No matter how fashion savvy or confident you feel about your clothes, something happens when you become pregnant and it feels as though you are in a whole new world, losing your previous sense of fashion and bewildered at what to buy. If you think about it, this is entirely reasonable. You are, after all, gaining a whole new body with new curves, a new bump and extra pounds appearing all over the place! When people come into my Rosie Pope Maternity stores the most common thing I hear is "I don't know what to buy." Well let me help. Here are some steps to follow when shopping for your maternity clothes.
- Start chanting the mantra: "Would I wear this before I got pregnant?"
By this I mean, look at the style, the prints, the fabric, and asses whether it is something you'd have been proud to wear pre-pregnancy. If the answer is "yes" then buy it. If the answer is "no" then don't. You are compromising, as many do with maternity wear, and this will only lead you to feel insecure about the way you look, which will affect how you feel.
- Maternity clothes are necessary for two reasons: The first is comfort. It's not good to restrict the growth of your growing bump and cause yourself great discomfort (that's right all of you trying to fasten those skinny jeans...I've been there). Second of all, maternity clothes can compliment your new shape; when you look good, you feel good, and feeling good is good for you and your baby.
- Don't buy everything all at once: Most of my clients have three main shopping trips during their pregnancy because they simply can't predict how much their body and their needs are going to change during their pregnancy. Once towards the end of the first trimester when their waist lines are starting to bulge but they don't need a whole new wardrobe, just a few basics including pants to be more comfortable and sometimes to conceal the pregnancy if they are not ready to announce. The second is in the second trimester (around the 6 month mark) when they really start to pop. This is also usually the most fun as you can really shop for closet essentials as well as your baby shower dress. The last shop usually comes towards the end of the third trimester when women are looking for comfort, styles that will also work for nursing and postpartum. Make sure to divide up your budget for these different trips.
- Remember no one style fits all:
It's important to try the many different styles in maternity clothes available to you, especially when it comes to pants. There are three main styles: Over the belly, belly band up to the belly button, and under the belly. Depending on how big your bump is will depend on which of these styles feels most comfortable to you. Try them on, make sure you try sitting down and walking around the store a little before you purchase.
- Versatility: You can get away with wearing the same dress multiple times during pregnancy, far more than we can when we are not pregnant. Just make sure the styles are versatile and can be changed with the addition of accessories, different shoes, or hair. I love a good "desk-to-dinner" dress or "play-date to party" that allows one dress to be warn at many places.
- Highlight your asset: Most pregnant women have one part of their body that they either love in a new way because its more voluptuous or love because they feel it hasn't changed that much. Choose your best asset, be it bump, breasts, derrière, legs, arms or collar bone, and make sure your maternity styles highlight them.
- Shop beyond the 9 months: as Kate Middleton so elegantly demonstrated that post baby bump does not disappear over night so make sure to have styles that you can wear after you've had the baby.
Most of all, try and have fun. Remember this body is not forever and while sometimes it may get the best of you, it is changing for a very important reason - your baby. So dress it with pride.