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  • Maternity Dresses 101: A Guide to Everything Pregnancy Wear

    There is a lot of pressure for women during pregnancy to look and feel good. Expecting women are supposed to have that “pregnancy glow” wherein women suddenly look refreshed, younger, more radiant and irresistibly beautiful.

    While pregnancy glow can be true at times and for some people, but beautiful is the last thing most women feel like especially later in the pregnancy. In fact, many women feel unattractive during those three trimesters of pregnancy. Most feel huge, bloated and swollen in all the wrong places.

    Because of the many changes in a woman’s body (not only in the belly area) many clothes that feel right for them no longer fit which adds to the disappointment and even despair.

     

    Maternity dresses: the key to feeling good in your pregnant body!

    There’s nothing much one can do with the body they have during pregnancy. Dieting without the approval of an OB-Gyn is highly unrecommended because of the effects it may have on the growth of the baby. Sometimes too, despite proper exercise and eating just right, pregnancy weight can translate in places that are least desirable such as in the arms, thighs and ankle areas.

    The only way to go around pregnancy is acceptance: to be able to feel good and happy during those nine months. It is essential to find a way to feel attractive or at the least bit, put together enough not to break down in misery.

    Depression during and after pregnancy is real. In fact, according to womenshealth.gov “About 13 percent of pregnant women and new mothers have depression.”

    While it is true that dressing up can be very hard when pregnant especially when all your favorite clothes do not fit anymore. Plus, there are only a number of ways you can sport your significant other’s oversized clothes to fit yours-- especially if you go to work.

    While it is indeed possible to go through the entire pregnancy with just regular clothes, maternity clothes still make pregnancy a more pleasant experience. Maternity dresses, for instance offer style, functionality and fits as if it was tailored especially for you.

    Indeed, maternity dresses can be expensive at times but if you do it right, the few extra bucks you shell out will be well worth it. Inexpensive maternity dresses and multi-purpose pieces are the way to go if you are on a budget. You can read this article for some tips in saving money on maternity clothes.

     

    What is a maternity dress?

    Collins Dictionary very simply puts that a maternity dress is “a dress worn by a pregnant woman and which is designed to allow for the changes in body size which take place during pregnancy.”

    The second portion of the definition, “designed to allow for the changes in body size” is what makes pregnancy clothing, not just dresses, different from regular clothes. They have been tailored keeping in mind that a woman’s body especially the belly changes all throughout the pregnancy. This is the most important quality a piece of clothing has especially when your body is changing in size and shape almost by the week. That, too, is the reason maternity dresses is worth the investment. 

    Now that does not mean that regular clothes would not fit pregnant bodies-- just not the same. It is like wearing a coat you bought from a boutique versus one you had tailored for you. The first one can very well fit you but the second one fits you better.

    Maternity dresses vs regular dresses

    To wear maternity clothes or not has been a long-standing debate argued about by”experienced” and passionate women. Since everything about pregnancy is very personal-- from the food you eat to the clothes you choose to wear-- it is normal for many women to have strong opinions about it.

    When it comes to pregnancy clothing, some say that wearing maternity clothes is unnecessary and that you can just use your pre-pregnancy clothes or even your partner’s loose shirts. Others are strongly advocating pregnancy dresses. Again, because pregnancy is very much personal, these choices are also yours to make.

    The key difference between maternity dresses and non-maternity clothing is the fitting. While wearing loose shirts or wider dresses does cover up the bump, maternity clothes does give off better definition. It tapers where it needs to and shapes the clothes to best capture a woman’s figure so that you don’t look bigger than you have to and to emphasize your bump so that it does not look too boxy.

    Though most of choosing maternity clothes over regular clothes has to do with aesthetics, some functions like provision for nursing in maternity dresses help make it more justified as a purchase.

     

    Maternity dress size guide

    During pregnancy, a woman’s body size changes by trimester. Because of the shift of mass in your belly and other parts of the body, it can feel confusing when buying maternity dresses. Fortunately, there is a way to make sure a dress fits your bump and the rest of your body just right.

    International Size Guide

    S

    M

    L

    XL

    2X

    3X

    4X

    US

    2-4

    6-8

    10-12

    14

    16-18

    20-22

    24

    UK

    6-8

    10-12

    14-16

    18

    22-24

    24-26

    28

    Italy

    38-40

    42-44

    46-48

    50

    54-56

    56-58

    60

    France

    34-36

    38-40

    42-44

    46

    50-52

    52-54

    56

    Germany

    32-34

    36-38

    40-42

    44

    48-50

    50-52

    54

    Japan

    7-9

    11-13

    15-17

    19

    23-25

    25-27

    29

    Russia

    40-42

    44-46

    48-50

    52

    54-56

    24-26

    28


    According to Size Guide, Australia and New Zealand also uses the UK size chart. The French sizes are also used in Belgium, Spain and Portugal. Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway also uses German sizes.

