Navy Bows 2 Ways + Postpartum Band Review

petite fashion blog boston office work wear

Ann Taylor blouse xxs petite c/o, bow pumps 5.5 c/o, knit pencil skirt xxsp c/o, H&M jacket (old color, sleeves shortened), Prada Cuir bag

Hello friends … this might be the longest time I’ve been away from the blog! The past few weeks as a new parent have been a blur. I haven’t logged online much but am slowly getting back into a rhythm (my posting schedule will be sporadic, so subscribe here for new post alerts). I have a speaking event soon and it felt so good to put on some styles that I haven’t worn in a long time. I love a good bow blouse and pump and wanted to show these pieces styled for an office vs. casually:

express petite jeans goyard st louis tote bag

Express jeans 0 short, M.Gemi moccasins 35.5 (my review), Quay sunglasses, Goyard tote

There was a lot of discussion in my recent Instagram post around how showing skinny jeans may be unrealistic or inconsiderate of other postpartum moms. If there’s one thing I learned from this wonderful community it’s that pregnancy and postpartum is different for EVERY woman, and I hope we can embrace and celebrate that instead of compare or judge. Also, physical change is just one facet of the postpartum journey. These few weeks have been a roller coaster for me with feelings of the most intense love and joy, but also physical pain, exhaustion, guilt, and daily tears thanks to postpartum hormones. My body may look like it “recovered” in some photos, but it’s not the same and I’m okay with that because it grew, birthed, and provides nourishment for my child.

goyard st louis tote bag petite fashion blogger

Ann Taylor top xxs petite c/o, Express high waist jeans 0 short, pumps 5.5 c/o

For fellow new moms easing back into your personal style, here’s some things that helped me:

Try a postpartum compression girdle

I was super skeptical about compression girdles, but using this one from Amazon over time has been helping me with recovery (I got sz S). I didn’t realize how loose-hanging my belly area would be postpartum, to the point where things would flop around uncomfortably with every movement. Wearing this girdle makes everyday actions like sitting, sneezing, getting up, and walking around feel more “supported” for me.

The hospital gave me a compression band with just 1 large velcro panel (which fit terribly), whereas the 3 veclro panels on this one lets you better adjust the fit and curvature. The boning in the backside provides additional support and helps me with posture, especially when sitting. The size S just barely fit me initially, but I believe the key is to wrap and secure these very snugly around loose skin. The material is breathable but thicker and will show through fitted garments (it’s not slinky like Spanx), so I mainly just wear this at home. In hindsight, I wish I had ordered this to start wearing at the hospital instead of the free one they provide!

postpartum girdle compression belly band review

Bring the maternity band back out

These stretchy maternity bellabands (I got sz 1) were pants savers back in my first and second trimesters. I had stored them away, before realizing how useful they can be postpartum for easing into my old pants! Before my girdle arrived, I was also just wearing these bands by themselves and to bed for comfortable, gentle compression around the midsection.

Treat yourself to flattering jeans (in a new size, if necessary)

Stretchy high-waisted jeans are not only flattering, but can provide similar midsection support as a postpartum compression girdle. I cannot fit into my old ones (and haven’t been able to lose any more weight after week 1 postpartum), so purchased a new pair in a bigger size to accommodate my current body.

petite fashion blog office work outfit

Outfit fit and sizing notes:

Express jeans: Express’ “high waisted ankle legging jeans” cut is one of my longtime favorites. “Ankle” indicates a more cropped length than usual, and “legging” indicates a stretchier denim fabric. I find these to be TTS. Size 00 short in this cut usually fit me well pre-pregnancy, and one size up fits me currently. The cropped inseam on a 0 Short measures 23″ in the front and 24″ in the back (high-low style).

Ann Taylor top: nicely draping blouse that is TTS for the brand. I took my usual size in this with a little room to spare.

Ann Taylor pumps: I love that these show a little toe cleavage (which I know is personal preference) but find the pointed toe area to run a bit narrow. If you have wider feet perhaps try half a size up.

