Over the past 7 or 8 weeks I’ve picked up lots of tips and tricks for masking weight gain, swelling and problem areas. My original plan was to do a vlog on modaFix Monday, but I’m going to share them with you here instead and I hope that some of you find them useful. Obviously, I’d advise exercise for shedding the pounds, but if you find yourself in a position, like myself, where you can’t undertake strenuous activity for several weeks, then these tips may be of interest.
As you know, when I went into A&E, little did I think I’d be kept in for a week or be out of action for 8-12 weeks. I had my work bag on my shoulder ready to return after lunch. I had no time to prepare or think about the ravages or buy new, suitable clothes! I had to get mum and the girls to buy me size 14-16 pyjamas (twice my regular size) as my stomach was totally swollen after the procedure and medication.
1. Maternity jeans
The first thing I did when I got out of hospital was go straight to Penneys to shop for my new wardrobe – I knew nothing in my wardrobe was going to fit me from the waist down and I was damned if I was going to lounge around in pyjamas any longer! No frickin’ way. Luckily, Penneys in Sligo had a Maternity Section. I think they actually got a delivery by mistake, but this is a range that should be a permanent fixture in every town out of necessity for pregnant women or for anyone post-op as was my case. My saving grace over the past few weeks have been these dark denim Maternity Jeans from Penneys. You stick to your regular size in these, but they have a really soft, high-waisted, expandable band.
2. White jeans
You may think white jeans are a no-no, that they draw attention and make you look bigger, but for me I found them so fresh and they actually distract the eye from problem areas like your stomach, drawing the eye down. I bought 3 pairs of these high-waisted stretch trousers and opted for a couple of sizes up. They are so comfortable and versatile for day and night. They cost €8 in Penneys. Buy here.
I usually wear mine with an oversized denim shirt.
3. Denim shirts
I have lived in oversized denim shirts and white jeans and double denims over the past few weeks. I love casual, basic looks and simple styling. Sometimes, the simplest really is the most effective. Just change the look with different T-shirts and accessories daily. Recommendations here, here and here. Close a single button at the waist.
4. Add a hat
I often wear fedoras out of practicality. They are functional fashion accessories and really work when it’s raining. I’ve been wearing this taupe fedora (pictured above) a lot lately. It adds interest and people will wonder who’s under the hat, thus distracting from your tummy area! I like this khaki one from M&S. Buy here.
Scarves add interest too!
5. Rouching & Draping
I went for a casual bite last night and actually felt really great in what I was wearing, although it was totally last minute as usual. My outfit was very simple: dark denim jeans and a light blue bodysuit. I’ve found tops with rouching and draping brilliant for distracting from the stomach area and faking that hourglass effect.
This top is from River Island and I love that icy-blue shade. I’ve always been a fan. Buy here.
Although the above picture was taken before my operation (at Pippa’s Fashion Factory), I had been bloated for quite a while, but tried to hide it with the clothes I wore. Here is another draped number from & Other Stories. See my suggestions here and here.
My friend told me that during her pregnancy she used to accentuate the shoulders, as they don’t gain weight. Shoulders are a very feminine and elegant part of the body, so use the current off-the-shoulder trend to your advantage to add some sex appeal, subtly. How about this one from the Savida range at Dunnes Stores? Buy here.
Going out? Buy here.
7. Waterfall cut
Another tip for distracting the eye and masking a bloated stomach or weight gain is a waterfall cut blazer or coat. Try this one from Dorothy Perkin now on sale here. Sleeve-less coats are very handy too. Check this one out.
For returning to work I’ve picked up this navy wrap skirt, which is available in several different shades and varying lengths. I always think wrap dresses and wrap around skirts are very forgiving and figure flattering, allowing you to adjust if need be. This skirt is now reduced to €18! Buy here.
I also bought this shirt, which I think should flatter the figure. Buy here.
Following a reader request I put together a blog on occasion wear to flatter abdominal bloating. Check it out here.
I have done a massive wardrobe clear-out and am trying to stick to neutral tones, casuals and simple styling. I got rid of most of my beautiful occasion and party dresses in a recent charity sale for Alzheimer’s Day Care Centre in Sligo and NW Hospice. Most items are now sold thanks to many of you coming to my stall and buying in bulk, but I will upload the remaining items to Depop soon. Thanks so much for helping me declutter! I was thrilled to take part in this event and I’m happy my pieces found new homes.
I must say I have enjoyed dressing for my change in body shape and browsing maternity wear. I am quietly content in my skin and I think that as you get older you realise that these things are temporary and our bodies are amazing really – how they can rebuild, regrow, repair and bounce back. It really has been nice to take time out to enjoy life’s little pleasures. The Easter break has been very special with a lot of family time and over indulgence, of course.
I really hope my styling tips and tricks have helped some of you! Do let me know; Feedback is important to me.
Thanks so much for reading.