Trying to stay fashionable while gaining 30 lbs.

I discovered this blog, Pregnant Fashionista, a short while ago. Although I don't share the same fashion taste as the author (I have a feeling she doesn't work in a corporate/office-type environment that requires business wear), she does make a good point that it often seems like the people designing maternity clothes have never actually been pregnant themselves.

One thing I really hate about maternity clothes is that most of the tops and dresses have an empire waistline and full torso/skirt like this:

Of course this style is great for accommodating a growing belly but the problem is, from the side (as shown), a woman looks massively wide because of the fabric draped over the belly, and from the front, it looks like there is a flapping curtain hanging from below the bustline. In the worst case, it looks like the Michelin Man wearing a tent. In my first pregnancy, I hadn't yet figured this out so I bought a bunch of tops and dresses with an empire waist, only to feel awful and huge when I looked in the mirror.

The other thing I hate about maternity clothes is that the clothes usually come in either hideous "mumsy" prints (definitely not suitable for the office) or in plain black/white/grey. There's nothing approaching the range of colours, textures and patterns available in regular clothing.

In a serendipitous shopping moment during my first pregnancy, I picked up a regular (i.e. non-maternity) tunic top from H & M which had a wide band at the bottom. The body of the top was loose and made of stretchy material so it could accommodate the belly right through the entire pregnancy, but the band at the bottom kept the material from belling out.  This was when I had the "aha!" moment: the key to looking nice and not like a walking tent is to wear clothes that stay somewhat close to the body and have relatively sharp lines, i.e. no loose, flapping lengths of fabric.

For my second pregnancy, I headed back to H & M and was super happy to find that the fall collection has a ton of stuff that is easily adaptable for pregnant ladies. Longer length knit tops are in style - tunics and cardigans - which are perfect for fitting over a growing bump while still looking sharp.

Knit dresses are also big this season. I picked out a couple of knit dresses - bought one size larger than my normal size, so they are a bit looser through the bust and shoulders, but easily accommodate my 6+ months belly with plenty of room for the next few months. Post-partum, I hope to be able to wear the same outfits but cinched in with a belt.
With tights, sharp-looking boots and some nice accessories, I think these should carry me through the fall and early winter in relative style. Now to figure out the accessories...
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  1. Really, really great choices. I think you will look amazing for Fall - and 6 months already?!? Wow, time sure does fly by!


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