Pregnancy Fashion Tips From a Nerd

pregnant woman
See? Overalls are BAD.
Some pregnant women don't gain weight anywhere but their belly. IT IS SO NOT FAIR. But it happens. Some women (like me) grow in more ways than one when they are expecting. Their hips, butt, chest, face, and feet all grow to gargantuan size new and exciting proportions while their belly swells full of baby.

Heck, my foot size even went up by a whole number and I went from wide to extra wide (and stayed that way). When you're expecting, the last thing you want to do is give up your favorite jeans, but most of the time you don't have a choice. Or do you?


When I had my first child nearly 10 years ago (LE GASP!), there wasn't much to choose from when it came to maternity clothing. There was one store in the mall that sold it (Motherhood), and on our tiny budget, I couldn't afford to buy much but a few basics. Most people I knew borrowed maternity clothes that were still in great condition from their sisters and friends. The last day I was pregnant with that child (literally, the day I went into labor), I walked around Target and noticed something: THEY HAVE CUTE MATERNITY CLOTHES! Before then it was all frumpy and dumpy. Huge Peter Pan collars, ill fitting tent-dresses, and horizontal stripes.


In other words, about 10 years ago, the clothing manufacturers finally got the hint: We still want to look cute and fashionable when we're pregnant! Stop making crappy, ugly, saggy, clowny clothes!

Since then, pregnancy fashion has gone through cycles. I'm trying to ignore the current trend of leggings and I'm hoping my pregnancy friends do, too. Because, HELLO! EIGHTIES! Been there, done that! Some things remain the same, though. And I'm going to tell you what I learned after two pregnancies and watching all of my sisters and friends go through it, too. You, too, can look cute pregnant! Here's how:

  • STAY AWAY FROM HORIZONTAL STRIPES. This should be required reading in baby prep classes. If your abdomen is growing larger (and your arse is, too), then why for the love of all that's good and holy would you choose to create the illusion that it's WIDER? Of course, you shouldn't wear them non-preggers, either. Just my little rule. Not that I'm a fashionista. Yesterday my son called me a dork.
  • Buy some basics or borrow from a friend. A good, cute pair of jeans paired with A-line or empire-waisted tops looks nifty. No skinny jeans. JUST. NO.
  • Yoga pants? YES. Your partner's sweatpants/oversized jeans? NO. I don't care if they fit into your ninth month, those overalls Hubby uses to do yardwork are ... ahem.
  • Try to stick to natural fibers as much as possible. Pregnant women get hot easily, yo. Sweating in polyester SUCKS ROCKS.
  • Invest in good, comfy shoes or sandals with great support. Your feet may swell and look like little sausages and won't fit into much.
  • Did I mention the horizontal stripes? Yes? Did you get the memo? Good.
  • No, duckies and bunnies on bright yellow shirts with a big bow on the collar isn't cute. Never. Ever. Stop wearing that. You're pregnant, not in preschool.
  • Elastic waistband skirts. Many of them. Pair with t-shirts long enough to go over your belly. TADA! Cute!
  • Things that go over your belly sometimes itch like a MOFO. I preferred bands UNDER the belly, but your mileage may vary.
  • Graphic tees are fun and you can get away with some stuff when pregnant that you might not otherwise. Like "Bun in the Oven" or "Yeah, they're real." FUN.
  • If you feel like you're wide and you don't like it, stick to darker colors (more slimming) and minimal patterns. And, in case you missed it, HORIZONTAL STRIPES ARE BAD.

Wanna know what's awesome sauce? Trendy stores now have maternity lines. Yes, there's Pea in the Pod, but most people aren't in that price range (I confess to buying a dress to my brother's wedding from there but it was on sale). I'm talking Gap, Old Navy, Target, and heck, even Ann Taylor LOFT has maternity clothing now! And we can't forget the controversial Forever 21 maternity line

A good rule of thumb for buying clothes is to buy a size similar to what you wore pre-pregnancy. For example, I was a S/M before kids so I got a S/M during pregnancy and most of the time it fit. Sort of. At least, I wanted it to. Oh heck, just try it on. Don't go crazy buying, though. You won't wear these clothes long, probably not even the whole nine months. Which is why I'm all about the village passing the maternity clothes around, mmkay?

So, to recap. NO HORIZONTAL STRIPES. Cute, trendy clothes. Comfy shoes. Natural fibers.

You got me?

Image via Marj Hatzell

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