Pregnancy can be frustrating for the fashionista part of you – the part that longs to dress up in svelte frocks or lounge about in your favourite skinnies. You may be overjoyed at the new life growing inside you, but dismayed at your shrinking wardrobe options and expanding waistline.
Yes, weight gain is an inevitable part of any normal, healthy pregnancy, and something you’ll have to come to terms with and accept as part of the whole ‘package’. Comfort yourself with the fact that expectant mothers today have a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to maternity wear. You’ll be spoilt for choice as you kit yourself out with new wardrobe additions that celebrate and show off your new curvy figure and blossoming belly!
Depending on your preference, you can go for form-fitting maternity wear that’s comfy yet sexy, a couple of well-cut staples that will ‘grow as you grow’, non-maternity regular clothes that give room for your fuller figure, or any combination of the above! But do stay away from anything that is overly loose, baggy or ill-fitting – how you look and present yourself definitely has bearings on how you feel about yourself, so dress to impress yourself, at the very least.
Revisit your closet
If you rummage through your wardrobe, you’re likely to find at least a couple of items that will get you through the first trimester and some of the second. Look for loose, flowy tops, pants or skirts with elasticized waists and stretchy gaucho pants. If you can’t bear to part with your jeans for the whole nine months, you can invest in a nifty invention called the belly band, which can hold your unzipped pants/jeans up securely.
Borrow first, buy later
Good quality maternity clothes are expensive, and will only have about 6 months of mileage. So, before rushing out to the shops to buy up a storm, ask around your friends for pre-loved maternity wear that they can lend or sell to you. Not only does this guarantee a more comfortable feel to the clothes, it saves you a lot of money, which could be better used to buy the big-item baby essentials. And trying on these clothes will also give you a better sense of what sizes and styles work best for your pregnant figure, which saves you time and expense when you do hit the shops for some items of your own.
Get ready for the transition
During the second trimester is when your regular clothes will start to become too tight, but you may find regular maternity wear too baggy on your still relatively-small tummy. During this phase of in-between sizes, it is common practice is to buy a few non-maternity transitional items that are a size or two larger than your regular size. Or look for maternity bottoms that have stretchy and adjustable belly panels and waistlines.
Accentuate the positives
If you have long legs, pregnancy doesn’t mean you have to start wearing long skirts or pants all the time. You can still flaunt your gams in shorter skirts – just avoid anything too short, and practice sitting at home to check that you can sit down and stand up without revealing too much. Or showcase your new curves with a wrap dress or V-neck top.
Stick to what works
If black has been your ‘colour’ all this while, then chances are you’ll continue to look great in black when you’re pregnant! Continue to build your maternity wardrobe around the hues, prints and styles you were comfortable and confident in pre-pregnancy.
During pregnancy, your body temperature is likely to be slightly higher than usual, as your whole system is working hard to supply baby with the blood, nutrients and oxygen he or she needs. Overheating can be dangerous for both mother and baby, so be sure not to dress too warmly for our hot and humid climate.
Pay attention to what’s underneath it all
It’s not just your tummy that growing – your bust is getting a pretty big boost from the pregnancy hormones and your body’s preparation for impending motherhood. Look and feel better with new underwear that fits you well – even if no one else but your husbands knows about it. To avoid having a closet full of too-big bras in the future, only buy a couple at a time, as you need them. And look for those with adjustable hooks at the back and at least three hooks per row, to allow for greater overall support.
It’s important to scrimp and save on non-essentials, but do allow yourself at least one flattering, stunning outfit that makes you feel confident, beautiful and attractive. The perfect antidote for days when you just want to dress up or chase the fears and doubts away!
By Dorothea Chow