What to Wear When You’re Pregnant
By Anna K. Fryxell |
For some, pregnancy can be a nine-month pass to eat whatever we want and bask in the glory of our baby bump without judgment. However, it turns out that when it comes to what you wear, people do take notice, especially if your name is Kate Middleton or Kim Kardashian. But while Duchess Kate is getting praise for her maternity style, Kim’s been getting the opposite.
Sure, even without being pregnant, the reality star is no stranger to making a worst dressed list here and there. “Kim was getting criticism for her major style shift pre-pregnancy,” says celebrity stylist Kimmy Erin Ratican. “Kim is beautiful. But when you ignore your body and dress for trend, you're going to look foolish,” says Ratican.
Basically, Kim’s major fashion offense is the fit of her clothes. “She's wearing her pieces too tightly,” says celebrity stylist Anson Gilbert. “Tight doesn't always translate into sexy. Impeccable fit translates into sexy. Because she is short and was curvy even before pregnancy, she should be strategically choosing pieces that separate her bust from her stomach while simultaneously separating her stomach from her hips. She's going to have to define every curve in her body in order for her to not just look round and wide.”
Being pregnant is hard enough without having to worry about what you wear. But in order to look your best, here are some rules to follow—are you listening, Kim?
1) Decide if you want to conceal or reveal your baby bump.
“The first thing you need to do is determine whether or not you want to flaunt your bump or if you want to conceal it,” says Gilbert. “While most women want to flaunt it, there are a few that want to conceal it. After you've determined what category you fall into you need to make fashion choices that support that decision in the most flattering way possible.”
2) Account for other changes in your body.
The fact that your belly is going to expand is a given, but sometimes women can go from being flat-chested to well-endowed or narrow-hipped to wide-hipped. All of these changes happen differently with every woman. Rather than monitoring your weight, it’s important to take note of the measurements of your bust, stomach, hips and butt.
3) Get support.
We’re not talking about emotional support (although that’s nice too); we’re talking about undergarments. Having the right undergarments is especially crucial during pregnancy. “Most women forget to make sure they have the right bras and shapewear in their wardrobe but this is a major must-have when you're pregnant,” says Gilbert. “Just like everything else, if the foundation isn't secure, everything else will crumble.”
Make sure to consult with a bra fit specialist as you progress through your pregnancy since your bra size typically changes with every five pounds you gain or lose. Next, invest in some great fitting shapewear because it’ll smooth out any imperfections and help your clothes drape better. Just remember that shapewear shouldn’t be uncomfortable—if it is, you’re probably wearing the wrong size.
4) Choose looser styles as your pregnancy progresses.
“Styles of clothing should graduate to more loose, free-flowing pieces as pregnancy graduates,” says Gilbert. Depending on your body type, it's okay to wear tighter fitting clothes in the early stages of pregnancy. However, as your pregnancy progresses, you should transition to more free-flowing styles. “A great fashion formula to follow during pregnancy is to merge classic pieces with more bohemian ones.”
5) Make strategic color and pattern choices.
You’ve probably heard that dark colors are slimming, but you may not know why. “Darker colors absorb light and lighter colors reflect light,” says Gilbert. “Reflecting light draws attention to that area. Liken it to taking a spotlight and shining it on that area.”
So if you want to make your butt look smaller, for example, choose darker colors like black, merlot, charcoal and navy blue. However, black doesn’t always make you look thinner. Reflective fabrics like stain or leather can still draw attention to a certain area, even if they’re a dark color.
Choose prints that are in-scale with your size. “Prints that are too tiny will make you appear bigger than you are and too large will make you look shorter than you are.”
6) But still play with color and patterns.
“When your body is changing and dressing yourself becomes a little more difficult, find the happy in color,” says Ratican. “I'm a big believer that just wearing a color that fits how you want to feel will actually make you feel it!” This spring and summer, some fun colors to experiment with are melon, yellow, mint and ivory. For extra flair, try mixing these colors with leopard, stripes, camouflage and polka dot patterns.