Regardless of how we thought we’d feel about our baby bumps, the challenges of dressing a pregnant body sometimes seem more difficult to bear than the child itself. But luckily, in the past decade or two, maternity designers have really, err, and delivered. Thanks to changes in the way the pregnant body is viewed, even the most pregnant mamas can look fabulous with a few little tricks.
When our mothers were pregnant with us, maternity clothes was little more than an offshoot of the Striped Leggings Baby tent making trade. Nobody could tell what was going on underneath the big top until the main event was imminent! While body-hugging fabrics may seem frightening at this most weight-sensitive of times, fitted styles are actually the pregnant woman’s best friend — no matter what her size.
Especially when you are heavily pregnant, highlighting rather than hiding the baby bump draws attention to your pregnancy rather than your size. If a shirt that is fitted throughout is too daring for your taste, consider empire-waist tops that are fitted through the shoulders and bust — and pass by the baggy oxfords, shapeless tees and blousy dress tops.
Don’t buy tapered trousers just because they’re on the rack! To balance your new top-heavy look, shop for a pant with flared legs. A boot cut looks great with almost any shirt and counteracts the extra weight you’re carrying in the belly and butt. A pant that makes you look like a million bucks is worth the extra shopping time.
One of the worst things a pregnant woman can wear is stripes — of any kind. Horizontal stripes are out for the obvious reason that they create a widening effect on an already bulky part of the body. This may work in the second trimester when your bump is tiny and cute, but by the time you are ready to deliver, it can be a bit frightening to behold even if you are the tall and willowy type.
But lest you leap to the seemingly logical conclusion that if horizontal stripes enlarge, then vertical stripes are slimming, consider this: That vertical-stripe top may be cute on the rack, but where will those stripes lie when they are draped over a 45-inch belly? From the side, you are going to have layer upon layer of striping, with yet more stripes appearing along the rise of your bump. Be sure to strap on the pillow and check out the side view in the mirror before you even think of purchasing that shirt! Chances are, it’s going to look bizarre.
The one exception to the stripe rule is a top with a chevron stripe whose horizontal lines meet at a point over the center of the belly. That type of stripe is indeed flattering from any angle; unfortunately, most striped maternity tops don’t fall into this category. View More