As I began to outgrow my pre-pregnancy clothes, I started browsing the selection of maternity outfits at some local stores. Needless to say, they left much to be desired. Most were way too big, the rest…dreadful! And talk about a lack of selection. I saw multiples colors of the same shirt pattern. I left the stores empty handed and downcast about being pregnant. Sound silly and superficial? I agree.
However, that is truly how I felt. Not that I would consider myself a fashion guru by any means, but I enjoy picking out my clothes in the morning hoping they will reflect my mood that day (yes I am an emotional dresser). Don’t get me wrong, I love babies and the comfortable parts of being pregnant (these do not include endless days of nausea, vomiting, and back pain which drive a woman to the brink of her sanity). But on this day I was focusing on the things I could not have while my body was growing a precious child: peplum, coffee, and running. Why is it that while I am going through a uniquely female experience I could not feel less feminine? On my way home I thought I would pop in my favorite second hand store and see if by chance they offered any semi-appealing maternity ware. It did not. Since I was in the beginning of my second trimester, I thought I’d take a look for any clothes that were non-maternity but in a bigger size that fortuitously might still flatter me. This is where I hit the jackpot.
I hadn’t realized just how much attire accommodates a larger belly these days. This shattered my dismal belief in only wearing clothes marked “maternity.” Of course some actual maternity clothes might be necessary, especially as we continue down the road toward giving birth and watch the scale go up. Here are some items I found that are super cute and not hideous-yay!
Whomever brought these back in style, let me just say, “I love you!” So many colors and styles of leggings abound at such reasonable prices. They can be worn with ballet flats or boots. We don’t have to be condemned to wearing jeans that are an odd shape that have a revolting blue patch on the front!
These are great for hiding widening hips and shirts that are being raised by an ever-inflating abdomen. Many have beautiful lace across the bottom which adds a nice detail. Plus I saw lace popping up again as a fall/winter favorite this year by many fashionistas.
I found an abundance of oversized sweaters that looked like they were made for the pregnant belly. You can find them in any neckline you like: cowl, crew, turtle, and V-neck. The common length hits about mid-thigh depending on your height, which can be slimming for those of us whose butts and thighs are growing at the same rate as our bellies.
Blazers and Cardigans
I love blazers. Blazers and cardigans can be dressed up or down, business appropriate or casual chic. They frame the baby bump nicely.
Empire waisted shirts are an obvious choice. Since they continue to be introduced to many stores’ clothing lines, the options for these are plentiful. Long, loose shirts like tunics also work well. I picked up some tall, lace-up boots to wear w/ my leggings as well. Tall boots are a staple for me in the cold months but I was afraid my enlarged calves would leave them stretched out and ruined. So I picked up a pair of Ugg Rommys. They are extremely warm and comfortable, plus I do not have to worry about stretching them out and not being able to wear them in future seasons. For some this may not be a desirable option later in pregnancy when the belly seriously hinders shoe tying, but so far for me they have been a big win.
For those of you who figured all this out long ago-great job! Keep slow people like me in the loop on the latest ways to stay gorgeous while pregnant. For the rest of you, go try on some non-maternity clothes that you like. You may be pleasantly surprised how much you can wear. Thanks for reading, and please leave your pregnancy fashion forward tips in the comments below. Note: the above photo was taken by Venus Brown Photography, used with permission.
Check out my YouTube video on this topic!