Pregnancy Style

Discovering Your Pregnancy Style

Your pregnant body is on your mind, and its difficult even formulating an idea what your "new look," will be, because you know you'll be changing constantly. Where shall you begin? We recommend your very own clothes closet! Take an inventory of your entire wardrobe, and get in touch with the feelings you had about your style before you became pregnant. Did you wear fun-loving outfits, conservative looks, jeans and tee-shirts, or expensive designers? From here, identify all items that will provide some versatility for you during the first half of your pregnancy, like loose-fitting sweaters or blazers, skirts, tee-shirts and pants that have elastic in the waist or fabric. Stretchable fabrics will help to carry your existing wardrobe into your second trimester. Take a similar inventory of your accessories. Hats, scarves, bags, shawls, socks and jewelry can help convert the basics you've identified above into an expression of personal style. Belts are only going to work for the first 8-10 weeks, so plan accordingly.

Once you've completed the above, it's time to go shopping! We recommend visiting regular and maternity stores - whether specialty or part of a chain - to keep a feeling of variety and possibility alive. (You aren't in your 3rd Trimester yet, so have some fun!) Many regular outfits can become maternity outfits by jumping up a few sizes. As long as you stick to basics like solid-color tops, skirts and slacks, expensive items can be combined with things from your closet to create a variety of looks. Accessories will give you additional flair.

Pregnancy Lingerie

Basic undergarments make a significant difference in how you look and how you feel, and a well-crafted pregnancy bra may be the most important. Breasts enlarge quickly for many women, and you may need to change sizes many times during your pregnancy. Make sure you visit a lot of stores, so that you remember what shops to go back to when you're further along. A thicker bra with wide-set straps provides much-needed support while minimizing pressure on your shoulders. Your breasts can gain a total of five pounds during pregnancy, so the thicker the straps, the less your shoulders and upper back will bear. It is wise to select bras that have no seam in the cup-area, and are made from the smoothest, softest fabrics you can find. A comfortable bra like this may be less durable, so you may want hand-wash and air-dry to help it last 9-months. The heat of a machine dryer can quickly break down flexible material like elastic and spandex.

A pregnancy girdle is a must. We understand that wearing a girdle may have been unthinkable before, but a pregnancy girdle provides extra support to your belly and back, and also helps your clothes to fit better.

Important Note: A regular girdle - even in a larger size - is no good. Pregnancy girdles are specifically designed to provide support without unnecessary compression to the tummy-area. For minimal uplift just under the tummy, choose a bikini or bikini-brief style. For greater back and stomach support, choose a "full girdle that covers the entire front of your stomach, up to the waist.

You also may want to invest in a postpartum girdle for after your baby is born. These garments offer extra support under the stomach, while keeping waist compression to a minimum. Many also come with a snap closure on the crotch, allowing you to change a sanitary pad easily without having to pull the girdle down.

There is no special requirement for "Pregnancy Panties," so you may wish to simply buy a larger version of what you already wear. In fact, if those old bikinis are still comfortable, wear them! We don't recommend a thong during pregnancy, but we don't recommend your grandma's panties, either.

Vaginal discharge will increase as your pregnancy progresses, so choose fabrics that are easy to wash, quick to dry and do not stain easily. Be mindful of the fabric, and look for those which may hold up after repeated washings. Also, choose a panty style with substantial width in the crotch, in case you wish to wear a mini or maxi-pad during pregnancy.

Your Work Wardrobe

Depending on the confines of any particular company dress-code, finding the right clothes to suit your professional image can be frustrating. However, with just a little forethought and some extra shopping time, you can quickly and easily pull together a stylish and polished look. Begin by shopping with an open mind, and try to keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • You may feel extra large, thinking that full-cut tops and dresses will hide your size, but this is a mistake. Slim-cut with some shape to it presents a neat, pulled-together look that hugs your body without clinging. Any item with at least 5 percent Lycra (spandex) will not only fit better, but also be more comfortable and will probably last longer. If you wear pants, select a slightly flared leg to help balance your figure. Skirts should be long enough to allow you to feel comfortable sitting in direct view of your boss. If you have great legs, don't be afraid to show them off with a slim fitting knee-length skirt. (Sorry, no slits up the side or mini-skirts right now.)
  • Avoid loud prints, bright colors, and extremely tight clothes. Stick to solid colors with similar fabrics to get away with fewer pieces. Darker colors are more versatile, and they also detract from your growing size. Nothing is going to hide that you are pregnant, but you can keep from calling attention to yourself by choosing simple, basic pieces in black, navy, brown, camel, or gray. Use brightly-colored scarves, hats, shoes and jewelry to achieve the accentuation you're looking for.
  • A great jacket is always a great way to give a polished, corporate edge to any pregnancy outfit. It's perfectly okay to leave the bottom buttons open on a full-cut blazer to make room for your belly. One or two maternity jackets will be trendy and comfortable, as they are generally cut with a wider girth in an unconstructed style, to drape gracefully over your belly.
  • Neat, well-balanced shoulders can do miraculous things for your figure, particularly during pregnancy. Look for shoulder pads that are medium-sized with clean lines - either rounded or squared. They'll help your clothing fall more smoothly over your increasing bust size and give a less rumpled and more professional look to your blouses and jackets.
  • Choose shoes with at least a 1.5-inch heel height. This is actually better for your back than flats, and it looks better too!