Ann Taylor knit pencil skirt: AT bottoms run big in my opinion compared to other brands. I used to get their bottoms altered at the waist pre-pregnancy but this same size now fits better on me postpartum. This skirt is made of a very stretchy thicker knit with a tweedy texture, and I love the just-below-the-knee length. It’s fully lined in a lighter stretchy knit, and has a wide elasticized waistband. When lying flat and un-stretched, size xxs petite measures: 13.25″ across the waist, 15.5″ across the hips, 22.75″ length.

petite fashion blog postpartum update
ann taylor bow navy work pumps heels

Leave a Comment

55 Comments

  1. Valerie wrote:

    Hello dear! My baby is only 2 months younger than Nori – congratulations! You’ve given me some great style tips over the years so I’m delighted to be able to get your pregnancy and postpartum tips. The compression support band is a much-needed suggestion. I’ve tried several but they are all too long for my torso. For the one you’ve linked, I see they have a short-torso version. Is that the one you got or did you go for the regular? Thanks!

    Posted 2.13.19 Reply
  2. Mary wrote:

    For the postpartum belt did you order small in the regular torso or the short torso size?

    Posted 1.30.19 Reply
  3. ainomiaka wrote:

    I may be super late on this, but how would you figure out size for the compression girdle if you did want to do it before you left the hospital? I’m at about 36 weeks now, and they say measure but I can’t really right now!

    Posted 12.31.18 Reply
  4. aelw wrote:

    Thanks so much for always sharing and helping to guide us! I’m due soon (tomorrow!) and am looking to get the postpartum girdle you got. Did you get the short torso one or the regular one? And do you know what the pelvis belt that comes with one of the options is? Thank you SO much!

    Posted 12.16.18 Reply
  5. Stephanie Chung wrote:

    Hi Jean, you look fabulous as always! I admire your response to critics in such a gentle yet firm way. I am also petite (5’2″) and to be honest, the hurt can go both ways. I lost weight very easily after both pregnancies and I sometimes dreaded what others would say. Having other women say “oh my gawd you don’t even look like you were ever pregnant” in a harsh tone or whispering to each other “she’s so thin” was hurtful to me. So, I’ve learned only to ask how an expectant mother feels, never comment on how she looks. Now with age, I am finally gaining more weight and I embrace this shape of my body and phase in my life, too. You embrace and work with the body you were blessed with and are inspirational to so many.

    Posted 10.11.18 Reply
  6. Rachel wrote:

    Jean, the bow blouse looks great either way. Very modern for a retro style. For a petite woman it adds a mature approach to getting dressed. You look fine, take your time enjoy this time in your life.

    Posted 9.29.18 Reply
  7. Kels wrote:
    Posted 9.26.18 Reply
  8. Shay wrote:

    Love your sharing, I am also a new mum to a beautiful 2 month old girl. Getting dressed up now takes on new meaning since my body and lifestyle has changed. I would also love to hear how your beauty routine and style philosophy or journey has evolved after becoming a mum, do share, thanks!

    Posted 9.25.18 Reply
  9. Gratitude wrote:

    I usually never post a reply here, but having read those few comments on Instagram, I see why those ladies may have said those not so nice things, as they’re probably not feeling great at the moment (unrelated to you or your posts), which of course does not excuse those not so nice comments. You’re a new mom too, and you deserve to feel great about yourself, and you should…you’ve given birth to a beautiful human being, and you look amazing, not despite it, but because of it! Send those ladies only positive vibes and love, and you keep doing your thing beautiful momma!

    Posted 9.24.18 Reply
  10. Allison wrote:

    Hi Jen! You’re absolutely beautiful and honestly: congratulations! Being a new mom is hard and we all know you’re doing the best you can. You look incredible in all of these outfits. I don’t have kids but I have a lot of friends who have and I am always amazed and proud of how well they hold their heads up high. You can’t put yourself first anymore and that’s okay! Don’t worry about us. We’ll always be here to support you.

