Ask Motherly: None of my pre baby clothes fit and I can't afford a new wardrobe. What do I do?

Motherly's co-founders offer game-changing, life-changing advice for postpartum moms (because mama, we've been there).

what to wear postpartum

Editor's note: Sometimes you just need input from an experienced mama who *gets* it. Ask Motherly is a new advice column by Motherly's co-founders, Liz Tenety and Jill Koziol. Have a question for Liz and Jill? Email it to us at [email protected].

None of my pre-baby clothes fit and I can't afford a new wardrobe. What do I do?

Hey Mama,

I have so been there. With each of my 4 pregnancies, I (Liz) have gained 60 pounds—and then started the long journey to lose it all again. It's physically exhausting and psychologically taxing to have go through such a journey with your pregnant and postpartum body.

Know this: Your pre-baby clothes might never 'fit,' at least not in the ways they did before. For me, my shape never quite went back to the way it was before babies, even when I lost all the weight. I'm literally a different woman now that I'm a mother, and deeply coming to terms with that fact has been liberating for me.

That said, I know that staring at a drawer full of clothes that don't fit can be incredibly demoralizing.

The good news is that you don't need to have an entire wardrobe to feel better in your body.

First, collect all of the maternity clothes that you have that no longer complement your postpartum shape. Lovingly thank them for their service (a la Marie Kondo) and tuck them somewhere out of sight.

Second, make sure you also collect all of the pre-pregnancy clothes that you aren't currently able to wear and put them in a safe place. You may wear them again, but they're not serving you right now.

Capsule collection for postpartum bodies


Emma Sweater with Nursing Access



Poppy Leggings with Postpartum Support


Now, the really liberating part. Collect the items that actually *do* fit you right now and put them into a little one-drawer 'kit'—you can think of it as a postpartum capsule collection. If you can afford it, give yourself permission to buy one or two pairs of pants in your current size—I like to grab a stretchy pair of leggings that can adjust as your body changes, as well as one pair of structured bottoms like high-waisted jeans or cigarette pants. In any case, make sure they *actually* fit your current size and make you feel good. You do not need a new wardrobe, but you do need 2-3 items that fit your body and make you smile.

One more thing—if you can swing it, treat yourself to one new top, sweater or blouse in your current size that makes you feel good—a cozy wrap sweater, a breastfeeding-friendly blouse, a crisp white button down that looks awesome with anything. Having one killer look you love to wear can make all the difference during this transition time.

By having your ill-fitting pregnancy and pre-baby clothes out of sight, and a capsule collection available close by, you'll free yourself from the daily reminder that you don't "fit" into the old clothes—and instead have getting dressed be simplified and a feel-good experience. You don't need to spend a ton of money to have getting dressed as a new mama be a stressful experience. You just need to simplify your wardrobe and take a fresh mindset to this season of life.

And mama, motherhood looks incredible on you.

You've got this,

Liz and Jill

In This Article