By Guest Mommy-Blogger Faydra Siegrist
Congrats! You made it through the first trimester! Now you can go shopping for true maternity fashion. If you read my previous post “Dressing your newly knocked up body – maternity fashion advice for the apple-shaped 30 somethings,” you have a game plan in place.
In this post I’ll focus on key pieces you’ll need to keep yourself comfortably stylish for the next several months.
First and foremost – when you decide you’re ready to start shopping, set aside a good chunk of the afternoon to hit the mall. Take your time in each store and grab lots of stuff for the fitting room. You have never had this particular kind of body before so you don’t know what will be most flattering.
Initially I recommend you stock up on maternity tank tops. Once you find a favorite, pick up plenty in different colors and sizes. Make sure to grab a few more in a larger size, too, if you are still kind of early in your pregnancy. Trust me, you’ll grow into it. Sometimes tightness is comforting like its holding you in, other times it can be claustrophobia inducing. You decide. But you need the tanks anyway for layering and just in case there’s a bump on display between your shirt and pants… it happens. Gap makes great ones, Old Navy’s are so-so.
Next up, pants. You have to decide which waistband works for you. I loved the thinner waistband- the giant waistband was too weird for me, inexplicably. Or don’t decide. I let good fitting pants dictate what band. I loved my bootcut Gap cords, cropped pants, and skinny jeans – if you have an apple shaped body, you must visit the Gap. My Old Navy black and khaki work pants were decent too- not amazing per se, but they got me through. Try stuff on to decide for yourself!
A fashion executive friend of mine was done with her maternity clothes and she let me have a bunch of her jeans- I inherited her J Brand jeans, white Sevens, and Citizens, among others. If you don’t have friends giving away designers jeans like lucky ole me, hit up eBay. There are TONS of maternity jeans up for grabs at dirt cheap prices. I can’t say this enough - having a great pair of jeans when pregnant goes a long way, really. If you can inherit some, do it! If not – try to buy some gently used pairs or an affordable pair from Gap. Or splurge! Try Pea in the Pod- they cost you, obviously, but it’s worth it.
Shirts overall can be tricky – especially for someone like me who is apple shaped. I highly recommend tunics – once you find one you like, buy it in every color. H&M and LOFT tend to have these types of fashion-forward basics. As crazy as it sounds, consider trying on tops that are more fitted over the bump with volume in the sleeves. If you have a thinner waist, you’ll likely find this flattering. Another one of my “go-to” tops was a black, low and loose cowl-neck number - again from Gap. It masked the giant chest, yet was snug enough on the bump and yet hip length to make me look less disproportionate. (Becoming less “disproportionate” is a funny goal, right?) Under it: a good tank because that cleavage was not good for business.
I was VERY pregnant from March until mid June… and in Manhattan. I loved my layers- freezing walk from subway, but yet walked five stories to my hot classroom with wacky hormones. I dressed for the cold but could peel back a layer. With the crazy hot flashes, this is crucial. Plus for an apple shaped body, the contouring of a cardigan is just plain helpful. Short sleeve or elbow sleeve cardigans were my friends. Wear it over a tunic, or empire waist long sleeve shirt with cords/jeans, or well-made leggings, and you will look stylish, comfortable, and practical. I had some non-maternity sweaters that functioned well too for this purpose, worn smartly. Don’t be afraid to reach into your non-pregnant wardrobe when layering.
Dresses are a tough one to master. Everyone has a different opinion – with maxi dresses getting the most votes for the best maternity dress. The maxi dress didn’t work for me – but then again, I didn’t find them flattering on my non-pregnant body either. Anyway, wrap dresses are a pretty classic option. The wrap dress wasn’t my favorite piece, but it worked with the tank, a beautiful scarf, and nice boots. Dresses are hard on the big chested with no hips to begin with, so during pregnancy it was not my favorite thing to shop for. Separates were easier, but if you have an event, Destination Maternity is great. I bought a standard black dress there, which I liked. Again, it wasn’t amazing, but I wore fun accessories to spice it up. You can spend little money there, or a ton. It all depends, and there’s usually a consultant who will help you out, pick stuff out for you to try, and give you tons of Poland Spring and apple juice!
You don’t have to buy anything special, but here’s your option to invest in a few things you know you’ll wear post-pregnancy. Also, use what you have, in different ways. I loved scarves, for my already sort of self-consciousness with the bigger bra size and no longer having abs. My security blanket, I suppose? I am a big enthusiast of black for its multi-use and slimming properties, so I could liven up things with my accessories. Aside from scarves, try big earrings, a bold necklace (not one that hits your GIANT chest, if you are an apple shape!). You’ll be so well accessorized that no one will notice the bump, then they’ll realize what a future MILF you are! Kidding, I have no business writing that. Really.
As my daughter is waking, I’ve realized quickly that I left out shoes! Your feet will probably get bigger. Maybe even one full size bigger at the end of pregnancy. Get comfy shoes. Wear your boots, wear comfortable flats, Minnetonka moccasins or if the season allows, flip flops. Toward the end that was all I could wear because my feet got wider too. Comfort is key here, especially towards the end of your pregnancy.
When all is said and done, make sure you have fun enjoying this special time in your life! Your first time around, you have time to pamper yourself, go to the gym (Old Navy Maternity yoga pants!) get a manicure, spend 4 hours in Gap Maternity, or trolling LOFT.com, while you have 35 windows open from PB Kids, BRU, Giggle, and internally struggling over organic bassinet mattress or normal bassinet, or which stroller you want/need. Get some good stuff, because if or when there is a next time, you will not have the time to research being a pregnant fashionista, but you’ll feel confident that you already have some good stuff to get you started.