Week 32 is here and with it the slow waddle befitting one whose rotund nature is weighing heavily on their self esteem. In need of motivation, I started looking back through old pictures on my phone and came across a few shots of me dressing a belly that’s clearly got a plan of its own.
If you’re busy growing a small person of your own, I’m sure you can relate. It’s difficult to feel good about yourself when you barely recognize that person in the mirror. But take comfort in the fact that everyone else will tell you you’re glowing even if you’re sure that’s just a thin sheen of sweat breaking across your forehead from going up what used to be a short flight of stairs. Take heart. It’s only temporary. And your handbags will still fit, no matter what kinds of shenanigans your belly gets into.
Below, I give you four easy tips to dressing that belly that I discovered over the past months after making a serious effort to avoid the maternity shops. So far, mission accomplished. How’d I do? Any tips of your own you can share with us first-timers?
1) BELT THAT BUMP
Going through the first few months was tricky because all my regular clothes still fit but just made me look overweight, not pregnant. I quickly discovered that belting the baby bump would bring attention to my growing belly and clear up for everyone the fact that I was creating a person in there and not just really enjoying those Buffalo wings at Sports Grill (though I really DID enjoy all those Buffalo wings at Sports Grill…). To clear up any confusion and proudly show off your new curves, grab a skinny belt and wear it just above the belly. Something with embellishments adds a really nice touch and makes you look pulled together. Belted dresses or wrap dresses also grow with you.
2) LOOK FOR LARGER SIZES
I was hesitant to dive into the maternity shops when I knew this would only be temporary. The truth is, you can easily fit into larger sizes and avoid the pregnancy tent phenomenon for quite a long while if you shop for larger sizes. Knowing I could find inexpensive pieces and still be on trend, I hit up shops like Forever 21 for loose-fitting items. I also shopped my own closet for comfortable stretch fabrics (maxi skirts, soft tees) that have worked for me even until today, at week 32. Maxi dresses with empire waists have also been an essential wardrobe stable that need not come from a maternity store.
3) THE POWER OF BLACK TIGHTS
When my jeans and pants stopped fitting against all better efforts, I discovered my new wardrobe staple: black tights. Sure, there are belly bands and such to make your existing pieces work. But the truth is that I didn’t want to bother with any of it. I wanted to pull something on and be done with it. So came the black tight uniform I’ve been shamelessly reinventing for several months now. Dress up or down by adding a basic tee or sweater, or even your husband’s favorite shirt. The very best part is that they’re fairly cheap and easy to replace if you outgrow them (I shopped Old Navy and Target).
4) ACCESSORIES ALWAYS FIT
When all else fails, the great thing is that no matter how big your baby bump gets, accessories will ALWAYS fit. Pile on your favorites or wear one standout piece. The choice is yours. But a little glitz always makes me feel much better when my clothing options begin to look like glorified tents. Remember it’s just temporary and you’ll be looking like yourself in a short while. I hear running after a little one just makes the pounds melt off.
Pink ASOS Clutch, Pave Link Bracelet from Brighthouse Baubles, Lucite Bangles from H&M, Studded Black Clutch from Rebi’s Closet, Gold & Wood Bead Bracelet from Stephanie Lian’s Closet, Gold Link & Pave Link Bracelet from Gigglosophy, Graphic Print Sweater from Forever 21, Belted Shirt Dress from Target