Thursday, March 22, 2012

Looking Good While Pregnant

Ever wonder what to wear when pregnant?
I have!

I don't claim to be a style expert, by any means.
But I do claim to have an obsession with figuring out maternity clothes.
I think its mainly due to the fact that, in comparison to the rest of life, its such a short phase. So it was really hard for me to get a handle on the whole thing before it was all over. Its especially tricky because you are constantly changing the entire time!
And, healthy or not, I have this way about me where I just want to get things right.
So I picked up a Maternity Style book at my new library (Actually I check it out electronically, even cooler!) to help me accomplish my mission of getting the most out of my new figure during this second pregnancy.

It was a helpful read, even if I didn't really agree with all her points.
(Example, she is all about belly bands, and I am not... I think its just my shape, but they do not stay on me. I go straight into maternity pants -- why not?
Also she suggests getting "transitional pants" after the baby, where as I think its better to just wear your maternity pants till the normal ones work. I tried buying some pants in that in-between phase last time, but I just thought it looked dumb because if it fit my waist, everything else was really baggy. So I just looked dumpy.)

Anyway, I thought I would share the knowledge I just acquired with you. Because I know there are others out there hoping to accomplish this same goal: Great fashion, with the least impact on the wallet!


*As with everything in life, go with what works for you. This is just a general guideline.
**I don't claim to adhere to all of this myself. But I do find it very insightful.

Here goes!


***This post has recently gotten a ton of views after blowing up on pinterest. I had no idea anyone would find it, and as a novice blogger (basically putting this post together for my own benefit, as I really didn't know what I was doing in the pregnancy wardrobe department) I didn't cite my photos. I am currently attempting to make that right -- But I put this post together almost an entire pregnancy's length-of-time ago, so I don't remember where they all came form. If you know of any, please let me know and I will cite it. (11/12/12)

First Trimester

Pack away your skinny jeans and all your (not-stretchy) form fitting clothes.

Your main objective for these first three months is to conceal.
(Not everyone is trying to keep their pregnancy under wraps initially. But what we are concealing is the random body changes and bloat, which is just not cute yet.)


Your new clothing silhouette should be: 
Drapey, flowy and ethereal.

Time to take the focus off the midsection and attempt to elongate your figure.

Its just not time to wear your adorable clingy maternity clothes yet. Wait on those until you have a real bump. (Usually around 19 weeks or so.)


Your Current Best Bets

Wrap Dresses
(Added bonus, size is adjustable)



Shift Dresses


A-line
 


Trapeze Dresses
(Which is just a dramatically flared A Line)



Empire Waist Dresses





In the way of shirts,
go with longer cut ones.



Tunics are perfect. 
(With the one caveat, that if you are pear shaped, having the fabric break at your widest point will be unflattering. 
Aim for above or below.)



Empire waist

Blouson 


 Or anything that floats away from the body.




Shoes
The book highly suggests wearing heels. 
(It's pro heels for the entire pregnancy, as far as fashion goes.)
This gives you height, which will have the effect of elongating and slimming.

Its very true, and it does look really good --- 
but I will leave it up to you as to whether you feel comfortable with heels in pregnancy.




2nd Trimester

Now's the time to enjoy those cute stretchy looks,
and show off the bump!

It can be tempting to want to buy lots and lots of clothes at this point because its exciting and fun. But in order to save yourself some cash, you can invest in a basic few pieces and learn to accessories them to the fullest.



Here is an excellent 
"Pregnancy Uniform"
 that you can use as your staples in your wardrobe which can be easily accessorized and reworked.




A Long Stretch Black Maternity Tank Top



Dark Denim Maternity Jeans




Black Leggings 
(Either Maternity, or low rise enough to go below the belly)




To the Thigh Tee Shirts in White and Black
(Could be long or short sleeve, according to your due date, and personal preference)


Your choice of Empire Waist Dress 
(should be semi-neutral in color, 
so as to be able to adapt with different looks)
 


Basic Black Jersey Dress 
(Something like a sleeveless, tank dress)


Maternity Black Pencil Skirt

Or some other very versatile skirt, you enjoy


Above the Knee Shift Dress
 


 "Infinity Dresses" 
which have numerous ways in which they can be tied
 to look like many different dresses --
Can also be a nice addition.



