Today’s post is written by trendy and fabulous forum member Patience who lives in Austin, TX. Patience is an engineer and nothing cramps her style! With two small children in tow, a busy job and a changing body to adorn each day, Patience continues to look AND feel beautiful throughout her pregnancy. If you can look as stylish as she does with a few weeks left to go, then you are a true inspiration. This is how Patience maintains her high style quotient while pregnant.
These are real life pictures of me at 8 months pregnant. I’m huge! Everyone I meet is expecting me to pop at any second and yet I know that I need to clothe my belly for another month.
My maternity fashion strategy is quite simple — keep following Angie’s blog to keep abreast of current trends and tips and pay special attention to her tried and true advice. I also know that I can rely on the wonderful ladies in the YLF forum for support and feedback on my maternity wardrobe efforts. And despite suffering from morning sickness, I began with the attitude and confidence that I could have a stylish pregnancy.
I reviewed my list of essential tips collected from Angie as I’ve followed her blog over the past few years:
- Cover the basics: Good posture, a well fitting bra, and a snappy hairstyle are the first things to pay attention to in your appearance. They must be given special consideration when you are pregnant because your belly will force you to adjust your posture, your bust will grow (usually starting around the middle of the pregnancy), and you may have less energy to devote to a complicated hair style. Other elements of polish like grooming and perfect pant lengths are low cost ways to keep your style quotient high even if your maternity capsule is small.
- Focus on comfort: Time and time again Angie has assured us that being stylish includes being comfortable. Particularly in pregnancy you will want to search out the cushy shoes, non restrictive clothing and lightweight accessories.
- Have fun with accessories: Handbags, jewelry, hats and watches will get ample use after the baby comes so treat yourself to those items to take your look up a notch.
- Include dresses: Dresses are one comfortable item to put on. Having a few in your closet is the answer for those days when you don’t want to think about what to wear.
- Consider investing in a favorite piece: Rather than purchasing a wardrobe of tent-y maternity items and feeling huge when you put them on, why not purchase a few investment pieces that make you feel like a million dollars? Wear them all the time and you will whittle the cost-per-wear down to nothing over the months that you’re pregnant. Both you and your baby will benefit from the feelings of well being.
- Know your individual style and fashion persona: If you consider fashion fun, dressing your pregnant body should be fun too. This is where your individual style and fashion persona come in, whether you pursue the trends and styles that were “you” pre-pregnancy or decide to explore more subtle aspects of your style that seem to surface with your changing body.
- Pay attention to lounge wear: If you have the misfortune to feel ill throughout your first trimester or even your entire pregnancy, you deserve some cute lounge wear. Even if you feel fine, there will be days when sitting on the couch is a wonderful use of your time. I want to make a special point that maternity lounge wear requires comfy slippers.
When creating my maternity wardrobe capsule I knew that applying Angie’s wealth of non-maternity wardrobe knowledge to a rapidly expanding belly would require a few adjustments. Here are the key elements to dressing a pregnant woman:
- Curves: Chances are all of your curves including the belly will naturally augment as your pregnancy progresses. Enjoy and flaunt your flourishing bust, hips and belly with v-necks, scoop necks and hip hugging styles. It is my belief that the larger belly counterbalances a more alluring look.
- Silhouette: Consider non-maternity voluminous silhouettes for when you’re not showing or want to hide a small belly. Loose clothing like sack dresses, banded bottom tops and voluminous tunics early on also serve the purpose of being extra comfortable when you are not feeling your best. Once your baby bump appears, flatter it with a sleek silhouette. In particular, highlight the narrowest part of your torso between your bust and belly and the curve on the underside of the belly or your hips. The larger your belly gets, the smaller these two areas will appear, so show them off! Remember that non-maternity straight or voluminous tops may become sleek as they drape around a larger belly.
- Stretch: Stretchy fabrications allow for lots of comfort, room to grow and the sleek silhouette you are after. Add side ruching to a stretchy maternity top or dress and you’ve got a super stylish maternity basic. Pregnancy may also be the one condition where growing denim is an advantage.
- Size: Keep in mind that your size may shrink during your first trimester and grow one or more sizes throughout the pregnancy. It is a bit of a balancing act to purchase for the body you have at present without discounting the body you will have in a few weeks or months. One thing I have found is that no matter what your height, very few tops will be long enough by the end of your pregnancy so always be on the lookout for long tops. Non-maternity jackets often work worn open but be careful that they fit through the shoulders and are large enough to be pulled closed over the bust.
Give yourself a break. Really take to heart the adage that fashion is an adjustment of the eye. Your body is changing a lot over a short period of time and it’s normal to feel less confident about it some days. Try these tips and adjust them as you see fit, giving yourself some time for your eye to adjust to your changing body.