Let’s start with a dose of “real,” as in my real struggles to accept my changing body. I know many of you moms-to-be are loving your pregnancy curves. You’re feeling more womanly, voluptuous, amazed at your life-giving power. You should feel that way! We’re growing a human being and that is an incredible feat. I want to love my bump too, and I’m getting there, but it takes work.
That’s why I believe talking style during pregnancy isn’t vanity, it’s all about sanity!
For me, the journey has felt a bit like an out-of-body experience. Who is that in the mirror? Did I get implants overnight? Man, I miss having a waist… I’m quite petite (under 5′), so any change in weight is blatantly obvious. It’s also something I’ve unfortunately been conditioned to pay attention to. As a former gymnast and collegiate cheerleader, my success depended in part on weight management and (fair or not) there’s no denying television is image-focused. You’d be shocked at the horribly rude comments female news anchors receive via email and social media about their size and appearance, including while they’re pregnant. Thankfully, I’ve been off-air for my first pregnancy and my husband has been nothing but sweet and supportive. He loves my preggers look and tells me so. His comments cancel out most of those negative “inner” voices, fashion knocks down the rest. So let’s get to it! I really believe in cost-per-wear and don’t like to invest in pieces I can’t wear again and again. Here’s how I worked within my existing wardrobe as much as possible.
Don’t feel you need to retire your normal wardrobe for the next nine months. Dresses today have enough flexibility to carry you through most of your pregnancy. They’ll stretch right along with you. I’ve found many of my favorite work dresses (Ralph Lauren, Jessica Simpson, Calvin Klein) are super-flattering with a bump. They reveal just enough to show your figure, without feeling too tight.
Dress, Chaps/Kohls (The one I am wearing is not in stock now, but I also loved this long-sleeved color block look during pregnancy. You can’t go wrong with these Chaps dresses, they are super stretchy and the color blocking is slimming).
Can I just say, I LOVE skinny belts! As a shorty, barely over 5’ in heels, a defined a waistline is a must. Outfits you tall gals can rock with gusto, look like tents on me… unless you pair them with a classy belt. If a maternity top is feeling a bit too shapeless, slip a belt just above your bump and remember you can always loop or knot it, if the holes aren’t lining up where you want them.
Similar Jean Jacket, GAP (mine is also GAP, but from 10 years ago) | Similar Dress, Old Navy | (my color is no longer available, but they have it on sale in gray and black for under $9! I sized up so it could carry me through my entire pregnancy. I usually I wear a XS or S, but purchased a L. | Similar Necklace, Target
In general, I’m not a huge trend lover. My style leans more classic, both for form and function. A lot of trends don’t work well on a petite body and you can only get away with so much while working on-air in television. That said, when you’re pregnant, incorporating something fun and current can do wonders for boosting your mood. I’m a particular fan of the cold or off the shoulder look. It’s a touch of spice and sass, without appearing overboard.
Yes, we all try to hide the bump at first. That awkward in-between stage, where you haven’t shared the good news, calls for long, flowing tops. But after, why not highlight your figure? I’ve found items that showcase my bump are infinitely more flattering than those designed to disguise it. We’re very lucky to be preggers at a time where leggings, fitness fashion, stretch material and body conscious clothing are en vogue.
Max Studio Dress, Nordstrom Rack (My print isn’t available anymore, but I’ve linked it in a new pattern and it’s less than $30!) I wore this nearly up to my due date.
Pregnancy brings with it plenty of limitations in what you can wear and what you shop for. Frankly, what’s fun about purchasing outfits you’ll only use for a couple of months? Instead, play with the extras. Not feeling wild about wearing the same dress—again and again—because it’s one of the few things that fits? Jazz it up with a colorful necklace or scarf. Try pairing it with unexpected earrings… or (this may be controversial) snazzy heels or wedges. Yeah, I know heels aren’t recommended while pregnant, but I’m entering the third trimester and haven’t felt any discomfort with my regular shoes. I confess to being heel-obsessed. If you know me well, you already know I don’t go anywhere in flats. Talk to me in a month and I may be singing a different tune. Safety and baby come first!
Well, there you have it. The fashion musings of a first-time mom-to-be. Since this is a new experience for me, I’d love to hear the pregnancy style secrets from those of you who’ve done this before. How did you stay true to your look?