Monday, February 20, 2012

Dressing the Bump, Part Two.

There are fashion bloggers out there. I am not one of them. I never, ever, ever, ever once have stated that I really even know anything about clothing, at all. But I feel semi-passionate about one thing specifically related to clothing and that is this:

I do not need to look like an oompa loompah just because I'm pregnant.

You also would be surprised how little "maternity" clothes you actually need when it comes down to it. I've talked about this before with my last pregnancy, too.

My beef with maternity clothes is two-fold.

1. It is often very overpriced. Not always, but often.

2. Anything affordable? Is very rarely all that cute.

Granted, I know these two factors can be argued. You could mention Old Navy's maternity section, and say there are some great pieces....there are. Or some of Motherhood's stuff is, some of it. Or that H&M now has a maternity section...they do. But it's tiny. You blink and you miss it.

I find that for me? I can get away with shopping regular 'ole clothing sections for most of my pregnancy. I bet you could, too. And I love this. For so many reasons!

1. You can still wear most of the cutest, latest, up-to-date clothing as everyone else. Every one of your tops does not have to be rouched up the sides, or have that stamp of "maternity" on it.

2. You can find stuff that works cha-eap if you are like me and love a good deal.

3. You can use SO MUCH of your regular clothing you already have in your closet and it'll save you boatloads.


-I wear maternity PANTS. I love maternity jeans when pregnant. I despise the bella band thing. I hate that you can very obviously see buttons undone underneath (if you're wearing a tighter shirt), and I find it uncomfortable. Some people love it. That's amazing. I do not.

So, yes, I buy maternity pants. Currently I own 2 pair of maternity denim skinnies, 1 pair of maternity black skinnies, 1 pair of colored (red) denim, &  2 pair of boot cut denim. Oh yea, and one very important pair of maternity black leggings.

They are enough to really pull me through, at least through this season and springtime.

-Near the end I wear some maternity tank tops if mine are appearing more 'short' :)





1. I swear by long, ribbed tank tops. Target makes great ones. They are so long and so stretchy and they should be able to last you a long time through your pregnancy. Once you start feeling like your tanks aren't fitting as good anymore? Buy a few maternity tanks from Old Navy or something. They lasted me forever with my last pregnancy and some of them turn into nursing tanks too. You'd be surprised by how many other tank tops sold out there nowadays are wayyyy long enough and wayyyyy stretchy enough to last a really long time through baby bump growing days.

Long non-maternity tank. Cardigan. Belt. Simple :)
2. Take advantage of your CARDIGANS. Open sweaters are so in. THANK YOU! Put on a tank top, throw a cute cardi over top, maybe throw in a belt to cinch, and bam. Adorable.

3. You can wear those really baggy, silky, in-style shirts that are out right now. Don't want to look HUGE while wearing it? Great. Accentuate your belly with a belt and go a size up to ensure it lasts :)

not sure how I feel about get the idea.

4. The coat/cardi doesn't/can't button over the bump anymore? WHO CARES. Still wear it. No one ever said your cute cropped leather jacket had to ZIP. At least not while you're growing a human.

Sequins? WHY THE HECK NOT :)
5. If you aren't afraid of tight tops/dresses, then SHOW IT OFF. The baby bump is freaking adorable. I love seeing a momma rocking a slimming top or dress that really shows off that cute tummy. Honestly? I prefer my tops to "hug the bump".

With big thighs & a butt like mine, the tighter dress thing doesn't do a body good. But you get the idea here, anyway. Oh, and once all those cute little maxi dresses are out? Golden.

6. You know all those cropped tops that are out now, too? You can wear those! They look amazingly cute over a simple tank top and bonus: since they are cropped you have ZERO need to worry about it having to grow with you.

This below was a semi-cropped cardigan, not maternity at all (Vera Wang, actually!), but honestly? Looks like the perfect bump-hole to me :) Was so in love with this sweater that I took it home.

7. Lastly. Short dresses. Wear them as dresses if you want to, and can--for as long as you can. But once it starts getting too short/tight on the rear, rock that cute dress as a top. Or wear it over leggings. Just hike it up a little under the ladies and add a belt (if you need/want to). 

