Pregnancy (and new motherhood) brings with it all types of challenges — and that includes learning how to dress your changing body. Trying to adjust to a growing figure and not fitting into your go-to pieces can feel like you’re losing your identity. (Even Kim Kardashian described the “complete mindf*ck of how your body expands and nothing fits.”) Well, maternity e-tailer Tilden is aiming to make all that angst a thing of the past.
Tilden was built on the premise that there is no need to buy specific maternity or postpartum wear. Yup. There is not a single piece on their site from a true maternity designer, and no, that doesn’t mean their offerings need alterations. Using their experience in merchandising, co-founders Ashley Howerton and Laura Forman work with designers to find styles within their collections that will work long past baby bod, like this Ella Moss Katella Lace Maxi Dress ($258). You can even shop the site by stage, from the first trimester to postpartum and nursing. So how do they do it? Howerton and Forman told us their top tips to finding non-maternity maternity wear. (It’s a thing).
Adaptable fashion is key. “Look for garments that offer versatility,” says Forman. “A wrap dress like this Yumi Kim Spin Me Around Dress ($248) — just worn by Julia Stiles for her Riviera premiere — will flatter both during and after pregnancy and offers a single snap at the bust for nursing ease. Early on, you may feel most comfortable with looser shapes, but don’t forget about length. Watch out for boxy, somewhat cropped shapes, as your growing belly will make them feel a lot shorter — and quickly.”
Form-fitting flatters. According to Howerton, “Once you’ve popped, form-fitting silhouettes are generally slimming. Counter-intuitively, there’s so much ‘extra’ already going on with your body that less is actually more in the later stages of pregnancy. Pair these with a lightweight jacket, cardigan, gilet, or kimono for a layering piece that offers coverage of arms, hips, and butt.” Brit + Co Pick: Enza Costa Muscle Maxi Slip Dress ($178)
Remember your waist. “Define. Your. Waist. Not everything should be tent-like or empire-waisted,” she adds. “You’ll get much more mileage out of a wrap or inverted v-seam that will grow with you, and yet create the illusion of a long figure both during and after pregnancy.” Brit + Co Pick:Rebecca Taylor Danielle Top ($295)
Touchable materials matter. “Seek out soft fabrics,” says Forman. “Heightened sensitivity is very common during pregnancy. Postpartum, keep in mind your baby will likely be up close and personal with your top, so the softer, the better for baby’s skin.” Brit + Co Pick: Equipment Signature Silk Shirt ($218)
Buy a bralette. “Avoid underwire bras, which can constrict milk ducts and cause painful infection,” she says. “Try out the new bralette trend or opt for bras with a soft, thick non-wire band for added support. Be prepared to size up both in cup and band size — your rib cage will likely grow during pregnancy as well. And look for dresses with thicker tank-style straps to accommodate bras and avoid tricky cutouts and backless styles.” Brit + Co Pick: ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo Pique V-Neck Dress ($245).
Live a little. Howerton’s final takeaway? “Take some risks! Your body is going through major changes. Play up your new assets, along with your usual favorites, and embrace what makes you feel confident during each stage.” Brit + Co Pick: Parker Tammy Dress ($328)
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