Fabrics to look for:
Jersey Knit = Awesome: Stretchy and non wrinkling and totally comfortable.
Spandex/Lycra = cute and clingy






*Not everything you buy needs to come from the maternity section. Just ensure you could fit a big belly (and boobs) into it. You'd be surprised by how much you can actually find to fit off the rack of in the regular sections, if you look for the right silhouettes.

Now you take these fundamental pieces (or ones equally multi-functional, that you enjoy) and accessorize them to the max.

Layer these up with jackets, sweaters, leggings, cute shoes/boots, jewelry, scarves, belts, pops of color and prints, and fun vintage accents.

Your jackets and sweaters don't need to be maternity sized. They can be what you have just layered over your new pieces.

                  

Using large bags during pregnancy is a great way to create a balanced look when paired with your bump.


Scarfs are great in pregnancy. 
They can hide the bloat durning First trimester, and elongate durning Second and Third.


Change a plain look up with a belt


Don't forget your jewelry!
It really pulls your look together...


 
Bracelets 



Earrings



 Necklaces





Work toward "seasonless dressing."
This is the idea that your wardrobe basics can be rather summery, regardless of your due date, 
because with the addition of layers, 
you can have great looking outfits ready for any season.




 Spring



Summer









Fall







 Winter






After looking at enough pictures, it gets pretty easy to see that you really can create gorgeous outfits by layering. And doing that will enable you to make the most of the least amount of clothes.
Because really, you are only pregnant for so long, you don't want to overspend on clothes you won't get that much wear from.




The book also suggests being willing to
Repurpose 
some of your prepregnant attire.

Such as...

turning a skirt into a strapless dress by pulling up over your chest. 



Wearing pre-pregnant dresses as tunics



Borrow your man's shirt and belt it over leggings



Belt a large scarf or wrap over a tank top


Get creative with what you have!


3rd Trimester
Third Trimester is basically the same as second trimester. 
Only now you have a really large bump.
Just keep enjoying your "uniform" while layering and switching it up.
With your bump getting bigger, you have more license to really amp up your outfits with accessories to even out the overall drama. 






4th Trimester
You thought you were done!
Sorry.
Now its time to conceal again.
We are basically back to being in the First Trimester, only with more weight to hide.
But all those same cuts and styles are still perfect for your recovering figure. Go back to those basics.

Drapey, flowy and ethereal.

For Winter 
Sweater Dresses and Shirt Dresses are great.

For Summer 
Sun Dresses are perfect



And something the book didn't mention, but I will tell you: patterns are your friend right now. They can hid a multitude of wet things. (Spit ups, leaks, spills, boogies, ect.)

If you are nursing, you will want to find things you feel comfortable nursing in. (Personally, I like things I can pull down from the neck.)


Here are a bunch of looks 
that should help you feel more confident
while recovering your figure.




 Gathering over the belly
Ruching over the belly
 Draping over the belly
 Fabric over the belly

Ruffles can comoflauge



Blousons 





A-line Floating Away From Belly


Loose Button Downs



 Any looks that are gathered over the midsection


Big Bags again 
(can help cover the "left overs" up)



Scarves are still your friend.

They can distract from the belly. 


Or cover the belly.



Or cover the baby 
when nursing.




Want more outfit inspiration? I've been collecting some looks on Pinterest here.


If you'd like even more shopping advice, here is another post of mine where I talk about how I, personally, shop for, and save money on, my maternity clothes.


**If you've found this article helpful, I hope you will check out my healthy pregnancy section. There were a lot of things I wished I had known the first time I was pregnant, that could have aided in a better pregnancy and perhaps a better delivery. I've been so excited to share what I learned along the road of my second pregnant on my way to a really great VBAC. 

I also have more of my blog projects pinned on Pinterest here.

