What do I wear today?
This is the question every woman asks herself, no matter the age, lifestyle or where she lives. When you are conditioned from the early childhood to the idea of always being perfect, always looking nice and making sure everyone around you is happy - choosing a daily outfit turns into a burdensome social obligation. And sadly, when you become pregnant, these obligations don’t disappear, if anything, they become even more difficult to comply with.
According to a social researcher Brene Brown, there are the two things that women feel shameful about - the body image and motherhood. Women are constantly judged based on their appearance and their ability to be a good mother, whether you are already a mother or a potential mother. How does it affect women? It binds them to unachievable standards of perfection.
So whenever you have to make decisions about your pregnancy wardrobe - stay true to yourself. You can be comfy in sweatpants, or you can spend 9 exciting months in the state of fashion obsession. No matter what path you choose, be confident, own it and make your maternity work for you, not for others.
Here are some tips to help you on your self-discovery fashion journey:
Keep your style intact
When you are pregnant, it is tempting to give up your personal style and wear what everyone else is wearing.
However, all you need to do is to adapt your current wardrobe. Your style is a part of you and pregnancy is no obstacle to feeling unique and creative. There is now a wide variety of choice in specialist maternity stores; you can also adapt pieces from regular non-maternity fashion stores.
If you love skinny jeans, pencil skirts, fitted tees and sweaters, and the streamlined, sexy fitted look, then there is no better time to embrace it. You will love this look even more because now you can enjoy your gorgeous bump silhouette without fretting about the love handles! Think of stretchy maternity jeans and an oversized T-shirt or a super stretchy body-con tee - a classic look, that can make you look stylish no matter the size.
Create a balance between comfort and style
For the first half of pregnancy you can stretch your existing wardrobe, but as soon as the second trimester arrives you will face tough choices. Normal clothing, particularly your bras and bottoms, just do not fit woman’s pregnant body.
Say no to any clothes that put pressure on your stomach and create discomfort. Instead, opt for pants with elasticized waistbands, breezy tops, and soft shirts. Maternity pants are specially designed with measurements that will accommodate and fit the curve of a growing belly line and are constructed with waistbands that are flexible. Throw in a few pieces of clothes for maternity and mix and match them with your existing wardrobe to create your own unique maternity wardrobe that will be as equally stylish as it's comfortable for you and the baby.
Embrace your feminine side with gorgeous dresses
What a better time to wear dresses if not during pregnancy. Pregnancy dresses are so comfortable that you will be wondering if you ever want to go back to more casual pants and T-shirts. When you have to run errands or go to work, dresses provide an easy and quick style fix - you can just throw them on and look fabulous no matter the time of the day.
There is no lack of dress selections to pick from. Consider the silhouette - fitted body-con, fit-and-flare, A-line and babydoll or wrap? Consider the style, length, and fabrication - short dresses crafted in cotton and linen for the summer? A maxi dress in silk and lace for special occasions? Or knitted woolen long sleeved dresses that would work for fall and winter?
The advantage of having a range of accessories is undeniable. Firstly, you won’t have to think about what to do with accessories for after the pregnancy, and secondly, accessories take away attention from the clothes and make the whole outfit more consistent. Go for signature necklaces and shiny earrings, and gather admiring looks from strangers over your stacked hippie bracelets and rings.
The right accessories will let you transform your usual outfits and create a variety in your wardrobe. They will also allow you to save money because you can wear the same dress with accessories and it will always look different.
If you are worried about utility you can look at maternity accessories such as nursing shawls and belly binders that do not fall into the fashion category but ensure you carry your baby with ease.
Invest in a good pair of jeans
Jeans, just like dresses, are a staple wardrobe piece that can make any outfit look fantastic. If you have to splurge on one piece of pregnancy clothes it will undoubtedly be maternity jeans.
Maternity jeans come in all shape and size, with or without an elastic waistband, skinny, straight or flare. One thing for certain - a pair of maternity jeans can grow with your belly and serve you well even after the pregnancy.
During the first trimester, you will still feel comfortable in low waisted jeans, but the best and the universal option is to buy jeans with a special elastic band that will support your growing belly. The wide elastic band will not only reduce the pressure on the belly but will also provide additional support that so many future moms need.
Maternity jeans and bottoms easily transform into a normal wear after the pregnancy. Just fold the elastic band and you will have an extremely comfortable pair of jeans that you can wear to work or family gatherings.
Get the best support with the right underwear
Your bump is not the only part of your body that will be growing during pregnancy. You will notice positive changes in your cleavage, but while for some women this brings a source of happiness, for others it is a reminder how painful carrying so much weight can be.
Whether you were more like Keira Knightly before pregnancy or Kim Kardashian - you need to make sure you remain supported. Don’t make a mistake of wearing a regular bra of a larger size - they simply don’t provide the support you need and the underwires that usually accompany those bras can restrict the growth of breast tissue.
Over the years, underwear bras evolved from clumsy and unsexy to super comfortable and incredibly flattering. They are made of such a comfy material, that you will remember the soothing feeling of comfort and miss wearing them long after the pregnancy.
Towards the end of your pregnancy, you might also consider nursing bras and breastfeeding clothes. During last trimester your breasts are getting ready to producing milk and they can grow daily. Caring for the little ones is a breeze in the nursing bras and breastfeeding tops and nightwear because they have detachable straps that provide easy opening.
Be different, love your body and don’t be afraid of change
Lastly, giving birth is the most natural thing that a woman can do and this is the time of your life that is full of excitement, happiness, and love. Sometimes, it can be hard to let go of negative thinking, so a lot of women start hating on their changing bodies and get nervous about how they look once their regular clothes stop fitting. They start wearing baggy clothes, trying to do everything to hide the body changes. Don’t fall into this trap.
Embrace your bump and choose fitted dresses, pants and shirts, because there is nothing more beautiful than a pregnant woman. You possess a soft mystery and a divine glow, that enchants and fascinates people. So stop worrying, love your body unconditionally, choose good maternity clothes and show off your perfect sense of style to the world.