Confused about your new mama wardrobe, especially as you get ready to head back to work?  I’m delighted to be joined today by Lani Inlander, personal stylist at Real Life Style, to help you answer that tricky question: to buy or not to buy?  Read her great fashion insights here:

One of the most frequent fashion conundrums I’m asked about is whether or not to buy new clothes during transition times such as after pregnancy or when you’ve gained a few pounds from stress. It is natural to think you would be wasting money by purchasing new clothes when you think you will fit back into your “regular” clothes within a few months. This is simply not true. You are actually wasting time not feeling good about yourself when you DON’T buy yourself some new clothes. Lest you think I’m being extravagant, I have a strategy for you dear reader! And keep scrolling down for outfit ideas you can shop now.

Five Tips for Shopping While In Between Sizes

1. KEEP IT CHEAP AND CHEERFUL. Shop at stores like H&M, Old Navy and The Gap, where you can get the most fashion for your money.

2. GO FOR THE TRENDS. If you aren’t spending much you can reasonably assume the clothes won’t last very long, so why not embrace the trends this season?

3. BUY WHAT YOU LOVE. If your post-baby belly is making you blue, cheer yourself up with a bright top or scarf. Yes, you should get a basic black and white tee, but you should also get a hot pink striped one if that is going to keep you excited to get dressed each morning.

4. MAKE IT FLEXIBLE. Boxier tops will still look good with skinny jeans when you are skinnier, a cotton maxi skirt will shrink with you, and a scarf always fits!

5. INVEST IN ACCESSORIES. Wearing good shoes, a pricier bag, and an expensive pair of earrings will up the perceived value of any outfit. And best of all, they’ll always fit!.

How about a black maxi skirt instead of the fall-back yoga pant for new moms and others not wanting to deal with denim? The scarf and relaxed silhouette of the top distract from a larger top half and the long black skirt shrinks the lower half. Add a chic but comfortable leather sandal for a complete look.

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Uniqlo Georgette Short Sleeve Blouse, $30

French Connection Golden Flared Maxi Skirt, $50

Splendid Mason Sandal, $65

Front Row Society Map of China Scarf, $150

Margaret Elizabeth 2 Stone Drops, $115.

A blazer smoothes any lumps around the middle and dresses up a t-shirt. Look for fun earrings that brighten up the face and give you a natural glow. Joggers are another great alternative to yoga pants, but they’re still appropriate for running errands or picking up the kids. A tailored, pointy flat keeps the look structured and chic.

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H&M Crepe Jacket, $25

J.Crew Vintage Cotton Scoopneck Tee, $30

River Island Black Smart Jogger Pants, $70

Alexis Bittar Lucite Long Raindrop Earrings, $95

Cole Haan Alice Skimmer, $138

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Happy Shopping!

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Lani Inlander is a personal stylist, working with clients who want to feel their best and look put-together every day. You can find her in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and New York areas.

You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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