During my first pregnancy—6 years ago and pre-blogging—I really didn’t care much about my maternity style. But my current pregnancy is a whole different story, because I wanted it to be. And while I have no problem with women taking the casual approach to pregnancy, I personally feel so much better getting dressed up if I’m going out. I still totally go very casual on days when I’m just working at home, but when I’m out and about I am all for looking nice. It’s created a good balance for me.
As fashion blogger I’ve thought wayyyy to long and hard about my maternity style, and then tried to see what is most flattering for me. After all, looking at pics of myself on Instagram really is a hard look at what’s workin’ and what ain’t! In a world where celebs and fashion bloggers alike show off teeny, tiny baby bumps and still skinny and toned limbs, it’s stressful trying to look my best and cover up those pounds, which I’ll admit I feel extra pressure to do—buttttt not enough pressure to work out. And although I’m tall so I have more places to spread the weight out, I’m definitely dressing strategically to make the most of what I have and hide areas that aren’t doing so well. So here’s what I’ve learned into the start of my 3rd trimester after tons of pics, many returned packages and 20lbs gained…
9 Tips for Fabulous Maternity Style
1. A ruched jersey dress is a reliable, basic bestie
To the modern mom, maternity fashion isn’t all about baby doll dresses and loose fitting clothing. I know it’s still a bit “maternity” looking, but if you’re uncomfortable with your body AT ALL a dress in a thick fabric with rouching is really very flattering, whether it’s labeled “maternity” or not. It’s worth a splurge if you want a go-to dress or tank that you feel nipped and tucked in. Brands like Isabella Oliver have items with thick fabric built in bras that are a total godsend when you’re really uncomfortable. If you feel if your dress is a bit boring, spice it up with sexy shoes (yes, I’m still killing myself in heels), a great purse or accessories.
2. Order an item online that ends up showing every bump, not just THE bump? Call on Mama Spanx to smooth out your silhouette.
I’ve been buying a lot of non-maternity clothes in bigger sizes from my favorite retailers because I can’t bear to totally miss out on this year’s trends and have a mild complex about shopping in “that” department sometimes. If a dress shows up made of thin fabric it can show off every…single…bump. In addition to the fact after 6 months sans a real workout my booty definitely has more of a bounce to it if left unsupported. So, I’ve been using maternity or “Mama” Spanx to remedy that situation. The pic on the left is with Mama Spanx and the one on the right is without.
Left: Bobi Ruched Jersey Dress (still available in red or black) // Free People Ruched Duster Pink Duster Coat Sold Out Shop Similar Here
Right: Blq Basic Racer Dress (Sold Out) Shop Similar // Missguided Sleeveless Trench (Sold Out) Shop Similar //Fringe Boot (Sold Out) Shop Similar // Porsche Design 8478 69mm Sunglasses
3. Stay away from cap sleeve or traditional short sleeve dresses or tops
To me, this is a good rule in general. If your arms are growing or less toned than you are used to, a short or cap sleeve will only make them look bigger—even showing them off in a tank is more flattering. Opt for a half sleeve (or midway between short and half) or a tank if you need something for warmer weather. If you’ve been hitting the gym do as you please, but I’ll be sticking to these!
4. Trying to hide your bump? Wear black. Duh.
I’m not one of those people who hasn’t gained any weight, I’m up 20 lbs and am about to go into third trimester, and honestly I just want to hide it everywhere but my stomach sometimes! When I wear black, if you look at me straight on in pics, I look months different in terms of how far along I am relative to when I wear a print. Example: The picture on the left was taken weeks before the picture on the right. So if you want to feel thin, black really does do the trick while your preggo too.
Left: Missguided High Neck Short Sleeve Dress // Free People Duster Coat Sold Out (Similar Here) // Chanel Bag (email Valerie@luxurygaragesale.com and mention Big Blonde Hair for the scoop) // Club Nico Mona Lace Up Sandal
5. A cute duster coat or sleeveless trench is a fab bump buddy
I think it’s pretty evident from the pictures above that I’m obsessed with cute, light weight, coats and vests this pregnancy. Thanks to the maternity style of Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigen, I learned that these pieces create a silhouette by hiding part of your hips and thighs and covering your booty (if you’re like me and it’s getting wider by the minute). My best example is the blue dress below that is adorable, but since it’s non-maternity I wasn’t comfortable wearing without some coverage. You can shop some of my other fave dusters and coats above.
6. Looser is not always better
I do understand not everyone is comfortable with this, but if you are someone who dresses in fitted clothes pre-pregnancy, don’t be afraid to carry on as usual. Frankly, I don’t have any example pics in loose items because every one I’ve tried on makes me look 5 times bigger than I am. If you are comfortable with anything slightly fitted—even if it’s just fitted on the top and loose on the bottom or vice versa—chances are it will make you look better. Just make sure it fits, there’s a different between “too tight” and “fitted”.
7. Put a Tunic on and Belt it
If you’re thighs or butt are getting bigger and you don’t like it, get a tunic. Something that hits mid thigh at least, and if it’s longer go ahead and belt it above your bump to give it, and you, some shape. In fact, make a fab belt your maternity gift to yourself. Sure I know preggos who are still wearing the same pant size and can get away with short tops, or even tucking in, but for me I need a little longer to be comfortable so this has been great. Just make sure the tunic hits BELOW the part where your thighs/hips are widest across, because if it hits right at that point it will make you look wider.
Missguided Snake Print Shirt Dress // Maternity Ridley Black Skinny Jeans // Bebe Metal Belt (Sold Out) Shop Similar Here // Marcia Moran Boho Darling Earrings // Leather and Suede Fringe Boots (Sold Out) Shop Similar Here // Floppy Hat (Sold Out) Shop Similar Here
8. Don’t spend a fortune on maternity jeans
During my first pregnancy I had my go-to J Brands, that I think I spent around $200 and wore for about 4mths. Soon after the cut of pant went out of style. Now because of denim brands like The Urban Ma and retailers like ASOS andTopshop, you can get the trendiest denim for well under $100 and as low as $30. Here are some options I love (3 of which I own):
9. When you’ve got a bump, short isn’t sexy, but some skin can be
I recently made a mistake where I wore a dress that looked way too short, but I didn’t know it til I saw the photos. I mean, I’m pretty sure the baby could have popped an arm out and waved. So if you want to be a little sexy, go for a dress with some strategically placed sheerness (ala Kim Kardashian) OR with some cutouts that aren’t over the top. (Left: Sexy cutouts Right: Too much skin for a preggo)
Please feel free to comment with questions on style, sizing, retailers mentioned or anything else below!