Here are some pieces to get you through the early months, those big-belly days and beyond — when you need all the help you can get.
Dressing a bump is fun, there’s no doubt. It’s a rare time when our proportions get flipped around and a bulging belly is something to show off rather than disguise.
But that full belly is actually a fairly short blip in the whole process — a process that presents new challenges for dressing with each phase. And don’t forget about after the birth and the possibility of months of nursing.
With that in mind, here are some pieces to get you through the early months, those big-belly days and beyond — when you need all the help you can get.
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Is she? Isn’t she? No one wants to ask. Let people off the hook by sporting the Thug Life Preggers Shirt ($28 at thuglifeshirts.com), a tongue-in-cheek design that’s also fun for announcement photos.
Forget trying to use safety pins or other tricks to keep your pants up, and invest early in a great pair of maternity jeans and a supportive pair of leggings.
A Pea in the Pod’s new Luxe Essential Denim collection has five fits and a range of washes. Try the Secret Fit Belly Mckenzie Straight Leg Maternity Jean ($85) in a dark wash for a go-anywhere style. A nylon and spandex panel goes over the belly to keep them in place.
Blanqi’s High Performance Maternity Belly Lift & Support Leggings ($64 at Nordstrom) are made of seamless, moisture-wicking microfiber, with extra belly support to help you through the day.
Shop for early maternity pieces that will last not only for the next few months, but for years. The Hatch Collection Caftan ($248 at hatchcollection.com) is a cover-up/party dress/work dress that will look chic and easy with a bump or without.
Get a quick start on your maternity needs with the Storq Basics Bundle ($250 at storq.com). It includes a simple black T-shirt dress, black leggings, a black pencil skirt and a white tank — which will get you though 90 percent of situations. There are minimal seams, no tags and — thankfully, for the modern mom — no ruching.
It’s inevitable that a formal event will come up just when you’ve sized out of your regular wardrobe. Look chic without spending a fortune with the ASOS Maternity Wrap Top Midi Dress In Mono Color Block ($69 at us.asos.com) with a cool black and white cross top.
For work or evening, check out the Imanimo Kate Dress (on sale for $86 at imanimo.com) in on-trend, color-blocked chambray. The fashion-forward brand has its summer styles on sale now and will have its fall line up soon.
Make dressing for work a little easier with a couple of versatile tops that flatter your growing bump. The Gap Linen Sleeveless Shirt ($45) is great for layering, or wearing alone when your body starts running extra hot. The Isabella Oliver Libby Maternity Tunic ($145 at isabellaoliver.com) can be dressed up or down to take you from work to the symphony.
Seattle company Zulily’s flash sales are a great place to find deals on maternity wear. Right now, the Loyal Hana Red Anya Scoop Neck Maternity/Nursing Shift Dress is available for $45, from its MSRP of $105 (at zulily.com; quantities are limited). Roomy enough for a bump, it also has side openings for nursing access after the birth.
After Baby is born, your body goes through another set of changes. Your tummy is shrinking, but doesn’t disappear overnight. And nursing can become the central activity of your days (and nights).
Get comfy for the first few weeks, and bum around in Old Navy’s Maternity Foldover-Waist Linen-Blend Pants ($14–$31), with an adjustable, elastic jersey panel, and Tulip-Hem Nursing Top ($22), which keeps exposure discreet during all the meet-the-baby visits.
If you’re having trouble finding nursing bras you like, use your own. Nordstrom will convert bras purchased at the store into nursing bras for $16. Bring your favorites to the lingerie department and they will set you up.
A good nursing tank is likely to become your most-worn piece of clothing. The Ripe Ultimate Express Tank ($71 at ripematernity.com) is a rare version that can be worn alone, with padded bust support and a heavy weight that provides full coverage.
Bellevue company Kinwolfe’s Vibrant Tunic Top ($155–$235 at kinwolfe.com) is a luxe, 100 percent silk investment piece that’s ideal for working moms. It has a long, full cut that works during pregnancy, and after the birth, a 10-inch invisible zipper in the front seam allows for nursing or pumping access.
Likewise, the Mitera Elif Dress ($340 at miteracollection.com) has hidden zipper access on the chest for convenient nursing or pumping access. Its edgy cocoon shape accommodates a growing belly, but looks ultra-cool after, as well.
There comes a point while nursing when you get tired of wearing button downs every day. Bring back knitwear with Seraphine’s Breton Striped Nursing Sweater ($89 at seraphine.com), which features chic Parisian styling and a drop-down shoulder for nursing access.