    Maternity dress sizes ideally correspond to non-maternity wear sizes. So, if you used to be a size 8 before pregnancy, then the pregnancy apparel will still be the same size. 

    When buying maternity clothes, look for the same size you were before. So if you fall under medium size, look for the same size at stores. This also holds true when shopping online.

    Good maternity clothing expands in the right places where a pregnant body also expands.

    Body types during pregnancy and how to style them

    There are four body types women usually have during pregnancy. Knowing which shape you are or how you carry your bump helps determine what style looks best for you. The same as how certain shapes and cuts help lengthen your legs or accentuate your curves when not pregnant, fashion rules differ too during pregnancy depending on these four body types.

    1 . You’re big everywhere.

    While some women only gain weight in the belly and bust area, others gain the weight everywhere. If this is you, don’t feel discouraged because you seem bloated from your feet to the face. There are so many styles and ways you can still look great while carrying the weight.

    According to Babycenter, “Soft fabrics and longer lines are the best ways to help you feel great while still accentuating your beautiful bump.”

    wrap-maxi-dress_0162_chevron-print_1.jpg

    WRAP LONG SLEEVE MAXI DRESS - CHEVRON PRINT

    Look for patterns and lines going vertically to help create length instead of width. Wrap styling dresses has proven to be exceptionally flattering for almost any body shape and size, during and after pregnancy. 

    Choose form-fitting fabrics to emphasize the baby bump. However,make sure the clothing does not restrict you from moving. 

    sequana-cocoon-tunic_53200_blue-green-snakeskin-print-_without-belly__2.jpg

    SEQUANA COCOON TUNIC-DRESS-BLUE-GREEN SNAKESKIN PRINT

    Leggings and a statement dress

    Leggings are some of the best fashion inventions ever. They provide comfort and coverage as well as emphasize shape.The darker bottoms elongate the legs. This is best matched with a flowy dress or top with interesting details and add a nice color to make the style pop.

     

    2. Your baby bump is low

    If your belly is sitting lower, styles that look well with your belly are below the bump types of cuts. For these types of bellies, form-fitting and simple styles complement better as it does not overwhelm the figure and emphasizes the bump. 

    dana-3-4-sleeve-maternity-nursing-dress_0936_black.jpg

    DANA 3/4 SLEEVE MATERNITY NURSING DRESS - BLACK

    Deliberately choosing dresses that are fitted around the bump area helps accentuate the shape of this body type. Select dresses that fit the bump well and look simple. Bold colors work well but be careful of heavy patterns.

     

    3. If your bump is in the higher part of your belly

    “Separate bust from bump with high belts, ties, and color-block separates. Get creative and do quick, easy alterations to pieces you may already have in your closet.”

    The key to body types like these is to separate the bust area from the bump because in the wrong clothes, the body will look too top-heavy.

    athena-day-dress---acorn-brown02_1.jpg

    ATHENA DAY DRESS - ACORN BROWN

     

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    LOLA MAE DRESS - TEABERRY

     

    4. If you look small everywhere

    Some women are just small even when they are pregnant. For this types of body, women can be a little more experimental and play with different textures, cuts and patterns. Simple designs can also work well with this body type given that you accessorize and layer it up. 

    nikki-maternity-nursing-dress-jara-155521-alternate-crop-view-non-pregnant.jpg

    NIKKI MATERNITY-NURSING DRESS - JARA PRINT

     

    Pregnancy dresses styles and functions

    Cute maternity dresses… Is that even possible?

    Technology is not the only thing that has changed drastically over the years. Maternity clothing has transformed from the once baggy, ill-fitting and tasteless designs to stylish designs you’ll want to wear even after pregnancy.

    Designs vary from evening and formal maternity dresses, maternity dresses for baby shower,  maternity bridesmaid dresses, dresses for work, maxi dresses, maternity lace dresses, cocktail dresses, summer dresses and even sexier pieces.

    Not only are cute maternity dresses everywhere, women from different walks of life can now afford quality pregnancy clothes. There are many ways to save up on maternity clothes and different techniques to style them.

    Maternity work outfits

    Looking good while pregnant can be a challenge especially if you are working and are expected to look presentable while at it. Though it can be a little bit harder than when you are not pregnant, it is not impossible to put together a corporate attire, well appropriate for work while pregnant. 

    Dresses come in handy especially for these occasions.  Choose dresses you can mix and match with other pieces of accessories and outfits you have. Be mindful of the length and neckline of your dresses.

    There are many ways to work maternity clothing especially when in a job. Apart from the obvious choice of appropriate work clothing, you can get expert tips on dressing up for work in our other blogs. Simple things like accessorizing and mix and matching makes such a huge difference in the way you look at work.

