Dressing The Bump

I’m far from fashionable so I decided why not write a Dressing the Bump post as if I know what I’m talking about? Alrighty then.

Besides my general fashion ineptness, there are a few things to consider before proceeding:

  • This is my first baby and she’ll be born in the spring (pregnant August-April).
  • I’m not carrying multiples…obviously that makes a huge difference.
  • I’m on a budget.
  • My clothing “needs” may be wildly opposite of yours.
  • Every person and each pregnancy is different, duh.

FIRST TRIMESTER: Oooh, finding out! It’s the BEST. The rest of the time though, it’s mostly the yucks. For me it was late summer, so truthfully I wore mostly comfy workout clothes and jeans only if I was feeling fancy. I worked from home during the day and drug my exhausted butt to practice each afternoon. I was far from showing but battling tummy bloat and generally feeling not awesome.

My unsolicited advice/tips:

  1. Resist the urge to buy anything maternity (if you can), especially if it’s your first pregnancy. I think you can get away with shopping your closet since you usually only gain 3-5 lbs the entire first trimester.
  2. Hi there, elastic waistbands! These are your very best friends. I suggest yoga pants, skirts, leggings and stretchy jeggings, and soft shorts. Low-rise is your best option if you need more “structured” bottoms. Some may need maternity jeans right off the bat, but I was able to hold off until well into my second trimester. Either way, don’t squeeze your bloated butt into stiff jeans that hurt – you are already uncomfortable enough. Pack them away!
  3. Enjoy loose tops that mask the belly bloat/constipation. This could be as simple as a loose T shirt, flowy shirt or a summery dress.
  4. Comfortable, soft, no fuss clothes (and minimal accessories). Skip stuff that requires ironing (I always do anyway) and wear clothes you could sleep/drool in (maybe even puke in if you’re feeling really rotten) because who knows when you’ll have a moment to sneak away and sleep in your car. You’ll want to be ready to take advantage!

SECOND TRIMESTER (the fun one): Hopefully, you are feeling much better. You’ve finally shared the big news and you are sporting a baby bump instead of a poop baby. For me, it was late fall/winter. I couldn’t wait to snag some maternity clothes but truth be told, a lot of my shirts still fit because I’m short (5’3″) and the current styles tend to have some length to them normally. This may not be the case for you.

My unsolicited advice/tips:

  1. Even though you are excited to dress the Bump, have a clear PLAN and wait for sales. IMO, Old Navy and Gap have the best options for basics and are always running some sort of ridiculous sale (wait for at least 30% off). If you stick with a few essentials, I honestly think you can get away without buying very many pieces yet still look cute and fresh each day. My go to “uniform” was a maternity tank (love when the ruching hugs that sweet bump) and a cardigan that I already owned. I own four maternity tanks (dark grey, heathered grey, white, and navy striped) that I’d remix with different cardigans.
  2. Speaking of: stripes and baby bumps go together like Tupelo and honey. You must wear stripes, this is certain. It’s SO CUTE.
  3. Know your needs. I picked up three sweaters (cream, gray, and black) on clearance from Target. Then, my MIL bought me two more by Motherhood Maternity. Turns out, I had gotten a seasonal job and could only wear black so my other sweaters didn’t get as much wear as I had hoped – but I washed the black sweater every time we did laundry. For me, I could have easily gotten away with less – for you, it might be the opposite scenario if you have to head into the office each day.
  4. As for bottoms: Along with the sweaters, my MIL picked out a pair of black maternity pants. My job only allowed dark wash jeans or black slacks and so I wore the crap out of these pants. They tucked wonderfully into boots and I felt comfortable bending down or hustling around since the demi panel kept them in place. Again, know your needs – but black is always a nice alternative to denim.
  5. Black leggings were another great score for me. I bought a thicker pair from Kohl’s LC Conrad line (non maternity, but fit great) and I was gifted a thinner/spandexy maternity pair from Target. You can dress these up or down and they are so comfortable. I’d recommend you have a pair no matter the season – they look great with boots or flats or flip flops. If you feel self conscious of your expanding bum, maternity tanks typically run on the long side and will cover any non baby bump lumps. Plus, they doubled as workout pants too. I didn’t do any serious running after 6 1/2 months, but these worked great for yoga, walking, biking, etc. Oh, and also? I wore them as pjs too!
  6. Maternity jeans were hard for me to find but somehow my SIL bought me a pair from Old Navy that fit like a dream and I’ve been living in them. They are a dark wash stretchy skinny jean (the Rockstar full demi maternity jegging, I believe) and I don’t mind wearing them over and over again. I personally think you can get by with one or two pair of denim if you have black leggings to throw in the mix. 
  7. If you are not living in a state of pre-pregnancy denial like I was, you’ll probably have to invest in a bigger bra. If I had to, I’d only buy one (in nude racerback style), since that’s what I wear most often. I didn’t have to buy bigger undies either (because I’m a boy briefs kind of lady and those run roomy), but you may have to pack away your “pretties” and grab some nice cotton cozy ones in a bigger size.
  8. Accessories! This is the fun part and why I think you can get away with a minimal maternity wardrobe. Your “uniform” can take on new life with scarves, jewelry (especially statement necklaces), headbands, shoes, and bright skinny belts (worn just under your boobs to accentuate your bump). Neon is all the rage these days and this is how you can work that in. Plus, unlike your other pieces, you can wear these accessories long after pregnancy.

