Back in August, when I first found out I was pregnant, I had such high hopes for staying super stylish the whole nine months.
And I think, for the most part, I’ve done a pretty good job. I’m sure I’ll look back on some of my pregnancy outfits and wonder what on earth I was thinking, but given the hormones and body-size issues involved, I’m going to cut myself some slack.
This dress, to me, was the ultimate challenge: it’s not maternity, but when I saw it during Fashion Week, I fell completely in love. I got it partly as a post-baby carrot to dangle (I *will* fit into it by next fall!) and also to see if I could make it work on my crazy shape right now.
And I’ll say this: it zipped! (That’s about all I ask at this point.) And the thing is, a beautiful dress is a beautiful dress, whether your body is the perfect size for it or not. Sure, I probably looked a little weird and lumpy in it, but I felt stylish and current, like I was wearing something that pre-pregnancy-me would have been excited about. And for a girl whose wardrobe has gone from expansive to miniscule in the last six months, that felt pretty great.
So I thought I’d throw out a few tips for staying stylish while you’re pregnant, and I’d love it if you guys chimed in with your own! I still have seven weeks to go, so any advice helps!
Five Tips for Staying Stylish While Pregnant
Show Off The Bump!
If I could give just one tip for being stylish while pregnant, this would be it! The fact is, there is an incredibly beautiful process happening inside your body, and it’s cuter than any top or bag or pair of shoes could ever be. I’ve worn sweatpants and no makeup to run errands while pregnant, and still see people grinning at my belly.
I know it seems counter-intuitive to buy a bunch of tight clothes just as you’re getting ready to gain 30 pounds, but they’re actually really cute! I bought about ten Forever 21 extra-long tank tops in various colors, and wear them at least a few times a week. They were a whopping $2 each, so not a bad investment! (And they come in plus sizes too!)
Think Beyond Maternity
I was so excited to buy maternity clothes when I first got pregnant, I totally over-bought. While you definitely need some maternity basics (a good pair of jeans is a must), you may not ever need things like tops or even dresses.
Instead of heading straight to the maternity stores, think about which stores have stretchy knits or flattering cuts that could work on your growing bump. For me, simple v-neck sweaters from Express in cotton-blended fabrics had enough stretch to be comfy and still totally cute.
Empire Waists Are Your New Best Friend
This probably comes as no surprise, but the most flattering cut on any pregnant woman ever is the empire waist. You get to show off your new boobs (!) and your gorgeous bump at exactly the same time. I spotted some old picture of Nicole Richie in adorable empire-waist dresses while she was pregnant, and proceeded to find as many of them as I could! Fortunately, you may already have some of these in your closet! (Pro tip: Maxi dresses are the best of both worlds — still super flattering, and they give you a little more coverage!)
And So Are Leggings!
I couldn’t button my pre-pregnancy jeans by like, week 8. I gained quite a bit of weight in the first trimester, including a lot of water weight, so comfy clothing was a priority for me early on. But while I was still poking around maternity stores trying to figure out which pair of designer jeans would be my go-to, I whipped out a few comfy pairs of non-maternity Splendid leggings and wore them to death. I’m still wearing them at almost eight months pregnant!
When in Doubt, Accessorize
Even with the best wardrobe and attitude, there are going to be days when you just don’t feel great about how you look. We can’t all wake up every morning with the perfect pregnancy glow and the swallowed-a-bowling-ball baby bump. There are going to be days when you’re exhausted, cranky, hormonal, and just plain uncomfortable. I had many (many) of those days in every trimester.
So here’s my solution when all else fails: Dress in all black and grab some killer accessories. Start with either a black dress or a top and leggings — something comfy and easy to wear, that you feel comfortable in. And then grab the most expensive handbag in your closet, the cutest statement necklace, or your favorite earrings or bracelet, look in the mirror once, and head out the door.
And you know what? Everyone will be so busy raving about how great you look, you’ll forget what was bothering you in the first place.