Sunday, January 16, 2011

Maternity fashion advice: Part 3

Okay, so I'm not even done with my pregnancy but I'm doling out the advice like it's nobody's business. Oh well! I've done this for almost 9 months, so I have some sort of expertise, right? Here is my advice on maternity fashion, in general... I promise, Part 3 is the final chapter. :)

See Part 1 and Part 2.

Invest in a pair of maternity jeans in the style/cut you wear the most. For me that's a medium/dark skinny leg. Also, I've loved the kind with a full panel (yep, up to the boobs) that is made of a lightweight panty-hose fabric. I made the mistake of buying a not so comfy panel pair from Old Navy and even though they've looked cute the whole pregnancy and worked pretty well, the band was just not comfortable.

Don't assume just because you're preggo you need a giant size. I actually found that most maternity clothes run big. Pre-pregnancy I was an 8 or 10 in pants/jeans/skirts and a medium or 6 in shirts and jackets. I found that at both Old Navy, Motherhood and Kohl's I bought 8s and smalls for the most part.

If you're pregnant in the dead of winter like me, you definitely need a coat - but you can probably avoid buying an actual maternity coat if you play it smart. Borrow one or find one secondhand is your best option, but my coat is actually from the Juniors department at JcPenney. My mom saw a coat with the right silhouette online for $40 or so and ordered it in a size up and it's great! Thanks mom!

Speaking of non-maternity items, keep your eye out for clothes that will work for you in the non-maternity clothing sections. This goes for your own closet (look for empire waist styles and cardigans you can wear open, etc), but also at the stores as well. I LOVE bargain shopping and pre-pregnancy you'd probably rarely see me in an outfit totaling more than $50-75. I love searching racks for $10 gems and I thought for pregnancy I was going to be forced to buy $40 tops. I actually had a lot of luck at Kohl's clearance racks but TJ Maxx could work too. I found 3 or 4 tops (Vera Wang for Kohls and Daisy Fuentes, if you're wondering) that are cut very generously that I can still wear now. They were each $7-10. Just keep an eye out for styles that look longer and fuller in the mid-section and they just might work!

Buy something new and fun even if there is only a month or so left in your pregnancy. Towards the end you literally are sick of looking at the two pairs of pants and 5 shirts that still fit and feel good. Buy something in a bright color that makes you smile. It's worth $20 to have a little pick me up and confidence boost in the last few weeks. A mom friend from work suggested this to me and it's great advice!

Don't get in a color rut. For some reason I bought a lot of GRAY this year. I love gray, but I also love color. I don't know how it happened but I was just drawn to that color and now I'm getting very bored with a coat, fleece jacket, boots, winter accessories and multiple other items all in the same charcoal gray hue. Make sure you mix it up or you will go nuts!

Accessorize!! Accessories are important for fashion in general but even more so during pregnancy. A cute necklace or earrings can detract from a puffy face. A bright scarf camouflages a giant belly and adds flair to a boring (read: gray) outfit. And bonus! you can buy accessories now and wear them after pregnancy! A necklace always fits!

I hope these fashion posts can help some other pregnant ladies out there who are lost in the sea of panels and leggings and tunics and can't find their way out. Even though you are pregnant, don't give up on looking cute! It can be done, it's just a little bit trickier.

Oh and I have to give props to my maternity fashion guide: Dusty's Maternity Fashion Overview over at All Things G&D. I love her style and this post in particular helped me tremendously! Her daughter Kate was born January 2010, so I often looked at what she wore last fall at the same point in her pregnancy. She had great advice and I've referred back to this post often.

Happy pregnancy and happy shopping to all my pregnant fashionistas!

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