Transitioning from being a working mother to staying at home, or vice versa, or even changing sizes by going up or down one is really tough.
I have always ranged between 2-3 sizes my entire life even while pregnant and each time I went up or down, it was frustrating because my perfectly fitted items no longer fit.
I have never throughout all of this let myself slide down a slippery slope unless it has been a very dark time emotionally and mentally, but THAT IS ME.
You do you.
I see 90% of mothers of all ages with all ages of children, dressed in athleisure, a kind term for sweat wear.
The other 10% include myself where I wear jeans or pants as my base casual look and a shirt, that’s as casual as it gets.
I get stared at more than these athleisure mommies and I’m sure I get remarks both good and bad (she looks nice… but who does she think she is? why is she so dressed up?), but I am doing it for ME and no one else.
It can get uncomfortable sometimes but I can’t help it, I like what I like.
You should do it for you too.
Here are all the changes I’ve made, size-wise over the years:
LOSING SOME WEIGHT
I used to be a US 6 which is not big by any stretch of the imagination but then I went vegan, then raw vegan then started doing yoga daily for a short 6 month period and I dropped down to a US 2/4.
My shoulders didn’t change, my body type stayed the same at the core but my clothes fit a lot looser. I felt great. I just kept wearing everything I had before and I just belted it.
PUTTING ON WEIGHT
After I stopped being vegan (losing that much weight meant my body seriously needed way more calories and I couldn’t eat enough plant-based items to meet my metabolism’s needs), I went back to eating meats and seafood but less of it and less frequently.
I soon went back up to a size US 4. Things still fit but I did miss being smaller, everything felt so comfortable at that size and now I felt like things were a little tight in comparison.
I became pregnant and then everything changed. I had to dress for this huge bump I was carrying in the front and what I really liked to wear were large pants with a maternity jersey bit in front for the first 5 months.
Once I hit 5 months, nothing fit. I mean NOTHING. From wrap dresses that could barely tie up to dresses I couldn’t even pull on over my head, I was the biggest I had ever been, with a bump to boot and 4 more months to go.
I had no choice.
I bought some stretchy bodycon dresses which I just layered over each other (they were stretching so thin that they were see-through unless I layered them). I also got some fleece thigh highs which looked unexpectedly sexy for my ultrasounds (whoops) but I needed to keep my legs warm in winter and NO leggings fit my body now, in any comfortable manner. I needed maternity leggings in LARGE.
I also had to buy a coat, nothing zipped up over the bump so I bought a small-sized Canada Goose to wear forever and then wrapped my bump in 2 layers of thick, folded cashmere.
AFTER BABY BUN
I pretty much lost all the weight after 7 months just from carrying Baby Bun in a sling (love the Chimparoo), and generally started fitting back into my things.
Today, I can’t fit back comfortably into my old tailored in jeans (size 25 in my skinny days) so they have gone in the thrift pile to be donated. I am not going to force myself to wear too tight pants, life is too short to torture your belly.
I also switched to high rise pants exclusively. They are the most comfortable and don’t press on my C-section scar.
My stomach will never be the same again, having lost its round belly Buddha likeness, being scarred heavily and striped from pregnancy, and flabby to boot sort of like a rhino 😉
My shoulders and torso went up another half an inch to an inch. My arms are flabbier but that comes from age, I now dream of guns like Michelle Obama and am considering starting to work out my upper half to tone them for the first time in my life.
My whole general body size is now a 5, not quite as tiny as a 4 but not as large as a 6 which means on some days, my skirts fit and on others, you can forget it.
I don’t plan on nor want to diet. I just buy things a size bigger and know that the tag means nothing because I am now fitting in size 0 to size 10 depending on the brand.
The good news is I escaped the shoe curse and I am still a solid US 7.
NOW, HOW I FEEL EMOTIONALLY
Stretchy items are where it is at these days.
I’m leaning now towards more oversized, stretchy items but not in a suburban Mom type of way. I’m talking about deliberately oversized pieces like a hipster with some leather leggings and heels.
I have a skinny bottom so I just camouflage the top with oversized jackets and sweaters, and wear fitted pants with boots or heels.
I have zero tolerance for tight things now unless they have stretch in them.
I suspect stopping all the candy and pastries might help me lose those few pounds (I’d still look slim but I know my tailored clothes would fit slightly better), but I couldn’t be bothered.
Honestly, size is just a number and a feeling. I feel slim and skinny because I am, and I’m two sizes bigger than my smallest size in the past.
I just buy a size bigger and now have embraced more flattering trends to hide my “flaws”.
Going up and down sizes will wreak havoc on your mind, wallet and self esteem, but it is possible to keep trucking along with a few tricks I have learned and still use:
BUY A SIZE UP
Then tailor it in, or belt it. Or use it to embrace a nice slightly oversized hipster trend.
IGNORE THE TAGS
I’m an XS to a Large. Go figure. Buy what fits and buy in the brands and designers who seem to cut for YOUR body type.
Fabrics with stretch have a little more give so you can afford to go down or up a size and still rock it.
For my pregnancy as I got bigger in Month 5 all of a sudden, if I were to get pregnant again, I’d buy for that month and onwards, and I would only buy TWO outfits and alternate.
Now is the time to wear tank tops in larger sizes and just keep wearing blazers or toppers on top to give it some polish. Then as you get bigger, switch to dresses with toppers.
Maximum, I only needed an oversized cosy cardigan or two, 2 dresses and some fleece leggings to keep my legs warm, everything else was unnecessary in hindsight. I couldn’t stand bottoms after Month 5.
USE TRENDS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE & CONTINUE THEM
‘Trends’ don’t die after a season for me. If the oversized hipster cardigan or coat works for you, rock it. Add some distressed jeans for an edge later, and wear toppers like blazers or leather jackets.
It will always look nice if done classically.
Up your accessory game with a great belt, boots, jewellery and a bag. None of that needs you to be a certain size or even cares.
LEARN HOW TO HIDE YOUR SORE SPOTS
NO ONE is looking and judging or even caring about your style, only you are your harshest critic. You’re not that important and it is a good thing to know that paparazzi are not hounding you and tearing your body apart for public pleasure.
Still, if there are sore spots, try and hide them the way you feel comfortable doing so.
Chicken thigh jiggly arms? Wear a topper, wear slightly looser tops, or a scarf, or draw the eye down with great shoes.
Belly too large for your liking? Wear a size up and belt it so it skims your body, or wear empire dresses so it tightens underneath your bust and flows out. Wear high rise pants religiously. Draw attention up to your jewellery. I do ALL OF THIS.
There are ways around your body if you choose to use them.
PREPARE FOR BEING A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SIZE AND BODY AFTERWARDS
Even if you lose it all like I did after pregnancy, my bones expanded and my body will and can never go back to what it was pre-Baby Bun.
If you have never had a child but went up or down a size (or two, or three), and are happy, and healthy where you are, embrace it & dress for it. It’s who you are now!