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How To Flatter The Bump

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You’ve probably noticed a theme in my maternity style–everything is tight. Ever since my bump made it’s debut, which honestly wasn’t too long ago (sometime around 6.5 months), I’ve been wearing nothing but tighter, bodycon dresses. Reason being is super simple: looser flowy things just make me look big. It’s really unflattering. It’s hard enough getting dressed while you’re pregnant–everything is snug, uncomfortable, doesn’t sit right, etc.–so the last thing you want is to wear something that fits but makes you feel like a walking tent. Before going any further let me just say that this is purely my opinion about my body / image. I’ve received a lot of requests for posts about how I’m dressing my bump, where I’m shopping, and if I’m wearing maternity, so this is what this post is about. I just want you to have the fact (as always) about where my head is at so you feel fully included and informed about my decisions. If loose is your style…DO YOU!

I’m not wearing maternity. So far (I’m now at 33 weeks = 8 months) I’ve made it this far without any actual maternity clothing. With the exception of the Baby Mama collection by Naked Wardrobe, which I hardly count as “maternity,” I’ve been wearing all “regular” clothing. The reason I wouldn’t call the Naked Wardrobe stuff real maternity is because it’s basically just a regular dress with a tiny bit of extra fabric to cover your extra body. There’s no funky seams, lines, or stretch to give it that maternity look. Don’t hate me, but I feel like the maternity clothing industry needs some major help.

I’ve discussed in great detail my issue with maternity jeans–they all hit below the belly, which on me practically shows my butt crack, and the cut at the bottom has an awkward loose ankle. I’m short. Not only do I need high-waisted to elongate my legs, I like to wear crop tops or tuck in my shirts. If I wear pants below my belly then my shirt needs to cover my entire belly, which will make me look exactly 4-feet tall with shrimpy ass legs. NOT. A. GOOD. LOOK.

The maternity clothing (aside from jeans) that I’ve tried have all been awful, too. The sizing is all whack. They say to order your regular size. So okay, I order an XS dress. What do I get? A massive, oversized, unflattering tent. The lengths of things are also an issue for me. Again, my height plays a huge factor in the way I dress my body (pregnant or not), and things that hit mid-calf AND super loose….well….I look like an extra from the Handmaid’s Tale. Nothing has worked for me. I’ve ordered and ordered every brand imaginable and not once was I happy.

But that’s okay! Because now I’m kind of an expert on where to shop for the tighter, flattering dresses that work with the bump. Sadly I have zero real pants to share (aside from leggings), but considering it’s summer I’m getting away with all dresses. It does get a little boring and repetitive, but at least I feel somewhat cute in my dresses and they are pretty comfy all things considered.

I have sized up in everything as of 2 weeks ago. I was rocking my usual XS in all the dresses for months, but since hitting 8 months I’ve needed to size up. Depending on the brand I’ve sized up 2 sizes. I’ve broken down the brands and sizes I’m wearing currently below. I know how frustrating it can be to get dressed while pregnant. For someone who has to attend 2-3 events per week and not wear the same thing it makes it even more difficult. I can imagine for women who work in an office setting and have to wear “business” attire this is also an issue…first work problems, I get it, but we are women. Let us complain, dammit!

Sometimes I like to style the bump with a belt or fanny pack above the bump (obvi). It helps create more of a waistline (or an illusion, anyway), which I honestly think is key for styling the bump. You want shape from all angles. It also breaks up a busy print, like the one I’m wearing, to show off the bump a little more. Sometimes from the front you can’t even tell I’m pregnant so a belt of some sort makes the area pop (no pun intended).

As for shoes, it has really only become tricky as of late. I was able to rock my Gucci loafers, heels, slides, etc. until about 2 weeks ago. Suddenly my feet have swollen up to a point where my sandals are too tight and heels make my feet look a little like stuffed sausages. Compression is kind of key, so I wear a lot of sneakers. I only wear exercise sneakers when I’m working out, so the rest of the time I’m either wearing my Saint Laurent sneakers or Vans. I like to rock sneakers with my little mini dresses anyway since it makes the whole look more casual. You don’t want to be showing all that skin and wearing some sexy shoe. You have to balance it out.

For outerwear, I’ve pretty much only worn my oversized Levi’s denim jackets. It’s too hot to really wear a jacket at this point, but it kind of styles it up so I like to bring one along when I’m going out. Lastly, SO many questions about undergarments. I’m just wearing my usual Hanky Panky lace panties and Urban Outfitters bras (or going braless). If there are lines…oh well. I’ve never been one to care if you can kind of see my nipples or panties. Probably not the answer you were hoping for but it’s the truth. I have been using nipple covers a little more when I go braless since that region of my body has changed a little, but otherwise I’m keeping things easy.



Where I’m Shopping: Pregnancy Edition:

Windsor. Affordable, easy, and lots of good stretchy options. I wear a Medium right now, mostly for length.

Urban Outfitters. Good basics in multiple colors. I’ve stocked up on this dress in 2 colors in size Small.

Naked Wardrobe. The Baby Mama line has the best options for fancier looks. I wore the M1 size at first and now I’m at M2.

Zara. They sell basic tank dresses that I have in solid and stripes. I wear size Small.

Blue Life. Lots of stretch and extra long so you can easily wear throughout the pregnant. I wear size Small.

Revolve. They have the best search bar because you can literally search “tank dresses” and see everything in one place. I’m wearing size Small in most things.

Shopbop. For special items, I’ve been using Shopbop. I’m typically a Small in most of their designer items and basics.

AvoMuse. For workout leggins and bras that fit and flatter. I wear size XS/S.

Spanx. If it’s a super casual day I’ll wear my maternity leggings (size XS) with a t-shirt knotted above the bump.

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