less than six weeks left and i just may be as excited to wear waist-defining clothes again as i am to meet my daughter. i pour over my fashion magazines, stare longingly into store windows and am already making a spring shopping list. i know my body won't be in tip top shape right away, but oh man am i over my rotation of bump-friendly clothes.
i'm happy to share a few ways i have made the most of my ever evolving shape:
:: long tanks ::
i scooped up two types of tanks from target and love them. a thin, super stretchy camisole from be maternity and a thicker, 'wife beater' cut which i believe is by liz lange for target. on their own, under loose cardigans or under my blouses at work, i feel like i'm grabbing for one every other day. whatever brand or cut you get, get the stretchiest, silkiest fabrics possible.
:: underwear ::
early in my second trimester i started to feel the pinch of my undergarments. i decided to simply size up one of my favorite pairs, the "cheeky panty" from victoria's secret. i nixed the ahem, skimpier, versions in my current stash, but loved having pieces i put on in the morning that still made me feel polished and beautiful.
:: maternity pants & skirts ::
i found dark blue, skinny jeans that are nearly identical to my favorite non-maternity pairs from madewell and levis. i know designer brands offer maternity lines now, but the investment just wasn't necessary to me, especially when you're forced to cover up so much of the waist and hips. i got them from motherhood maternity and they were under $40.
in nordstrom's brass plum department i snapped up a pair of faux leather leggings that were awesome under tunics and sweater dresses. i've never been a leggings fan (i think they look unfinished and childish) but this material elevates the look over regular cotton ones. because i never allowed the waistband to show, the fact that these aren't designed for pregnant women didn't matter.
my major tip to pregnant women shopping for maternity pants is to buy the full belly panel from the start. when i first got my jeans, i folded it down because i didn't have much of a bump yet, but i was a completely different size and shape in just two weeks. no point buying a half panel then a full panel when your needs will change this quickly.
the issue with maternity bottoms is that they have a stretchy panel at the top and no real waistband, so you're forced to wear tops untucked to hide that portion. fine for casual wear, this really threw me for work days. nearly every time i wear separates to work, the blouse is tucked into the pants or skirt. i wear a lot of trousers with belts or pencil skirts. losing that definition at the waist made me feel sloppy so i sought out a stretchy pencil skirt that could go over the bump, but still let me tuck in blouses. i wear this three days a week and i'm semi-sick of it by now, but so grateful to have it! mine was a random brand at a department store, but this american apparel interlock pencil skirt kind of follows the same idea.
:: heels ::
up until 30 weeks along i could still rock 4" heels all day at work, no problem. between 31 and 33 weeks, my ankles started to swell just a bit, so that, coupled with the fact that i'm trying to get a mile of walking in on my lunch break, i have embraced flats much more. my midwife said that as long as my balance isn't yet thrown off by the pregnancy, it's fine to keep wearing heels and believe me, i intend to!
:: dresses ::
from the moment i saw this ruched dress - long sleeves and knee length - i thought it would absolutely be a splurge for my pregnancy. (in fact, isabella oliver makes a few dresses i'd love) i envisioned it under a blazer for work, with a vest and booties for weekends, gorgeous heels for a cocktail party - it was set to be mine. then i waited and waited to order and by the time i was ready to finally plunk down the debit card and have it sent across the pond, i was at the end of my second trimester. i felt like i could see the light at the end of the tunnel and that i wouldn't get enough use out of it. my advice: splurge on the gorgeous dress! or not. who knows. i'm doing fine without one.
:: a few more tips ::
- having a growing belly didn't mean changing size, but changing shape, so for me, simply sizing up non-maternity clothes only worked for so long. eventually non-maternity pieces in a larger size just started being big all over which isn't something i needed. some women claim they never bought a single piece of maternity clothes like it's a badge of honor, but i say do whatever works for you. every mama is different.
- wear more lipstick. color on your lips transforms your whole face.
- don't buy types of clothes that aren't your style, even if they are predominant in maternity clothing. if you wouldn't wear it non-pregnant, try to avoid it while pregnant. for example, i hate empire waist dresses or anything too cutesy (bows, scallop trim) so even though they make up a ton of the maternity wear that i saw, i skipped past them. you have to make concessions, but you don't have to give up what makes you feel like you.
- stripes always look good on a bump!
chic mamas out there - anything i'm missing?