mommy's style

mommy's style
mommy's style

kumquat's style

kumquat's style
kumquat's style

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rock that baby bump, part 1:
dressing around the bump

moto jacket :: bebe | blouse :: maurice's | skinny jeans :: refuge | boots :: de blossom collection | bag & earrings :: aldo | necklace & gold bracelet :: forever 21 | black leather cuff :: c/o salvage west

At 23 weeks in to this adventure, I've discovered there are three stages of baby bump:
Stage 1: The initial is-it-or-isn't-it barely-there bump (it probably looks like you had a big lunch)
Stage 2: The "I swear I'm pregnant and not just chubby" bump
Stage 3: The adorable watermelon size bump that makes it pretty obvious a lady is preggers

Dressing for stage one is pretty simple - you can probably stick to regular programming, with the occasional fit-and-flare waistline or tummy control tights for bumpier days. Comfort and fit are tricky in stage three, but by this point vanity should be somewhat satiated by the now-obvious fact that you're pregnant rather than stacking on pounds for the hell of it.

It's stage two, where I'm currently situated, that's taking a serious toll on my self-image. Depending on your frame and how you're carrying, the ten or fifteen pounds you've gained likely look like extra weight rather than the adorable baby bump photos seen on Pinterest. Kumquat's sudden growth spurt over the last two weeks has caused me some pretty intense body image anxiety that has me feeling more than a little depressed about the way I look.

And let's face it: with hormones kicking in, how you feel about the way you look is going to seriously affect your outlook on your pregnancy, so it's important to win the daily wardrobe battle. Some may view appearance as a shallow thing, but image is vital to our self confidence and impacts everything from our mood to our career and sex life.

I've found two strategies for managing the wardrobe angst that accompanies stage two bump: dressing around the baby bump, and dressing to accentuate it. This post will look at the former with tips on what to wear to hide your baby bump, and next week we'll explore ways to accentuate the stage two bump to make it look more baby bump-ish.

baby bump hide #1: the empire waistline
The empire waistline can be used to hide or accentuate your bump - it depends on placement of the bust hem, the fit and overall look of the garment. To camouflage your blooming baby bump, look for something extra billowy with a wider waistband (refer to the photos above for a visual). A solid camisole beneath a sheer top in matching colors gives the illusion of straighter lines.

side note: the lower the rise on your jeans, the longer they're likely to fit (they'll be somewhat further from your expanding mid-section); just make sure to wear a lengthier blouse to prevent pregnant plumber's.

baby bump hide #2: the boyfriend blazer or cardigan
While you may have relied on a well-fitting blazer to show off your waist pre-pregnancy, the looser silhouette of a boyfriend cut works well to disguise any newly gained weight while still looking sharp. Swap the blazer for an artfully oversized cardigan on the weekends for a more casual vibe.

baby bump hide #3: a fit-and-flare dress
Similar to the empire waist, a fit and flare's waist hits just below the bust. The difference is the flared skirt that fans out from a fitted bodice, where an empire cut might have a straighter silhouette descending from a fluffy top. A fit and flare dress is the perfect choice for date night or a swanky party, and the right one can be just as sexy as any strapless mini.

baby bump hide #4: a billowy blouse or sweater
A tried-and-true staple of professional moms-to-be, a billowy blouse can do wonders for days when nothing fits. Having had more than a few experiences with pregnant-wardrobe-anxiety recently, I've found that an oversized sweater with a collared blouse with skinnies is the perfect way to hide extra inches without giving up on style. Amp up the preppy vibe with studly ankle boots and a sleek envelope clutch - extra points for a military-style parka on chillier days.

A variation on this look to carry you through stage three: a billowy tunic and patterned leggings. Maintain the ankle boots and clutch for a comfy-but-chic look that won't hurt your street style cred.

baby bump hide #5: the sheath dress
Short, Gatsby-inspired frocks are still very in at seven months post movie release - probably because of their forgiving nature. Regardless of how much you had at dinner or how far forward baby is sitting, the sheath conceals your waistline with a sheer drop from the shoulders. Pick one with pretty detailing (like lace panels or beading) or a badass pattern to kick it up a notch, or keep it simple with a solid color and chic accessories. Add tights and booties with a sharp blazer for the office or leather jacket for night.

If you're looking for more stylish-but-comfy pregnancy looks, check out this Pinterest board, and stay tuned for upcoming posts on the subject (and baby bump photos this weekend). And if you're a mom or mom-to-be, I'd love to hear your thoughts on baby bump dressing - post your tips in the comments below.

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