The New Pregnancy Style Rules: How To Dress While Pregnant Now
Fortunately, the days of oversized muumuus designed to allow expectant mothers to stay “good” and hide their “condition” are long gone. The woman who pioneered the final frontier of gestational style we find ourselves in now – with heels, crop tops, baggy jeans and body-con – was of course Rihanna, who ripped all the so-called rules of the book with her own gloriously fearless pregnancy wardrobe.
Here’s what I learned about the modern way to navigate maternity clothes.
Be a mermaid, not a parachute
As counterintuitive as it may seem, the most flattering dress shapes for anyone with a child aren’t, in fact, oversized floaty dresses. These are more fitted cuts that follow your curves that you are looking for. I had all my most girly, puffy numbers at my fingertips, until I realized – looking at a photo of a frilly blob that turned out to be me – that when I’m pregnant, there is something like leaving too to the imagination. A dress that shows off rather than hides the bump is, I now know, the most stylish approach.
Body-con is your BFF
In an effort to embrace the idea above, although terrified of submitting myself to the boring all-day leggings approach preferred by many of my fellow North Americans (and not just the pregnant women), I looked for Spandex that’s sleek enough to pair with a chic button-down shirt and a shoe that isn’t a sneaker. Prism² came to my rescue this summer, with their one-size-fits-all, super-stretch pieces (sizes 6-16 are guaranteed, though many pieces fit up to a size 20), which combine the best of sportswear, form – wear, swimwear and ready-to-wear. The short bike in particular is a bonus, when there are no suitable bottoms in sight to wear with your pretty summer blouses. On vacation, Talia Collins’ stretch ruched skirts can instantly transform a swimwear look for lunch or evening.
Try a crop top
Nothing says cool mom like a crop top or bralette and skirt combo. It’s up to you to see if you wear the skirt above or below your belly, I’ll let you sort out the logistical details… wrap skirt is particularly practical.
Comfort is key
If it feels even vaguely uncomfortable when you put it home, you’ll be a jittery, irritating, claustrophobic wreck by the time you reach your destination. Don’t compromise on comfort, not even a tiny bit. This applies to shoes, textures, fabrics and above all underwear.
Keep shoes simple
Ah, the beautiful swollen foot of a pregnant woman in the summer. It’s unfortunate, but almost inevitable. And although I’ve seen it done (mostly by Rihanna), the strappy heel sandal is a squishy, unpleasant look to wear. So, for reasons of comfort but also aesthetics, you are going to want to wear flat, breathable, uncomplicated shoes almost all the time. Luckily, once you reach the stage where you’re wearing dresses every day, the right pair of sneakers may be just what you need to add a muted, laid-back finish to your look. I occasionally wear a sandal or a short, block-heeled boot, but only when I know it’s sturdy and I won’t be walking long distances.
Anticipate and adapt
State the obvious, maybe, but what’s perfect for you now probably won’t be in a month or two. Try to buy things with a hint of stretch to allow your body to change. Or, if your friends are into childbearing too, set up a sharing system, so pregnancy investment pieces spin around and no one regrets little-worn purchases.