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Dressing for Your Cycle

Dressing for Your Cycle

How to dress in a way that honors and respects your changing hormones all month long

If you occupy the same wellness/lifestyle corners of the internet as I do, you’re probably always seeing content on understanding your menstrual cycle to optimize your workout, diet or control over your emotions. It’s pretty interesting stuff, especially since we were never taught these things in school.

Here are the basics: our menstrual cycle has two phases: the follicular phase (which includes your period and the days leading up to ovulation) and the luteal phase, which spans from ovulation to the day before your next period. During these phases, the two main hormones involved with menstruation–progesterone and estrogen–are climbing and depleting at all times, causing major shifts in your body and mind like bloating, depression and more.

Pro-tip: If you can pick a day out of the month for a photo shoot/special event, etc., pick closer to ovulation–your hormones at this time will make your face more symmetrical; your skin smoother.

So what does tracking and understanding your cycle have to do with style? Read on!

Related: Ayurvedic Self-Care

PMSing & On Your Period

It’s the first day of your period–you’re bloated, tired, and sad that your favorite pair of jeans won’t zip up all the way. We’ve all been there. Here’s how to work with your body rather than against it (because, trust me, she will win).  


woman wearing black jeans

1 Comfort

By prioritizing comfort for your period days, you won’t put yourself in a position where you’re getting frustrated about what fits and what doesn’t–and you’ll also be honoring your physical condition, as well. Lucky for us, we live in the era of athleisure wear and where many comfy, stylish options exist. Think: soft joggers and a tucked in top for the day, and a flowy t-shirt dress for a night out.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but dark colored, stretchy jeans are my absolute favorite during my period–I feel slick and tucked in without sacrificing comfort, and I know that my pad isn’t going anywhere. Just make sure to opt for high-waisted, as low- or mid-rise may worsen cramps. Leggings might also do the trick, but if you wear pads you will definitely want to make sure you’re rocking a tunic or long shirt to hide any bulge.

Don’t even think about high heels or uncomfy boots, unless you have a high pain tolerance–these shoes can put an unneeded strain on your lower back during its most sensitive time. I love to wear spacious, supportive sneakers to quite literally stay grounded and give my body all the support it can get when I’m taking light walks to stay active during this time.

Pro tip: Keep bigger-sized pants, bras, etc., around for these days–it will help you to feel more accepting of your bodily changes throughout the month, which is truly a game changer. We gotta love our PMS body just as much as we love our ovulating body!

Are you ready to stop guessing and get your style right? We can help. Get a free consultation with Vard Mov today! 

Three women sitting together wearing colorful outfits.

2 Patterns

If white pants are the period enemy, then patterned bottoms are your friend–if you stain your clothes (and let’s admit it, it does happen), it will be much more difficult to tell with an ornate, colorful pattern in the way.

Young woman relaxing in bed with a warm drink, her laptop, and a comforter.

3 Stay Warm

There’s a reason your mom gave you a hot pad for cramps growing up. Keeping your body warm and cozy is key to leaning into period style. A warm body elicits relaxed, unstrained muscles which help with cramps. When in doubt, pick the comfiest sweat-set you can find and curl up on the couch.

Related: The Perfect Jeans for Every Body

Off Your Period

The end of the follicular phase and beginning of the luteal phase will be some of your best-feeling days throughout the month. While it’s important to respect and honor the days where you’re too bloated to do anything, these are not those days–and it’s time to shine!

Woman in black high heels and a black handbag sitting on a concrere bench

1 If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It

Now is the time to debut that new body-con dress you just bought, or those jeans that just barely fit. While changes in our bodies are not always corresponding with the menstrual cycle (so don't be sorry if this doesn’t apply to you this month!), you can put your money on the fact that you’ll look and feel your best during this time. 

Woman in white dress and white high heels with white dog

2 Whites, Creams and Eggshells

With no fear of bleeding, this is the time to dive into those light colors. I feel so posh wearing a mono-chromatic white outfit, but I would never dare to do that while I’m bleeding.

Young woman in a fitness class with others

3 Sweat it Out

If you’re a gym rat, or are athletic in any way, studies say that now is the time to push yourself. You have more energy and less bloat than before, and nothing brings me back to feeling like myself after my period quite like a hard workout. Get on your bike, grab your racket, lace up your sneakers–whatever your speed, just do it! And now would be the time to rock the cute gym set, too!

Related: Best Sneakers for Your Personal Style

Outfit Ideas for When On Your Period

We’ve shared some great information here, but it always helps to visualize what you can do to implement it. Following are a few outfit ideas incorporating the above advice: 

Young woman in colorful, floral dress

This gorgeous floral dress makes a perfectly comfortable yet functional outfit for during your period. Its loose fit, especially around the tummy area, means comfort during bloat and a pattern that can camouflage embarrassing stains. This floral is counter-matched with a plaid jacket, so you can wear it to work. This outfit is made more appealing with this playful hairstyle. 

A woman sitting in comfortable shoes and relaxed outfit

Here’s a fashionable and comfortable outfit for getting around the city. It begins with this relaxed fit dress with vertical lines where they’re most flattering and horizontal ones to contrast and compliments it with a forever-trendy denim jacket. To ensure you’re really enjoying yourself, don’t forget these white stylish sneakers and a cute backpack. This outfit will have you looking energetic and amazing, no matter how you feel.


Even in warmer weather, you may feel the need to be cozy during your menstrual cycle. Try something like this gorgeous bulky knit pull-over sweater with mock turtle-neck and a relaxed-fit pair of jeans. You may be dealing with cramps or low mood, but this outfit will help you look and feel on top of things.  

Looking and Feeling Your Best All Month Long

Dressing for your cycle is just as much about your physical content-ness as it is your mental content-ness–with knowing what your body needs and honoring it, you’ll feel more prepared for your time of the month and all of the hormonal changes that come with it.

Do you need a personal stylist? Visit Vard Mov to learn all about our 7-Style Approach. 

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