I am all about keeping an ironclad grip on my pre-pregnancy style. While I’m more than happy to make safety concessions (at six and hald months pregnant, the heels are now staying put in my purse until I get my be-flip-flopped self to wherever it is that I’m going), to me, dressing in a way that makes me feel pretty and stylish isn’t just a mood-lifter…it’s an essential aspect of my pregnancy. Having a baby may very well (and probably will) change everything in my life…but it doesn’t mean that I have to “tone it down” or “dress more maternally” (whatever that means). If short shorts (or muumuus, for that matter) are what make me happy, then that’s what I’m wearing.
That said, as your waistline expands, it’s just a fact: some former favorites just naturally phase themselves out, while other pieces in your wardrobe take on a starring role. We all know about wrap dresses and leggings, but here are the items that are really taking me through the summer comfortably while keeping me feeling like me.
Ann Taylor Loft, $29.99
¾ Sleeve Cardigan: These are essential. I own light knit cardigans in navy, grey, and cream, and carry one with me at all times, to put on whenever I’m feeling chilly…or a little too exposed (hello, new curves!).
An excellent bra or three: One that’s pretty, one that’s practical…and one to wear to bed (side-sleeping requires support). I’ve made do thus far with a sexy black bra with slender straps, a convertible nude bra that works under just about everything, and a cotton wrap-type bra for nighttime. Keep ‘em on the inexpensive side, though – because chances are you’ll need to size up a couple of times over the next few months.
J. Brand, $159
Low-rise shorts: Your legs will likely not change as much as the rest of your body, so show them off! If short shorts aren’t your thing, try mid-length or Bermuda styles and add a low heel or bare, strappy sandals. And seriously, the shorter that zipper is, the longer you’ll be able to wear your them, because low-rise pants fit snugly under your belly, rather than across it (just hook a rubber band through the buttonhole if they won’t close). Go for a fabric with a little stretch to them, and they’ll last even longer.
Forever 21, $19.80
Babydoll mini: You can find cheap versions of these everywhere; I’ve been buying them two at a time (one for now; one a size or two up for later). If you have trouble finding babydoll styles that aren’t too bare, just cinch a regular, loose-fitting tank dress under the bust with a rope-style belt. They can be dressed up or down, and can go to work with a cardigan or blazer, or out at night with an updo, a little extra jewelry, and metallic shoes.
Lavish by Heidi Klum, $79
Black tank dress: Perfectly stylish, appropriate in pretty much any situation (just add and subtract accessories as needed), and comfortable. A must no matter the season.
Printed scarf: Sometimes you just don’t want your tummy to be the first topic of conversation, and a big (but light – it’s summer!) printed scarf will disguise your happy news until you’re ready to share it…or at least, for the first few months. Then you’re on your own.
Maxi dress: The Holy Grail of maternity wear, these look good on everyone and make you look pulled-together with a bare minimum of effort – just go for a style that cinches under your chest, so you avoid the tent effect. Bonus: if, like me, you get sick of the maxi look after awhile, you can just hack off the hem and make it a mini (just cut the front slightly longer than the back so it hangs evenly over your tummy).
Flat metallic sandals: Dressier than your standard black flats, metallic strappies look polished during the day, and easily take you out at night if you’re not feeling the heels thing.
Dolman-sleeve flowy top: Chic, cozy, and easy to layer with a tank for a little extra coverage.
Betsey Johnson, $55
Accessories aplenty: Sunglasses and distracting shiny things are a tired and makeup-free pregnant lady’s best friends. A simple tee and leggings look instantly polished with the addition of some cat-eyes, a fantastic bag, and a few bangles.