This post is the second in a series of posts on styling the bump through all stages of pregnancy. Also check out Styling the Bump: First Trimester Tips (How to Style, What to Buy).
I think most of us, now moms, would accurately identify myself in the picture above as pregnant. But a week or so after this pic was taken, I took a ballet class in London. During plies, the instructor came over and tried to correct my form, attempting to tilt my tailbone down further. He'd watch me through narrowed eyes, "Hmmmmm…." By the time we got to rond de jambes, he couldn't take it anymore: "You need to start laying off the muffins in the morning!" he said in a loud whisper.
I was shocked….but more embarrassed for him, really. The rest of the dancers in class were rather outraged, and all very supportive. But I think this story clearly highlights the dilemma of going into your second trimester: something is clearly goin' on down there….most people just aren't sure what. By the end of the second trimester, it'll be extremely obvious you are pregnant…but getting there takes some work.
If you recall, my three tenants for successful bump styling are:
Trimester One – Hide the Bump
Trimester Two – Work the Bump
Trimester Three – Flaunt the Bump
So let's work it:
Trimester Two – Work The Bump
This picture so clearly illustrates the problem of the second trimester: my bump is pretty obvious, but you're…still…not…quite…sure…pregnent? YES? Ohthankgod.
Let us relieve ourselves of the nervous is/she or isn't/she question by Workin'. That. Bump.
1. Work It: Over-Belly (Hello, Belts!!)
The pics above clearly illustrate the power of a well-placed belt. In the pic on the left I look like an egg, and the pic on the right….I ACTUALLY LOOK PREGNANT. Hallelujah. (I clearly needed a belt in that ballet class.)
I don't have a heck of a lotta space between "the girls" and the bump…so I tend to stick to skinny belts, but for taller gals, wider belts also look cute.
Another fun take on the belt-over-bump styling trick is to use a necklace. For pics and tips, check out our article Bump Styling Tip: Necklaces As Belts.
2. Work the Bump – Under-the-belly
The other option, when workin' the bump, is to rein in loose material underneath the bump. One can do this with a belt…but a word of caution: your old belts probably won't cut it.
AAAaaaannnddd…if your husband isn't a huge guy, his belts probably won't fit either. So finding a under-belly belt can be a depressing experience. Consideryourself warned.
I've had some luck just by tucking tops in (see pic)….or you can still use any banded waist tops that you may have purchased during your first trimester.
3. Re-Think Your Personal Style
While pregnant with R, I read an amazing article in a non-pregnancy mag (Vogue? Allure? Can't remember) about how one woman's personal style changed completely when pregnant. It struck me simply because I could relate. While pregnant with R, I couldn't quite get used to seeing myself with both boobs and a belly – it was surprise each time I looked in the mirror. My silhouette was totally unrecognizable as me. And rocking the same "look" that I had been wearing pre-pregnancy only served to highlight those differences. I just wasn't comfortable. In my case, my new boobs and belly felt like large, very noticeable accessories, and to compensate, I had to evolve my pre-pregnancy look into a new style: minimalist with sky-high heels and a whole lotta leg showing.
Which worked for my first pregnancy. Clearly, this time around, high heels are not my best choice. But my second pregnancy is different. It not only feels different, but after 2+ years of nursing, and one other pregnancy, I'm more comfortable with how I look.
So for pregnancy #2, I've found myself turning to accessories (piling on the scarves, jackets, etc) and sometimes even loving the girly pregnant-princess look. To include a sparkly tiara headband.
The point, I think, is to simply keep an open mind. Your default pre-pregnancy style may not suit where you are both mentally and physically. Play with accessories – put more on, take 'em all off. Try styles that perhaps you wouldn't necessarily have tried before. Heck, wear a tiara if you want to. You're pregnant. What could people possibly say? (Ummm…besides the rude comments about muffins….)
Trimester Two – What Not To Buy
While I still would wait to get a diaper bag (it's amazing how fast you'll get sick of this thing)…there's really nothing I would warn against buying. Unless you are one of those freaks of nature lucky girls who barely have a belly, the second trimester is a good time to shop!
Trimester Two – What To Buy
By the time I hit my second trimester, I was in dire need of a new bra. I wouldn't spend a ton of $$ on this item…because you'll have to buy another bra (if nursing) in your third trimester. Even if you don't plan to nurse, your boobs may regain their pre-pregnancy shape pretty quickly. Or not. Or you could just be a totally different cup size forever. The point is this: pregnancy & your boobs are funny things. You have no way of knowing how long this particular bra will fit.
For this reason, I loved my Target bra, ($7.99!!! and pictured above) which I'm wearing again with pregnancy #2. Which doesn't quite fit anymore…thus illustrating my above point. But, at only $7.99, back to Target I go….
While much of the focus is on cute maternity wear for outside the house, make sure you have something comfortable (and cute) to lounge in. This will probably be your default "outfit" for your first post-partum weeks once the baby is born. Find some loungewear that fits your expanding belly. It doesn't have to be maternity, it doesn't have to be expensive…you just need some cute loungewear that is comfortable. (And throw in a pair of padded slippers.)
3. Long Camis
Long, tight, maternity camis are, I believe, a must for all moms. The key here is to get maternity camis that are really, truly, long enough to cover the belly for all nine months. Why? So when all of your other maternity tops start showing belly at month 8, you can simply layer them over your tried-and-true maternity camis. I think the best camis are, hands down, Isabella Oliver's (read my full review here).
4. Maternity Wardrobe
If ever there was a time to invest in some maternity basics, sometime during your second trimester is the time. Keep in mind that a "maternity basic" need not be maternity…and that many things from your closet may already fit the bill. Which basics to buy/borrow/find depends greatly on your lifestyle. This topic is really worth an entire article, but for a bit of guidance, I think most moms will need the following:
- Something adorable to wear on the weekend (Working Mom Minimum of 1 outift, SAHM Minimum of 3 outfits)
- Something hot for date nights and going out with the girls (Minimum: 1)
- Something professional to wear to work or school meetings, etc. (Working Mom Minimum of 3 outfit, SAHM Minimum of 1 – and you can use pieces from your date night look for this one)
- A cute lounge outfit
- Warm-weather moms-to-be will need a comfortable bathing suit, complete with a good cover-up option if you are feeling self conscious (see our maternity swimwear tips and picks here)
- Cold-weather moms will need a winter coat option – I like a swingy, lightweight wool option that will look chic after pregnancy (see the very bottom of this article for more details)…but Denver has a pretty mild climate. This is worth another article alone.
NOTE: When choosing "outfits", I'm assuming that you can mix-n-match your three outfits together for further mileage….
Now I'm off to stuff in a few more muffins. Cause that's how I roll.