Farewell to the Short Dress

I’ve been slowly reintegrating some pre-pregnancy clothing into my wardrobe, and each time I put on a pair of shorts or a skirt (it’s been so hot lately in the Bay Area), it feels so good. Hoorah, no more Target Maternity jersey knit! That stuff was so inexpensive and lasted me all threw my final ginormous belly weeks, but was definitely on its last legs. Anyway, yesterday I decided to don one of my favorite first trimester items – a super loose Gap striped dress, which I wore in this post.

Well, I guess the dress shrank quite a bit in the wash (or I grew taller…perhaps my prayers were answered, fat chance), because when I put it on, something just looked off. “Dude, does this dress look short to you? Like, too short?” I asked Mr. Feather.

He squinted at me for a few seconds. “Yeah it does,” he finally said. I was slightly flummoxed because my husband has rarely ever declared anything too short. He’s declared many items to be too long, or too loose, but rarely ever too short. So I knew I had to get rid of the dress immediately, lest I be mistaken for some sort of preppy streetwalker.

Then, I decided to try on another shorter dress from my closet. And lo and behold…it also looked off. And so did about five others that I pulled out. I ended up filling up a bag for donation in just under an hour. I remember that last year I had written this post about getting older and how my style has changed. Well, I’d now like to add short dresses to my list – including bandage dresses and sky high heels – of clothing types I’ve had to put on ice. What’s a bit strange though, is I feel like I’ve just gotten over these dresses almost overnight. Just maybe four months ago I was still able to wear them…but now, minus one big belly, I just feel too old/strange wearing them. Has this ever happened to you, where you have just woken up and stopped wearing an entire style from your closet? What was it? Was it just a phase, or did you never go back?

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  • Amy S
    September 14, 2015 at 8:39 am

    So I rarely comment, but you have very lovely legs. Your style choices are your choices, but that dress looks quite appropriate from a length perspective. The complete lack of shape around your torso, though, makes it look less flattering. But not the length.

    I went through a style transition postpartum. My boobs changed and I have a tiny little pooch now that had not been there before. You will find yourself adapting over time to a new body and what most flatters your new lifestyle too. Best wishes!

    • Katherine
      September 15, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      Thanks so much Amy for your kind words and also your feedback on the shapeless dress – I think you may have a good point there, some fitted ones looked much better.

  • Elaine
    September 14, 2015 at 9:05 am

    OMG!! I had the exact same moment when I wore this exact same dress after giving birth. My daughter is 5 months old now, I remember trying on this dress when she was 2 months old, the dress didn’t fit right on me. I thought it’s a safe bet as it’s so loose. But after seeing how short it looks on me, I threw it back to the closet and have not tried it ever since…..!
    (but I did wear it with leggings during my pregnancy, may be that’s why…)

    • Katherine
      September 15, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      So funny that we had the exact same experience!

  • Trang
    September 14, 2015 at 10:13 am

    I found that my preferences changed once I had my first daughter. Definitely short dresses and high heels (more than 2.5 inches) were out. It is impractical to chase after a little one, especially when you try to bend over and scoop them up. But even more than that, I did not want my daughter being embarrassed that her mommy looked like a teen. So I naturally gravitated toward shift dresses and ballet flats. And necklaces bracelets and watches were also out. Bon the other hand, I did start buying nicer earrings. Hth!

    • Katherine
      September 15, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      I didn’t even think about bending over, lol. Another good point!

  • Celine
    September 14, 2015 at 10:16 am

    I went through that “no short dresses” phase after having my first child.

    Now I’m back to “MORE short dresses please” phase because they work SO much better than tunics (and come in more variety and prettier styles) when you pair them with leggings.

    Now as a mom of 3, one of my favorite looks is a cute short dress, leggings, and tall boots. 😄👍🏼

    • Katherine
      September 15, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      I love that look too…am going to try some of my short dresses with leggings.

  • Whitney Farris
    September 14, 2015 at 11:42 am

    My whole wardrobe changed after pregnancy. I went from mainly skirts and dresses to pants, jeans leggings etc. While I still do wear dresses for special ocassions, pants are by far my fave. My taste changed very much and I love it

    • Katherine
      September 15, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      Whitney I wish I could fit into my old pants…thus I’m currently a dress girl…!

      • Whitney Farris
        September 15, 2015 at 9:10 pm

        You’ll get there! It took me several months before things started to shift back to normal. And sadly some things didn’t go back to normal, my bosom. I had an A cup before Bebe and now a C cup!
        I miss having no bosom. Clothes look so much better without a bosom.

