I feel like I am finally getting a handle on my pregnant style this fourth (and probably final) time around. Don't get me wrong, I am no expert, but I asked Katy for her best advice (she is prego, too, and she looks really good), and that set me on path away from "Tweedle-dee-hood" and towards some semblance of style. Here are some things she told me, along with some things I picked up all by myself:
1. Get some maternity t-shirts from Molly Me in black and white. These are inexpensive but they are thick and sturdy and flattering. Wear them in the summer, and put a cardigan over them in the winter. This was my favorite tip from Katy. I love my Molly Me shirts.
2. Get some elastic-waist skirts in several lengths and colors. You'll get a lot of wear out of them while pregnant and afterward. Target has some good options right now.
3. Accessorize. Katy told me this, too. Wear simple clothes in a monochromatic scheme (like a black t-shirt with a black skirt), then add pops of color with jewelry, scarves, and/or shoes. A good place to go for cheap accessories is Forever 21. Some of their necklaces only cost $1.50! It's a good place for trendy pieces and big, chunky necklaces/bracelets that you don't want to spend a fortune on. Also, there are so many inexpensive, cute flat shoes that you have no need to replace your high heels with nurse's shoes for church.
4. Don't confine yourself to maternity clothes. Other people have said this before. This is not big news. But honestly, I have only recently learned to follow this advice. A lot of tunic style shirts can be worn during the first two trimesters and you can also go up a size in regular shirts for part of your pregnancy, too. You can even get away with pants a size or two bigger for the first little while. A lot of dresses in stretchy fabric with an empire waist will work for a long time during your pregnancy. Downeast Outfitters has dresses like this. Maxi dresses are another really good option. These will come in handy post-pregnancy, too, when you don't want maternity clothes but your old clothes don't fit anymore.
5. Pool your resources. Trade maternity clothes with a friend, if you can. I currently have two huge boxes of maternity clothes that are a combination of my own and my friend, Tricia's. Everything that I think is cute and want to wear belongs to Tricia. It's nice to have something new to wear that I didn't have to pay for. And I think she felt the same way when she was pregnant and wore my things.
6. Having said that, don't feel obligated to wear maternity hand-me-downs from well-meaning relatives who were pregnant in 1989. Don't compromise your taste just because you are desperate. This is coming from someone who wore stretchy pants and polyester striped shirts for half of her pregnancy when she was desperate and living in Taiwan.
7. Go to thrift stores. It's so hard when you are between your regular clothes and full-fledged maternity clothes. You need to get some bigger sizes, but who can afford a whole new wardrobe in one or two sizes up? Enter Deseret Industries. This is a good resource for in-between pants and other clothes.
8. Get a good hair cut. I'm not necessarily advocating a short extreme hair cut, but something with a style, something with structure, that is easy to do, will make you feel good about yourself.
9. Pantyhose getting you down? Just wear leggings! I have spent many a Sunday morning crying over nylons that don't work while pregnant (this is not an issue in warmer months, obviously). If only leggings had been in style back then! Now they are back and I plan on wearing them to church every Sunday in October and November. Some people will tell you to try thigh highs or knee highs. I have also spent many Sundays hiding behind a dumpster pulling up thigh highs that kept falling down while Mike acted as lookout (this happened a lot in Taiwan because we had to walk several blocks to church). Knee highs are fine if your dress or skirt is long enough, but if anyone sees the top, and sees your flabby flesh poking out over the top of your knee-high, there goes your street cred!
10. Proportion is important. Basically, if your pants are baggy and full, you would look better with a more fitted top. Alternatively, if you are wearing a flowy top, a slimmer bottom is a good match. Just because you are pregnant doesn't mean you have to wear baggy clothes all over. Slim fitting shirts can be very flattering. You might as well accentuate your belly and try to draw attention away from other parts of your body that are also expanding (I am talking about my own problem with my legs, arms, face, and back side here. Maybe you are lucky enough to not get big in those areas while pregnant). Anyway, don't lose sight of proportion when you are prego.
What are your favorite pregnancy style tips?