Not to make a gross understatement, but during pregnancy, your body undergoes some serious changes. Unless you live in muumuus, that usually means your wardrobe has an evolution as well. There are some common misconceptions about dressing the bump, which Rosie Pope, pregnancy concierge and maternity clothing designer, is here to help clear up. She also gives us her closet staples for when you’re expecting. Trust us, these tips are pure gold.
1. Buy maternity clothing. A commonly held misconception about maternity clothing is that you can buy a size up for regular clothing and it’ll be fine — but the problem is when you’re pregnant, your belly extends, but the rest of you likely doesn’t change as much. As Rosie puts it, “When you get pregnant, you don’t get taller. Your arms don’t get longer. Things don’t get wider — your belly might, but your shoulders don’t.” Wearing a size too large for you can result in you just looking frumpy.
2. Must-have maternity pieces. Rosie recommends investing in a few key pieces during your pregnancy. Get a loose blouse that will give you room to grow. A side-cinched dress is key for framing your belly — but a word of warning: These don’t look great postpartum. She also advises getting a dress up/dress down dress for weddings, work or whatever. Also, she dispels the myth about stripes making you look wide. According to Rosie, stripes are totally a do, so long as they are at least two inches apart!
3. Invest in a pair of maternity leggings. Leggings are a chic yet comfy option for when you’re pregnant. However, not all leggings are created equal. Rosie’s pro-tip when it comes to choosing your perfect pair is to keep an eye out for thick, good quality leggings that stretch with you. Also, do the bend test to make sure nothing is see-through from behind!
4. What to look for in a boyfriend sweater. Pair a comfy, oversized sweater with your thick, plush leggings for a complete look. When you’re shopping for a boyfriend sweater, Rosie suggests looking for ones that have skinny sleeves, even if the rest of it is drape-y. This way, it gives you some shape even when you’re in your third trimester. It’s also a great item to keep after you’ve had your baby.
5. Get denim with elastic panels. Just because you’re pregnant, it doesn’t mean you should stop wearing jeans. Find a pair that has elastic panels that with stretch as your tummy grows (FYI, the panels should sit UNDER your belly). Also, Rosie emphasizes it’s key to find denim that is stretchy.
6. Yes, there is shapewear for maternity. If you’re attending a formal event and you want to shimmy into a tight fitting gown, yes, there is maternity shapewear. While the legs and sides will still be structured, the belly area is loose, so don’t worry, you won’t be compressing your baby!
7. It’s not too early to get nursing bras. In your third trimester, Rosie suggests looking into the different nursing bras you might need. It’s good to have on hand some wireless bras, front clasp ones, sports bras and even night nursing bras that are more comfortable to sleep in. Just make sure when you’re buying a bra, the band fits your circumference comfortably on the last eye and hook. You can tighten it as you lose weight post baby.
8. Invest in maternity/nursing apparel. Get more bang for your buck by investing in maternity pieces that double as nursing pieces. What you’ll want to look for when shopping for these is something that gives you room for belly growth but also can easily undo on top so you can nurse. Wrap dresses are perfect examples for this!
Do you have any tips for maternity style? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Jenny Anderson/Getty + Rosie Pope Maternity)