49 comments:

  1. Really like this blog post! I love the gal with the glasses and red lips! Too cute! I love being a mommy! Can't wait to be pregnant again! I did however make the mistake of wearing tight clothes in the first trimester but next time I won't! It's just bloat haha! I will take a look around your blog! :)
    www.fabulousmaternalblessed.com

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  2. Hello again! I just finished reading your "About Me" section! Wow I had an unexpected c-section as well after 30 hours of labor. Mine for a different reason but I felt like such a failure not being able to do the natural birth I had my heart set on. But yes God can and will show you your strength and ability despite disappointment. I really connected with your story! :)

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    1. Aw I'm so glad to hear from you Carlie. I love getting to connect with other mommas who've been through similar situations. And I'm glad you enjoyed the post. It is a fun one. :) (And totally makes pregnancy sound fun. I'm only four months out from Baby #2, but this post can get me ready for a belly tomorrow! lol.)

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  3. Thank you so much for posting this!
    It's all very informative and useful, especially about seasonless dressing.

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  4. I really like this post but you really should cite your pictures.

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    1. You know, you're right. I thought about that fact after already doing this post. But when I put it together it was kinda just something I did for my own personal notes, I didn't really have anyone reading the blog other than a little handful of friends and family, so I didn't put too much thought into bogging by the rules. I had no idea so many people would find this post. And now, 8 months later, I don't remember where they came from and don't think I could find many of them again. If anyone knows of specific photo's sources let me know, and I will cite them.

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    2. You can use google images to search for a specific image! Just go to google images and click on the camera icon at the right of the search bar. This opens another search bar where you can copy and paste in the URL of the image.

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  5. I know a lot of them were from the Daybook. I think it's http://www.thedaybookblog.com... But I loved this post- it actually got me excited- not to be pregnant for the 4th time, exactly- but to dress cute when it happens:)

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  6. Love your post, you mentioned you were trying to cite pictures; the pink dress in the "4th Trimester" section is from Victoria's Secret. I couldn't tell you from what campaign, but I would assume a spring or summer one.

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  7. Thanks for your help ladies! :) Glad you liked the post!

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  8. Found you on Pinterest just in time for my #2. Thanks for the great article!

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  9. Great article! Loving the tips (just in time for this pregnancy--16 weeks tomorrow!). :) I believe the first photo in the 4th trimester is from Kohl's. I don't remember the designer, but, I have it in a soft burnt apricot type color and I'm almost positive it came from Kohl's (and it's super soft and comfy).

    BTW, I'm posting from my hubby's account. He doesn't actually wear women's clothing (most of the time). ;)

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  10. Thanks for all the ideas. I am 20 weeks and feel like all I ever wear are sweatshirts and never show off my cute bump! I will need to try some of these!

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  11. Great post! Found it on pinterest and you have great tips! Thanks!

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  12. I think the long blue knit dress under spring in mid trimester is from academichic blog?

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  13. Congrats on the 2nd pregnancy! I am...er.."we" are considering pregnancy #3 right now and this post gets me more excited about it! It'd be our 4th kid as #2 came through adoption. I want to give you a thumbs up on trying for a vbac. I did it and while it was super hard, it was nothing compared to recovering from a csection! Visit my blog anytime! Www.anthonyandsharon.blogspot.com
    ~sharon

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  14. Wow, so cool to see how Amazing you can look when your pregnant. Only problem is not every women in the world only gains a bump! Most women gain a lot of weight; and feel like fat hideous pigs. I know I did! I hated being pregnant more than anything I've ever experienced. I was miserable with migraines, weight gain, back pain, etc. it sucks!! I tried to dress cute to feel better, but nothing in the maternity section, Lard A$$, is cute! doesn't matter how you accessorize it. I've still yet to have ever met a pregnant women that wants to ever wear heels. When your feet no longer look like feet, but cinder blocks; the last thing you want to do is draw attention to them. I hoped and thought being pregnant, I would dress cute and feel pretty too. Never happened. Your going to be fat and uncomfortable at some point. And to the women that don't gain more than baby weight; every women in the world, secretly hopes your baby looks like a monkey. Haha! Love being a Mom, and I love my beautiful boy, but screw pregnancy!! It Blows!

