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Mommy Fashion

The Ultimate Mommy Q&A with Lani

 

We do a lot of work with new moms at RLS. Even before I was a mother myself, I had found my niche helping women who have no time for themselves (hello moms!) look and feel put together every day, so that they could fulfill their own dreams and passions. Once I became a mother myself and realized fully how hard it is to do all of the things, especially while working full time, I dove in extra deep to help other mothers gain self-confidence through their wardrobes. It seems as if I get asked a lot of the same questions again and again, so here is a Q&A with me to help answer some some common reader questions.

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Pregnant with James in 2013 and still feeling put together and working hard!

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Reader Q: Should I really invest in nice maternity clothes? They are so expensive and it is only 9 months.

Lani: Yes!!! I think the process of maternity shopping can be really overwhelming, but it is definitely worth it. Between hormones, weight gain, morning sickness, and sleepless nights, one needs a boost of confidence any where one can find it! Every one of our clients we have dressed throughout pregnancy has remarked that she didn’t know how she would have gotten through it if she didn’t at least feel good about her clothes. You have so much going on, so much to prepare for, worrying about what you are going to where every morning is just an added stress. Make the effort to buy some pieces you love and feel comfortable, and just wear them over and over again. No one is going to fault you for repeating the same blouse every week when you are pregnant! They also won’t notice. For more on our favorite maternity brands, check out The RLS Guide to Maternity Shopping. Also, maternity clothes don’t have to be really expensive. Target has some great maternity lines, as do H&M and Uniqlo.

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Nursing pajamas from Cosabella that will allow you to feel chic when you’ve been in your pajamas for a month straight

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Reader Q: The baby is here and I feel like an unwashed mess. How can I feel better about myself while wearing pajamas every day?

Lani: Yes, you can feel put together, even in your pajamas! Buy yourself some matching pajama sets with button up tops. Layer these with a nursing tank underneath.  This pair from Target is my favorite, but of course you can get more expensive versions from brands like Cosabella and BedHead. Also, something like this 3-piece nursing set from Target is totally chic and very useful. I also found the one minute it took to put on some concealer, blush, and mascara every morning to be well worth it. Read more here in the first blog I wrote after I had Max.

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An outfit from fashion forward nursing/maternity line Loyal Hana

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Reader Q: I don’t like the style of a lot of nursing clothes but I need to pump at work. What should I wear?

Lani: Nursing clothes have come a long way since I was pumping, but  I also didn’t like them much. I “made” my own nursing tops by layering a nursing tank over a nursing bra, then adding a not too tight tee over it. A lot of people think you can only wear a traditional button-up cardigan over a tank, but my system let me put a comfy, stretch blazer or a long open cardigan over it. This gave me a lot more fashion choices in the morning and let me dress more like I would if I were not nursing, but it is always a compromise. Also, if you are truly busty, a traditional cardigan is usually not the most flattering. Button down shirts with a nursing tank underneath are also a good option. You’ll want a looser fit and a forgiving polyester fabric and print in case you spill milk on yourself. If you are wearing a higher-waisted pant and a nursing tank, you will probably feel more comfortable just taking off a nicer blouse when you have to pump. My big secret was to always have a dish towel in my pump bag, which I would lay on my lap while pumping. This saved a lot of pairs of pants from spilled milk!

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My favorite post-baby body styling trick

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Reader Q: I’m only 10 lbs away from fitting into my old clothes. Shouldn’t I just suffer with too tight pants for awhile? It seems like a waste of money when I should be back into my old clothes soon enough.

Lani: No, you should not “just suffer,” and here’s why. There are women who end up being able to wear all of their old clothes after pregnancy, but for most, things change. Your body shape, personal style, and lifestyle could all change post-baby. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear your old clothes, just that you can’t ever know when and if you will be able or want to wear your previous wardrobe. In the meantime, you just had a baby, you deserve comfortable pants and blouses that aren’t pulling! This is most certain time in life that cheap chic finds from H&M and Uniqlo will be your best friend. A lot of the clothes we wear that first year are temporary, so there isn’t a need to spend a lot of money. Another system that works well is to buy non-maternity clothing in a size larger than you usually wear to get you through pregnancy weeks 12-18, then pull it out again a few months post-birth. Most women are still in their maternity clothes for the first few months after baby. Read more in our blog, To Buy or Not to Buy, Shopping while Between Sizes. My super secret for getting dressed when you are not feeling your thinnest? I have a collection of long vests that started with maternity and just kept on going. They cover any and all lumps and bumps and just make me feel more secure!

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Wondering what I wish I had known before I had my kids and what my favorite baby products are? Read more in my Panelist Preview Q&A with Julie Lundy, The Maternity Planner. Join me, other panelists, and The Maternity Planner at MM.LaFleur’s DC showroom for a happy-hour of champagne, mocktails and bites from local DC restaurants on March 6th from 5-7pm. Partake in MM.LaFleur’s styling and get real about body image and body changes we all go through during pregnancy and postpartum, and how we can dress in ways that make us feel good, feel beautiful, and empowered along the way.

Need some help getting dressed post-baby? Our next Mindful Return Wear Your Power e-course begins June 24th!

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Lani Inlander is a personal stylist who has been working with clients who want to feel their best and look put-together every day for 20 years. You can find her in the Washington, D.C. and New York metropolitan areas. Are you looking for professional training to become a personal stylist? Learn how you can train with Lani at The Stylist Studio

You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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