Women lose many things to their growing bellies; sleep, muscle tone, the ability to see their feet. But increasingly they are less inclined to forfeit their fashion sense to their bumps.
I can remember clearly that getting clothes to fit me while I was pregnant was an issue. The first time around, I had this huge T-shirt someone had given me, and I had not known what to do with it. Well, it came in handy when I was pregnant. It covered a multitude of sins, and was super comfy too.
I lived in T-shirts and loose fitting skirts for most of that pregnancy, and I was fine. By the second pregnancy, I was having none of that. I wore shorts, jeans and long flowing tops all the time. Gowns were not welcome, even though they might have been more comfortable, but I was too hot. I still cannot understand the reason for the perpetual heat I felt.
I had tried bump-hugging tops, and my mom had nearly had a heart attack when she saw me in one of them. She said I was flaunting the entire shape of my bump and who knew what was in the minds of other people! “When you are pregnant, you don’t go about, showing off your bump in tight fitting clothes”, were her words. I agreed to stop, just so she could stop bugging me, and she was gathering support for this cause, in the person of my husband. So, it became a case of fitted jeans under flowing tops. No big deal.
However, three years later, take a look around these days and you will find pregnant moms who are so stylish, they make you want to rock a bump, just to get the fitting they had in that dress. Even some moms in our community made, and make, pregnancy a stylish experience. One account I follow on Instagram is dedicated to pregnancy fashion. The pictures they put up will make you drool, I tell you. And guess what their bio says; The Ultimate Maternity directory – Because the hardest thing to find during pregnancy, should be your feet, (this is so true) not what to wear.
While your normal clothes can see you through the first few weeks of your pregnancy, as soon as the bump decides to show face, it can become a struggle to find something to wear. Here are few tried and tested tips from moms who have been, and are going, down that route. Enjoy:
Stick to your Pre-pregnancy style
Sticking with what’s familiar helps a lot as you are able to determine if you really need to splurge on a new maternity wardrobe, or just take an inventory of your existing wardrobe, looking for all things empire waist, peplum, A-line and flowing.
That was the trick Esther, a two-time mom, used to get her through the nine month journey. She started wearing clothes from her wardrobe, but as the weeks went by, it became difficult, as her bump refused to hide, but she wasn’t keen on getting new clothes, that she would only wear for a few months, and not be able to wear again.
By the time, she was seven months old, she was even more disinclined to go shopping, and started looking for the treasures in her wardrobe…and she found plenty. Apart from camisoles and stretchy jeans, she conveniently said she did not buy anything new for bump.
Make it stretchy
I see pregnant moms wearing form-fitting tops, tunics and it’s oh so lovely, I wish I had. One of those moms is a friend I made during my service year. She is in her third trimester, but she makes you want to be pregnant, thanks to her fashion sense. None of those flowing gowns for her. She even wears heels. Right now, her wardrobe is filled with lots of stretchy clothes, which is where lycra material comes into play. While other textures might make you look bigger while pregnant, lycra has that right balance that will show off your shape in a good way.
More so, pregnant women are infamously restless – they want to sit, then they want to lie down, and then want to sit with their left leg propped up on the couch. It can get very difficult for them to find a comfortable position, and the last thing they need is for their maternity clothing to get in the way of their desired position. Lycra, and other stretchy fabrics, help a lot in this regard.
Leggings are the most popular maternity wardrobe staple. Hence, mostly breathable stretchy material is used. It not only adapts comfortably with the growing body, but enables expectant moms to heed to their restlessness easily.
3. Denim is hot on the maternity list
Even if, like me, you hate ruched seams and empire waists, because of its girly-girly feel, allow yourself to explore maternity denim. Available in a variety of washes and fits, you should be able to approximate your favourite pair of non-maternity jeans. A classic pair of denim maternity jeans is a necessity when pregnant.
Still talking denim, have you seen the denim gowns around these days? Some are long, and some are short, and they fit all body types, so even after pregnancy, you can still rock your denim.
The best of both worlds – Shirt Dresses
The shirtdress trend seems tailor-made for moms-to-be. It is just about the most versatile thing in Laura’s wardrobe, who is a first time mom, and had bought one such shirt dress, long before she got pregnant.
The first time she wore it during her pregnancy, she fell in love with it and went online to buy more, in different colours. The best part was all she needed to make it appropriate for her work place was to throw on a jacket and she was set for work. Or dress it down for the weekend by wearing it with her favourite pair of heels and she was ready to rock the town with her husband.
Those shirt dresses have even saved her, on an occasion she needed to attend a formal dinner with her boss. Those are the only things she has splurged on with this pregnancy, she says.
Those are voices from women in the throes of pregnancy, and how they have managed to stay fashionable, while pregnant.
Enjoy your 9 month journey in style!
Oluwakemi is a member of The Fertile Chick family, and she is a writer, dreamer and mother of two sets of twins. She is passionate about issues that concern women, and does not shy away from airing her views. And words are her weapon of choice! She is reachable on her handle @oluwakemine
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