    Special occasion maternity dresses

    Attending special occasions or going to formal gatherings can feel daunting if you’re pregnant especially if you don’t feel as comfortable or stylish during this phase. Many moms to be opt instead to not attend these gatherings to avoid having to go through the struggle of trying out outfits that just don’t cut it.

    Fortunately, there are tons of maternity clothes that can be used for formal events and many more that are a mixture of casual and dressed-up for social gatherings. More importantly, these special occasion maternity dresses account comfort and functionality so you don’t have to feel any discomfort when attending these events.

    A lot of women look for dresses that can be used for their own baby showers, weddings and parties. Though there are great selections for pregnancy dresses, there are some factors you need to consider when dressing up for special events.

    • Check the weather during the day/s of the event

    Make sure to check first the weather that day. Weather is one of the deciding factors for what you will choose to wear that day. Whether you will want to wear a short cocktail dress or a maxi dress when it is raining or a layered long-sleeved dress versus a sundress when it is reported to be a hot and humid day.

    Always keep in mind too the season you’re in so you can prepare layers or lessen the fabrics you’re wearing. This does not only apply to the dress itself but also whatever you’re accessorizing it with and the shoes you are wearing. Weather and temperature also plays an important role in wearing make-up. If it’s going to be humid, make it light. If it is really cold, add some moisture to the make-up.

    • What kind of event are you attending? Check if there are dress codes.

    Not all events require certain types of dresses. Some, you must attend with a complete formalwear, others can be dressy casual. What is the event you’ll be attending? Do they have dress codes?

    Knowing this will help avoid awkward situations wherein you’re either too dressed up or under-dressed for the special occasion you’re attending.

    Also, ask the host about the location of the event. Whether it is indoors or an outdoor event can affect your clothing choices. You would most likely want to avoid thin heeled-shoes when you are in an outdoor event. 

    • Know your body’s “problem areas” and “assets”

    There’s always going to be an area in your body that you’re not very fond of. It might be that you’re having swollen ankles or your arms look twice as big. At the same time, you must have one or two things you really like about your new body. Maybe it’s your bump and the way it looks or a new-found appreciation with your breasts.

    Identifying the areas you like and dislike will help you when deciding which types of dresses you would rather wear. Everything about pregnancy is personal, including your perception of your own body.

    Casual maternity dresses

    Dressing up for special events is one thing, but the real challenge usually comes with the everyday uneventful stuff. A casual maternity dress should be able to cater to the everyday demands of your life and should be built for wear and tear. Durability, functionality and style in addition to comfort are the qualities a good everyday pregnancy dress should have. Plus, it would not hurt if the pieces are reversible or can be dressed up in a variety of ways. 

    For this, it is always best to opt for more simple styles of dresses with less busy prints that you can mix and match with other pieces of clothing.

     

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    ESSENTIAL MATERNITY TANK DRESS - SPARROW

     

    What maternity dresses do I need?

    Most women’s hesitation in buying maternity dresses is that you only use it for a couple of months. Since it is true that many maternity dresses are only good when you are pregnant, some serve their purpose postpartum. That’s the key: to look for maternity dresses that can be used after giving birth and best yet, have nursing functions or at least are breastfeeding-friendly.

    In addition to that, there is really no need to splurge on maternity dresses. There are maternity clothing essentials in the bare minimum that you can use up for different occasions and trimesters.

    Maternity clothing basics

    Maternity leggings

    This is a staple item every pregnant woman must have in their closets. Not only do they match everything you have, leggings especially maternity ones are so comfortable you would just want to live in them.

    live-in-em-leggings-long_53475_black.jpg

    Comfortable camisole or tank tops

    You want clothes that can be used on an everyday basis and is flexible enough to mix and match with other pieces of clothing. What’s more comfortable and easy to play around with than a simple camisole or tank top that is built and designed for your ever-growing bump?

    These types of clothes can be layered with shirts and cardigans or matched with jeans, leggings or even skirts for a cute pregnancy outfit. Accessorizing is also easier as it will not overwhelm the simplicity of the top. Most importantly, it is easy to wear and easy to remove. Two things women tend to struggle with when in the last trimester of pregnancy.

    To save money on these tops, go for nursing tank tops that are long enough to cover your bump so you can use them after giving birth to your baby. 

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    ORGANIC VALUE NURSING U-NECK TANK - ECRU

     

    Cardigan and nursing cover wrap

    Look for a loose cardigan that fits well on the arms and back but gives allowances around the front area of the body. These cardigans are great because they double as a nursing cover when you have the baby. 

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    SANGHA MATERNITY-NURSING WRAP - DARK SPRUCE

     

    Maternity lounge clothing

    Look for comfortable maternity sleepwear that can easily double up as nursing pajamas after giving birth. Being comfortable when pregnant feels impossible sometimes especially later in the pregnancy. That is why wearing the right sleepwear that you can use as lounge clothing is a necessary part of your pregnancy wardrobe. 

