Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pregnancy Posts: The Wardrobe

If you're not interested in pregnancy stuff, don't worry, I won't be blogging this exclusively for the next few months. Just ignore the posts with "pregnancy" in the title and continue as usual!

We tend to do 90% of our clothing/shoes/toiletries shopping on our once-yearly trip to the Northern Hemisphere. It just so happened that our decision to try to conceive fell right around my shopping planning (I try to buy things online at the end of the summer season in the US, as it's not very helpful looking for Rio-appropriate clothes in December!), and as my wardrobe needed a pick-me-up anyhow, I decided to buy clothes that could do double duty. I bought a stack of dresses and tunics that worked well on my non-preggers body but that had enough give in all the right places (length, bust, belly, hips) to continue well into pregnancy. The key is to look for:

-stretch, loose fits, empire waists and long silhouettes. If you want things that will go into the nursing phase as well, scoop or cowl necks are also nice.

My top picks were maxi dresses, because they're timelessly sexy, hide a multitude of perceived flaws, and make you look instantly put together even though you only had five minutes to get ready. Here's a sampling of what I ended up choosing:

1. This J. Crew dress, while being absurdly low-cut, is going to make a fantastic nursing outfit as well. As it is, I can barely keep the sleeves up, but I wear a tank underneath so it's not a problem.

2. My Modcloth dress is so awesome I actually bought a second, as a backup. Seriously. Rocks. I feel like a Greek goddess in it and get compliments every time I wear it. The only drawback? Single strap requires a strapless bra, which is a difficult thing to find these days...

3. At a local consignment store, I found a loose knit dress with an asymmetrical hemline that goes great over leggings; when not pregnant, I belt it tight around my waist and rock it with boots...

4. I hit the plus-size sale racks at TJMaxx and found a strange tunic with a drawstring that goes from under the bust to the hem, making an interesting ruching effect. It shows off the belly now, but will lie flat and lovely post-pregnancy and is good with the super-comfy leggings I'll be living in once the weather cools down a bit.

5. One "sexy enough" dress for weddings and date nights and such.

(I bought this in grey which is not out of stock; this color is on sale now and redlines are buy one get one free!)

Other essentials that are better found in the US are:

1) Bras in a variety of sizes. Until a year or so ago, the only cup size you could find in the city was a B! As we were travelling when I was only about 4 months pregnant, I had to guesstimate my future size(s). So far, I've gone up almost 2 cup sizes but my band size hasn't changed. (I'm probably going to be a band size larger by the time we're done, but I hope to the boob gods that the cup size doesn't grow or I'll be rivaling Pamela Anderson in the cleavage department!) If you've got to buy underthings before you actually need them, I'd recommend getting bras in 3 sizes: 1-2 cup sizes up from the band you're wearing now, 1-2 in a band size larger and larger cups (ideal if these are nursing bras), at least 3 sleep bras (no underwire) which can also double as nursing bras. If you get comfy sports bras in cool colors, they can act as "tanks" under revealing dresses/tops and still leave your belly free, which is nice when the weather is sweltering. The less layering one has to do, the better!

2) Actual maternity clothes. We hit the consignment stores in Houston for maternity wear, baby clothes, and things like the monitor and baby carriers. I didn't want to spend any more than necessary on clothes that have a 9-12 month life span, so I went straight for the used racks. I've been happiest with the following:

-denim shorts and miniskirts with the elastic waistband.
-jeans with a thicker elastic waist (I have a pair of maternity skinnies, but the elastic isn't as strong and I feel like the crotch is always sliding to my knees.)
-a super long tank top
-several nursing tanks (I'm wearing these now because they're longer than regular ones. I prefer the push-aside versions to the clip straps, which just look kind of awkward.)

Okay, I think that's enough about clothes. In the next preggers post, I'll talk about pretatals, creams, etc...


Jennifer said...

I love the modcloth dress - very Cleopatra who I'm quite enthralled with at the moment.

anne said...

wow. When I was pregnant, first time, lived in my husband's shirts, w/various leggins or 'maternity' pants/jeans/shorts. 2nd time, working in a more public forum, I wore...shirts I'd kept from my husband (who was no longer my husband) which I wore w/various leggins, etc.....

your pregnancy looks MUCH more classy!