Styling (or hiding) your baby bump
You know your body. You know what makes you feel sexy and look slim when it comes to its size and shape. That is . . . until you get pregnant. And it’s not just your body that’s going through a serious transformation; it is also your wardrobe (and potentially your self-esteem).
So how do you hide until you’re ready to show, style, and find comfort? Here are my suggestions:
Hide It! Styling tips to hide your pregnancy
Depending on your body, it may be possible to hide your baby bump for several months especially if you are waiting to tell people until after the first trimester. I hid mine through much of month six, thanks to strategic dressing, draping, and styling.
Look 1: Leggings, Loose Shirt, Long Cardigan, Boots
This casual look allows you to hide any small side view bump as the cardigan and leggings combo are comfy and forgiving and boots are chunky enough to create balance from bottom to top. If you notice an increase in cleavage and you’re comfortable flaunting it, a lower cut top will train the eye up and away.
Look 2: Fitted to Flowering or Straight Dress
Dresses are a great way to hide the bump. But before I tell you what to swear, let me tell you what not to wear:
– Pass on dresses too tight in the belly, making you resemble an overstuffed sausage.
– Avoid dresses that are too loose all over, looking like you’re wearing a curtain or a bag.
– Don’t pick dresses that define the waist, your newly protruding middle will look even bigger.
– Choose a dress that is fitted on top, has a slight A-line tapering, and flowering or straight the skirt. (Slight tapering, because if the fabric is too fitted under your bustling, you will actually be advertising your bump. However, if the tapering is only slight, your bust will protrude beyond your belly.
– Opt for a dress that drops from a slightly fitted bust to straight down — no flare, no tapering, no butt or belly-hugging. Unless your bump goes beyond your bust, the straight drop should hide it.
Style It! Styling tips to accentuate your pregnant belly
Once you’re over the, “Do I just look fat or pregnant?” phase, it can be a blast styling and showering off our bump. Here are a few favorite and flattering looks:
Work It While Working Out
Choose a capri pant with a fold-over waist. The fold-over serves dual purposes: it’s looser on the belly (and therefore on the bladder), and it frames your baby-to-be! Your bigger breasts deserve to be highlighted in a bright sports bra. You’ll need to buy new bras no matter what, so you may as well make the most of your engorged assets! Top it off with a comfy T-shirt.
I recommend Fabletics Salar Capri fold-over in black and coral, Fabletics Kemi Bra in flamingo, and a simple Old Navy buttoned T. Cozy Orange also makes comfy yet functional performance maternity wear.
If traditional sports bras are starting to feel too tight, the Tom Girl Bra with a Velcro back closure allows you to adjust the band eight inches for the perfect expanding fit. Plus, it’s a nursing bra, designed with open hooks or nursing clasps for easy access once the baby is born.
Dress It Up!
Continue to stay away from dresses that taper along your belly button line, as those styles just make you look big. Now is the time to pull out those A-lines! Wrap dresses are even better, allowing you to adjust it. Choose a wrinkle-free fabric that is washing machine safe.
I recommend: Loeta Perfect Wrap Sleeveless Dress (pictured above). Mine is in Navy Robin’s Egg. The 100% Made in New York designs are printed in-house and using the softest luxury wrinkle-free stretch fabrics. I’m obsessed.
Look 1: Baby Shower Dress
Show off what you’ve got! You can go cutely and loose or take advantage of the opportunity and wear a body-hugging dress that does your body justice.
I recommend: Leota Wiggle Dress. Ruched on the sides, this style is completely on-trend for all style-conscious women! Mine is in Whimsy Rose. The fabric is sweet, but the style is sexy.
Look 2: Bye-bye Heels! Hello Fabulous Flats!
While they make you look taller and slimmer, high heels are the last thing you want to wear. Beyond the fact that you have more weight to carry, high heels can increase leg cramps and water retention. But that doesn’t mean that you have to stick with flip flops or sneakers; try a pair of comfortable flats.
I recommend: Ja-Vie flats (pictured above). Designed to feel as though you are walking barefoot, these super lightweight jelly shoes have an inside lining made from soft double-ply breathable cotton. But, it’s the sole that will have your feet singing their praises. With arch, ball, and heel cushioning, your feet are supported and protected from impact. And, let’s not ignore the too-amazing styles! From bright reds to basic black, and pretty pink lace, your heels will not be missed.
Look 3: Goodnight
You’re exhausted and need a good night sleep. While a solid night of zzz’s may not be in your future for quite a while, you can stay comfortable with a super-soft cotton nightie slinking along your skin.
I recommend: Starlit Mom & Baby Gift Set from Belabumbum, a rookie but sexy nightie that features easy pull-aside nursing access you’ll need once the baby arrives. Plus, you’ll love that it comes with a matching unisex infant outfit.
Laurel House is the dating coach and five-time published author, including her most recent book Screwing The Rules. She has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and E! News as an expert, where she shares her fitness, healthy lifestyle, and dating expertise. notyourmamaspregnancy.com