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    CHIFFON TRIM BAMBOO PJ SET - DUSKY GRAPE

     

    What to have in the closet

    Apart from the essential pieces you must have for your day to day pregnant body, there are pieces you can simply mix and match to look great any day or at least decent enough so you can go outside and have some fun without feeling sluggish.

    Comfortable flats

    Have a nice pair or two of comfortable flats you can live with. Choose colors that matches most of your wardrobe. Especially later in the pregnancy, you will need more comfortable clothes because your body gets heavier. Skip designer heels for a few months and go for flats that look good and feel great.

    Maternity jeans

    Thank goodness for maternity jeans! You can flaunt your leg shape in skinny jeans while pregnant thanks to maternity jeans. Choose one or two pairs that you really like and can pair with most of your wardrobe. Slacks also come in maternity fitting and are definitely handy for work. 

    Maternity skirts

    As important a pair of jeans are in a wardrobe, the same goes with skirts. They can make any look more put together and cuter or sexier depending on the style. Having one or two maternity skirts can make such a difference in your style.

    denim-skirt-foldover_20150520-2735_washed-black_n.jpg

    DENIM MATERNITY SKIRT FOLDOVER - WASHED BLACK 

    A stylish tunic

    Have a piece or two of stylish tunics and blouses that keep you covered yet offers style.This kinds of pieces can be bolder in pattern and texture. 

    Little black dress

    Formalwear should be easy. Have one little black dress especially made for pregnant women and you’re good to go. Having a few dresses can also help take the stress off in dressing up during pregnancy. Just pop in a loose dress and you have yourself an outfit.

     

    Where and how to buy pregnancy dresses

    Inexpensive pregnancy dresses

    Finding cute, inexpensive clothing whether or not it is for maternity wear or just regular clothes can be a little challenging. However, it is not by any means impossible. Here are a few tips to finding inexpensive maternity dresses: 

    Find a multi-purpose dress

    Be it for nursing and maternity or a reversible dress, it is easy to find multiple functions in a maternity dress. Look for those instead so you can make the most out of your purchase. 

    Get notified when there’s a sale

    Look for items on sale and ask the stores (or subscribe to online notifications) to let you know when a sale is going to happen. You don’t need to buy items in their original price if you can buy them on sale. 

    Join memberships for freebies and discounts

    Many stores offer membership cards upon a certain purchase. Some of the perks these membership cards have are the discounts you get. Online shops even waive delivery or shipping charges or have special events for moms to be.

     

    Buy maternity clothes online

    Everything is done online these days. Why? Because it is easier and there are tons more options. When buying maternity dresses online, just be mindful of a few things. 

    Your size.

    Know your size and understand how fitting works.Though essentially pregnancy sizes are the same as your previous size, if you feel that you have grown larger maybe you should double check first.

    Learn about their return policies

    Make sure to read the fine print and look for the return policy of the shop in case the item just is not right for you or you don’t feel good in the dress. Usually, once you’ve washed the clothes or removed the label, you cannot return the item anymore. So, make sure to read about it so you don’t do anything to void the return or exchange of your clothes. 

    Make sure the website is legitimate and payment is secure

    According to Google, there are a few things you can do to make sure a website is legitimate such as checking the ratings and reviews of products. Ideally, it is best to steer clear from online stores with no ratings.

    “If the store’s rating is low (somewhere between 0 and 5) then you may want to use caution when buying a product from them. Read the reviews to see what specifically people had problems with.”

    In addition, it is best to use credit cards so that if indeed you were scammed, you can ask for a refund. Talk to your service provider in order to be sure about the refund policies.

     

  • Maternity Wedding Dresses for Bride

    Wedding during pregnancy or more popularly called “shotgun weddings” has been a controversial topic in the wedding sphere. Many people are against the wedding and believe that wedding during pregnancy is not a sign of genuine interest to be married to each other but came about as a result of the unexpected pregnancy.

     

    In the extreme, more often with conservative folks, shotgun weddings are not considered as real weddings and some religion-based weddings even explicitly prohibit or condemn marriage during pregnancy.

     

    Wedding planning during pregnancy

     

    Though the stigma has been lessened over the years, it is still existing today. Organizing weddings while pregnant has, undeniably less available options especially in clothing.

     

    Even at present, women look to forums for help in looking for wedding dresses that would cater to their pregnant body. While there are a lot of dresses that can fit them during pregnancy, it is still difficult to look for dresses that really make the cut. After all, it is a special day to celebrate.

     

    Every woman wants to look their most beautiful during their wedding day. And despite the challenge pregnant women have compared to when they are not conceiving, it is not impossible to look and feel good.

