On May 29, at about 8:30 p.m., the city of Plymouth’s recreation supervisor Jessie Koch and her husband Herb welcomed Harper Rae Koch into the world, safe and healthy at 7 lbs. 12 oz. The following weeks were a whirlwind of new parent firsts: diapers, baths, late-night feedings. For anyone who’s ever had an infant in their home, those early blurry-eyed, sleep-deprived months are par for the course, more than rewarded with snuggles, cuddles, coos and smiles.
But there’s a certain amount of self-doubt that’s inherent with any first (and even second or third, for that matter), a doubt that creeps in when hormones are rollercoastering and the novelty of baby caves in to the reality of post-pregnancy motherhood, and all the things that go with it. It’s difficult to find time to pamper yourself, but doctors agree it’s critical to emotional and physical wellbeing. We tapped into a couple of Plymouth resources for some simple wardrobe accessories that go the distance in re-inspiring style and confidence in a post-pregnancy wardrobe.
Take Koch, for example: Typically a casual and sporty dresser, with numerous jeans, T-shirts and flannels in her closet, she says her biggest clothing concern post-baby was dressing her age outside of work and expanding her wardrobe without breaking the bank. “This sounds silly, but now that I am a mom, I don’t feel like half my wardrobe fits my new ‘mom status,’” she says. “Of course, there is also the idea of getting back to normal and simply fitting in my old clothes.”
Sisters Sue Olmscheid and Cindy Deuser of Lillian’s take their responsibility seriously when it comes to dressing anyone who walks in their doors at the year-old Medina location, Urban Market. “So much of today’s style is so accessible to all body types, pre- or post-maternity,” Olmscheid says. “Everything in style right now is flowing, it fits just about anybody.”
Yoga Pants and Leggings
For Koch, the first couple of months at home on maternity leave included a lot of “sporty” attire, including familiar yoga pants and T-shirts. To leave the house, Olmscheid says, scripted tees like those from Vocal are a great complement to the leggings—long and comfy with smart-and-sassy sayings emblazoned on the front will freshen up your day (T-shirt prices vary).
Tank Maxi Dresses
Maxi dresses have been in for a long time, and tank-style options are convenient for their ability to transition from warm autumn sunshine to chilly fall nights by a patio fire with just the addition of a lightweight jacket or sweater. “These are easy to throw on when you’re rushing out the door,” Olmscheid says.
“Basically, I am hoping to expand my wardrobe and have more than just a few go-to outfits,” Koch says. “I would like to go outside my comfort zone and try new looks.” Shift dresses might be just the ticket: “They are nicely cut and are still so flattering without being form-fitting,” Olmscheid says.
Lace Top Extenders
Grace and Lace, $36–$44
Accessories are an area that Koch would like to expand in her own vanity, and lace top extenders can add a bit of length and a nice touch of class to almost any shirt in her closet—all on budget, as just a couple can take your wardrobe a long way. This particular brand offers many patterns and styles—yep, it’s the same Grace and Lace that found success on an episode of ABC’s Shark Tank.
A great way to add a fast splash of color is a tunic, available in sleeveless, short-sleeve and three-quarter-sleeve options.