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”?

Baby Bump Update

Now that it’s finally official – I’m growing a human – I’m sure you can’t wait to be inundated with all things baby.  Should we let the nonsense and self-indulgence begin?

Main scoop: I’m happy. I love my belly. I feel empowered by being a woman! Pregnancy blows my mind, honestly. I’m excited to meet Baby some day soon, but I’m reveling in being pregnant for now.

Plus, new workout clothes, hooray!

Last week when my friend gave birth to her baby, it got me a little panicky. It made me realize that my baby isn’t all that far behind and could come any day now. Most likely she’ll take her sweet time since it’s common for first babies to be ‘overdue’, but still. It made things feel real and scary. But, a week of getting stuff done has made all of the difference and I feel like I can handle either scenario now.

Fun fact: I found out in my birthing class that Colorado babies tend to come a little early and are more “purple” when they are born due to the thin air. Isn’t that weird?

The Science: Baby Center recap – 35 weeks. She’s too squished in there to do somersaults but she gets the hiccups often and stretches and pushes in the same two spots (usually at the same time). I think it’s her hands or shoulder that she shoves out left of my belly button and her feet wrap way around my right side. I need to get it on video before I forget how awesome it feels.

Body morphingWeight gain is 16.lbs (down 1/2 lb from last week). I feel like my belly is “rounder” and tighter. I haven’t had any Braxton Hicks contractions yet. I ran a ton of errands this week and may have overdone it one day because by the end, I could barely walk and my pelvis felt so HEAVY that it worried me. After a quick rest before practice, I felt totally fine again.

Sexy stuff! I finished my breastfeeding class last night and it was the best $45 I’ve spent.  The most comforting thing I learned is that the lactation nurses are there to help me and fix anything that isn’t working. They seem wonderful and supportive and I can go in every day to talk to them if I need. I have loads of friends and family that have breastfed successfully but it sure helps to have a professional watch the latch in person and give me tips, since they’ve seen it all.

My sleep has been wackier than usual (normally I get up about 2-3x to pee). One morning I was up by 5am, already working on my inbox and track paperwork. The next night, I was up up from 1.30am-4am, first sifting through baby clothes in the nursery and then fighting to fall back to sleep with little luck. It sounds weird but I’m thankful my body is trying to prepare me for the crazy nights to come. It’d be such a shock to go from sleeping peacefully to crazytown overnight.

Food drama: None, I’m a lucky lady!

Exercising? Besides the yoga, Hubs and I have been going on weekend walks and coaching keeps me on my feet and moving. I probably shouldn’t have but I was out shoveling after our last big snow this weekend. My neighbor got all worked up by the sight of me and came out to help, even though we had never met. What a sweet guy!

To Dos: You guys, I’m finally getting things checked off. I ordered our cloth diapers and a diaper sprayer! I hemmed the curtains in the nursery! I sorted all of Baby Girls clothes (hand-me-downs and new) and have a better grasp of what I have too much of and what I’m missing. I bought two nursing tanks, nooks, two new Nalgene water bottles, and a big old box of wipes from Target. I returned any duplicate gifts I received from my shower. I started packing for the hospital. I cleaned the car! Hubs and I tested out strollers! I got a head start on our Easter baskets! I put a few more coats of paint on the dresser! And, we mailed our taxes! PROGRESS is so comforting!

And randomly: I don’t know why I decided at almost 9 months pregnant to start investing in some workout clothes but Old Navy and Gap were have a nice sale and so I snagged a few pieces. I’m really trying to stay true to my clothing “needs” discussed in this post and I hope these all fit post baby. Cross your fingers! I’d cross my toes too but I can barely see them anymore.

Spring Must-Haves

So, we were kinda robbed of spring.  The pendulum keeps swinging from windy and miserable to a muggy almost-90-degrees back to crap weather again.  Totally not fair.   But, still, I’m going to post about what I need for Spring, even though it gave up waiting for us to enjoy it.

1. Sunscreen.  It’s only taken me 32 years but I think I might have this kinda figured out.  In the Spring, I am so excited to welcome the sun on my pale ruddy skin that I usually endure some sort of burn (not cool) before I snap back to reality.  And since I rock a perpetual Norwegian tan (you know what that means), I always seem to get burned when I least expect it.  Like when you grab coffee with a girlfriend and it happens to be kinda decent outside – so you just plop yourself down at the bistro out front underneath the shadow casting Caribou Coffee sign and start rehashing the latest Idol drama and before you know it – the tops of your feet are basically on fire (but not your toes because you’re wearing flats) and you have a pale (but jovial) caribou prancing along the very uncomfortably pink side of your forearm.

Now, I pack sunscreen in my purse.  That way, if a spontaneous coffee date happens – I am ready.  Any takers?  Hello?