     

    Look at it this way, when you reminisce on your wedding day, you not only remember your partner but a brewing human inside you that has become (as you will find out) a huge part of your life. If you decide to see it as a celebration of so many things-- having a family, tying the knot with the person you love, entering a life of motherhood-- then you can leave behind any shame or guilt you are feeling because of the stereotype people place on pregnancy weddings. Own it and make the most of it.

     

    If you still feel like you might not be able to pull off a pregnancy wedding or that there is shame in getting married while you are knocked up, look at how some celebrities did it proudly. Here’s a photo of Alicia Keys looking stunning and proud to soon be a mom and wife.

     

    Image From @aliciakeys https://www.instagram.com/p/rGn3CmwFn3/

     

    In order to make it happen though, there are a lot of things to be done just like any other wedding. But unlike any other wedding, your’s have some special considerations and a few things to tweak here and there when planning your special day while pregnant.

     

    Make sure the time is right

    Morning sickness is real and it is one of the major challenges women often complain about during the first trimester. According to Heidi of What to Expect, planning your wedding (if you can) during the second trimester is most ideal.

     

    “If possible, try to get hitched in your second trimester. Your morning sickness should be gone by then (or at least eased up enough so you can face the buffet without barfing).”

     

    In addition to that, the second trimester is the safest time for women. While morning sickness usually dissipates during the last trimester, there are other considerations you might have such as backaches, sore ankles and just a general discomfort. Furthermore, you’ll most likely look less bloated during your second trimester than the third one.

     

    Understand your skin

     

    During pregnancy, hormonal changes are on overdrive and your skin which used to be very dry might now be an oily mess or vice versa. Knowing the changes in your skin will help your make-up artist decide which products to use on your skin.

     

    If you are so lucky to be sporting that “pregnancy glow” then use that to your advantage. If not, you’ll always have highlighters and bronzers to create the look for you. Let your HMUA know that you want to look healthy and stick to a lighter, more natural look. Keep it light on the top because you literally have a heavier lower section.

     

    With pregnancy comes along so many changes in your body apart from the obvious belly bump. Your complexion, your energy levels and even your hair goes through a great deal of differences.

     

    While many hair treatments are not recommended during those nine months of conception due to chemicals that might affect the growth of your baby, there are some upsides to your locks.

     

    According to the American Pregnancy Association, “During pregnancy there is an increase in the level of estrogen hormones.  Estrogen causes hair to remain in the growing phase and stimulates the growth of your hair. While you are pregnant, you should expect a full, luxurious head of hair.”

     

    Like the pregnancy glow, use this to your advantage. Skip the treatments for sleek and straight hair and opt for luxurious locks instead or if you have messy hair naturally, find a creative bun that’s appropriate for your wedding theme and motif.

     

    Find ways to lessen stress

     

    Weddings can be quite stressful. There is so much to organize from wedding motifs, venues, guest lists and invites, flowers, food, dresses, cakes, music and it definitely is not helping that you are pregnant.

    Stress and pregnancy though are two things you should never mix together that’s why it is always best to have someone else organize the wedding for you. If it’s in the budget, hiring a wedding planner is the best option. Wedding planners plan weddings for a living (duh!) and experienced ones know what to do when things go wrong. If you have a tighter room in your budget, ask a friend or relative to do it for you.

     

    Since it is your wedding, you must be thinking that you want to be involved by ALL means. However, if it’s likely to cause you any sort of stress, it is best to steer clear of doing the planning. You can always share your preferences and ideas with whoever is dealing with the wedding.

     

    If you still don’t want to, just do it for your baby. Did you know that chronic stress during pregnancy can cause a lot of scary complications for your baby? Some of them include a certain level of brain function impairment.

     

    “Chronic stress may also contribute to subtle differences in brain development that might lead to behavioral issues as the baby grows.”

     

    Pregnancy wedding dresses

     

    Another key difference between expecting women and those who are not is the wedding dresses. While there are ways to wear wedding dresses that are non-maternity and still fit in it, it would not be as tailor-fitted for the body type you have and options might be limited to gowns that balloon from belly down.

     

    There are different ways to have maternity wedding dresses and a ton of styles available out there. You’ll find one right for you even if you’re looking for size specific types of dresses such as plus size maternity wedding dresses or petite-sized pregnancy wedding gowns.

     

    Maternity wedding dress designs

     

    Some of the popular styles include lace maternity wedding dresses or even a plain white maternity wedding dress. However, “while you can wear almost any style you want, baby bumps look especially elegant in an empire-waist silhouette, which is snug at the bustline and roomier in the belly. No matter which design you prefer for your wedding during pregnancy, you’ll be more comfortable in loose, light fabrics, such as chiffon and crepe. Stiff or heavy materials like satin, taffeta, and tulle can up your odds of overheating and dizziness.”