How much do you love dress #2/3 in these pics? Because I am obsessed with it's simple cuteness.


So there you have it. Some of my (not-really) tricks to getting away with as much non-maternity stuff as I possibly can. Or just my attempt at saving money because I can be super cheap. And how I try to avoid looking like an oompa loompah. (Just don't knock on my door from 8-10am in the mornings. No promises there.)


*Yes. There is definitely some really cute maternity clothing out there. I didn't say it was all ugly. 

**I own a few maternity tops. Yes, even some with rouching up the sides. A few of my favorite maternity tops are the waffle-knit ones from Target. 

***All of the clothing above is from a random trip to Kohls. I did not come home with all of it, in fact, only the one sweater came home with me. But I did want about 75% of it. Some is from misses, some from juniors.

****I should have probably done this with pics using clothes from my own closet and using my good camera. Hindsight is 20/20. Oh well. I do like a lot of my own clothes, too. If you cared. :)

*****I realize my tummy isn't huge and you may be all like "oh pfft...wait till you're 8 months pregnant". I can tell you that many of these same tricks worked for me last time all the way up until the end. AND? I was 50lbs heavier.

******I was not endorsed to write this post nor did Kohls pay me to show off their clothing to all of you. Although I kind of wish they did because then maybe I could have bought some of those cute things. 

********I think that is enough disclaimers for one day.

Happy Monday!


  1. I'm officially in love w/that pink crop top & both of the short dresses! I see a kohls trip in the near future!

  2. I wish I could have bought fewer maternity tops but I had an incident where my bump stretched an Ann Taylor Loft t-shirt beyond recognition (dude, I totally thought A) I wasn't THAT big at that point and B) I totally thought it would "go back" when I washed/dried it.... I was wrong on both accounts). After that point, I loaded up on maternity tops - Old Navy & Motherhood Maternity, always on sale. But these look ADORABLE on you and I'm hoping that the next go around I don't put on 60 lbs again :-)

  3. I was at my biggest in the summer, so I wore more Old Navy basic maternity tanks than anything. Life savers, really, and they were on super sale at the time. I didn't look too bad most of the time, but I didn't look near as cute as you do!

  4. thank you thank you! I love the post as I'm currently navigating the maternity fashions!

  5. You look so cute! I'm going to try a few of the belt tricks this pregnancy. I did buy several super cute ruched-side shirts from Old Navy and few weeks ago and they are SO COMFY. And maternity pants? LOVE. But I had to buy all new pants this time b/c of my weight loss... grrrr! But it was fun shopping for them ;)

  6. That sweater is so cute for pregnancy! I'm definitely going to head over to Kohls and look for that last dress!

  7. Oh my. You are just too adorable. I'm loving your maternity style.

    New follower♥

    Xo, Jessica

  8. Great post! I think it's super important for fellow preggos to realize that just because you're pregnant, that doesn't mean you HAVE to shop in the maternity section only. I hate having to spend money on clothes that you can only wear for a certain time and knowing how to use what you already have is key! When I was pg with my first, my uniform was pretty much cute cardis and tank savers!

  9. I felt the same way about dressing when I was pregnant with Mia. I bought very little maternity, except for pants. I actually bought a lot of my tops from Goodwill as they carried the Liz Lange/Target brand and many still had tags on them.

    All the outfits looks great!

    Love all the disclaimers too :)

  10. when I get pregnant, totally coming back to this page and stealing your tips :)

  11. I hate most maternity clothes too. The ones I like are from he expensive stores and I refuse to spend that much on clothes I won't wear very often!

    Where did you buy your red skinnies? The ones I have seen are $100+...I really want white skinny jeans for spring and summer!

  12. 1 - you're so cute!!
    2 - I follow the same exact rules. The only "maternity" clothes I've purchased were tanks, leggings, and a pair of skinny jeans from ON. Otherwise I live in stuff I already had! And I got a ton of hand-me-downs from my friend.

