Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Fashionable Bump

Let's face it... everyone says pregnant women have this "glow" and are just sooo beautiful and perfect, but dressing a baby bump is really awkward. Don't get me wrong, this little tummy of mine gives me a smile every time I look down, but it's just the "finding clothes that actually fit right" part that is a challenge. Even some maternity clothes are infernally uncomfortable.

But, I refuse to wear sweatpants for 9 months, so instead I'm learning how to frugally and fashionably dress my (so far just a mini) baby bump.

I've definitely learned a few things even in just my few months of pregnancy, so here they are in no particular order. 

1. Remove clothes that don't fit from your closet. Right away, I decided to go through my closet and get rid of everything that didn't fit. I got tired of wading through my hefty wardrobe in order to find things that fit me and felt good. I figured, if it doesn't fit me now, what's the point of having it take up visual space and make it more difficult to find things that do fit?  The result was that I ended up with only 25% of my original wardrobe. Ouch. But, it's a lot easier to get dressed knowing that that 25% fits me well.

2. Shop for a few key maternity pieces. There's no reason to buy a huge new wardrobe of all maternity clothing (unless you have the moolah and the desire to do so, of course). I get sick of my clothes really easily, so I decided from the start to invest in mostly the basics. For me, that means buying maternity jeans and pants, and a few shirts, and then making do with the rest.

3. Make your wardrobe work for you!  It doesn't have to be labelled "maternity" in order for it to fit! I tried on all of my regular tops to find ones that were roomy enough and looked good. The key is to only keep back the ones that make you feel good. I did have a few tops that still fit, but just weren't flattering, so off to the storage bin they went. Also- I've been continuing to wear some of my regular pants with the help of a belly band and the good old hair-tie through the button-hole trick.

4. Cardigans, flyaway sweaters, and belts are your friend. Oh my goodness, I don't know what I would do without these 3 things. Thank goodness the open-sweater-with-belt look is so in style right now! It can elevate a plain t-shirt into an adorable outfit, or make a dress even cuter (and warmer).

5. Goodwill's Maternity section really sucks. Pre-baby-bump I had dreams of going thrifting and finding tons of adorable maternity clothes. Not so, unfortunately. I found that every GW I visited had such a small section of maternity-wear, and most of it was size 18 +. What I have found to be helpful instead is searching for flowy tops, and open sweaters and cardis. I was happy to purchase my jeans new anyways, but I have heard from friends that Turn-Style or other consignment-type shops usually have a wealth of gently-used maternity clothing.

6. Put your creativity/sewing skills to use! Ok, I know that not all of us like to sew, but for me this was a no-brainer. I love to hack my wardrobe to make it work for me, and even buy clothes that don't fit with the intention of taking them in. So when I found this tutorial for making maternity jeans out of a regular pair of jeans, I got super excited. I had a pair of jeans that had never fit me quite right, and were in fact waiting to go to GW. Instead, I pulled them out and tried my hand at converting them. It worked! They are super comfy (albeit a bit big right now) and were a cinch to make.

Since I can't (and frankly, don't want to) DIY everything, here's a few of the pieces I have invested in so far:

1. Old Navy tee I actually have a different color that's no longer in stock, but I love this tee. It fits so well with the side ruching and has plenty of room to grow!

 2. Smooth panel skinny jeans. I originally thought these would be the most comfortable, but it turns out I was wrong. They are comfy and they fit pretty well, but the panel is a little annoying. It gives you a bit of a line where the panel ends, plus they feel kind of restricting at times. However, I plan to wear the heck out of 'em and get my money's worth anyway!

3. Floral top This was a gift from my MIL- what a sweetheart! At first glance I didn't think this shirt would be a good purchase, but once I put it on I was sold. It is so flattering and comfortable. It will be perfect for the long Summer months! 

4. Low-rise boot-cut jeans I was surprised at how comfortable these are compared to the smooth panel jeans- wowza! They are so freeing, and give plenty of space for a growing belly. The only downside I've noticed is they tend to go down in the back a bit when you sit down, but with all of the long maternity shirts I don't think this will be much of a problem.

Here's a list of the other purchases I've made so far:
  • A pair of $15 black yoga pants from Target (SO comfy, and even though they aren't maternity, they fit like a dream).
  • A light-weight heather colored sweater on clearance from Liz Lange Maternity (Target)- seen in the photos above. 
  • 4 extra-long cami's from Forever 21. Again, they aren't maternity, but they are long enough to qualify! Plus, then are under $4 each. Score!
  • This skirt  from Target, it's super comfy and I can wear it even when I'm not pregnant. 
  • A beautiful maxi dress (from Old Navy) that will also be wearable post-pregnancy. 
Other than those items, I've been using only what I had on hand! I'm sure I will need more pieces as I get bigger, but for now I feel like my wardrobe is definitely satisfactory.

Soo. Now it's your turn- do you have any maternity-style secrets to share with us? I would love to hear any tips you may have, or let me know if you have a question that I didn't answer! Us mommas got to stick together. =)


  1. You look fantastic, my dear! I love how creative you're being and I can't believe you made your own maternity jeans!!

    If you catch them at the right time, GAP has some amazing maternity deals (according to my sister). There's an in-store maternity section at the back of the Baby GAP in Woodbury.

    1. Aw, thanks! haha, I can't believe it worked either... I was kind of expecting to have to throw them away! Ooh, Gap maternity, I haven't even looked there. I will definitely have to check that out.

  2. Love this post!! I'm learning that it's tough to see my regular clothes fitting differently so I will definitely be purging my closet like you did. I love gap maternity T's and tanks since I'm in workout gear most of my week. H&M mama jeans ROCK! I found a couple athletic companies that have long shirts that will work through my pregnancy and after... I'm excited about that! I discovered a couple cotten fold over skirts I have that I am planning to "wear the heck out of" with a maternity tee and jewelry, scarf, or jean jacket.

    1. Thanks Anna! Good- it really is nice to purge your closet and have only things that make you feel great. =) I love the "fold-over" styling of so many pants/skirts these days. It really works well for maternity! Thanks for the tips, I love hearing other people's suggestions too. =)

  3. Maybe I was just on your wavelength when I commented on your pin last night. ;)
    You look fantastic, as always! This is exactly the kind of blog post I look for when I'm pregnant and need of inspiration in the wardrobe. Great tips!

    1. You totally were! I went back and looked through her website too, she does have some great ideas. Thanks so much, you are too sweet!

  4. Your bump is adorable! So happy for you :)

    1. Thanks! We are super excited for the adventure of Parenting that lies ahead!

  5. This is so great of you to take the time to lay out all these tips! You brilliant thing you! And p.s. I LOVE that Target skirt. It's on my wish list!

  6. How cute are you? I love how you're dressing your little bump!

  7. Although I'm not expecting, I thoroughly enjoyed this post! Bookmarking it for the future :)

  8. I totally agree with you! I got some key pieces at The Gap and Motherhood store and then I shopped at regular stores I liked and made the clothes fit my belly...I also invested in those stretchy wrap bands that go around your belly and help your jeans stay up and not show off a bare belly!!! Fashion is very important to me...I think preggo moms can still be fashion savvy and creative! Kuddos!!!!



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