     

    Prices also vary from designer maternity wedding dresses to cheap pregnancy wedding gowns. When it comes to shoes though, it is always recommended to prioritize comfort. There are beautiful sandals that can pair well with gowns. Some are even bedazzled with swarovski crystals.

    .

    Pregnancy wedding dress sizes and fitting

     

    One of the best ways to get your wedding dress size on point is to get your dressmaker in the loop for when you’ll be needing it and what month or trimester it will fall under. Trust that whoever is making your wedding dress knows what she’s doing. If in doubt, ask first if the dressmaker has experience making maternity dresses for weddings.

     

    “Even if you’re not showing when you hit the bridal shop, let the consultant know how far along you’ll be when you tie the knot. She’ll advise you on which size will be best for your belly-to-be. And don’t let that large number bug you:”

     

    Essentially, the same concept goes for shoes. Especially if you’re celebrating during the last trimester, make sure to give your shoes some allowance. Edema is a common condition during pregnancy where certain parts of your body, usually around the ankles and wrists, are swollen. This is usually because of excess blood flow and goes away well after delivery.

     

    Wedding dress sizes also use general size guides. To learn more about sizes for maternity wear and how maternity dresses work, here’s a 101 on pregnancy dresses.

    Inexpensive maternity wedding dresses

     

    Wedding expert, The Knot made a study on how much weddings usually cost in 2016 and the average cost was more than $30,000.

     

    “After surveying nearly 13,000 real brides and grooms across America, we found that the overall cost of a wedding has soared to new heights, with a national average of $35,329 (and that’s not including the honeymoon).”

     

    Almost $2,000, $1,564 to be precise, was for wedding gowns alone. Now, not everybody has the budget or are willing to shell out $2,000 for a wedding gown and with good reason. You’re (hopefully) only going to use it once.

     

    So, how do you save up on wedding dresses during pregnancy?

     

    Buy used gowns

     

    While it would be definitely more difficult for pregnant women to buy used wedding gowns perfect for their bump, it is not impossible.

     

    Josie Daga founder of PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com shares that “After the economy crashed girls realized they could get their dream dress that was worn for maybe five hours.”

     

    Buying used gowns can help you save a lot of money. Daga adds that “[We’ve] seen dresses go for up to 90% off. There’s a lot of money to be saved.”

     

    Frequent Sample Sale

     

    So, there is a thing called frequent sample sale where brides to be can buy wedding dresses at a much lower cost. According to Fox Business, “Wedding retailers and designers hold sample sales discounting their dresses to make room for new inventory once or twice a year and are prime grounds for finding a big-named label on the cheap.”



    Rent a dress

     

    There are tons of places brides to be (even pregnant ones) can rent wedding dresses. Even the groom, best men and bridesmaids can rent their dresses as well.

    Maternity dress for wedding guest

    It’s not just the brides who are having a difficult time when it comes to meetings.Guests, bridesmaid who are pregnant also have some complications looking for dresses during special occasions such as weddings.

     

    In general, be it weddings or baby shower, special occasions are a little harder to dress. Though difficult, it is not impossible. There are a few things to remember though when doing so like knowing your body type during pregnancy. Another important item is to understand how to style yourself during this time.

     

    You can have a read at our baby shower guide, Baby Shower Maternity Dress: Choosing the Right Dress for You.

     

    Be it  your wedding or as a guest, pregnancy is a celebration and an experience you want to enjoy. It is only nine months of your life but every life event and special occasions you enjoy it with matters. Dress your best and be confident because the best dress always comes from a happy and confident woman!

     

  • How Maternity Clothing Works: Size and Fit Guide

    Having a baby is an exciting and a bit stressful time when everything happens for the first time: your body changes in a way you’ve never experienced before and you find yourself doing weird things such as having fixated food cravings and spending most mornings in the bathroom!

    One of the major challenges for first-time moms is choosing the right type of clothes for their changing body. From maternity bras to nursing shawls and work dresses, the variety of options in maternity clothes is endless. So how do you choose from such an overwhelming range of choices?

     Buying maternity clothes is like buying your first bra - there is an exhilarating feeling of achieving something that nature has always planned for you. So make it an exciting journey, get your girlfriends together and enjoy shopping with a purpose! Here are some tips that will help you find the right fit:

    Why not just upsize? Why maternity clothing?

    Long gone are the days when maternity clothes resemble shapeless tents with sailor inspired collars (with the ubiquitous waist tie, to add). Maternity wear designers have evolved and come a long way, where the breadth of styles and technical constructions are much more sophisticated and creative. You will find maternity clothes that come with inbuilt functionalities for breastfeeding. And then there are brands that embrace specific consciousness for natural and eco-friendly fabrication.

