Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The {My} Mom-i-Form :: Dressing Your Bump {With "Style!"}

Disclaimer: This is a true "how to dress your BUMP" post, stress on the bump part. I've always popped early and with my 9lb. 10oz. first baby, now have a history of "large babies" so I've had to learn rather early on how to accomodate and accentuate a legit bump. The nice thing about this situation is that I only really had one or two weeks of that "awkward period" where passersby weren't sure if I was indeed pregnant or ate one too many donuts for breakfast. In a sense, this has given me a bit of an upper hand when it comes to figuring out what clothes work best for me and how I can dress cute and still retain my sense of "style." Which, if you must know by now, has moved quickly from JCrew and Boden to Whatever Is Most Comfortable When Chasing A Toddler And Fits Into My SAHM Budget which is, let's be honest, much less likely to be JCrew and Boden.

* * * 

If you were to knock on my door during the hours of 8am and 8pm most week days, you would find me sporting a fairly routine "mom-i-form." Now, the mom-i-form comes in many, many different variations and what one Mama's version may be can vastly differ from another's. For instance, my version of the mom-i-form {thanks to being nearly 6 months pregnant} is often times a mix of both maternity and non-maternity "black dance pants" and either one of The Husband's old T-shirts or a fitted maternity T from Old Navy/GAP. 

"Black dance pants" refers to your standard run-of-the-mill black yoga pant. I should know. After all, I own over thirty pairs. Shhh, don't tell. 

Case in point {Side note: I can't believe I'm posting this picture sans make-up with Mom-Hair}

As you all know, because I've been yammering on about it for nearly a week now, I leave for Nashville tomorrow morning for this little bitty conference known as Blissdom. Although I'm sure everyone will love me for my blogging brains (ha!), it was never an option to pack four days worth of my standard mom-i-form. So for the past couple of weeks, I've been shopping high and low for some fabulous new threads that will clearly showcase and accentuate my awesome baby bump aforementioned blogging brains.

This brings me to the point of this post: How to dress your baby bump and not look like a frumptastic, muu-muu-wearing, doily-clad hot mess. And subtitled: How to do so with a mix of maternity and non-maternity clothes. 

Let's start with basics, shall we?

The best piece of advice I can impart with you today, Loyal Mamas and Mamas-to-be is to invest in a decent (read smoking hot) pair of maternity jeans. I'll admit that pre-Carter, I was a designer denim snob. Sadly, each of those designer pairs of denim no longer fit these mom-hips but at the time, they were worth every single little designer penny spent. 

Therefore, I immediately turned to Citizens of Humanity and Seven brand jeans as my maternity go-to's. I started out my collection with two pairs of dark wash boot cut jeans and before I knew it, I had added a pair of dark wash Mavi Maternity skinnies to the mix. Believe me, Loyals, as your nether regions, ahem, grow, you'll appreciate how great your bum will look in a decent pair of jeans. 

Now, here's where I need to tell you that you don't need to spend upwards of $250 to get a great pair of jeans. Just this past weekend, I threw on my maternity Citizens and realized very quickly that the circulation was being cut off to my knees. Thanks to the hormone relaxin that is already coursing it's way through my bloodstream, my hips have started to widen {once again} and I've quickly outgrown my maternity jeans. Talk about a slap in the puffy, pregnant face. 

I immediately took off to A Pea in the Pod and stumbled across a gorgeous pair of maternity Buffalo dark wash denim on sale from $130 to $60. Booyah. 

Do I think you're supposed to wear jeans your entire pregnancy? Of course not. You could always spice it up with a snazzy pair of colored denim maternity skinnies like these

Here's where I impart some more priceless wisdom onto you: invest in some quality leggings. By now you all know that I am a major fan of Leggings As Pants and what better time to rock them than while growing a human? Let's be honest, I could only get away with wearing my non-maternity leggings until around week 7. At that point? It literally felt as if I was wearing a rubber band wrapped around my midsection. 

For me, any maternity pants that I wear must be a full panel belly. I just can't deal with anything that cuts below the belly and makes me feel as if I'm going to lose my pants at any second. My favorite maternity leggings can be found here and here. Stock up Mamas, you'll thank me later and you'll be amazed at just how versatile the maternity legging can be.

Before we move onto basic tops, I feel like I need to be honest with you Loyals. If you're anything like me, you'll be wearing your maternity bottoms for at least 6-8 weeks postpartum. You see, no one tells you these things, but it's true. And if you're really like me? You'll be wearing your maternity jeans for a solid three months after having given birth. No lies. As I mentioned earlier, invest wisely.

I've had a few people ask me "How do you get the most out of your non-maternity clothes when pregnant?" And the answer, Loyals, is simple. Long maternity tanks. You can stock up here. For $8 a pop, you can stock up on every single color without breaking the bank and these babies? Are worth their weight (or length rather) in gold.

You'll find that I wear these stretch-tanks beneath everything. Everything. Those adorable JCrew tops that just. aren't. long. enough with the belly? Bam. Add a tank and you've got at least another month's worth of wear. 

Beneath a cardigan and tied up with a skinny belt? Voila! 