2.  A few light weight cardigans (especially love those 3/4 sleeves).  They are perfect for layering and shielding those squishy arms from the horror of tank tops for just a little while longer.  A must-have!  I think I need a red clay-ish/coral-ly one but not your senior citizen coral, mind you.  I picked up a few blue ones after Christmas ($12 bucks each) and I’m excited to finally get more use out of them now that hypothermia isn’t a concern as much anymore.

3.  I know I already own it but dusting off the old bike and (accepting the consequential helmet hair) is another Spring must-have.  I hope I still remember how to ride it because it’s been an awfully long winter.

4.   I’ve been wanting to add some nautical to my life  – being that it’s ever so popular right now.  Bring on the navy striped boyfriend tanks – especially paired with some kelly green which is already a fav color of mine.  Ooor paired with that red clay-ish cardi from above??

Tank from ae.com

5. Big filigree earrings.  They are a goes-with-everything accessory for fancying up a sundress to blinging out your favorite t-shirt.  I’ve spotted the perfect (read: cheap) pair at Charlotte Ruesse.  They will be mine…!

Earrings link here.

6.  PLANTS.  For Easter, my MIL got us each a potted herb to take home (a great idea!) so those are happily sitting on our patio.  The greenery fills me with glee and really is the signature Spring must-have!

*Updated with a photo, just because

Tell me, what puts a Spring in your step?

Wore Zone

I’m back with Wore Zone.  It’s the Baby it’s Cold Outside edition.  Luckily for us (no), we’ve had a lot of snowstorms.  Which lent itself as a perfect opportunity to strong arm the Hubs out into the elements and make him take pictures.

  • Sweater: Express, ~$35 with coupon
  • Skinny jeans:  AE
  • Striped tank: Target, $17
  • Blue layer tank:  AE, $8
  • Fake Uggs:  Target, $20
  • Jewelry:  My mainstays (silver hoops, wedding bling) and two fingered ring from C. Ruesse, $4
  • Polish:  Sally Hansen, Brick Wall

  • Hat: Aeropostale, $5
  • Scarf: JCPenny, $free
  • Polka dot coat: Charlotte Ruesse, $40
  • The rest is the same as above because everyone loves a two for one.

And because I couldn’t resist:

  • The Hubs in his sweaty broomball clothes, eeeew.

Do you have a bulky sweater helping you survive this miserable winter?  Hello?  Anyone make it this far?  That wasn’t very satisfying, was it?

Ok, confession time.  I have been so inspired by people’s outfit posts (like the ones that link up to The Pleated Poppy on Wednesdays).  They have really encouraged me to shop my own closet and play with new pairings and accessories.  I thought the hardest part of Wore Zone for me would be to come up with something fresh and cute to wear without shopping…and although that’s a daily struggle, I didn’t realize an even bigger problem lay in wait.  Getting my picture taken.  I’m going to be honest, this picture taking process has been brutal on my self esteem.  I’m not kidding.  I’ve tried the self timer tripod pics, bathroom pics (look how smoothly that went down),

and finally had to sweet talk the Hubs into snapping pictures.  BUT, I feel so self conscious during the whole ordeal that I can’t stand it any longer.

So, I’m discontinuing War Zone.  It was good (meh) while it lasted.

Wore Zone

I’m back, fighting fashion faux pas in the Wore Zone.  Also, I’m three inches shorter in the blonde locks department.  If you are wondering why the heck I am doing this, read here.  Also, check out this blog – she is wear (hehe) I first saw this type of post and maybe she’s the originator?

  • Brown cardi:  Maurices, $32 (I think.  I need to figure out how to start couponing better at this place – anyone have any tips??)
  • Peach lace top: Wet Seal, $16.99.  It’s ultra feminine with the high collar and ruffles.  But,  I don’t like this store because you can’t return items (even with a receipt), which I think is a terrible policy.
  • White tank:  AE, $8ish
  • Jeggings:  AE, seriously comfy.  Can’t remember the cost but I always use a 15% coupon and tag team it with sales.
  • Long gold necklace with pink pendant:  AE clearance, $6
  • Silver hoop mainstays (from Herbergers) and wedding bling (you know who I got that shiny hunk of fabulousness from)

The cardigan is a little wimpy for a February outfit though, so I may have to stash it away until spring.  Anyone out there tried the jeggings and if so, are they a yay or no way?

Here is my winter wear addition/edition:

  • Hat:  Aeropostale, a very sweet $5!
  • Scarf: Bought it before Xmas and it was $FREE because it was on sale for $9.99 and I used one of those very yummy $10 coupons from JCPenney on it.  SCORE.
  • Wool coat: AE clearance 8 years ago.  The cool thing about it is that it’s reversible.  All business in the front.

And homeless person on the inside.

