Thursday, May 9, 2013

I'm Pregnant--What am I Going to Wear?!

Ah, pregnancy.  It certainly is a momentous time.  So many changes and lots of excitement.  The one thing that I didn't really plan for was my growing and changing body and how I felt like I needed an entirely new wardrobe, which, considering the money that goes with having a baby, I hadn't budgeted for.  This was particularly problematic for me, as I was working full time in a job where I had to dress business casual.  Eventually I figured it all out, but not without wasting money on a couple of awful pieces that I bought out of desperation.  This blog post is a "how to" dress through your pregnancy without having to buy an entirely new wardrobe.  The basic idea here is that, yes, you will need some maternity basics, and the rest will come from you current closet.

Here we are, starting with the first trimester.  Most women don't show most of their first trimester, which, for me, was annoying because at the same time my pants and jeans were too tight to wear comfortably.  My solution to this was the combination of a homemade pants extender and a knockoff bella band.

  That worked well for most of my first trimester.  The other trick was to wear the right top.  Anything, really, that would conceal my stomach area.  Flowy, blouson, tunic, and generally any top that is not "body conscious"-that floats away from the body.  Ruffled tops also are concealing and popping on a long scarf will also conceal the stomach area.  Below are some examples of the types of tops to pair with your jean/pants (with the bella band and/pants extender)

             I also think that dresses are a really great staple for all trimesters (since pants don't really fit well).  For the first trimester look for trapeze, swing, empire waist, and dropped waist dresses that, again, conceal the stomach area.  Below are some examples.

By the second trimester most women have a baby bump, and by the third, it's more like a basketball.  The second and third trimesters are the time to show off that, yes, you are pregnant!  Jersey material dresses are generally very flattering.  Instead of concealing the stomach, we are revealing it.  This is also the time when the bella band and pants extender are not going to cut it anymore.  If you are a working mom who needs to dress professional, you are going to need to invest in one or more of a pair of dress pants or khakis, a pencil skirt, and a long or short dress.  These will be  your boring neutral staples.  You will grow very tired of them, so add interest with accesories from your closet.   In the second trimester you may be able to pair these maternity bottoms with some tops from your "non-maternity" closet.  By the third trimester you likely will need to buy longer tops to cover that growing belly.  I found it easiest to buy a handful of realtively inexpensive maternity tank tops and pair these with jackets, cardigans, and sweaters that I already had.  Below are some examples using the  "staples".  Also, of note, your staples should be seasonless-that means go neutral and midweight fabric, and you can wear it all year long. The staples below (in order): black maxi dress, maternity khakis, maternity pencil skirt, and short blue jersey dress.

Your casual staples are going to be just a little different.  Dresses can still be casual and comfy, and add to that a pair or two of maternity leggings and/or jeans.  These are very easy to find, and are sold almost everywhere.  I personally found that jeans were not comfortable.  I could not find a pair that actually stayed up, and I really hate constantly having to pull my jeans up, so I gave up wearing jeans early in my second trimester.  Leggings are comfortable and can also be layered under dresses and long tunic type tops in the colder months.  Below are some more casual looks for the second and third trimester.  The "staples" from left to right below are: 1.maternity jeans, 2.maternity leggings and empire waist dress, 3. maternity maxi skirt and long maternity (or not) t shirt, 4. leggings, 5. maternity maxi dress

Lastly, postpartum is also a time of clothing confusion.  This is when you go back to the bella band and tops that conceal the stomach area.  Basically you dress like you did for your first trimester.  Overall, when buying maternity clothes I would suggest you buy lots of neutrals that are seasonless, it's the best (stylish) bang for your buck.

There are more and more stores now selling maternity clothes, below are a some of my favorites:
Japanese Weekend 
Pink Blush Maternity
Shabby Apple
Ingrid and Isabel
Old Navy
Ann Taylor Loft

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