5 Times Our Bodies Change—and How to Dress Accordingly
Turn physical change into a creative opportunity rather than a closet conundrum—one style at a time.
The past two years reminded us all that change is a big part of life. They also pushed many of us to redefine what matters to us most, and at M.M., we’re now taking extra care to ensure our designs contribute to joyful living—which includes embracing change and the ways it alters our bodies.
From the temporary state of pregnancy to the gradual process of aging, life causes women’s bodies to adapt time and time again. We encourage you to fill your wardrobe with versatile, flexible pieces that allow you to treat these changes as opportunities rather than obstacles, because as with any challenge, what at first feels difficult may be the very thing that leads to a beautiful outcome—in this case, self-acceptance, equanimity, and joie de vivre.
To capture a varied range of experiences, we invited women nationwide to tell us about their clothing journeys and turned their insights into practical styling tips. Here are five common life shifts that might affect your shape or size and advice from real women on how to dress for them.
Want more M Dash?
Maternity clothing is an entire subcategory of the fashion industry, but many women nowadays are opting for generously cut, non-maternity pieces they can style beyond pregnancy. “Rather than buying maternity-specific styles, my solution tends to be going up a size or two in lightweight pieces,” says Tracy, 31. “Also, you tend to sweat more often when pregnant, so I find sticking to airy fabrics is the best way to stay dry and comfortable.” Combining this advice with the fact that many of our pregnant customers appreciate the one-and-done nature of dresses, we recommend a tented cotton number like the Fatima dress or a stretchy knit style like the Danica dress.
Tianna, 27, who recently became a mother, told us, “On top of many pants not fitting, I’m a working and breastfeeding mother. Now that I’m working again, having feeding-friendly blouses on hand has become a lifesaver. I spent the last week of maternity leave shopping for button-downs, V-necks, and extra flowy tops that make breastfeeding less cumbersome.” In other words, you don’t have to give up on enjoying the types of pieces you love. Instead, invest in a handful of items in forgiving fabrics that you can keep wearing for years to come. If you like pants, search for knit styles like the Finley stretch pant, which are not only size-change-accommodating but also on-trend. For tops, button-downs like the Tatum top never fail, but you can still have fun with fashion-forward silhouettes like the billowy Camilla top.
Menopause and Aging
Hot flashes are perhaps the most infamous side effect of menopause. As Jodie, 56, describes, “When I was having hot flashes, the most important aspect of my daily outfit was layering. Sure, it could be freezing cold outside, but I would make sure there was the option to remove a layer in case a flash came about. The other point about menopause is that because of the lack of hormones, the texture of our skin changes, and learning to accept that is key. We just have to change the mindset that wrinkles are bad. Not easy, but it’s a fight that is worth it.” Prioritize comfort without sacrificing style with polished separates that you can easily layer to regulate your temperature. Keep cool and embrace your bare arms in a lightweight, sleeveless top like the Vicky tank, and keep the swingy Tyler sweatshirt handy for whenever your hot flash passes. Complete your look of elevated essentials with the chic Shane pant.
Weight Gain or Loss
Most women experience weight changes at some point in life, and we’re here to support you in your current body. Colleen, 45, recounts that “For years, I was able to include fitness in my schedule no matter how busy I was. However, everything changed when my grandmother passed away, and I graduated college. I pursued a career in media, which took 100% of my attention. The weight started slowly creeping up, and I had to change up my style to accommodate my new figure. It was extremely hard to dress for my body in a way I wasn’t used to, but I finally became comfortable with myself after connecting with body positivity organizations and advocates.” Whether or not you foresee your weight changing, relaxed cuts like the Annika top and Colby pants are no-fuss and will fit you regardless of minor size fluctuations. For special occasions, reach for the adjustable Rashmeen dress or the easy-fit Edith dress.
A hybrid work-from-home/in-office schedule might not directly impact your body shape, but that doesn’t make getting dressed for such vastly different environments any easier. The most efficient solution here is to stock up on Power Casual pieces you can be comfortable in at home and confident in at the office. Janene, 37, is a lawyer who says, “Throughout Covid-19, most of my hearings have been remote. I’m generally seated at a desk either in my home office or at my work office—though mostly at home when I can get away with it. Even for remote court appearances, I need to look professional despite not physically entering a courtroom. My need for comfortable blazers increased, while my need for structured, professional dresses decreased (though my love for them did not wane).” To appear polished while maintaining comfort at your desk, try the knit Porter jacket, made from our incredibly special Interweave fabric, and pair with an elastic-waist bottom like the Colby pant plus a polished T-shirt.