THE THIRD TRIMESTER: This is when most ladies get quite uncomfortable again. You are packing on the pounds much faster, your belly skin is tight and itchy, and you probably don’t sleep very comfortably.

My unsolicited advice/tips:

  1. I’m hoping most of your maternity wear from the second trimester will carry over like mine did. It will if you stick to ruched tanks that have some give and stretchy bottoms. It seems so hard to justify any more shopping when you are so close to giving birth, so try to hold off.
  2. While accessorizing was loads of fun earlier on, your fatigue is probably creeping back in and the extra weight can be hard on you. I’d go back to streamlining accessories – keep it minimal and easy so you don’t have to think too hard.
  3. I didn’t have to, but depending on your weight gain and/or general swelling – you may have to buy bigger shoes. Make sure they are comfortable ones!
  4. Comfort is key (again). Anything that even slightly irritates you, take it off and pack away!

Forgive the random pics – I tried to show you ones you haven’t seen before in my Baby Bump posts…turns out these few were hard to come by!

Anyone have tips on dressing post-partem? I assume a lot of comfy pants, easy-access tops and old underwear that you aren’t afraid to toss after everything “heals”?

13 thoughts on “Dressing The Bump

  1. Fun Post! You nailed it on the “feelings” of the different trimesters! As of post-partem? Two words come to mind, comfy & snuggly. Snuggling is probably one of the best ways to describe those first few weeks. It’s all about bonding with that little person! Lots of cuddling up & snuggling in & catching some zzzz whenever possible. Comfy? Well, with all that cuddling up, you need something comfortable. Leggings & tops from the 2nd trimester were my favorites. Tank tops with cardigans worked really well too. They also worked great as you could easily go from day-time to sleepwear within about 30 seconds, which is sometimes all you need :) Shirts with buttons or really anything annoyingly uncomfortable weren’t in the go-to pile. Sounds funny, but easy access for breastfeeding & tops that hid stains were also favorites.

    As for undies? That’s were I think getting yourself something cute is a must. Sometimes it’s easy to feel not-so-cute when you’re going on 20 minutes of sleep, you haven’t showered in who knows how long, you’ve been drooled on, thrown up on & you’ve seen far too many diapers. Something cute can be a real day brightener :) However, they might be more on the granny-side, which in this case is a-okay. Especially after a c-section. I had an emergency c-section & a terrible incision to go along with it, so again (now back to comfy) comfortable clothes was a must in that department. Something that wouldn’t hit the incision in the wrong spot & something that held in a deflated tummy felt the best. And worked really well for healing!

    And back to leggings? I guess that’s why they worked so well too post-partem. They felt like that held you in & somewhat together when many other areas of your body felt like they were very out of place. This could also be said for the psychological side of new-mamahood. Feeling a little put-together, while at the same time comfortable helps so much with many of the changes & feelings of insecurity, stress, irritability & lack of confidence that just naturally go with being a new mama.

    And while we’re on that subject too…..a good bra is a must. Motherhood Maternity has some awesome ones & they are comfy enough to sleep in. Which is a must, as sleep looks very different & you just try to catch those Zzzzz whenever you can.

    So many changes….and so funny how even clothing had a role that helps with that. Best of luck Mama (and to any other new mama reading this). It’s a beautiful, scary, wonderful, amazing experience…….and yes, one that you can journey though in cute leggings & a darling stripe top!

    • Shelby, your comment is amazing! I LOVED reading your tips. We are c-section pals! Thank you for the thoughtful words – sending baby snuggles your way.

  2. You’re always cute & fashionable TheCandace!!! You are the master of mixing & matching & getting maximum mileage out of every piece in your wardrobe!!! I have no doubt you will continue to look effortlessly put together :-)

    • You are a dear, Tai. I’m still rocking the maternity jeans because they don’t rub on my ouchie incision but Hubs is taking us girls shopping for some birthday clothes! :) Exciting!

  3. Good advice thecandace and Shelby. You are lucky to be living in the age of no iron clothes and soft tops and leggings. I think you can work your whole wardrobe around 3 or 4 pair of leggings and several soft tops and 3 or 4 cardigans. Scarves and bracelets. All of it works after as well. I have to check out Kohl’s leggings. I have some that are pretty thin and the knees bag. What fun. love preggers bellies. lv mamp

  4. You sport the baby bump in all trimesters very well! And how many takes did it take for us to get that photo of us – ha ha! Great to see you babe!

    • and…I also agree on reusing as much clothes as possible..I too didn’t really wear maternity shirts…my favs were my t-shirts though they just fit a bit more snug, but I liked those as they were fun with a baby bump — just make sure they are long in length as I’m not a fan of baby bump exposure per se!

      • You’ve looked adorable through all of your pregnancies – I was taking notes from you for when it was my turn to rock the baby bump someday! I agree – I wore this zip up fleece to practice this winter and it was on the small side BEFORE I got pregnant so you can only imagine how ridiculous I looked with my baby bump hanging out of the bottom. I packed that thing away the instant I got home!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>