    Looking amazing and I’m so happy you talked about the postpartum compression. Thats going to really come in handy if I am ever fortunate to have a little one. xo

    Allison | http://www.peplumsandpie.com

    Posted 9.24.18 Reply
  11. Jae wrote:

    Great to see you doing so well! I love those m.gemi loafers btw! Have you tried any Tod’s ones? Would you say M.Gemi ones are as comfortable?
    Jae
    http://www.allthatjae.com

    Posted 9.24.18 Reply
  12. C.R. wrote:

    “There was a lot of discussion in my recent Instagram post around how showing skinny jeans may be unrealistic or inconsiderate of other postpartum moms”

    I can’t even believe how obnoxious that is. It’s not your responsibility. You can wear and feel comfortable in certain clothes post-partum. There’s no universe you should be expected to alter your outfits to ‘be more considerate’ of others. Wow.

    you are so kind and thoughtful, but really, don’t listen to people like that!

    Posted 9.21.18 Reply
  13. Jandrew wrote:

    As one of your few male followers, I am amazed at your commitment to your followers and am equally awed by your relevant content . Congrats on this new stage of life , balance is your new guide ! Thanks Jean for your great online voice!
    Jandrew
    Dress The Part
    http://www.jandrewspeaks.com

    Posted 9.20.18 Reply
  14. Lisa wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    This is my first time to post a comment, after years of enjoying your blog. I’m 5’5″ and normally weigh around 115 pounds. I gained 26 pounds when I was pregnant with my nearly 9-pound son. I’m American but live in Paris, where most people are relatively thin and pregnant women aren’t expected to gain much weight. I’m naturally a very active person and I was lucky to have great energy levels up until the last couple weeks of pregnancy, doing prenatal yoga with 3 different teachers and walking constantly, etc. After my son was born I was back to my normal weight in about 2 months, but my skin was still quite loose. My skin eventually firmed up again and my stomach went back to almost normal, but my ribcage and hips had expanded slightly and I did have to give away my tiniest jeans and a few torso-hugging dresses. I was sad to lose these clothes, but that fleeting sadness could never compare to all the joy my amazing son brings me, my husband, and our friends and family every.single.day. Just wanted to share this message with you and your readers, to encourage all of you who are new moms and wading through the jumble of emotions and unexpected challenges involved. Huge, huge congratulations to you and Nick on the birth of Nori–she’s simply DIVINE, and I’m thrilled and honored to be able to witness your journey into motherhood. Thank you. Absolutely all the best to all 3 of you!!!

    Posted 9.20.18 Reply
  15. Dulce F wrote:

    Hello Jen, congratulations to you and Nick for your beautiful baby girl! Sorry for the negative comments you got. Everybody is different so is recovery time, as personal experience, it took longer to recover on my first pregnancy than in the second one, funny uh 🙂 so I would suggest to not pay attention to those comments and one more thing, if you may, do not buy new clothes during your recovery time, after three or four months you will no longer wear them. Listen to your body needs. You look gorgeous, keep on.

    Posted 9.20.18 Reply
  16. susan rawls wrote:

    Beautiful !

    Posted 9.19.18 Reply
  17. May wrote:

    You look absolutely amazing Jean. Thanks for also sharing your experience. I feel like we can all relate in some way or another.

    May || http://themoderness.com/

    Posted 9.19.18 Reply
  18. Jane wrote:

    Great post! You look beautiful! Did you do any workouts of exercises during pregnancy or after delivery? Also, have you done anything to prevent diastasis recti? Thank you <3

    Posted 9.19.18 Reply
  19. Jothi wrote:

    Jean, you are so eloquent and brave for putting yourself out there. I’m really disappointed to hear you got negative comments. It is true that every postpartum journey is different. Personally, at 10 months I’m back to the same cardiovascular shape and I think the same weight I was before, but my hips and ribcage are wider. It’s a real reminder of having an incredible daughter…just annoying to have to buy new clothes because certain things are too tight now!
    Please keep giving us all your great tips and finds. xoxo

    Posted 9.19.18 Reply
  20. Elizabeth wrote:

    Very well said Jean! A lot of days will be tough but a lot of days will be wonderful! Enjoy it all!

