Maternity Stylings

Miroslava Duma did it just right.

Miroslava Duma did it just right.

Here’s the real deal: I have no interest in telling you how to dress while pregnant. If you’re comfortable, more power to you. Do I understand how Kim Kardashian teeters around in a high-waist leather skirt (seriously, those things aren’t even comfortable sans bebe)? Absolutely not. Do I fault her for wanting to dress in a way that makes her feel better? No way.

Every woman is different. Every body is different. However, there are a few tricks that I’ve picked up that work for me. Granted, I’ve never had a decolletage I couldn’t control.

1. When in doubt opt for black. I tried the whole white jean thing and I looked like a little dumpling. Black is slimming. Black is great. Black will always be in season.

2. Avoid high-priced maternity jeans. You are just going to grow out of them in two months. Unless you are somehow able to stick to the 25 pound weight gain (no thanks), you’re growing. Opt for a pair of cheaper jeans that are a size or two up. I thought that they would be baggy in the legs, but they aren’t. I’m in month 5 and I went from a size 0/2 to a size 4/6. So to start I opted for a pair slim black jeans that felt more like cotton, less like jean (aka stretchy).

3. Trying to hide the bump, makes you look like a blimp. It gets to a point where you have to ask yourself, if I wouldn’t wear it normally, why am I wearing it pregnant.

4. You would expect horizontal stripes to be your enemy, but they actually accentuate the bump in all the right places. The result: a cute little pop.

5. Keep it just above or below the knee. The bump raises fabric when you walk, and tugging at a fast-rising hemline is the last thing you want to think about. Long dresses are your best, best friend. As is longer in the back. Mullet-dressing is a blessing.

6. Belt it above the bump. Seems counter intuitive. Do it anyway.

7. Save the heels for nights when you know you get to sit down. I went to a dinner the other night, in heels. Everyone marveled. But it’s a little cheat that allows you to feel good about yourself (until your feet swell). Sure, I was seated, but it made me feel like a lady when most nights I’m in Berkeley sweats feeling like anything but.

8. Stop comparing yourself to other pregnant women. I am perpetrator numero uno here, but on days when I simply accept that this is my body, and my body is doing exactly what it needs to do for my baby, I am a whole lot healthier and happier. Is this really fashion advice…no, but what’s good for the head is good for your confidence. And confidence makes any outfit.

9. Make like a chipmunk and store what won’t fit. I know it’s difficult to bid adieu to loved items in your closet, but there is no use gazing longingly into a closet of unwearable items. I splurged on the most beautiful Isabel Marant pantsuit right before baby, and I fear I will never be able to wear it. Looking at it every day when I went to get dressed, wasn’t doing me any favors. Most likely the clean out  will happen in rounds. I just completed round 2, and not only do I feel like I got spring cleaning done early, but I’ve also gotten some use out of long forgotten items.

10. Let the bump do the talking. These 9 months are not going to be your most fashion adventurous, and chances are you will wind up wearing the same outfit again and again. Neutral colors. Think, French dressing. Jeans, shirt, blazer and you can’t go wrong.

Once last word to the wise. Don’t compare yourself to the girls they use in maternity catalogs. Almost all of the time, it’s a 25-year old model, sporting a fake bump, with chicken cutlets for cleavage. There is a reason her arms and legs are still pin-thin.–Arianna Schioldager

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