (its like i’m addicted makeovers) and it was really hard to do. But i could take some in normal clothes. Just need to think of the right post.

  2. Bab

    I work a lot from home and have sunk into wearing, well, basically, rags. I think it’s time to spruce up a little! But I’ll have to find some lower-priced items similar to these.

  3. Erin

    Killing myself laughing! I LOVE ALL OF THESE! And I am not remotely pregnant, not a parent. Just a middle-aged lady. So, maybe you could re-post in 20 years to indicate that these cute, comfy, chic clothes are also good for hiding all the joyous and wondrous bodily changes brought on by middle age, too! ;) (Oh, yeah, it’s a treat, ladies– you have a LOT to look forward to, believe me!)

  4. Jenny B

    A good post today from Natalie on dressing while nursing. If you haven’t invested in nursing tanks you might want to try some. They actually have super inexpensive ones from H&M online as well.

  5. Jen

    I am so in love with skinny sweatpants. I bought them in every color this year and adore them. You can be a total slacker and just wear them around the house with no bra, etc. or cute them up with killer shoes, a white tee or tank and fitted blazer. Done. The old navy ones are a great inexpensive version too.

  6. Laura

    I’m not now nor have I ever been pregnant but I want all of these…I am extremely lazy when it comes to clothing myself, is what I’m saying, basically.

  7. Michelle

    Emily, I have benefited so much from your design advice, so I am glad to be able to offer something to you! If there’s one thing I have experience in, it is hanging around my house with a baby on my boob.

    Nursing tanks with the built-in bras are awesome, and you can wear them to bed for some extra nighttime support. For day, add a cardigan and some leggings and you are done!,default,pd.html?cgid=TM-4th-Trimester-Essentials-Tees-Camis&start=12

    Obsessed with this line of shoes; I have tried the Kiltie Oxfords and they’re so cute and comfy:

    As I got better at breastfeeding and more comfortable doing it in front of other people, I found a regular bra or soft sports bra so much easier than fiddling with a nursing bra. You just hike up your shirt a bit, hike up your bra a bit and latch the baby on. No one can see anything but your shirt and the baby’s head.

    For extra privacy, I found a shawl much more discreet than a hooter hider, but really after awhile I stopped caring if anyone sees a flash of nip. If you don’t want to see, don’t look! If you do want to see, I am too tired to care.

  8. Amelia

    Soooooooo glad this is a series!!!!

  9. Kelli

    I’m a mother of four boys loving the trouser sweatpants! So cute and comfortable–and blue for the win! Thank you for the link!

  10. Beth

    All so good. I am so glad I discovered, by necessity mind you, “mom clothes” after having my three bc other clothes are just not as comfy!

  11. Amanda

    Thank you so much for this post! I have an 8 month old little boy and it’s been such a challenge to find stylish and comfy clothes that you can also nurse in.

    One addition… Mossimo tanks from Target. They are super cheap so you don’t feel bad when the inevitable spit up or boob juice gets all over them, and they are stretchy enough to pull down to nurse over. No more flashing everyone your newly postpartum tummy while you lift your shirt to nurse, these will keep you covered. I wear one every day as a base layer.

    • Great tip. I have to go to target later today so I’ll be sure to grab. Sounds comfy to sleep in, too.

  12. Kimberly

    I practically live in those fold over jersey lounge pants (the ones from Old Navy). I literally own 10 pairs. I work from home at a computer all day, so the ability to be comfy but still look presentable enough to answer the front door is key. I don’t do horizontal stripes though, solids only. They’re huge though, so I order a size smaller and then the fit is perfection.

  13. Shauna

    All super cute and I agree, do whatever you need to to get yourself looking/ feeling good after pregnancy is really important.

    But I want to add THERE”S ALSO NOTHING WRONG WITH FALLING INTO THE STAINED T-SHIRT, SWEAT PANTS ABYSS for a bit. Not as a forever-lifestyle. But for a bit.

    I thoroughly enjoyed my post baby slob-phase. It was awesome. Eventually I bounced back. But there’s nothing wrong with the slow road – sometimes that’s all you have the energy for. Sometimes just putting on lipstick is worthy of a victory dance ;)

    • Well said. If I didn’t have people coming to the house for meetings I think I’d care less, and take the slower road.

  14. Amy

    It took me a while to figure out when I was nursing that buttondowns are the worst (too slow) and the ultimate nursing outfit is 2 layers. A t-shirt over a tank with a low-cut neck (or a nursing tank) — pull the shirt up, tank down, it’s super-quick and no public boob-flashing. (Until you kiddo gets old enough to be distracted and pull away every 5 seconds to look around, and then you need a scarf!)

    • I’m going to try that. The button up is good for looking pulled together but you are right, it bears a lot of flesh and its too slow. I’m going to try this layer thing you speak of.