    Posted 9.19.18 Reply
  21. Jenny Yang wrote:

    the bow detailing on those navy shoes are so cute!
    xx jen
    http://lilthoughtswithjen.com/

    Posted 9.19.18 Reply
  22. Lisa wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    This is my first time to post a comment, after years of enjoying your blog. I’m 5’5″ and normally weigh around 115 pounds. I gained 26 pounds when I was pregnant with my nearly 9-pound son. I’m American but live in Paris, where most people are relatively thin and pregnant women aren’t expected to gain much weight. I’m naturally a very active person and I was lucky to have great energy levels up until the last couple weeks of pregnancy, doing prenatal yoga with 3 different teachers and walking constantly, etc. After my son was born I was back to my normal weight in about 2 months, but my skin was still quite loose. My skin eventually firmed up again and my stomach went back to almost normal, but my ribcage and hips had expanded slightly and I did have to give away my tiniest jeans and a few torso-hugging dresses. I was sad to lose these clothes, but that fleeting sadness could never compare to all the joy my amazing son brings me, my husband, and our friends and family every.single.day. Just wanted to share this message with you and your readers, to encourage all of you who are new moms wading through the jumble of emotions and unexpected challenges that involves. Huge, huge congratulations to you and Nick on the birth of Nori–she’s simply DIVINE, and I’m thrilled and honored to be able to witness your journey into motherhood. Thank you. Absolutely all the best to all 3 of you!!!

    Posted 9.19.18 Reply
  23. It’s good to see you back on the blog, Jean 🙂 So glad to hear that you’ve been enjoying yourself and your time with your little girl, despite the rollercoaster of emotions! <3 It's always so nice of you to share all of these great tips! Definitely sending this post to my sister's boyfriend, who just gave birth a month before you! Sending lots of love to you and your family!

    Posted 9.19.18 Reply
  24. Coco wrote:

    I just wanted to say, I’m really sorry you got negative comments about your body, image, and outfits after your sweet baby. You look lovely, your attitude is lovely, and I personally found your blog helpful as I came to terms with my own postpartum body changes. I hope the hurtful comments didn’t get you down! You are an encouraging and empowering woman and writer, the the negative comments are WRONG! You keep on, and congratulations on your beautiful new baby!

    Posted 9.18.18 Reply
  25. JQ wrote:

    This is my first post on the blog, though I’ve been following you for years! Just wanted to say it’s been so wonderful to see your journey from getting married to having a baby. I told my husband, if I ever become eager to have a baby, it’ll likely be at least 50% cause of your baby posts haha thank you for staying so gracious in face of all the unnecessary judgment – I hope I can do the same in the future.

    Posted 9.18.18 Reply
  26. Cherie wrote:

    This is my first post on this website! I’ve been following along for a few years now. I gave birth for the first time to a baby boy 7 months ago and it has been a roller coaster of a journey as well (I had a c-section after 24h of labor and ended up in the hospital for 6 days). The recovery journey is different for every mom. I still wear some of my maternity clothes as I’ve had to take longer in healing the abdomen area along with other stresses that didn’t help. To boot I was 108lbs pre-pregnancy and it has taken a while to accept that I just need to be more patient with myself in allowing my body to heal and come to a new normal. The journey continues but it helped that I got cute maternity clothes along with maternity skinny jeans! I also got some stretchy Jag skinny jeans that help with the muffin top. Your outfits here are great and a big congrats to you on being a new mom! Cheers!