    Many first time moms may find it tempting to upsize their regular non-maternity brands in an attempt to cover a couple of centimeters here and there. While this might have been a good strategy in the past given the lack of good looking or stylish options in motherhood clothing (afterall it’s dollars saved, isn’t it?), it does not have to be the case now.

    Maternity Blog - Why You Should Not Simply Upsize Your Pants!

    Many first time mothers-to-be attempt to continue wearing their pre-pregnancy clothes, especially the stretchy ones. Quite often though, you will find that by the second trimester, your belly has grown to such proportions that even stretchier regular tops are getting just a tad too tight for comfort. Buying regular clothing of a larger size will most likely not fit you as well; apart from a wider waist, you will see concurrent increments in measurements such as rise, leg width and length. The resulting fit? Wide flappy pants, saggy rise and bunching at the waist. Conversely with maternity clothing, you will see adjustments to clothing measurements only where you expect growth, while keeping other specifications true to your original size. You and your baby will feel more comfortable and you will still be able to make use of them during your post-partum transition period!

     Maternity clothing size

    Maternity clothing sizes generally correspond to regular non-pregnant clothing sizes. If you are used to buying a size 8 before pregnancy, typically the same size applies when you shop at specialty maternity clothing stores. If you were “medium” size before pregnancy, look for the same size label at pregnancy stores. When your body changes through pregnancy, the belly and the chest may grow quiet a bit but the rest of your body and their proportions such as length of torso, legs, and shoulder widths remain as they are. With maternity clothing, you will see adjustments to measurement only where you expect growth, while keeping specifications remain true to your original size.

    But what about jeans sizing? Jeans sizing follows the same logic as the rest of maternity clothes. So if you were size 30 before, you should still shop for size 30 maternity jeans, even though your waistline is now a lot larger. A good maternity clothing designer or label knows how to construct adjustable or stretchable features so that a pair of maternity pants or jeans will accommodate your growing belly.Maternity Pants - designed with a versatile foldover waistband to fit full term.

    What about bras, you ask? Bra fitting for pregnancy is always tricky and typically gets women into confusion because bras are such an important and fundamental part of your maternity wardrobe that must provide comfort, support while trying to fit your growing bust line as your body prepares for lactation. This essential wardrobe item may require change through the course of your pregnancy, as your bust grows.

    There are options for stretchy and non stretchy maternity bras but as a rule of thumb, always seek non-underwired bras so you avoid impacting or compressing sensitive breast tissues.

    When to begin shopping for maternity clothes?

    Time to get a pair of maternity pants when you're struggling to button up.In the first trimester, you will still be able to wear your regular clothes, but you should start thinking about buying some pregnancy outfits in your second trimester when your bump is starting to grow to the point that your pants feel constricting on your belly. Don’t attempt to overhaul your whole wardrobe in one go because you will grow progressively and you can add on as your body changes. As part of your initial purchase or building blocks of your maternity wardrobe, it is worthwhile investing in bottoms early on. You not only have the benefit of comfort right from start but also extended wear mileage for your post-partum transition period too – this will be money well spent.

    Maternity pants – your best pregnancy wardrobe investment

    Maternity pants designed to grow with your belly. Shop MEV's maternity bottoms now.While most other maternity clothing items (apart from maternity bras) don’t require special induction, maternity pants are a tad more technical than they appear. Specifications such as the front and back rise, the waist construction type and materials, and fabrication are expertise and know-how of a good maternity label. Maternity bottoms are designed to accommodate growth in the waist and hip during the course of your pregnancy. Getting a few maternity pants at the onstart of showing will be your best investment as you will get plenty of wear out of them!

     

    Maternity bottoms designed for pregnancy and after - Mothers en Vogue collection.

     

    Pregnancy brings with it a lot of changes and challenges, it is a steep learning curve to motherhood but nevertheless, it is an exciting time. There are many new things you will need to take care of with the arrival of a newborn but don’t forget about yourself. Despite your growing belly you should feel comfortable, and embrace your bodily changes with pride and confidence. Take care of your needs first so you can prepare to enjoy your pregnancy and step into Motherhood!

     

  • Maternity and Nursing Clothes: What To Wear When You Are Pregnant

    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:

    1. Maternity Style & Comfort by MEV

      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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.Maternity and Nursing Dress Collection by MEV

    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?  

    1. Accessorize

    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.

    Accessorise with MEV's Bamboo Nursing Wrap 

    1. 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.

    MEV Maternity Jeans and Pants

    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.

     

    1. 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.

    MEV's Closer to Paradise Nursing Bra

    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.

    1. 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.

