Thursday, February 28, 2013

dressing the baby bump.

let's talk about maternity fashion.
i loved when friends shared their thoughts on the subject, so here's my 2 cents.
*note i was large pregnant in the fall/winter*
so sorry summer girls, you may be overly hot with these tips...
and note, the tips are mainly for when when your body begins to truly get bigger and bigger and bigger than you thought possible!
all that how to dress for pregnancy in the first and sometimes second trimester is hogwash. H.O.G.W.A.S.H.
(hello oh goodness what a small hbelly)
the h is silent...
and i'm too lazy to readjust some of these pictures so some may be doubles.

1. buy some great basics. i loved the maternity shirts that were were ruched on the sides with elastic (all time favorite maternity shirts=ruched sides!). stretch is key, stretch in all directions. like i mentioned before, my favorite was this black one from h&m (you really can't beat $10). i wore it all the time i swear. i also had a white motherhood brand tee i by chance found at goodwill that was in excellent condition. by the end, the white one didn't have enough stretch in all directions, especially length, to feel comfortable whereas the black one did the whole time and doesn't seem stretched out. also some great maternity jeans (pants, shorts, or capris depending on the season). some people frown at forking out money for maternity jeans and i will frown back. i'm going to have multiple pregnancies (all in cold states most likely) and want some cute, comfy jeans for all of them. i got some from h&m (not online anymore...). i loved that the top stretch panel went all the way up my belly, made it so comfortable. the last thing you want is tight clothes squeezing any part of your belly. hopefully (fingers crossed) i picked a jean style that won't go out of fashion: simple, dark, medium flare. 
i.e. favorite black h&m shirt, maternity pants
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2. work your wardrobe. of course. common sense. this works for quite awhile, surprisingly. you know the more flowy (and stretchy) shirts you have, they work for some time which is nice. i would suggest, however, maybe around 25-30 weeks, going through your whole closet and dividing what you can and can't fit anymore or what you don't want to stretch out anymore. half the battle when choosing clothes is thinking "is this going to fit/be too tight?" or having to go through the effort (and disappointment) of putting it on (or not being able to) and having to take it off all exasperated. as soon as you decide the first time that a shirt isn't working anymore for various reasons PUT IT TO THE SIDE seriously. this will make you feel much better when only choosing between 20 shirts that you could possibly still fit and putting those other 30 to the side (i don't really know how many shirts i have...) but also, don't be too afraid at stretching out some of your shirts, if you're nursing, tight shirts are not your friends. 

