Tuesday, April 17, 2018

My New Frugal Wardrobe Makeover that Hides my Mummy Tummy

I have a confession to make. I currently weigh more than I've ever weighed in my entire life, other than perhaps when I was 9 months pregnant. And even then, I maybe weighed one or two pounds more than I do now.
There's a bunch of reasons why I weigh what I do now, and those reasons aren't as relevant as the fact that I am about 40-45 lbs overweight and most of that weight is in my central region. I am attempting to lose the weight again, via exercising and eating better than I have been, but I accept that this is not going to be a quick fix, and I'm trying to learn to love my body, and I'm not actually upset about how much I weigh now, however...
I'm kind of sick of all the comments about "my pregnancy". Usually its innocuous comments, like the person on the street who stops me and blesses "me and my baby". Or the person who asks me when I'm due. And while it doesn't offend me, because honestly, I do look pregnant (about 5 or 6 months along, depending on the day and outfit), and I know the people asking me aren't being malicious, at the same time, I do find the comments annoying.

Basically, it comes down to this. I have a belly. Partly due to a mostly healed diastasis recti left from giving birth, and part simply from fat situated on my belly. And because I have a belly, I have the uncomfortable luck that when I wear tighter clothes, people assume I'm "showing off my belly" and therefore must be pregnant, and when I wear things looser on my belly, people assume it's maternity clothes and I must be pregnant. It's a "lose lose" type situation. Most of my clothes fit one of these two categories, which is why I get pregnancy comments on an almost every day basis.

In the winter, I did manage to figure out one type of clothing combination that worked really well at drawing attention away from my mid section, and therefore it stopped the pregnancy comments- knee length pencil skirts, shirts, and long open cardigans (especially with vertical ribbing), and I feel really good in those types of outfits and get lots of compliments on them.

The problem though is that summer is nearly here, and it is too warm for me to be wearing cardigans, even lighter cardigans, on a day to day basis. And all my summer clothes fall under the aformentioned categories of too tight-must be showing off my belly, or too loose-must be maternity clothes.

I took to the internet to ask style advice from fashion forums, what is the best style of summer clothing that minimizes attention to the belly area, that won't make me look pregnant, and won't be too hot.

I got suggestions to go especially with long shirts, so they won't stop directly at my belly, which therefore calls attention to the area. People suggested T-shirt dresses, peplum tops, wrap shirts and dresses, and loose drapey tops.

I went to the store armed with these suggestions, and in two stores I managed to buy 9 different shirts for a total of 77 dollars, which is $8.55 a shirt on average, and enough shirts for my new wardrobe. Because of modesty reasons, I don't wear these shirts on their own, but they are all light and breezy enough that it won't be a problem for me to layer them with a thin shirt in the summer. And depending on what I pair them with, I can also use them in cooler, non summery weather, like we're having now.

You might notice that it's just shirts, no bottoms, but that's because I already have a nice supply of pencil skirts that fit me that go well with these shirts.

I hit up only one store for almost all of these shirts- and luckily everything that I bought was on sale. You'll notice that there are a lot of repeats of the same shirt, just in different colors, and that's because if the cut on one was good for me, I decided to buy it in as many colors as they had that looked good on me. (You might notice I tend to the bold colors. I don't do well with pale/pastel colors- they make me look dead.)

I asked Mike to take a photo shoot of me modeling these new tops one evening before he headed off to work, so I can show you just what I bought, and you can see how I don't look pregnant in these (and trust me, I definitely look pregnant in other outfits), so they were all a good buy.

Unfortunately because he was in a rush to take these pictures, in some of them my face really looks icky (I should have done a full face of makeup before taking pics to post on the blog, but oh well), so yea, just look at the tops, not my face. :-D (I considered cropping my face out of these pics, but I didn't, so don't give me a hard time, please!)

The first set of shirts are my favorite, by far. I absolutely adore these!

This loose drapey shirt has just the right amount of give by my tummy that it doesn't make me look pregnant, nor is it loose enough to make it look like I'm hiding my belly. And because of the cowlneck collar (I think it's called that), it has enough texture and body that it draws attention away from the belly area. I'm wearing this shirt as I write this post, and it really makes me feel beautiful. I love the vibrant color that isn't quite mustard, but is more sunflower yellow. 