        • Revanche
          September 21, 2015 at 9:42 am

          Funny, my friend assured me my bosom would never be the same and I didn’t mind that so much, but it turns out it is now exactly the same but my legs aren’t 🙂

  • Falnangel
    September 14, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Yup, that’s exactly what happened to most of my pre-preggo clothes! Clothes I can still fit in perfectly and still think they are cute however, they just didn’t seem right on anymore. In just a matter of a few months, my taste have changed already. My son is now 2 years old and we are trying for our second. However, I shall not make the same mistake I made 3 years ago when I was preggo with my son – buying stuff while I was pregnant thinking I can wear them after I give birth…

    • Katherine
      September 15, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      If I am ever pregnant again I’m leaving my wardrobe alone until after I’ve given birth too ! Good to hear you had the same experience!

  • Sarah
    September 14, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    I agree with the reader who commented on your lovely legs. You look great, it’s the dress thats at fault. You could easily wear short dresses, but more upmarket ones. Things that are cut properly, rather than giant t shirts. 😃That’s what happened to me, once I started buying decent clothes, things from GAP, ZARA etc started to look ‘off’.

    • Katherine
      September 15, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      Thanks so much Sarah! 🙂

  • ella
    September 15, 2015 at 7:06 am

    I echo what everyone else has said – after my first pregnancy, I stopped feeling comfortable with super short dresses, and never went back. Somehow, after putting your body through that, you want a little more structure and coverage – supershort dresses didn’t feel right after that. Your legs look great though!

  • Grouptink7
    September 15, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Congratulations on motherhood and getting older. I have that dress in black and gray. I am 41 going on 42 and I wear it; however I am 5’2. Yes when you get older; your style does change a lot. That is why it is so important to buy very few things. You can be like me trying to sell your things that you bought in your twenty’s and thirty’s that you no longer wear or meets your lifestyle. Trust me, your body changes. I noticed changes right after 40. You can do all the right things,work out, and get plastic surgery. The inevitable is going to happen, you are going to get older and die. For example, all of those Tory Burch flats, and uncomfortable designer shoes that I bought in my 20s and 30s, hurt like hell when your joints start to ache in your 40s. LOL; you just want to be comfortable and cute.

    • Katherine
      September 15, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      That’s a good point about buying very few things while your s tyle is changing. I think I’m on an accelerated aging pace as my joints are already aching plenty!

  • maggie
    September 15, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I have the same gap dress. I pair that with black slim jeans since the dress is too short for me. The pairing works good for me.

    • Katherine
      September 15, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Very good way to wear it!

  • TheFashionableTeacher
    September 15, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    I’m also 42 like a previous poster. Now, that my children are older, I’ve put away some of my more “mom”-ish clothes. I still dress appropriate for my age, but I got rid of a lot of things that don’t fit what I want to wear now like flared jeans, oversized tops, and large handbags. I know like fitted tops, skinny jeans, and small handbags. I’ve also been investing in accessories like costume jewelry, scarves, shoes, and sunglasses.

    • Katherine
      September 15, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      I’m looking forward to the days of small handbags 🙂

  • ella
    September 15, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Oh, one more thing – don’t throw out your old clothes or buy too many “mom clothes.” You go through this period of time where you think you will want to wear yoga pants everywhere. It ends. I ended up with this whole closet of clothing that was appropriate for sitting on the floor at Mommy & Me classes and catching spitup on my shoulder, but not much else; all well and good, but I’ve since thrown it all out! Currently sitting at my desk in a little Oscar de la Renta dress and kitten heels. Enjoy this time but recognize it is not forever!

    • Katherine
      September 15, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Ah, I’d love to imagine myself in an Oscar dress and kitten heels one day! Thank you for the advice!

  • Mercy
    September 16, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    I enjoyed reading your posts especially about bags. But I wouldn’t let this post go without commenting. I also had a baby mid last year and it’s only this year that I wanted to wear the shorter dresses that I’ve neglected. Maybe because I was so busy last year with the baby, trying to get more sleep and lose weight. But this time I want to use them again and buy new bags to match. Maybe keep some that you really like before. But for now enjoy the company with your newborn.

    • Katherine
      September 17, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing your perspective Mercy – and I will!

  • Revanche
    September 21, 2015 at 9:55 am

    It might change? Not totally sure, really, I’ve been fighting the urge to clear my closet of all the things that don’t fit anymore, sartorially or otherwise, but since I’m still holding some pregnancy weight and everything was tailored to fit me at under 100lbs, that leaves me with just about five things to wear! 🙂
    I don’t know if my sense of style will be changed once I do fit all my normal stuff again, but we’ll see.