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    1. TMACKitty, I can definitely relate to what you are saying. During my first pregnancy I felt really depressed over all the body changes I went through, and my weight wasn't all in the belly either. I had a lot of those same symptoms too. And just to be clear: personally I never wear heals while pregnant -- I can't even imagine how hilarious I would look waddling around like a cowboy in high heels. :) I'm sorry pregnancy was so hard on you. I think it shocks a lot of women (myself included) to experience just how intense it really is, and that it really isn't like its portrayed in the media.
      My goal, in this post, wasn't to keep the idea of pregnancy wrapped up in a fake-ly made up package. I was just reading a book trying to enjoy dressing myself a bit better the second time around. I liked the idea of not having to buy a whole lot of new stuff, and just being able to get the key pieces which you could layer with stuff you already have.
      Actually my first pregnancy really taught me to enjoy a minimalist wardrobe. Its a lot less work trying to find something to wear when you just have a couple things that work. So this idea really appealed to me now.
      Anyway, I actually found myself so much more comfortable during my second pregnancy because, well for one thing, I knew what was coming my way. But I also investigated a lot of ways to be healthier (Healthy Pregnancy Tab at the top for all that I learned) one of which was seeing a chiropractor (which was amazing -- no backaches at all, compared to couldn't get off the couch.) And emotionally, had dropped the idea of trying to be perfect looks wise and just went with what worked, that was really freeing.

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  15. Thankyou I enjoyed reading this post. I'm in my second trimester and can no longer fit in to my clothes but you have helped me get ideas so I don't get that frumpy feeling! Excited to see what I can put together now.

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  16. Thank you for posting this. I have not yet had a child but when I do I will definitely come back to this. Thanks for inspiring!!

    www.smalltownchic47.blogspot.com

    xoxo, Cat

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    1. oh & the picture on the right under jewelry (bracelts) comes from the Cara Loren Blog @ caraloren.com :)

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  17. first of all, I like this post. you pose a great idea that you don't have to buy a lot of clothing and items in order to still look good while pregnant. and you did a pretty good job of describing key items to buy and wear.

    second, in your first trimester section, you say the goal is to "attempt to elongate your figure", but then suggest a lot of dresses that cut the figure off above the knee. the empire waist dress examples you have are perfect, but if you want to elongate your figure with other dresses, go for a longer skirt. you have to be a runway model with unnatural height in order to look tall with a short cut dress. below or just above the knee with a natural waist or higher are the way to go if you want to elongate.

    thanks for the tips! I'll be reading this again!

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    1. Thanks Amy. I'm definitely no fashion or dressing expert. So your tips are very helpful. Especially being pretty short myself (5'2" -- which I like to try and claim as 5'3" :) )
      These are all ideas from a book I read on the subject. I couldn't have come up with them on my own. :)
      I will say that, at times, I feel long skirts overwhelm me as a shortie and still serve to keep me looking short, but like you said just above the knee can help me out. I wasn't into pants at all during pregnancy -- my belly felt uncomfortable in them, so fashionable or not, I wore a lot of dresses (usually non-maternity) around knee length with leggings (helped me chase my toddler without flashing anyone! :) )

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  18. Thank you so much for this post. I just found out I am pregnant with my first and I was really hoping to look cute. I see all of these other cute pregnant women and I feel like I could never pull it off. Your post helped me realize the basics, so hopefully I can look my best.

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  19. I love this post!! So helpful!! Thanks!! To help you out with some citing... in the 2nd trimester, where you said bracelets... the picture of the girl with the blonde hair and she's holding her bump.. that is caraloren.com :) And then the necklaces picture I think is thedaybookblog.com. Then the fourth picture in fall and the belt a large scarf or wrap over a tank top is thedaybookblog.com :) Hope that helps out a little!! :)

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    Replies
    1. It’s look so beautiful! I am enjoy and love it very much.and I love very much sexy and wonderful dress.
      Hope you had the greatest time living it up!!
      sexy tops

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  20. hi!! great post!! really like the stylish options you have posted by trimester. could you recommend any store names for the clothes you have shown? I live in Canada, but am open to ordering stuff online.
    thank you!
    sonia

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  21. I am not nor ever will be pregnant, found this on pinterest and I will be saving this post for my friends! You did an excellent job explaining the simple for to dress for a changing shape :)

    Can someone tweet this to Kim Kardashian? I think the poor girl has no idea what to do :(

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  22. This ALMOST makes me want to get pregnant again!! ;) soooo fun. I will have to check back here when baby 2 is on its way!! I felt like a frump my whole first pregnancy and only wore yoga pants. I am determined not to do that again. This gave me some great ideas!!! Thanks for putting it together!!