I also got this one in navy, which is less "my color" but still works "well enough" for me.

The color is off in this picture- it really is a strong magenta, and it looks so awesome and is exciting to wear.

The last one in this series is a bright red. Can I say I just love red? I wear all shades of red very happily, and that's why I bought 3 new bright red shirts? 

These shirts were supposed to be $11.15 each, but 4 together were $28.50, making them $7.12.

I saw this style at the store and really loved it, and they were $11.15 each or 3 for $28.50, making them $9.50 each. I bought this in bright red- even if the color doesn't come across as well in the picture.

I also bought it in black and love it! The pattern and cut on the top again draws eye's upward and away from the belly area and the belly is just loose enough to hide my tummy and tight enough to not look like a maternity top. They also had this in turquoise, and I really wanted to buy it, but they only had them one size smaller than the red and black, which was a bit too tight on my tummy so I went without.

This last one was a gamble. The color was fun, but I wasn't too sure about the cut. It is however a casual peplum top which people say hides belly fat. I'm still not sure, but bought it because of the 3 for $28.50 price.

In another store, I found these two shirts that I wasn't sure about at first, but then decided to go with them. I needed something that was a little dressier, and the gauzy fabric made it seem dressier. These shirts are about as loose as they come, but since they are see through, you can see underneath that I'm not as big as the shirt is, so it actually makes me not look pregnant (though I'm not sure how well it comes across in pictures.)

I bought it in red and blue- they each cost $10, and I really like them.

 I wore this one with a long drapey necklace to fancy it up, but I have to decide if I want to accessorize it some other ways, like with belts. I'm not sure what kinds of belts though, and where to place the belt so it is most flattering.

Anyhow, I'm really excited by my purchase, and since I've been wearing them I haven't gotten even a single comment about my baby or pregnancy or whatever. So now I don't have to walk around with a sign on my belly "Not pregnant, just fat".

I took out all my clothes that make me look pregnant and put them aside. I still am hoping to lose this weight and this belly and be able to wear my old styles again, but in the meantime, no point having them take up my minimal storage space in my room.

If you also have a similar tummy and have been looking for suggestions of what to wear, hopefully this post gave you some good ideas!

Any other stylistic advice for me about how to hide my mummy tummy? If you have a similar body shape, what types of styles of clothing do you find to be most flattering?


  1. You look fantastic, and tighter clothes are always more slimming.

    1. unless they emphasize your bulges, in which case they dont.

    2. Really, really flattering and pretty. You look great.

  2. You look gorgeous. Also my favorite is probably the yellow one that you said you're not sure about ❤️. They all look great though and most would look great with a chunky necklace.

    1. Yes. A chunky necklace or scalf will draw people's eyes upwards away from your belly.

  3. you look beautiful!
    I like higher waisted pants (at my natural waist) to keep everything "contained",
    elastic waistbands that adjust as I lose weight, and tops that skim. Oversized anything adds bulk (although I love to wear big, cozy clothes at home.)
    There are ladies on youtube with videos that demonstrate techniques that flatter.

  4. Oh boy, I'm sorry you get that from strangers! I've been mistaken for pregnant a few times and it is so upsetting. You look great and I wouldn't mistake you for pregnant based on these photos. One tip is to wear a support undergarment, like Spanx, that holds in your belly.

    1. Terri, that's an excellent idea! Spanx type undies really work.

  5. I had a C section with my triplets 8 months ago and have serious diastasis rectii, for which I need to go to the physiobut haven't had time because of the triplets :-D
    I've been looking for nice things to wear while my body is still healing and
    your tips are great! Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. I am a mommy of multiple children as well and I wear very similar styles. With some of them I wear with a belt, some not. Although I am thin, I am a proud mommy and don't need to look like a stick. These shirts are great for many different body shapes. Nice choices! You look beautiful!