Make note, Loyals, that neither of those cardigans pictured above are maternity. In fact, they are both from JCrew. Speaking of skinny belts, these will be a pregnant woman's best friend. One of the greatest things about these belts is that they often help cinch a waist where a waist once was and draw attention to the smallest part of your body- you know, that spot around your ribcage beneath your bubbies but above the belly? Yeah, that one. Every pregnant woman loves a little differentiation between belly and boob. It's truly a fabulous thing.

This place has some great skinny belt options in a variety of textures and patterns.

Cardigans, tanks and fitted T's are what you'll most likely find me in these days. They're comfortable and allow for Toddler-chasing and Human-Growing to happen at the same time. This look can be paired with either a fab legging and riding boot or a skinny jean and flat. Tres versatile. 

So, should you invest in maternity tops? Of course. As I mentioned earlier, I pop early and I grow em' large so for me? Maternity tops are a necessity. But again, choose wisely. Try to pick tops that could simultaneously work for your post baby body. Once again, in those first few weeks postpartum, you'll be all about the camouflaging of certain, ahem, jiggly parts. My go-to's for those kinds of tops are here and here. But mostly the sale rack of that last place. It can get a little pricey.

Don't forget what I said about those long maternity tanks. They can truly help lengthen the amount of time you can wear your non-maternity tops. And another thing people fail to tell you? You will outgrow even your maternity tops. Those last few weeks? You're channeling a pregnant Britney as your belly hangs out from the bottom of that tank. It's not classy- but at that point? It's not worth investing in even more clothes because by then? Trust me, it will resemble a muu-muu.

If you're anything like me and get knocked up in the Fall, by the time you're nice and huge at seven, eight and nine months pregnant, sundresses abound! As do maxi dresses and any other type of dress that feel almost as if you're wearing nothing. Because believe me, you. In those last couple of months? The best attire was nothing at all and since that's often frowned upon in most residential suburban-type areas, lightweight flow-y dresses are the next best thing. 

Since I'll be large and in charge once again this summer, I'll be sure to draw up a quick post about dressing your bump-clad bod when that time draws near.

You can always check out my few-and-far-between bumpdates to see what else I've been wearing these last five months. 

In summation Loyals, remember these things: 

1. Invest in quality bum-accentuating denim.
2. To get the most out of your non-maternity tops, 
stock up on long maternity tanks and lot's of them!
3. When choosing maternity tops, look for ones that could 
work post-baby to camouflage {in style} those leftover jiggly parts. 
4. Leggings, leggings, leggings. 
5. Skinny belts, skinny belts, skinny belts.

Hopefully this post answers some of those burning questions you've all had in regards to how I dress my bump! Happy Wednesday, Loyals! The next time you'll hear from me, I'll be in Music City! Yeehaw!


  1. You look better pregnant than I do not Pregnant!! Enjoy your trip!!

  2. Great summary, friend!

    Even though all my maternity clothes are safely packed away, I have to admit I STILL wear my fave white maternity wife beater! Love the length it gives even now that my baby is a toddler, cuz let's face it: a lot of my "old" pre-baby shirts are now too short for these mom hips!

  3. Wicked cute maternity clothes. Sad to say I pretty much lived in yoga pants and tanks my entire pregnancy...the days I had to leave the house I might have jazzed up the look with a headband or a necklace, but that's about it.

    I've been reading your blog for a while now...congrats on baby #2, best wishes for a healthy pregnancy!

  4. You are GLOWING! I love all of your cute outfits! DEFINTELY not the run of the mill "maternity" outfits! Just a chic pregnant mama! :)

  5. Great tips! My fav is the skinny belts. I would have never thought of that. Thanks!

    See you oh so soon :)


  6. I love all of your maternity outfits. I always like to hear others recommendations on what worked and didn't work for them while pregnant. Thanks for posting this!

  7. Love the belted cardigan looks! Totally great ways to hide the bump! xo

  8. i reallyreallyreally want to rock the bright colors of spring this ..spring.. ugh redundancy. in any case, I was in the mall the other day and saw some GORGEOUS bright blue skinnies that reminded me of you! ..i didnt buy them because i was already nearly $300 deep in new clothes (yay!) but.. next month!! :)

    Have the BESTTIMEEVER at blissdom!

  9. You are certainly the most fashionable preggo I have ever seen mama!! You have a keen fashion sense and you can translate it into your maternity wardrobe seamlessly! Amazing!! Have a fabulous time at blissdom! Xo

  10. Love this post. I can't wait to be sporting a bump one day and I will totally look back on this. Great advice. You look amazing. Thank you!!

  11. Great advice! Now, if only leggings as pants were acceptable at work :(

  12. Love all of these outfits! You look great!

  13. Um, you totally even don't look pregnant from the front. SO CUTE! :)

  14. I was just talking about how I still wear my maternity tanks and kind of want to get another even though I'm not pregnant.

  15. This post is beyond fabulous. I bookmarked the heck out of your picks. Especially those Mavi jeans...

  16. You make pregnancy look so fantastic!

  17. I did a post sort of like this when I was pregnant. Except I forgot to take picture of most of my most fabulous outfits. You look so cute! You rock the bump look very well.

  18. LOVE the outfit with the demin top and boots and belt! you are such a cute pregnant lady! : )


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