Here is what I wore to work that day.  Pretend that my scissor hands are cool in some small way.

  • Cardi: New!  Nordstrom clearance, $12!
  • Lace shirt: Charlotte Ruesse, ~$20, bought it a few years ago and I love the detailing.
  • Black pants:  Express.  They run about ~$40 with a sparkly coupon.
  • Polish: NYC in Manhattan (from Target)
  • Bracelet:  New York & Co, $7.50 (wore it on my wedding day!)
  • Earrings:  Lia Sophia, $22 (one of the most expensive pieces of jewelry that my cheap a** owns).

Isn’t a cardi and lacy shirt the easy and always works outfit?

Wore Zone

I’ve been perusing a handful of blogs lately (when I should be dusting, nonetheless) and I’ve noticed a fun little trend that has piqued my interest:  What I Wore Wednesdays (or some variation of this idea).

What I Wore Wednesdays is to encourage the stay at home (or work from home) Moms/women folk out there to get out of their jammies or soft pants and put some effort into their outfit and accessories.  Then they snap a picture and show the world via the big bad internet.  Sounds stupid?  No, my friends, not to me.  I love to see how creative people get, what their outfits cost, if they have thrifted any of the items and so on.  It’s inspiring to watch them dive into their closet and see what they come up with.

Fashion is not my forte (cue Flashback Fridays for some chilling reminders) and I’m a better copier than creator.  And even though I do go into the office each day, the kind folks at my work couldn’t care less about fashion.  This encourages me to be lazy and sloppy and sometimes un-showered (oh my!).  So, I thought I’d give this What I Wore Wednesdays a shot.  Except, do it on random Thursdays and call it something else because it’s my blog and I do what I want, when I want.

Also No Boys Allowed!!  Well, ok, fine but I’m just warning you that you won’t care about any of it – so, proceed at your own risk.

I don’t own many clothes (and even less accessories) so I think this is going to be a challenge for me.  And I’m hoping to take you along for the ride, so how about it?

Here is my first outfit (taken with the tripod, a gift from my kick butt BIL).  Feel free to judge but be nice and remember: I have complete control of the comments and probably will take on pseudo names to write how stunningly fashionable this outfit is (as well as other random compliments) if and when no one else does.

  • Sweater:  Maurices, $26
  • Pants: AE jeans, ~$20ish?
  • Polka dot tank: Old Navy, $10
  • White tank: Express, $~10
  • Orange belt:  H&M, $6
  • Short booties: Famous footwear, by Blowfish, can’t remember how much they cost but probably ~$35 with coupon
  • Jewelry:  Wedding bling (!) and simple silver hoops (my mainstays)

Anyone out there tried the belted cardigan fad??

Fancy Pants

Weddings.  It’s a chance for two people to make some powerful promises and for us to shower and wear something fancier than smelly workout clothes.  Without further ido ado, here we are all schnazzied up.

Ben & Melissa’s Rehearsal Dinner.  We don’t know why Zack decided to wear jeans.  Strike 1.

Ben & Melissa’s Wedding.  This pic was taken at an awkward angle,  from really far away with a foggy camera lens.  Strike 2.

Nate and Cathy’s Wedding.  We are sitting with a classy plastic beer cup and Zack’s tie had mutinied against us. Strike 3.

Jill and Weston’s wedding.  We had a little time to kill so we stopped in for some hot eats, cool treats and a redunkulous self timer picture.  Also, my hair needs highlights ASAP.  Strike 4 (because we require leniency), and we’re out.

This is the time where you shower us with compliments anyway.  I’m waiting.

The Skinny Jeans Train

The Skinny Jeans train just swung through town (ok, like 5 years ago).  Anyway, I got on.  And I am hanging on (in?) for dear life.  What made me FINALLY buy really tall compression socks Skinny jeans?

That, my friends, is a very good question.  And I don’t know the answer.

I’m going to wear them in public once I round up enough courage.  Or drink enough wine.  Or if someone dares me.  Or, if there is a nuclear apocalypse and we’ll all die anyway.

But, first, a SECRET fashion show.  After sending a public service announcement to my town home community warning them to STAY INDOORS, I suckered my kind neighbor into snapping a few photos of my new “look”.  Coincidentally, my neighbor happens to be Emily Griffith, an All Star Photographer.  Um, SCORE.  Here are the shenanigans that ensued.

What do you think, should I jump out the front cab and let this train run me over?

Resident fashionistas: Can you give me some advice on how to actually pull these off (literally and figuratively)?  Any of you out there who are afraid to hop aboard this (or another fashion trend) train like me?  Do tell.

An aside: Is against the Skinny Jeans Bylaws to purchase a pair and then consume a gyro, tray of cheese curds, and a malt at the local fair all in the same day?  Please discuss.