Tuesday, August 7, 2012

5 Tips on Maternity Style from a Veteran Mama

When I was first pregnant with Brantley, I could hardly wait to buy maternity clothes (I know that some people may think that's strange). I love to buy clothes, period, but to know that my sweet baby was growing enough to make my pants and tops snug was a wonderful reality to me. Not to mention that I finally had a legitimate excuse to go shopping! So, I had bunches of cute, new maternity clothes for my first pregnancy. But now, with this being my third baby, since the new maternity items I have purchased have been few and far between, I have learned to be a little more creative with the maternity pieces that I have and the regular clothes in my closet. I thought I would share 5 tips that have worked for me, that may help you "dress the bump" and keep your own personal style, while still staying comfortable, throughout your pregnancy!


Maternity Jeans from Old Navy

With all three of my pregnancies, I was very bloated early on. I lot of women swear by the Bella Band, or Be Band, or whatever variation, to wear early during your pregnancy so you can wear your regular jeans and/or pants longer. Pretty much, these elastic bands can fit over your regular jeans or pants and you can unbutton your pants and the band will keep them up. For me, this was THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE THING EVER. I wanted NOTHING touching my bloated tummy. I tried the bella band once, and it was NOT for me. So, I wore my jeans with the old elastic-band-thorugh-the-button-hole-trick until it was holding on for dear life. I caved and went into Motherhood Maternity and tried on my first pair of maternity jeans. First thought...WHY DIDN'T I DO THIS SOONER??! And why don't ALL jeans have elastic at the top?! Granted, some women just don't fill out maternity pants for a while. This was not me. Maternity pants are stretchy and wonderful and comfortable and have come A LONG WAY even since I was pregnant with Brantley in 2008-2009. You can pretty much get any style of pant/jean in maternity form. And they are FAR better than trying to squeeze your expanding midsection into your old faves. Just bite the bullet and buy a new pair. And if price is an issue, try Old Navy. I bought a lot of maternity clothes from Old Navy and never paid full price, they are always having a sale online. Plus, there will come a point in your pregnancy that even with the Bella Band or whatever contraption you're using, you will NEED to buy some maternity pants. So go ahead and just do it! You can thank me later.

2. Dresses are Your Friend

I love wearing dresses anyway, but especailly during pregnancy. As I said before, I was super bloated early on with my pregnancies. Sometimes, when getting ready in the mornings, pants were just too binding. Dresses were a much more comfortable option for me- nothing around my midsection, just some lovely fabric floating right over it. And when you're exhausted in the mornings and staring at your dwindling wardrobe wondering what you're going to wear, dresses make it easy for you. One piece. One decision. Also, during this pregnancy I have been wearing a lot of maxi dresses. Not just because they are EVERYWHERE right now, but since they are loooong, I have been able to buy non-maternity maxi dresses and they fit just fine! No chance of the fabric hiking up too short in the front since they're just about floor length anyway (good thing I'm short). I have bought several non-maternity maxi dresses that I have been able to wear during my pregnancy, and will hopefully be able to wear afterwards too! You can dress up or dress down lots of basic, solid color dresses, for lots of different looks. Which leads me into #3...

3. Buy Basics and then Build Outfits with Accessories!

This is probably my favorite tip for good maternity style. It is not all about having every top and every pair of maternity pants from Pea in the Pod, I think it's more about having key maternity pieces that you can wear in lots of different ways combined with things you already have! If you have several basic pieces, including a pair of jeans, a couple of casual t-shirts, a couple of dress/work shirts, a pair of leggings, a pair or two of dress pants, and some basic dresses, you can make a bunch of outfits by just adding different accessories! The great part about accessories is that a)they're cheaper to buy than articles of clothing, b)you can wear before, during and after your pregnancy, and c)they can easily change the whole look of your outfit without actually having to buy more clothes. Belts, scarves, jackets, cardigans, vests, statement necklaces, headbands, earrings, bracelets, handbags, etc, can all completely change the look of an outfit. Use them!!

4. Don't Hide the Bump!

It may seem counterintuitive to wear form-fitting clothes when you are probably at the biggest you have ever been, but when you're pregnant, if you wear clothes that are too loose or too big for you, it actually makes you look EVEN bigger. Don't wear TIGHT clothes, but close fitting knit shirts, jeans, yoga pants, that show off your baby bump actually look cuter, and lets everyone in on the secret that you are, in fact, expecting! Not just questionable in a tent dress or peasant top(has anyone ever been asked if they were pregnant when they were NOT? Brantley was 3 months old and a woman asked me when I was due, and I nearly died. When I told her I wasn't pregnant and had a 3 month old, she nearly died too.).

5. Dress for COMFORT.

The most important part of dressing while you're pregnant is wearing what makes you comfortable emotionally and physically. Your body changes and grows A LOT during your entire pregnancy. You may be able to wear heels the entire time, or you may be in your flip flops due to swollen ankles by the second trimester. You may be wearing your regular jeans until 28 weeks, or you may be like me, and buying those maternity pants by week 17. No matter what, do what your body is telling you, not what the models in Fit Pregnancy magazine are wearing. If you wear something that is too tight on your tummy, or your wedges are making your feet hurt, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. OR YOU WILL PAY. Those wedges that made your feet hurt, though cute, will make your feet, knees, back, pelvis and hips sore later in the day. Not fun. Your poor body is working so hard to make a human, and the last thing it needs is more stress from fashion! So, no matter what you wear, rock it. Everyone will always think you're adorable, because there is nobody that is more beloved than a pregnant mama. Especially when you have sensible shoes on. :)

Good luck and check back with me for more Mama Style and outfit ideas!!

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  1. Good advice and you do look cute! When I was pregnant with Matt my body changed in waysi wasn't expecting and dresses were a great solution!

  2. Great tips!Thanks for taking the time to post this.


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