Maternity Fashion 101

6:14 PM

   I've been wanting to do this post for a long time, as it is a subject near and dear to my heart.  Maternity fashion.  Dressing the bump.  Modern mama.  Whatever you want to call it, if you've been pregnant for any amount of time, and have even the slightest interest in clothes, it can become discouraging, frustrating and downright uncomfortable in a hurry.  Nothing fits quite right, and the things that do are either your husband's old basketball t-shirts and sweats that no one wants to see you in, or clothes from Motherhood Maternity designed with a 35-year-old in mind that you don't really want to see yourself in.

   In my first pregnancy (and so far in this one), I wore my normal clothes for at least 3/4 of the time.  I just wear my normal clothes as long as I possibly can, and then mix in a few maternity items for comfort, while layering other pieces from my wardrobe.

   This way, I still feel like I retain the "old me" and don't have to transform completely into this frumpy, pregnant, mom-to-be creature, and it also saves a LOT of money.  Once again, if you've been pregnant, you quickly realize how ridiculously expensive maternity clothing is, and it's hard to spend that much on clothes you love, much less spend it on clothes you don't even really like. :(  So, without further ado, some of my maternity fashion.

   (My photo shoot was cut short by this beloved time of year we refer to as "March Madness" as the game began.  But that's o.k., thanks Shelby and Hubby for taking the photos you did! :)  And I will post more outfits later.)

30 (in two days) weeks pregnant.  Only 10 more to go!

 Dress, Target. Skinny jeans, Gap. Sweater, thrifted. Hat, Claire's (for one dollar!!).  Flats, can't remember.:p
   Here's another one with pretty much the same outfit scheme.  Dress, skinny jeans, hat.  It is my go-to type outfit for this cold, rainy, wintry weather we've been having while the rest of the world gets to experience spring.  Keeps you nice and warm and you can add/subtract sweaters or cardigans as you feel the need. 
   Dress, thrifted. Jeans, thrifted. Hat, gift from Hubs. Necklace, Forever 21. Shoes, payless?

  Here is one I can't figure out how I feel about...I love the skirt, but when I put it on, it just looks a little weird.  Is it the length?  Is it too full to wear as maternity?  I want to try it again post-baby and see if I like it better.  Any feedback is appreciated.:)
Top, thrifted. Skirt, Old Navy. Shoes, Payless.
   Here we finally moved outside to some better lighting as the sun (?!!?!!?) decided to show us a rare glimpse of its face.  Minutes after these photos the clouds all rolled back in, but that little break was so nice!  Thank-you Jesus.
Top, Forever 21. Vest, skirt, thrifted. Boots, hat, Target. Necklace, gift.

   Apparently, I like hats.  I'll try to not use them so much in the next fashion post. :)  And while I think of it, question to those more techie than I...when uploading pictures to your blog (if you have blogspot) did you ever get the message that your free space was full and you would have to purchase more?  I guess the photos are all uploading to a Picasa album of some kind, and I don't know how to delete some to make more room.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.:)

   So now it's your turn.  I'd love to hear tricks-of-the-trade for maternity wear.  A girl will take all the help she can get when it comes to packing on the pounds and still looking decent!  As far as any pregnancy fashion advice from me to you, I would advise:
  • If you splurge on anything, splurge on bras and shoes.  (And I need to take my own advice on this one).  Because everything else can be found second-hand or cheap, but those are two things you want GOOD QUALITY in.
  • Accessorize in excess!  When you're feeling frumpy and huge, layers work miracles.  And even your comfy t-shirt will look completely different with a scarf, belt, hat and nice shoes. 
  •   When you get up in the morning, put something on other than a hoodie and sweats!!!  I can't emphasize this enough.  I know you think they're the comfiest pieces of clothing that you own, but dressing in something a little nicer will give you more energy, motivation and positive thinking for the rest of the day.  You will actually get more accomplished too!  Try it and see.
  • When pregnant, you don't have to necessarily think BIG.  I see women wearing things that are plain and simply too large for them, just because they're pregnant.  Think same sizes (in most things) but look for stretchy, forgiving fabrics, and longer lengths.  Anything with a high-waist works really well.
  • If you're in that "Not yet a baby bump, but just looks like I ate a big burrito" stage, wear once again, lots of layers and things that draw attention elsewhere.  For example, a patterned scarf,  interesting hat or bright, bold shoes will have people looking up at your face and down at your feet, and not necessarily your mid-section.  And high-waisted skirts with a belt will hide just about anything!  
   That's all I can think of for now, if I think of some more I will include them in my next outfit post.  Although considering how long it took me to get around to doing this one,  I might have a baby by then. :p