  7. you look amazing! those tops look great on you. I am sorry pple might have made you feel bad about your weight. (when I was younger, pple would get up for me on public transportation because I was heavy and they thought I was pregnant. well 15 years later, I am still heavy but nobody gets up for me now!!)enjoy your new clothing!

  8. YOur new clothes look lovely...but you don't need fancy clothes to look lovely, your smile does it all.
    It's always beyond me why people feel they have the right to comment on your fertility or lack thereof. The only time, in my view, to mention a pregnancy at all is when someone has told you themselves that they they are indeed pregnant!

  9. I am afraid to ask women if they are pregnant for fear they're not, and I will offend them. One time someone asked me that when I was wearing an overblouse, and I was flattered because I was past the age of likely being pregnant.

  10. That magenta and last drapey blue are perfect on you! Find some scarves and necklaces/earrings in those colors bc it just lights up your complexion beautifully!
    I'd say get some different colors of undershirt if possible as the white doesn't go as well with some of these. Charcoal grey goes with almost everything. I also think necklaces would be nice but watch that the neckline isn't too busy with so many layers.
    A belt where your natural waist indent is smallest looks best but as that can be high up on some ppl it may need to be placed lower. Experiment with a long scarf as a belt then go from there. I personally avoid belts in general. Bracelets can also highlight the waist so that may or may not help.
    The black top looks awesome too! I'd do more black! Also check out the Ten Item Wardrobe if you haven't already- awesome concept.

  11. I'm sorry to hear people are blunt enough about asking if you're pregnant. I think part of it has to do with people assuming that religious women are likely to be pregnant often, and so they dont think twice before commenting. Just by looking at these pictures. I couldn't tell that you would look pregnant, and I'm sorry you had to go to great lengths to avoid receiving such comments. It's sad how much our appearance is open to people's judgment. Especially as women we are expected to put it an in proportional amount of time caring for our appearance. As a single woman I feel bad what married mothers seem to go through and the more I learn, the more I realize how much patience and love you must possess to get by on a day to day basis with all familial, spousal and communal demands. It sounds overwhelming just reading what you went through.

    1. I don't think that Penny comes across as being especially religious.

  12. Can you also please make a blog post for being who have pear shaped bodies and want to avoid attracting unwanted attention to their behind?

  13. I've been looking for the v neck styles like you chose, and the yellow peplum. My DIL has one in navy and it hides her post baby belly. Cute choices!

  14. http://www.scarymommy.com/how-i-fixed-my-diastasis-recti-pelvic-floor/

  15. Seriously, if you gained 40-45 pounds you must have been a twig before because you look like a normal, healthy woman in these pictures which is good for you! And good choice of tops too because you look quite in shape in them. That said, the yellow casual peplum, to me, makes you look questionably pregnant, simply because of the design. A dress in that shape possibly wouldn't. I have peplum dresses and they work well with my eight pound gain although my stomach isn't making anyone think I'm pregnant in other clothes - not yet at least.

    Also, I'd recommend wearing camisoles in matching colors under the tops for summer at least as the white shirt beneath does nothing to enhance the look. Am presuming you just tried all shirts on top of it for the photo op. And as Terri mentioned before try some Spanx like undies which work well. It's brave of you to share your plight and your great ideas/research plus your frugal shirt buys! I wish you the best in losing the weight and hope you keep us updated since weight is such an issue for most of us and it's nice of you to share.

    1. You rock! The tops are lovely. It is very hot here in Texas in summer. Those thin fabrics would work well for me.

  16. You look amazing and I love the new look. You look pulled together and I bet you people are thinking how well you dress. Nice job figuring out how to make the most of your wardrobe and keeping your outfits flattering.

  17. At my age if anyone thought I was pregnant I'd probably hug and kiss them! That said, I can understand why you would find it annoying. I like all the colourful tops, and the sheer ones in particular,

    Loose layers can be interesting where you do a cropped shirt over a longer tunic and then a loose open long blouse over that. If they are light enough, it can look cool and floaty just keep in mind if you try it in black there's a thin line between looking like Stevie Nicks and Queen Victoria ;)

    And your face looks lovely.


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