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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Monday, July 12, 2010

Favorite Wardrobe Items for Early Pregnancy

As my current pregnancy approaches 4 months, I am again faced with the reality of growing out of my favorite 'retro inspired' clothing items. Gone is the possibility of wearing waist cinching dresses or tailored blouses. The most frustrating thing about this particular stage of pregnancy is that so called 'maternity' pieces are still too full and awkward for anything but 'home' use. So following are a few of my current favorite fashion items, the ones that still slip easily over that growing 'bump' without completely abandoning my style tastes.

1. 'Trixie Top' from Heartbreaker Fashion:
Yes, I've mentioned this indispensable fashion item before, but I never anticipated wearing it during pregnancy. The length is ideal for those early months because it covers the belly and doesn't ride up. Plus, the fabric is sturdy and doesn't lose its shape, even after wearing it all day. I wouldn't risk stretching the garment by trying to wear it with TOO large a belly, but as of now it is still working beautifully with skirts or pants. My favorite non-maternity top is now my favorite top to wear during early pregnancy!

Top from Modcloth

2. Baby Doll/Tunic Tops: Even if the 'blousy' look isn't necessarily something that you wear in your day to day life, pregnancy can help you get motivated to try something new. I don't normally wear many baby doll tops, but during the first trimester (and on into the 2nd), they can be a life-saver. Not only are you investing in items that are suitable for wearing after the baby is born (tunics especially are ideal for the first few months post-partum), but they are usually cut to fit you well at the chest and shoulders, thus creating a more flattering image than if you opted to wear a larger size or a maternity piece. I have several 'tunic' style tops that I bought when I was losing my post-pregnancy tummy last time, and they have worked marvelously for these early months as well. It's a great way to maintain a feminine retro style without showing off your waist.

It's also a good idea to purchase items that show off your finer points, at this time. If your bust is growing, your decollete' may be a bit plumper and prettier than before. Scooped necklines will help boost your confidence. If your arms are one of your best features, sleeveless items will draw attention to them.

3.Skirts made of stretchy material or featuring a wide-panel waistband: Even in my regular wardrobe, I have begun to abandon jeans and pants for skirts. I find them easier to wear than I initially thought, and I enjoy wearing them on all occasions. There are a few skirts already in my wardrobe that are still suitable for early pregnancy, due to the nature of the fabric or the waistband. The skirt pictured here from Daddy O's, is a good example. The wide cut of the waistband fits around the hips and can be moved 'up' as pregnancy progresses, especially if there is a little stretch in the fabric (it will sit a little shorter but still be flirty and fun). When the zipper no longer works out, you can extend the life of items like this with a maternity band, like the Bella Band (featured below).

4. Maternity Pencil Skirts: A good quality maternity pencil skirt will serve you well! Ones made like the one above (from Pea in the Pod) are a little pricier than those from lower end maternity shops, but are well worth the money. They feature a straight, banded waist that is elasticized in the back. Not only do these pieces look great for evening or the workplace, but they will easily extend to your 'post pregnancy' wardrobe since they don't include an awkward stretch panel. The downside to these skirts is that they usually can't be worn to the end of pregnancy, when the belly outgrows the elastic, but they are still a worthy investment. I have one of these (in black) and several inexpensive a-line skirts with a full front panel for late pregnancy.

5. The Bella Band: Probably the item I would recommend above anything else, the 'Bella Band' is absolutely a necessity for early pregnancy! It extends the life of anything with a zipper (or other closure). Due to this little item, my jeans can be worn up to six months into my pregnancy and again the day after birth. It also provides great support to the mid-section and a smooth flattering line beneath knit clothing. After the baby comes, use it to hold up pants or skirts that are still a LONG way from buttoning or to simply give your waistline a more 'svelte' appearance.

Pregnancy can be a time that you look back on with pride, instead of a time that you ban all cameras from your presence. Remember, the more attention you pay to maintaining your pre-pregnancy style, the more likely you will be to stay motivated, healthy, and active. Your confidence will also carry over into motherhood and you will feel better equipped to handle the challenges ahead!


NancyPower said...

I am into full maternity clothing now, but I really hated that in between stage. You have really mentioned some great options, especially for those of us in really hot climates right now!

luckydame said...


I lived in baby dolls and pencil skirts with my 2 pregnancies. Plus a cute pair of platforms always made me feel cute....

Bella Band was a lifesaver! It's really nice after pregnancy for when you are in-between sizes.

Polish'd Cindy said...

The Bella Band is genious! I sure wish they had that a few years ago when I was having babies. I am sure you will be adorable in the upcoming months!

Andrea said...

I thank you greatly for this post! When you're used to dressing retro with the cinched waists, pregnancy makes for such a big change in the way that you dress, I've been struggling to find things that I like. This definitely gives me some ideas!

casey said...

I'm so glad you posted this! Even though we're still a couple years away from having kids (at least, trying on purpose ;) rofl.), I have to admit the one thing that has freaked me out is maternity wear. I partly plan to stock my wardrobe with chic maternity pencil skirts and 30s style smocks in fun prints, but I don't want to loose my style completely because of the growing belly. ;) hehe! So I'm really grateful that you posted these suggestions--I'm filing them away for in the future. ;)

♥ Casey
blog | elegantmusings.com

Caroline said...

Oh congrats I didn't know you were preggers! I'm 21 weeks now and have the same issue with not fitting in my clothes or maternity stuff yet. The bella band has been my savior for the last 3 months! I can fit into all of my normal work pants and jeans :) Thanks for the cute ideas!

Justice Pirate said...

Congratulations on your pregnancy!
Hope all goes well! I lived out of wrap skirts in my pregnancies. It was the only way I could survive.

Temperamental Broad said...

Congrats on the new one on the way!!

Erin said...

Congrats on the baby!!!!! I am so far out of the loop :D My last pregnancy I didn't wear a stitch of maternity clothing, as everything I wore (all from my regular closet) had elastic waists and full skirts. If you're handy with a needle and thread, you can make anything you like to fit just the way you want it, without the fits/details/etc. you don't want. IMO, it's the absolute BEST way to go!

Lisa said...

Thanks for the great suggestions. I too am in my 4th month and in that awkward "in-between" stage, it's nice to see some stylish suggestions.

Anastasia said...

Congratulations! I loved your youtube video about this when I was pregnant and will remember it for next time too. if there is a next time ;)

Rachelle said...

Congrats on your pregnancy! and thanks for posting this. I might give babydoll shirts a try for work. I am at 4 months now and modern maternity clothes are for the most part, icky.

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