Being pregnant is great, but it may take a toll on your sense of style. After the first trimester and as the bump grows your previous wardrobe gets progressively more uncomfortable. I’ll be honest: even if I didn’t look very pregnant in my 6th month, my clothes don’t fit the way they used to. Now in my 7th month things are getting a little complicated. But I also strongly refuse to buy a brand new wardrobe to use in my last trimester…
I’d rather experiment with new silhouettes and volumes!
I’m not trying to be cheap, quite the opposite. Over the years I have bought clothes that I considered an investment for my future. While I didn’t buy them with the idea that I could use hem during pregnancy, my policy has always been that I’d rather save and buy something striking than waste money on items that would just last a season. So the big question is: how do you make it all work for a pregnant body? I am still faced with this question and I know that “making it work” will become increasingly difficult as baby girl grows and gets ready for her debut. These are the pieces that I have found most valuable so far.
Working in corporate America you need to familiarize with jackets. Chances are you have at least 3 or 4 in different materials and weights. I happen to be a jacket junkie, seriously if the Pirate realizes that I have more jackets than he does (he loves them too) I am going to be in real trouble. But the Jacket is a key piece of your pregnancy wardrobe. It doesn’t matter that you cant button it anymore, a jacket (one with a nice cut) gives structure to the shoulders and waist. You can still show the bump and the curves but in a more professional way that make you look and feel more fashionable.
Knitwear was never my friend until now, as a curvy petite I always had the problem that knitwear would either emphasized the chubby spots or completely drown me with excessive fabric. But if you can’t button your crisp white shirts what are you going to do? T-shirts and sweater will still fit, you may go up one size but the nature of knitwear is to hug your curves. Aside from T-shirts in various materials (including wool and cashmere for the winter) one of the biggest allies is the DKNY Cozy, a buttonless cardigan that can be arranged and tied in different ways and give a completely different look from day to night. I learned about them several years ago and progressively stocked on cashmere and silk versions off season or at the random sale. Now they proved to be a real commodity, especially because of their versatility. So the bottom line is embrace the knitwear and let the knitwear embrace your bump. Another great find, that I often overlooked is the chunky sweater, i.e. a sweater that is not very fitted to begin with. Guess what? now it flatters you growing bump without making you look pudgy! Check out these great pieces from Halston (they recently opened a store in Soho that is totally worth visiting).
Do you have mile long legs? No? Me neither… My legs are ok for a 5’3″ frame but far away for the Victoria’s Secret meets runway model standard. One can only hope that baby girl will inherit the legs from daddy because if she inherits them from mommy, she’ll be royally scr… but I digress, we were talking about leggings. What is with pregnant women and leggings? Well for one they elongate the frame and go very well with the bump covering sweaters. But that is not all, leggings have one major benefit… they don’t have zippers and buttons! I love jeans like the next person but since I was unable to close my jeans for the past 3 months (more on that later), I am still holding a grudge. Leggings have provided a comfortable if casual relief and I can easily tuck them in my boots. Nowadays they are available pretty much everywhere, so, unless you have some special needs avoid the ones sold at maternity stores (and often overpriced) and head to Uniqlo instead for some of their amazing Heat Tech. and since we are talking about Uniqlo, check out their Heat Tech tops because they will keep you warm without the bulk all winter long.
During pregnancy the body changes in many ways in preparation of the new addition to the family. Some changes are a little scary (growing a belly is a little disconcerting at times), others are definitely welcome. We are talking boobs, people! If you never had them, now you’ll get a nice surprise… if you had them before, they’ll get a nice boost that is surely appreciated. But here is the thing: they will change a lot over a period of nine months so wait before you but the nursing bras. You may end up with the completely wrong size. So what do you do in the meantime? Well of course you use what you have already in your lingerie drawer and maybe buy some inexpensive piece at a local store (making sure that they accurately measure you, of course). Save the nursing bra fitting for the last part of the third trimester. I am planning already, because you know me, I like to be prepared and these are the brands that I love so far: Lorna Drew (because what’s good for Kate Middleton is good for me) and Cake.
Maternity dresses…. I am not a fan of the baggy moo moos I see in maternity stores these days. When I wasn’t pregnant I wasn’t a fan of form fitting dresses but now I am starting to love them. Instead of hiding the bump I think it’s better to celebrate it! So I have been showing off my bump quite a bit these days… it doesn’t matter that my dresses are a little tight around the midsection I’d rather NOT look like a frumpy flower child. So, I have selected some stretchy fabrics that can adapt to the new curves. Trust me it beats the alternative of a shapeless dress that on a shrimp like me would look just awful. The brands I am liking the most are Velvet by Graham and Spencer, J.Crew (no surprise here) and Halston Heritage. Good news: with stretchy body conscious fabrics you can use the same dresses even after the baby is born. I call this a win-win!
The Secret Weapon
Sometimes I think that the creators of the Bella Band deserve a Nobel Prize (for peace, because if I had to purchase as many maternity pants as I would like the Pirate wouldn’t be too happy). What is a Bella Band? A genius creation, it looks like a tube top from the 80s but it goes on your unbuttoned pants to cover the fact that they are well… unbuttoned. But here is what makes Bella Band stand out among the similar products offered by other brands: the tube has a silicone strip that sticks to your pants and doesn’t make them move/fall down. It is the most ingenious thing I have ever seen: for $30 you get to use all your pre pregnancy jeans and pants! I got a Bella Band in August just to try it… then I went back to the website and bought 3 more. The Pirate loved the idea so much that he promised to buy the stock of the company should they ever go public! If you are pregnant, get yourself a Bella Band RIGHT NOW and thank me later.
If you have met me in person you should know I’m short. I wear high heels all day every day and my pregnancy is not an exception. But my feet have become a little more sensitive in the past few months. Some women report that they even change shoe size. Thankfully this didn’t happen to be but I had to adapt to obvious balance issues. With a growing belly, I can’t spend all day in stilettos and I have to reach for my chunky heels. Fortunately this year designers seem uninterested in super skinny heels so I am using a lot of vintage shoes and feel as fashionable as before. My preference has been for booties and wedged sneakers (possibly with velcro not laces) because bending down to tie my shoes can be a little problematic with the passenger on board kicking me constantly. Also knee high boots are not ideal because if your calves swell you have a higher likelihood of getting spider veins from the pressure. I am currently obsessing on my new Loeffler Randal Emerson Booties because they are super duper comfortable, perfect for the last few months of my pregnancy and beyond.