    Posted 9.18.18 Reply
  27. Congratulations again and please don’t mind the negative nancy’s – they’ll tire soon enough. Don’t forget – you have so much on your plate, so you need to be minded too!

    Rebecca | http://www.peppermintdolly.com

    Posted 9.18.18 Reply
  28. Cindy wrote:

    I tried the friends40 code but it wasn’t eligible for any (shoes, top, or skirt ).

    Posted 9.18.18 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Cindy – I’m sorry, that code expired last night but AT often has new promos so it’s worth checking back on their site!

      Posted 9.18.18 Reply
  29. Lien Hoa Nguyen wrote:

    You look great! Embrace all the changes that your body is going through, it is a blessing. Your body have endured pregnancy, child birth, and is still recovering. It takes time to heal, and who cares if it doesn’t go back to your previous size you have a beautiful baby to show off for it. Enjoy your time as a family of 3.

    Posted 9.18.18 Reply
  30. Minu wrote:

    You look great, Jean! ( Duh)

    Posted 9.18.18 Reply
  31. Diana wrote:

    LOVE the outfit and you look great! The bow tops are my fave 🙂 I tried to order the AT bow top and use the coupon code, but the website says it cannot be applied that that shirt.

    Posted 9.18.18 Reply
  32. Annie wrote:

    How fast do you recovery ! Like your the navy shirt!
    Annie

    Posted 9.18.18 Reply
  33. Sandra wrote:

    Hi Jean. Missed your blogs but so happy to see that you are happy in your own body. I was worried about what my figure would look like after baby (I too have a petite frame and quite small with feet to match), but 8yrs on I still am happy with the body that i have – but sad that I still have very small feet and I can never find any nice high heeled shoes in my size ( I wear kids sizing), a muffin top and wider hips- but I am loving it! I work with what I have and don’t let trivial things get me down. Enjoy your family time – that’s the most important. Do what is right for you and don’t worry about what people say!

    Posted 9.18.18 Reply
  34. Alexa wrote:

    Wow, I am super impressed with how well your handling being a mom and still continuing your gorgeous outfits. I am definitely inspired whenever I do become pregnant to be like you, handle pregnancy with such grace. I am excited to continue to read your awesome fashion tips and mommy adventures.

    Posted 9.18.18 Reply
  35. Anonymous wrote:

    You look fabulous! It’s obvious you work hard to come up with new looks and find pieces that your followers will like. You have great style and attention to detail, and you’re also smart and know what you’re talking about when it comes to styles, quality, and prices. You are very good at what you do, and you are very graceful with your words and with how you present your outlook on life. I appreciate your work so much! As a law student and as a petite asian girl, I look to your blog for the majority of my outfit choices.
    I’m sorry you might have heard negative comments when you chose to be vulnerable about one of the most personal journeys in life. But for every negative comment, there are a lot of positive ones that just never get said.
    <3

    Posted 9.18.18 Reply
  36. Liz wrote:

    You look beautiful, Jean! Impressed as always with your diplomatic yet firm response to unnecessary negative comments. This is your space, and you shouldn’t have to put up with body- or mommy-shaming of any kind.

    Posted 9.18.18 Reply
  37. Anonymous wrote:

    Love your honesty!

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
  38. It’s been so long I’ve seen your posts for sure, Jean! You’re looking dazzling, and you look great! Hope all is well with your family. 🙂

    http://charmainenyw.com

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
  39. Gwen wrote:

    Well said, Jean. No two bodies are alike. You shouldn’t have to apologize for yours, just as nobody else should have to apologize for theirs. You shouldn’t have to hide yourself because other people don’t feel good about themselves. That’s on them, not you. You keep doing what you’re doing and stay true to who you are. Congratulations on the new baby! Take your time adjusting to a new normal. Enjoy your baby! It really does go so fast!

