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Designer tips for dressing post-baby bodies

Elizabeth Mitchell is a freelance fashion and beauty writer living in Los Angeles. A graduate of New York University, she regularly contributes to The Fashion Spot, The Luxury Spot and authors the Star Style column for StyleBakery Teen. ...

Mommy makeover

Don’t let the birth of your new baby completely cramp your style! These designers show us how to smartly dress post-baby bods without sacrificing the comfort that’s necessary when you’re a mom.

Kristin Cavallari, seven weeks post-partum

Accentuate your assets

Just because you're a mom doesn't mean you have to look frumpy. As a new mother herself, Alicia Estrada, designer, CEO and founder of Stop Staring!, found that slipping on a great dress that accentuated her assets but hid any problem areas made her feel both confident and beautiful. "A peplum can disguise trouble spots around your midsection while also highlighting your waist. Wearing fabrics that have a bit of a stretch is a must, too. And if you're concerned about your lower body, a fit-and-flare silhouette accents your waist and can work for the office or out to dinner."

Buy the right shoes

It's no secret that women's feet swell during pregnancy, particularly in the last trimester, says Alegria Shoes women's designer Megan Gold.

"Personally, I gained 50 percent of the total 40 pounds I put on while pregnant in my last two months," she recounts. "Although the swelling will gradually decrease postpartum, unfortunately, it's not instant."

That means owning a comfy but cute pair of kicks that are easy to slip on and take off without having to bend over is so important. Um, we couldn't agree more!

Layer up

clothes

"For the 'fourth trimester,' I'm all about layering and repurposing," reveals Liz Lange, maternity designer for Target. "It's the perfect time to pull out those gently worn first trimester maternity clothes, like cardigans, sweaters and layering tanks. The sizes are just right, and they are timed for the current season."

Enhance your natural waistline

belt

Women's contemporary designer Lauren Cutting of LHC Couture (and also mom to a precious four-month-old baby girl) advises creating curves by using a belt or sash around your natural waist. "The lower part of your tummy — in other words, the baby weight area — will be disguised, giving you that nice hourglass figure you want."

Have fun with stripes and colorblocking

Chevron and vertical stripes create long lines and slim the middle, notes Cutting. "Add a belt to a chevron stripe maxi dress for a completely chic look that's also comfortable to don." As for colorblocking, she suggests choosing styles with a large vertical panel in front and darker colored paneling at the sides. "This instantly makes you looks 15 pounds lighter!"

Remember, shapewear is your best friend

Continue to use your maternity belly band or other shapewear after giving birth, recommends Cutting. "I personally found it very helpful to have an extra layer of fabric holding my tummy in beneath my attire. Every time I wore the belly band I would get compliments on how great I looked so soon!"

Mommy style inspiration

Take a cue from these stars to look fabulously fresh post-baby.

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner

View her style gallery >>

Claire Danes

Claire Danes

View her style gallery >>

Tell us

Calling all moms! Tell us, what's your best tip for dressing post-pregnancy?

Discover more mommy fashion advice

Dressy denim finds for everyday wear
Simple ways to motivate yourself to dress up
6 Fashion trends moms should try now

Photo credits: WENN.com, Andres Otero/WENN.com, Brian To/WENN.com, Brian To/WENN.com
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