      • Jill

        I completely agree with the “two layer” look, as well. My favorite nursing tanks were the Gillian O’Malley ones from Target. Lots of good colors and some with embellishments. They held up after many washings too.
        Congratulations on your family, Emily. I must say that I have followed you since Design Star and have always really enjoyed your shows and more recently, your blog. I relate to you on many levels, as a designer, with fertility issues and now as a mom of a little boy. I adore your realistic, yet positive voice. All the best to you!

  15. Jennifer K.

    If anyone has a link or brick & mortar location to get something similar to the tailored sweatpants that’s a little less spendy…I’d love to have it!

    I need like ten pairs of these. Yesterday!

  16. I love #10 – big sweaters are the best to throw on. I just wish LA was colder so I could wear them all the time!

  17. LHB

    I’d recommend checkin out blog. She’s got a lot of good recs for moms in all stages and her style is cut, comfy, and practical. I’d also agree on buttondowns and nursing. I never liked them. I always went for the twinset or a stretchy top with cardigan or jacket over it.

  18. Marianne

    I highly recommend cardigans or some other zip or button up sweater for colder environments. I had an enormous amount of comfy thick pull over sweaters when I had my first baby and they were so awkward and bulky.

    I also like to use low neckline shirts for later, especially in warmer months where you don’t want to layer with a tank. Although this is best for later on….I have dripped and stained a number of shirts this way, before my milk supply evened out.

  19. Sarah

    You have such a wonderful style that seems like such a true expression of your personality! I am — a little selfishly — glad to see such a steady stream of posts from you and am wondering if you plan to do more personal style posts in the future. Your instructional posts, like the one on laying out gallery walls, are always helpful. How about one on, say, layering? That shock of pink in your Fig House party pictures was inspiring.

    I would also love to see you address more of the less glamorous details of the design world, like schooling and degree options. I have known since I was very, very little that I want to be an interior designer, and made my mother get me a subscription to Elle Decor when I was eight. On the advice of others, though, I’ve ended up in architecture graduate school in tremendous amounts of debt (it will provide me a better toolkit, I was told, that will allow me to specialize. I am also getting a degree in historic preservation) and think it would be informative for student readers to hear about your career path and maybe about how some of your colleagues ended up where they are.

    Apologies for the novel, I just think you have a great eye and a lot to contribute to the world of design. Thanks for reading!

  20. Great list. It’s true..once you have kids, things change. The nursing makes dressing a whole different ballgame -say goodbye to all of those cute little dresses that don’t have a low-cut top or button down from – and you have to dress for bending over and picking up. The first year or so after my kids were born I definitely wore a lot of long and oversized things!

  21. Erin

    I LOVE this post. Keep letting us know as you find more. I’m a stay at home mom and it’s so hard not to let your personal care slip, and I think it’s partly because it is truly hard to find pieces that makes sense and can be multi functional. I have also found that Anthro has great transitional tops because they often are *flowy* around the midsection.

  22. Linda

    Hi emily,
    Thanks for the post – some beautiful clothes. Best tip I could give about nursing clothes is buy a few colours of normal vest tops (we call them in UK – perhaps tanks?) rather than the nursing ones (which leave equivalent of VPL under other tops!) but just a size above what you’d normally wear and then just wear it under whatever top you want to wear. That means they are really easy to just pull them down underneath your “over” top – belly covered, nice topshop (or wherever!) top on top, no need for big apron-ny thing sprawled over you. And quick for hungry baby.

    To be honest, its when they get interested in whats going on around them that you end up accidentally flashing and spraying the coffee shop… x

  23. Monica

    Hi Emily,

    If you want nice off duty outfit, you might be interested in Raphaëlla Riboud’s collection

    By the way, I always look forward to reading your blog ! I love your style ! If you happen to be in Paris, I hope you could decorate our apartment.


  24. Steff

    I use “mom clothes” all the time but I’m not a mom.. I’m on my 20’s… =( .. LOL!

  25. Kelly

    There are actually girls in my office who wear the skinny sweat pants and all the elastic-waist lounge pants from Anthro, but they style them in a way that you don’t notice at first that they basically wore sweats to work. I don’t think my body type could pull that off, so I will forever be jealous that they get to feel like they are in jammies at work.

  26. Sam

    Cardigans are a nursing mom’s best friend. They keep you somewhat covered and for some reason if my lower back is covered I always feel warmer. Might not be as big a problem in southern CA as it was for me in New England.

  27. Emily, such a great line-up! Where were you commenters when I was pregnant! Lol, Erin, so funny how much the bodies will change; looking forward to sharing this post (not only for the colorful commenters, love you guys ; )

  28. Caro

    These clothes made me laugh. I started graduate school when my youngest was 4 months old, and still waking up every couple of hours to nurse. I developed a similar wardrobe that I thought of as my ‘looks like I’m at least making an effort’ clothes. I lived in cardigans and vests with pockets big enough to hold Stuff. And I bought 2 pairs of post earrings because I thought earrings made me look more polished ( eyeroll – who was I kidding) but my baby kept grabbing my hoops and dangly ones when he nursed.

  29. fcmhpG Major thanks for the post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

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