the fashionable bump.

taken at 26 weeks 3 days.

Recently I was asked to be an expert on the topic of maternity fashion for a UK fashion blog (I’ll link when the piece is live), and it reminded me: I haven’t really spoken a lot about maternity fashion on my own blog!  When I first got pregnant I fully intended to write here and there about maternity related things but you know how it goes…

So I thought I’d write about a few things that I’ve learnt in the past few months, starting with this:

You don’t have to lose any sense of style when you get pregnant.  Seriously…when I first stepped into a maternity shop I was so…bored (and not to mention overwhelmed by how expensive it was!) From what I can surmise, most of the people who design maternity clothes think that pregnant people like plain tank-tops, boring pants and wrap dresses (hey, nothing wrong with a wrap dress…but some variety please?) I thought about continuing dressing in vintage, but unfortunately vintage maternity wear is either: A) impossible to find or B) really. weird. (no muumuu’s thanks.)  So what’s a girl to do?

Be picky.  Don’t pay $50 for that “maternity” top…especially if it’s not really your taste.  A lot of my tops actually still fit me (albeit a little differently. eg: Today I’m wearing a peasant blouse tied above my belly).  I was a little surprised at this and thought that I would inevitably have to pay the $50 for a boring maternity blouse but it seems my cheapness has paid off. :)

There are a few things that you will likely need from the maternity shops, but stay with the very basics.  I ended up buying a pair of maternity jeans (I altered them, because all they had were wide legged jeans and I didn’t like that) and I found some black skinny maternity jeans at the thrift store that will be great when the weather cools down a bit (PS: thrift stores usually have tiny maternity sections, but every now and then there’s some gold in there).  I’ve also found that maternity tights/leggings are fabulous (and I may just wear them outside of pregnancy too.)

Be creative.  I loved this tutorial from Cotton and Curls for making a maternity top out of an old mens t-shirt. I ended up making a few of these and they’ve been so great for me.  I have an extra long torso, so add a baby bump and it can be tricky to find tops that are long enough.  If you know how to make a simple seam on a sewing machine, then this will take you under 15 minutes for one top.  I’ve also made a few dresses out of stretchy jersey cotton.  It’s totally forgiving and easy to work with.  Plus, many of the things that I made I can wear outside of pregnancy.  If you need some inspiration, again check out Cotton and Curls maternity posts.  She’s got a ton of tutorials.

Be versatile.   A lot of the big pregnancy websites will have you believe that at some point in the pregnancy you are going to have to go out and shop for a whole new wardrobe.  While that may sound nice to some, it’s generally impossible for most of us.  When I was about 12 weeks pregnant and just starting to show a teensy bit I went though my closet and tried to figure out what was going to work for me in the next few months.  I packed and stored stuff that would be impossible to fit in (as it would just be depressing to look at) and kept out what I thought would work.  A lot of my full skirts still fit, they just have to sit higher (see the above picture).  Button up tops get tied above my belly (don’t worry, I wear a tank top underneath)  Stretchy skirts are awesome and maxi dresses have become my new best friend.  The clothes that I have bought this year I’ve made sure that I can wear when I’m done being pregnant.  Nothing bothers me more than buying something that you can only wear for a little while.

In the end I feel like I’ve probably spent less on clothes this year than previous years.  That’s pretty much due to me being stubborn and not willing to give up some of my favourite clothes.  So fear not fellow pregnant ladies!  Maternity style doesn’t have to be lame.

PS:  A little birdy told me that on Little Black Dress (the fashion website I was asked to speak for) is now launching some affordable maternity party-wear.  I’ve peaked at some of them and they are fabulous!  A far cry from the formal maternity wear offered at Thyme or Motherhood.

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