     

  • Maternity Work Clothes - How To Dress To Work When Pregnant

    Work is an important part of our lives and identities. But when you’re pregnant priorities change a little. You breathe deeper, you have all those thoughts about cute baby clothes in your head and all of a sudden the cleanliness of your apartment becomes the question of life and death. But as much as we would like to focus on one thing, pregnancy only lasts 9 months and there will always be other things that demand your attention. Work is one of them. In fact, balancing and work might be hard, but if you’re able to achieve that balance, you will be able to enjoy the warming support of your coworkers and still achieve career goals.

    Work wardrobe during the first trimester

    The first trimester is probably the easiest to survive at work because you can easily spend it in your regular clothes. It is unlikely that your coworkers will see any change, and you can enjoy your pregnancy in complete secrecy.

    You might need to undo the top button on your skirts and pants closer to the second trimester, but you can cover it with flowy tops and a loose button down shirts. You can even create an improvised DIY maternity panel by looping a rubber band through the buttonhole and then wrapping it around the button.

    Second trimester and how to cover pregnancy

    This is when it gets tricky. While the first trimester feels like a normal life, in the second part your pregnancy will start to show. You will probably look like you’ve gained a little weight and face some awkward questions from the co workers. Buy pants with elastic waistband or the ones that are low rise and sit below your waist. Be creative with your pregnancy outfits and try yoga pants or cotton pants that can pass for work pants.

    Tops have to remain flowy and feminine. They will conceal your pregnancy perfectly. Go for natural fabrics such as cotton, jersey, and viscose.

    If you already disclosed your pregnancy at work, you can start wearing elegant dresses and more fitted tops.

    Third trimester - revealing the secret

    This is the time when you can’t conceal your pregnancy anymore and have to reveal the secret. It will become a lot easier to dress thereof. Here are 9 must have items for soon to be moms:

    1. Flowy blouse - for those hot summer days, when the AC is not working properly and you need a little more room to breathe

    2. Black work pants - a work wardrobe staple, that can easily be paired with any top or blouse

    3. A work blazer - a perfect addition to a summer dress to make it more business like or to rock that tough business lady look

    1. Work shirt - go for a loose button down shirt so that you can look professional and feel comfortable

    2. Work dress - if you need one item in your wardrobe that you can throw on whenever you’re running late, the dress will be it. It gives you professional but feminine look, is extremely comfortable and makes you look beautiful and elegant.

    3. The accessories - splurge on some gorgeous accessories such as a statement necklace, beautiful earrings, a brooch and a scarf. When you wear some bigger pieces make sure your clothing is neutral and isn’t too revealing. Add a little handbag for that complete look of a real lady.

    4. Maternity tights - if you find yourself pregnant during winter months, you can look into maternity tights. They will ensure you don’t get varicose veins or spider veins by the end of your pregnancy and provide enough comfort and warmth to get you through the cold.

     

    Combine these pieces, mix, and match and you will get amazing outfits to wear each single day.

    And don’t forget about the shoes either. Even if you are used to always walking in heels, the period of bearing a child can become a serious test for you, including your legs. Problems such as veins, the formation of thrombi can seriously disrupt the condition of the pregnant woman and the development of the embryo.

    If you do not want to give up shoes on the heels, don’t. Only until you find yourself feeling uncomfortable. Then change to more comfortable shoes. You can pick something on the heel, changing the usual 10-15 cm to the less critical 3-5 cm. It's better to look out for something from the range of sandals or open shoes.

    Formal celebrations

    There is no better wardrobe item than a black dress whether you’re pregnant or not. The accessories will make your dress look different every day. Add some jewelry, pick a different bag and change shoe style once in awhile. Also look at shawls and flowy cardigans to throw on top of your dress to make it more cozy and casual when the formal celebration is approaching its end. A ball gown will be a bit harder to find, but some maternity stores do offer them. You can also search the formal wear rental service - in that case, you can rent a gown for a night or two and don’t have to worry about anything.

    Pregnant women should first and foremost take care of the health of their baby, therefore at the heart of everything they do should not be the rules, but the convenience of clothing. And once you have selected the wardrobe based on the comfort factor, you can see if it’s in compliance with work rules.

    When selecting things for work, focus on color. At this stage, it will be difficult for you to wear tight suits and skirts or trousers with a tight belt, which means that soft lines will prevail in clothes. It is better to maintain balance, picking out the single-color items or pastel shades, as well as black. Do not get carried away with the latter: in spite of the fact that this is almost an ideal office variant, the abundance of dark tones does not help to raise the mood and stay emotionally stable. Bright colors should be avoided, combined with flowing lines they will give an informal look to the outfits.

    Even if you are proud of your position to such an extent that you want to share your joy with everyone, at work, it's best to refrain your excitement. This will be better for you too: in the office, it will be easier for you to focus, if your belly is hidden, and not distracting you and your companions. However, this does not mean that you need to wrap yourself in a huge amount of clothes: choose simple things but don’t reveal too much.

     

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