For some reason, I didn't use shaper camis after Raines was born. Which is how I ended up with pictures like this one.
This time around, however, I was better informed and ready for the pooch. Unlike last time, I was under no illusions that the pooch would be gone in a matter of weeks.
Game on, people.
Enter the shaper camis.
To say these things changed my post-partum sartorial experience is an understatement. But instead of blathering on...I'll just show you. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all:
Not bad, right?
I was under the (mistaken) impression, however, that this would be a no-brainer. Simply grab a few shaper camis, pop out a baby, put those things on and voila!! HA. My first attempt with shaper camis left me trapped, arms flailing, the shaper cami squeezed uncomfortably over one engorged boob, the rest covering my face, poochy stomach bouncing while I screamed for my husband. (But I refuse to pee in front of him. So it all works out.)
Ok. So it turns out, post-partum moms, that the trick to avoiding total embarrassment with shaper camis lies in acquiring a couple different sizes. Here's what I've learned:
1. If you buy a shaper cami in your pre-pregnancy size, you will be humiliated in front of your husband it will not fit for a few months (at least).
2. If you want to immediately start wearing shaper camis post-delivery, buy them at least one size bigger for the first couple of months.
3. If your shaper cami isn't also a nursing cami, you'll have to go up another size to pull the neckline down to nurse.
4. Too tight shaper camis (if you are crazy enough to try again and YES. Yes I was.) will creep upwards as you walk...and end up hanging out under your boobs. Also, major back fat happens.
5. If the shaper cami isn't made out of a silky fabric, walk away. Your shirt will cling to your pooch at the widest possible point instead of draping nicely over the cami.
Personally, I've been happiest starting with the relatively inexpensive Flexees Fat Free Dressing Tank in a size medium...and am now switching to a very fabulous Yummie Tummie Nursing Shaper Cami in a size XS (courtesy of Yummie Tummie - thanks!!).
Why bother switching camis? Ooooo...so glad you asked:
While the difference in size (M vs XS) might account for some of the performance, the Flexees cami is made out of a much stretchier fabric than the Yummie Tummie. In fact, I didn't notice much pooch-hiding difference between Flexees medium vs small shaper camis - except that it was harder to nurse in the small. The Yummie Tummie fabric and construction is simply better at controlling the pooch (see where the seam lies?)...but this better performance is also not as comfortable. Most mornings I'm reaching for my Flexees, just out of comfort. I save my Yummie Tummie for going out or when I want to wear a tighter shirt.
Warning: both of these camis are a bit warm, so come summer...they're not gonna work. And neither look OK worn alone. The back of the Yummie Tummie cami is made out of a slightly transparent fabric, and while the Flexees is more tank-top-like, it still looks like...well...like a shaper cami. Hunh. Stay tuned.
ps. Please show my pooch some love by voting for us as the best fashion blog in the 2011 Bloggies!