    I can't stand the maternity clothes that make you look like a tent. I'd rather hug the bump and accentuate it, than have people guessing if I'm pregnant, or just hugely bloated. ;)

  13. Well- every single outfit on you is precious. And that sweater that you did take home....I LOVE IT! Why can't I ever find things like this at Kohls?!!?!?! Super cute things! I'm going to have to check them out soon!

    You look great Katie! Way to go skinny minny!!!!! ALMOST makes me want to get pg again! ALMOST!


  14. I tried so hard to avoid maternity clothes but when you are built like a 12 year old (which, contrary to popular belief is NOT a good thing), it's hard to look cute like you. Kudos to you, though!

  15. Yay, I think the bump is adorable! I love when people show it off! I do NOT love when they hide it with a bunch of baggy "flowy" nonsense. That's no good. I hope everyone takes notice of your tips!

  16. You and your bump are adorable! Great choices!

  17. Your little belly is so cute!! :)
    Those clothes?? Adorable. I want them, and I'm not even pregnant. ;)

  18. Aww you look so cute and pretty! I love all your advice! Definitely will keep that in mind when/if I get pregnant! :)

    I love the top you took home! It looks GREAT on you! LOVE!

  19. You look adorable! I LOVE the cropped tops as a maternity look. I'm not pregnant and probably won't be any time soon but those outfits are so cute!

  20. I think you're right on for the average person.

    My life sucks when it comes to maternity stuff because I'm freakishly tall and even the super long Target tanks aren't long enough for me when I add a bump into the mix! Not only that, but the ONLY option for Maternity here is Motherhood, and Goodwill. So that's awesome.

    But I do have a few Old Navy tanks that are long-length and non-maternity that I'll probably end up rocking the whole time next time around!

  21. GIRL YOU JUST GAVE ME NEW HOPE! YOU ROCKED ALL THE OUTFITS!!!!! i esp love the crop sweater...totally didn't even think of that!!!! if my boobs didn't feel the need to grow bigger than my belly i'd be happier! thankfully i'm 16 w today and not as big as i assumed! here's to keeping it that way!

  22. You look so cute! Are these in the juniors section?? I want several of the things you have tried on!

  23. you look great and I love dress #2/3. These looks are great even if your not prego.

  24. You are the absolute cutest girl in the world. Love your blog, love your baby, love, love, love!

  25. I love love LOVE this post. I'm not pregnant at the moment, but you better believe I'll be coming back to this post when I am. A lot of the maternity clothes I tried on with Noah swallowed me whole, and like you, I liked showing off my belly. It made me feel less "fat" and more pregnant. :)

  26. I bought a TON of maternity clothes with my first but that was 8 years ago when "regular" clothes weren't as cute and flowy and accommodating as they are nowadays. I got away with a a lot more while pregnant with K.

    Great tips and your "bump" is crazy adorable!! :D

  27. Totally saving this post for when I'm pregnant again! Oh and I could kick your skinny butt and thighs for calling them "big"! You are TINY!

  28. I have serious bump envy. I don't want the baby right now, but I thought dressing my bumps was fun! I felt more confident 8 mos preg than now! You look great. I really, really love the cropped sweater.

  29. great post, you look amazing! x

  30. These are really good tips! I love that dress in 2 and 3 as well!

  31. I agree, if you have the beautiful bump going on, show it off! You can be practical and fashionable while doing so too :)

  32. Totally agree! I think I own a total of 3 maternity items... I am one of the ones who swears by the belly band. Although I didn't at first...I couldn't find maternity pants to fit, so I was kinda forced into using it and after a few times finally got used to it and loved it.

    Better stop showing off that cute bump of yours though, because you're making me miss mine ;-)

  33. while butterflies sort of freak me out, that top is ridiculous cute on you and you might need it. for real.

    i might need that dress.

    and while the crop top is super cute on, i think i'm going to have to leave that trend to flashdance.

    i almost miss being pregnant after this post. almost.

  34. I love all the options you showed. I'm not preggo and won't be for awhile, Lord willing, but I know I don't want to wear maternity clothes if I can't help it.

    But for serious, my favorite option was the leather jacket. Very rock-star momma.

  35. Love the Vera Wang cardigan, yes, definitely an ideal bump hole. :)