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  23. Target carries some great, affordable maternity-styled pieces that you can often find for 30-70% off on the clearance racks!! I haven't experienced pregnancy yet, but when I stumble on one of those great clearance finds, you better believe I snatch it up - I've gotten tanks and plain tees for literally a buck or two - and I love the longer length of the maternity style for non-maternity use. :-) I'm a petite woman, but I hate traditional-cut shirts that don't go past my waistline! My current favorite from that line is a ginormous, loose-knit wrap cardigan that can be worn SO many ways!!

    Definitely bookmarking this for the future - thanks so much!

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  24. This is a great post - wish I'd found it months ago!! I'm seven months pregnant and struggling to find anything to wear to a wedding in a couple of weeks - the idea of shopping right now just makes me want to lie-down and rest! x

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  25. Hi! If you right click each image you'll see an option on the pop-up box that says "copy image URL". If you click that you can go into google images, hit the little camera icon and paste in the URL. It should show you a bunch of different places that the same photo is on the internet. It won't work for all of your images but it should help you out a bunch! You can email me at mybilliedesigns@gmail.com if you need help with anything : )

    xo, Melanie from My Billie­

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  26. This is a wonderful post. Awesome dresses for pregnant woman. I like all images. Your blog is too good. Thanks for sharing us.

    Surrogacy in India

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  27. This is a great post! I have been having a really hard time with my pregnancy and what to wear. It is my first so its all kinda foreign to me. After seeing this it has really helped. So many options! And I dont really mind the pics not being sited because I can find my own look with these wonderful ideas. Thanks again! Good work!

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  28. Good post, just two points. The trapeze style orange shirt will NOT be flattering. I would go for shift, empire, or tight. The flowy triangle shape accentuates your belly without showing the places that are still narrow, and generally makes it look like a beer belly. The other thing I noticed during my pregnancy was that anything that lies along the belly button (ruching, zippers of hoodies, even cardigans when buttoned) can be super uncomfortable. A good wrap dress is nice! good luck.

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  29. very excellent blog which i happily shared on fb wall and twitter.

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  30. The entire range of dresses you presented here is really awesome. These dresses can be worn during pregnancy and accentuates your curves rather than highlight your pregnant tummy.
    Awesome dresses

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  31. We all don't really have to don classic Maternity Clothes. It's information about blend along with fit. All we end up needing is actually several wonderful clothes along with jeans. Maxi gowns or dresses likewise. We didn't really commit significantly on maternal garments when i seemed to be expecting a baby, it had been always regarding ease. Anyway, these are generally wonderful tips. Just about every expecting a baby lady must take note of most of these wonderful tips.

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  32. Really this blog post is too attractive! I love being a mommy! Can't wait to be pregnant again! I did however make the mistake of wearing tight clothes in the first trimester but next time I won't!be.
    www.sweetlillymaternity.com.au

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  33. Yes your are wright and thanks for post a good topic . your post is

    top most in related post of A-line Floating Away From Belly.

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  34. Thankx Admin I like all The Pixs But "Pregnancy Uniform" is Best Can u Please Tell me the price of this Dress and also pls let me know Knee Shift Dress.maternal garments when i seemed to be expecting a baby, it had been always regarding ease. Anyway, these are generally wonderful tips. Just about every expecting a baby lady must take note of most of these wonderful tips. Regards Captain America leather jackets

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  35. I really enjoyed this! Love that you added different pics with different styles. I got a lot of great ideas for the rest of my pregnancy! Thanks!!

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  36. I really enjoyed this! Love that you added different pics with different styles.Thank you so much for this post.

    Captain America Leather Jacket

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  37. These tips are so practical and helpful. My first pregnancy, I found that most of the dressing tips out there were either unrealistic or uncomfortable.

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  38. PREGNANCY hormones make my ankles like jello HEELS ARE OUT til THEYRE safe 2 wear. The pain is too much. Very good post. Most women "trying 2 save $" in denial looked like a stuffed sausage these days in unfitting unflattering clothes. Find the maternity section people! Lol loved it thx

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  39. Wow..i wish i would have rrad this 4 kids ago haha..but i am pretty sure i am expecting again even tho every test i take says im not..i will def be following this great thanks:)

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