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Classic Pieces for Your Postpartum Work Wardrobe

24 Feb 2014 – 04:37 AM EST

The year after my first child was born I didn’t recognize my own body. It was bigger, it was shaped differently, it had creases and bulges and stretch marks and wrinkles that hadn’t been there before. I didn’t know how to dress it and I defaulted to maternity clothes. I forgot everything I knew about style; I gave up on the classic pieces I usually relied on; and I just tried to keep people from paying too much attention to me.

Luckily, when baby #2 came I had my head in the game. This time I knew I needed a post-baby wardrobe. The baby weight would be gone… eventually. Until then, I wanted to be comfortable in my own skin. And I wanted clothes I would still be able to wear after I’d lost the weight. Confidence is, after all, as important as your sense of style.

Here are my 5 post-baby work classic pieces to help you feel like, well, yourself.

1. Dresses, specifically a-line and empire waist dresses. Post-baby I love loose dresses. They’re comfortable, great in summer, and can be winterized with a cardigan. With spring fashions coming out, it’s a perfect time to track some down.

2. Skinny jeans. I know what you’re thinking.This is the last time in your life you want to be buying skinny jeans.But you are doing yourself no favors in those baggy ones you’re wearing. We all hate jean shopping, but I found myself an amazing pair of demi curve skinnies from Levi’s only a few months post-baby that I’m still really comfy in over a year later. Make sure they’re stretchy, soft, and that you’ve got a good belt. Honestly, you have no idea what an impact a good pair of jeans can have on that jelly belly.

3. A pencil skirt. Just make sure you find one with a comfortable waist and this will do wonders to give you a nice slimming, lengthened look. Even better (and librarian sexy chic) with heels, glasses, and a bun. I’m a fan of my elastic waist skirt from J. Jill.

4. A blazer. A versatile classic that works with any personal style. Over a cami or a button up, with trousers or jeans, you can find a place for a good blazer in your wardrobe. It’ll emphasize your shoulders and keep eyes away from your tummy.

5. Accessories. I know, technically this isn’t a wardrobe item. But like I said, confidence is half the battle.Throw out old makeup and try some new shades. Get a haircut. Buy eye-catching earrings and cute pendants. Don’t fall into the frumpy trap that’s so easy to get into when you’re at home with baby and skipping showers for days. You don’t have to spend all day getting ready, but you should find things that will make you happy with how you look.

After you’ve had a baby, come back to work in style and get back to feeling good about your body.