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
  40. Christy wrote:

    Gosh isn’t it crazy how pregnancy opens up the whole world to comment on your figure? Even if you aren’t a blogger. As someone who has always been on the slim to athletic frame for my life, I was not used to the body comments and it came as a major shock. One I was happy to live through so I could understand how a lot of people deal with that constantly but also one that is hard deal with during a time of fluctuating hormones and emotions. Then after you have the baby you think/hope it will stop. But it continues. I am 15 months post partum and people still like to comment on how I look post baby. Sooooo bizzare to me, but getting used to it! Congrats on the little one!

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
    • Janki wrote:

      So true! One of my closests friends is expecting and I warned her that for some reason when you are pregnant you are in the “public realm” and everyone has comments on you! Funny how everyone is an expert on your pregnancy- clerk at Walgreens, barista, childless male coworker!
      I am glad you’re slowly recovering- it’s a process for sure.
      On a side note those belly bands and girdles work! I used them for babe #2 and it helped so much. It’s not just getting back into shape but it helps those muscles.
      Keep going Jean!

      Posted 9.18.18 Reply
  41. Anonymous wrote:

    You look lovely Jean. Thanks for the postpartum band review. I’ve been looking for one to help me with my mummy tummy and posture. All the best!

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
  42. Eleanor wrote:

    Who in the world would criticize you for wearing skinny jeans?? it’s nice to feel human again and for some that’s wearing semi normal clothes again. Fellow IVF mama but I felt like that was especially true since I was bloated and not myself for months before even getting pregnant.

    I can’t imagine being on a public platform for your journey. My grandma gave me the best advice before my first – do what’s right for YOU and YOUR family. Ignore everyone else. It took me a long time to get there but I just do my thing and ignore the world. Thanks for sharing your sweet family with us.

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
  43. Bela Anzu wrote:

    You look wonderful Jean and well said about how everyone recovers differently post-partum. Thanks for sharing how the Bellaband has come in handy even after giving birth because now I’m going to keep it close by. I’m currently wearing a lumbar belt which also has boning at the back and use the one-velcro band as a sling to support the weight of my growing bump. It makes walking a lot easier! In the past, I’ve used it post-partum as well, but maybe the compression girdle you got provides more abdominal support.

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
  44. Anonymous wrote:

    Big or small, no one should have to apologise for their body! On another note, I continued to lose weight ( very gradually) over the next 18 months months post partum so don’t get rid of old favorite clothing just yet!

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
  45. Gemi wrote:

    Thinking about getting a pair of M.gemi Felize moccasins. Do you find that the suede gets dirty easily? How do the shoes handle rain

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
  46. Dianne wrote:

    You look great! Going a size up just shows how size is just a number.. I’ve been trying to fit into my pre baby clothes which I realize now makes me look bigger than if I just sucked it up and got larger, better fitting clothes.

    Also, you handled the naysayers with such grace. Who woulda thought looking good after baby would cause such a stir?

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
  47. Cara wrote:

    Since my daughter was born four weeks ago, I’ve seen so clearly that we all have different challenges as mothers. Cheesy as it sounds, this journey is both incredibly hard and incredibly wonderful — but not the same for any two people. We need to be gentle with one another. Your response to many of the comments I’ve seen has been incredibly gracious.

    Personally I’m back in some of my jeans, but now rocking a muffin top… 🙂

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
  48. Mireia wrote:

    These outfits are so stylish!

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
  49. Wow, you look incredible for a new mum!

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
  50. Always good to see you back … a little time off is always precious especially as first time parents. Enjoy!

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
  51. You look wonderful my dear and I love your approach on a changed body after something so special as giving birth. Like they say: the only certainly in life is change! I hope your little Nori has recovered from her hospital stay as hopefully you and Nick have done too. Love, Lieske

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
  52. Michelle Hamric wrote:

    Simply BEAUTIFUL, Jean!!

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply
  53. Maureen wrote:

    These are great tips Jean. You look great and I totally agree that all our bodies are different so we just have to work with what we have. You styled this bow blouse beautifully.

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

    Posted 9.17.18 Reply

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