Her Life: Mieko Takahashi, of Brooklyn, New York, returned to her job as a jewelry designer when her daughter, Luli, was 3 months old. Seven months later, her husband was transferred to London, so Mieko quit and the family followed him, returning to the States after a little less than a year. Now, Mieko enjoys being home and focusing on her toddler. Eventually she'll go back to jewelry, selling her own pieces to boutiques.
Fashion Crisis: Mieko breastfed Luli until she turned 2, which was a great experience but meant oversized shirts for a couple of years. Now she can wear other things but doesn't have much beyond her old work wardrobe.
Solution: Cannon can relate; she's a mom too. While you're waiting to get your body back, you default to baggy clothes, which hide figure flaws but cover everything attractive as well! Meanwhile, your pre-baby wardrobe gets more outdated and ill fitting. "Then you take your first real shopping trip in years, and you need everything," Cannon says. The key here was getting a lot for a little, so they stuck to the sales racks.
Worked: They bought separates that are as appropriate for preschool events as they are for jewelry trade shows. They looked for clothes that nipped in at the waist, to emphasize Mieko's curves.
Didn't Work: Pants are, unfortunately, a more expensive option if you're petite -- "You have to make peace with getting them hemmed," Cannon notes -- though they did end up buying two pairs.
Must-Have: Jeans with some stretch and a flared leg are forgiving. We found good ones at Banana Republic, Target, and Lands' End.
Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the April 2008 issue of American Baby magazine.