The androgynous style has been in fashion a while, but it really seemed to explode in 2015. Just take Ruby Rose, for example — breakout star who who effortlessly blends leather hoodies and lipstick. If you don't already rock the gender-neutral look, you'll definitely want to dress androgynously after childbirth (or continue doing so if you're already on trend.) Yup, postpartum, when you need nursing pads, a nursing bra, and a shirt that allows you to quickly release a breast or two at any given moment when baby is hungry. Think layers, with a button-down shirt that allows for easy nursing, and boyfriend jeans that don’t squeeze a shape-shifting belly (or, if you’ve had a C-section, a sensitive midsection.)
The definition of androgynous fluctuates between straddling the line between masculine and feminine, or sticking to gender-neutral. This is where your own style and personal tastes come in. Your hubby’s shirt, early maternity jeans secured with a Bella Band, and a braided updo might be your ticket to postpartum fabulousness. Just make sure you think of your look post-birth — whether it’s androgynous or ultra-feminine — as something to have fun with, to flatter (but not hide) your miraculous body, which has just grown a baby over the past month and may have endured hardships such as a leaky bladder, engorged breasts, and constant sciatica. So while you’re embracing the androgynous look, make sure to also embrace the awesomeness of your body, stretch marks included.
1. Commit To Your New Look
Maybe the androgynous look isn’t your usual style. Try it anyway; it’s a look that killed it in 2015 and it’s perfect for accommodating (and flattering) your postpartum body. You may grow so attached to the look that you continue to rock it even after the immediate postpartum period is over.
2. … But Don’t Worry About Being On-Trend
There may be some delectable on-trend looks that you’re dying to try. Don’t worry about that right now. You just had a baby! You can flaunt your gorgeousness and be comfortable, too. For now, hold off on that pair of slingback heels.
3. Put Away Maternity Clothes
Don’t wear your late-pregnancy maternity clothes after giving birth; just don’t. For one thing, you’re not pregnant anymore, and those pants and shirts won’t be snug and flattering. Plus, you risk the dreaded “When are you due?” question after you’ve already given birth.
4. … But Get Out the Earlier Stuff
Your uterus will shrink after childbirth, but it takes the skin around your midsection longer to “go back” after being stretched out slowly for nine months. Your early maternity wear, which accommodated a smaller bump, is perfect for this period as your body changes shape once again.
5. Don’t Forget the Bella Band
If you’re not familiar with this ingenious, stretchy piece of fabric ($18, ingridandisabel.com) then first of all, I’m sorry you had to go without it during the early stages of your pregnancy. Or maybe you used the Band and tossed it out when you outgrew it. Invest in another one. The Bella Band accomplishes something very simple: it keeps your pants from falling down, an incredibly useful thing for pregnant and postpartum bodies alike.
6. Shop Your (Spouse’s) Closet
Depending on your partner's style, you may have a place to shop right in their closet. Look for loose shirts, and if you’re seeking pants that won’t constrict or emphasize your midsection, try boyfriend jeans from your actual boyfriend.
7. Make Friends With Button-Downs
When searching out the aforementioned loose shirts, you’re gonna really love button-downs. They nail the androgynous look, have a flattering shape, and allow for easy breastfeeding.
8. Prepare For Leakage
Androgynous style or not, leaky breasts are just two reasons to choose washable fabric when you assemble your postpartum wardrobe. Investing in nursing pads is a great idea, but there may also be possibly, probably, (okay, definitely) spit-up to contend with. Plus, pregnancy hormones can cause lots of postpartum perspiration (another reason to enjoy washable fabrics.)
9. Know The Tricks
10. Layer, Layer, Layer
Layering in the colder months is easy. You’ve got your nursing bra, a button down, and a cardigan sweater along with your boyfriend jeans (or boyfriend’s jeans) and you’re all set. But layering your postpartum look is also your friend in warmer weather — think a blazer over a loose, summery dress.
11. Mix it Up
If the term androgynous style has you bemoaning the “loss” of your fave ultra-feminine pieces, relax (and think about the aforementioned blazer and dress combo.) Yes, androgynous fashion aims to avoid gender stereotypes. But your style is your style, so feel free to mix it up with a little androgynous here, and a little traditional feminine there, whether it's a pop of red lipstick or a pretty scarf.
Images: levis, rubyrose, kendalljenner, apeainthepodmaternity, apeainthepodmaternity, ingridandisabel, levis, PinkBlushMaternity, aggy_deyn/Instagram.com; Tradlands, Hey Paul Studios/Flickr; Amazon.com