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Flaunt that Baby Bump!

By Emily B. McCormick

mama apple maternity dressPregnancy. It's one of the most exciting times in life. You're slowly learning about the little person that is about to become a part of all you do. You're likely preparing the nursery, the car, and the budget for your new addition. You're belly is growing every week (as is your appetite). Unfortunately, your clothes aren't!

Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you must give up on style. Gone are the stirrup stretch pants and oversized T-shirts of our mother's generation (thank heavens!). Never before have there been more fashion options for the pregnant woman. Even top designers such as Rock and Republic and Juicy Couture are showing maternity lines. Here are some helpful tips for you to flaunt your baby bump:

Keep clothes relatively form fitting: When you're pregnant, you're so much bigger than your usual self. But do yourself a favor and don't dress the part. I know so many people who wear their husbands t-shirts, way too baggy pants or sweatsuits all of the time. It just adds to the bulk of your appearance. Although you feel big, you should show off the fact that you're pregnant. So, if anything, if you wear baggy pants, keep the top tight. If you wear a baggy top, keep the pants tight. Avoid clothing that is too oversized.

Keep it comfortable: Pregnant women have a harder time moving in general (it takes me about an hour to roll myself out of bed). The last thing you need is to make anything less comfortable. And, people notice when you're uncomfortable. It looks awkward when to see a woman who is eight months pregnant, teetering around on stilettos. So, save yourself the pain; you can still be totally fashionable and comfortable at the same time.

red maternity dressKeep it affordable: That's one of the complaints I hear the most…it's hard to justify buying an entirely new wardrobe when you are only going to be wearing it for 3-4 months. Because, the truth of the matter is that when you're pregnant, you're only really large for the last few months.

So, something to remember is that with a lot of the current trends, you don't necessarily need to buy them from a maternity store... and often maternity stores are more expensive. Look to buy a shirt a size larger from a less expensive store. Baby-doll is totally in and very easy-to-find at almost any store.

One-color slims: This is almost always true, whether you're pregnant or not. Choose a darker color; blacks, browns, charcoal grays are all appropriate for fall. It's great to keep the base color the same and then have a bit of variety in the fabric or pattern between your top and bottom.

Final Tips: Certain styles classically look good on pregnant women: empire waist dresses and shirts, A-line skirts and pencil skirts matched with swing style shirts. Avoid wearing loud, bright colors and too much detail. Maternity clothes are designed to draw attention away from your blossoming belly. Picking out dresses and shirts with ruffles at the top, a bateau neckline or puffy sleeves will bring more attention to your neck and shoulders and not to your belly. Shawls and cardigans can be bought out of your pre-pregnancy closet to be paired with some of your maternity-friendly pieces.

About the Author
Emily McCormick is a co-founder and co-owner of Shabby Apple, an online dress boutique that provides women's dresses and maternity dresses. She lives and works from her home in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and two children ages three and one.

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