    And in closing, if you're pregnant and find yourself sporting a bump whether it's small, medium or large, wear it proudly!!!  That is probably the best advice I can give.  Yes, I know you're uncomfortable.  Yes, I know that some days you feel like you got run over by an ice cream truck and then ate all that was inside it.  I've been there.

   But just think.  That precious life growing inside of you is an absolute miracle and a privilege that many women would give anything to have.  Let's not belittle the gift by complaining, moping around, dressing frumpily or just plain giving up.  Let's hold our heads a little higher, wear that bump with pride, and thank the good Lord that we don't have the gestational period of an elephant, which is almost two years.  Or the baby size of a baby elephant.

Have a hip, happy pregnancy.

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  1. I just love this post, Shelley! You make it all sound so good and fun, and I really appreciate that!! :) And you look great! You will have such fun with your two little girls...It's a happy kind of life :)

  2. What a cute bump!! I found you via the Girl Party Linkup, and am now following your blog. So nice to meet you! xoxo, eliza

  3. Great post! You rock those maternity outfits! I found you through the girl party, and I'm so excited to read more about you!

  4. You seriously have the cutest bump ever! This post totally gives me hope that one day when I'm pregnant I don't look like a hawaiin grandma walking around in mu-mus 24/7.
    I found you via the girl party!

    Every Day is a New Adventure!

  5. Cutest prego lady ever!!! I'm just a few weeks behind you. Can I come over and peruse through your closet? :) I have found Ross to be my favorite maternity store: cheap maternity clothes and other clothes that I can use as maternity (just buy a size up)! So totally agree with bullet point #3 too.

    And I sympathize with a week away in the sunshine and back to the North. I think we took a little vacation at the same time. Love your blog. Found you via girl party.

  6. Cute outfits! I am 28 weeks, so just a few weeks behind you... My biggest salvation has been "homemade" Bella bands. I had four tank tops from Old Navy that I didn't care to wear anymore, so we took them to a tailor and she chopped off the top/straps and hemmed them into Bella bands (basically, looks like a tube top). It cost $20 total... I wear them around my waistband every day, and it helps cover up my maternity pant waistband and keeps me from exposing any skin I'd prefer not to show between my top and pants.

    In non-pregnant life, a long tank top accomplishes the same purpose, but it's tough to find a tank top to cover all that belly! :)

  7. Hi! I'm stopping by from The Girl Party! Love your hip maternity looks - you look really happy too :) I'm looking forward to checking out the rest of your blog.

  8. I'm not sure if I was supposed to read this post or not, but I did, and I enjoyed it. Shells, I am once again astounded at everything a woman goes through without us guys even knowing about it. Who knew maternity wear was such a huge topic? What rock has my head been under for the past decade?

    I didn't find you through the Girl Party. I found you through normal channels, like by being your brother. :)

  9. this is so amazing shelly. you truly have some awesome style. and gosh! can't believe you only have 10 weeks to go.


  10. Shelley- what a sweet post! YOu had me {and my sis lookin over my shoulder} laughing and yet so inspired. Not that we need the inpiration yet....but we stored away the info for "someday" when we have baby bumps to show off. By the way, you are SO CUTE with yours! And I LOVE, love the skirt you weren't sure about! That's my opinion! And I'd love to see more "fashion" posts in future.:)


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