i.e. this dress is definitely not maternity

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3. find shirts that give you definition. i always gravitated toward clothes that tended to go back to being snug under my belly. doing this made me feel cute-pregnant and not tent-pregnant. for real, work this one.
this non maternity shirt has a tight band of fabric underneath that hugged my belly and this skirt is what i talk about in #5
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4. sweaters and belts. those 2 basic black and white tees may have been worn all the time but at least i was constantly doing different stuff with them. sweaters can always fit, just don't button it but do belt it around your ribs. and while collecting belts (before, during and after pregnancy), collect LONG SKINNY belts. i thought i would/could wear my thicker stretchy ones and that turned to a heck no real quick. the skinny part between your boobs and belly does not like thick stretch belts or even just thick ones. and i was surprised how much my ribs expanded and the belts that fit around my waist before didn't fit around my ribs comfortably! so that's why i say get long ones. you'll be able to belt them on your real waist with all the cute styles afterwards. also, for the purpose of sweaters, i did buy one $5 white tank (size large) from old navy to wear for undershirts (for extra material above and below shirts) and to wear under sweaters occasionally. i really liked it and wore it during postpartum too.
5. back to the stretch. can i not mention stretch enough? ha, i just felt that that is the key to pregnancy clothes! belly bands. they help make your shorts, capris, and pants work for a very long time, and if you're wearing a long enough shirt, i was able to wear some of my regular pants the whole pregnancy (not that they were as comfy as my maternity ones, but i did want some variety). though i was often needing to tug and pull at the belly band during the day to make sure everything was in place and nothing was showing that i didn't want to, but it still worked. buy a black or white one, not a skin colored one because that'll look like your belly is showing...i did this and it was stupid but workd fine. also skirts and dresses made of jersey or stretchy material. i loved in these old navy skirts the last few months. they were so wonderful. i had a great supply before hand of maxi dresses and skirts that were incredibly forgiving and a win win is that i can still wear them when i'm not pregnant. yay for stretch! but honestly, if you look back at my pregnancy pictures, i was often in dresses and skirts and that wasn't just because we often took the pictures on sundays.
i.e. this was MY FAVORITE pregnancy dress. stretchy, forgiving, comfy, wonderful in so many ways.
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6. bring someone of your "normal" size to buy clothes with you. i heard this from a friend but never got to try it. if she was going shopping to buy new clothes to be able to wear during pregnancy, she'd bring her sister along who was about her normal size to see how those clothes fit on a non-pregnant body so she'd also be able to wear them afterward. i loved this idea. i.e. maxi skirt/dresses.
7. wear your husband's shirts. fa reals though. my husband has a bunch of great big (men's size large) stretchy shirts from old navy and forever21 (loved the f21 ones the most). i always went for his shirts in the mornings. and during that first month and half postpartum and if you're nursing, those shirts were my favorite too. i'm not kidding that when we did laundry none of my shirts were in the laundry but they were all my husband's. put a sweater and belt on those boxy man shirts and they look great on a pregnant woman! when we both packed for the holidays, i think i put more of his shirts in my suitcase that he put of his own shirts in his suitcase. and if you're just hanging around the house and not going to be seen in public, i also constantly wore his big cotton shirts, you know the free, 100% cotton ones you always get for different occasions? ya, those are definitely a pregnancy wardrobe staple and free!
i.e. husband's shirt
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8. borrow from friends/sisters/sister-in-laws. i had some very generous SIL's who offered to let me borrow whatever maternity clothes i wanted from them. so incredibly kind of them. they've gone through 2 and 3 pregnancies themselves so they have slowly but surely gathered cute maternity clothes i got to choose from. so find family/friends and don't be afraid to ask! if someone has been pregnant they understand what you're going through! i would just say that you should be extra considerate to those clothes by letting them hang dry so the wear and tear on them is much less and their colors fade less.
9. half shirts. i didn't actually buy one of these but i really wanted to! i think they are such a smart idea! there were many empire type shirts i had that i loved but i didn't want another layer on over my belly. this was the perfect answer. and bonus: it's the same situation for nursing, you don't want a whole 'nother shirt to bother pulling up/down/over/under when needing to nurse. i definitely want to buy one before my next pregnancy. biggest bonus: they fit no matter how big or small your belly is!

10. buy maternity clothes before you become pregnant. i always shopped maternity sale sections in person and online years before i was pregnant! yes, i'm talking high school people. i did it back then because i honestly was able to make the maternity clothes work as normal stuff and could care less what people thought of me in the maternity section. and then the closer it got time to realizing i was going to be pregnant i would buy maternity clothes i saw on awesome sale, no matter what season they were for. so happy i did this because by the time i was big and pregnant i didn't have to buy much because i slowly accumulated things over time that didn't break the bank! (why do they charge so much for maternity clothes anyways?). but then again, if you find something you LOVE maternity wise and know it will last the seasonal/yearly trends, i say try to wait for it to go on a good enough sale for you and snatch it up! especially if you're going to be pregnant many times, plus there's always postpartum/transitional stage before you can/will confidently wear your more slim fitting pre-pregnancy tops (keep in mind it's not just the size of your belly changing but the size of your bust!
although this picture is from 2 years ago, this is a maternity dress and i'm pretty positive i wore this exact outfit while pregnant (minus the hat...)
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this sweater is technically a maternity sweater i bought ages ago and have used for years.
and used lots while pregnant and non!
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i wish i had tips for shoes, but i don't. i pretty much fit nothing by the end except sandals. (heck yes i wore [my nice] sandals to church when there was snow outside, i couldn't get my big old swollen feet in anything else!). there are many lucky girls whose feet don't swell, i wish you the best in this regard.

although you may not feel cute because you have this large basketball in front of you, you are. every woman is beautiful when they are pregnant, you are creating a child within your body, and that is truly beautiful. the days you feel extra big, make and effort to put on (bright) lipstick, do your hair, and a put on a cute shirt. those simple little things totally help. remember, you won't be like this forever, it will end. enjoy growing another human in you! a pregnant body is incredibly beautiful in so many ways, dress to show that!


Nicole said...

you are so cute. thanks for the tips! maternity clothes are so expensive, it's insane. i think most of my clothes will work throughout most of my pregnancy (minus my pants, of course) but I do need a few staples I can wear all the time like the h&m shirts. And more stretchy dresses, because let's be real, that's all I want to wear even when I'm not having a baby.

Love you!

Brittany said...

I agree with the jeans thing...I am so mad at myself for not splurging on a really good pair until my THIRD baby. Those jeans were heavenly and I felt hot (in a good way) in them. And 3 of my friends have borrowed them and put them to good use as well.
Love all your maternity outfits, you looked so adorable Kimber