My second trimester has been great for many reasons:
- I stopped feeling like I need 12 hours of sleep a night
- Food sounds good again
- Exercise sounds good again
- I gained my energy back and felt “normal” for a while
- I still fit into most of my regular clothes. But…
I also began to slowly outgrow said regular clothes, but still not really look pregnant and not be big enough for maternity clothes. Each morning became a bit of a struggle to find a top and bottom in my closet that I felt comfortable in. And some days I didn’t really want to draw attention to the fact that I may or may not be pregnant, so there was the whole trying-to-look-normal element too.
Here’s how I’ve managed to actually feel confident and comfortable this summer.
1) Cotton dresses were my friend.
A dress eliminates the need to find both a top and a bottom – let alone a top and bottom that match. That makes getting dressed much easier! The dresses in these pictures are light and stretchy and loose enough that the growing bump doesn’t draw much attention. They’re also super comfortable.
Side note: These pics were taken during my trip to Tucson for a journalism conference, hence the hotel backgrounds. Please excuse how awkward I look in them.
2) Cotton skirts are also a friend.
The skirt below is actually not cotton, but it illustrates my point (see the photos with #3 for a real cotton skirt example). Cotton skirts are comfy, stretchy and can work to minimize the bump if they’re flowy enough and you pair them with the proper shirt. This outfit just kind of flows over my stomach without drawing attention to it.
Side note: I thought it might be less awkward for Peter to take the photos of me, but I’m not sure that worked.
3) Long shirts are necessary.
Wear anything borderline short and you’ll be constantly tugging at it to stay over your stomach. The tank below is normally long and slightly baggy, but now it’s long and slightly tight. But not super tight. It works perfectly.
You’ll notice that I also really look pregnant in this outfit. That’s because this particular stretchy cotton skirt (one of the best purchases I’ve ever been forced to make – for sorority recruitment, you know, when we all come clapping and singing out the front door wearing matching outfits. Not creepy at all) while stretchy and wonderful, is more form-fitting around the waist. The shirt is too. The dresses and looser skirt above kind of flow down off of your stomach and don’t clearly define how round it is. The style below is nice when you want to be preg and proud.
(Stripes and polka dots? I think mismatched prints might be in style right now… but I like it even if they’re not!)
4) Embrace the jeggings.
OK technically I think these pants are somewhere between skinny jeans and jeggings, but the important part is they’re made from a forgiving, stretchy, fake-denim material that expands with my waistline (up to a certain point – they certainly won’t last all 9 months). They worked great on the airplane. Unfortunately this top used to be really long but shrunk in the wash.
Side note: How do you pack for a trip when your pool of comfortably fitting clothes is shrinking? Try things on and plan out each outfit! It’s a pain, but worth it so you aren’t stuck staring into suitcase full of ill-fitting clothes when you get there.
5) Dig up old clothes
If you’re like me, you gained the notorious freshman fifteen your first year of college (thank you cheap beer, late night pizza and the beloved dining hall yo-cream machine with toppings bar), eventually lost it when you moved off campus and matured a little, but bought a few pairs of pants in the meantime so you didn’t look like a sausage popping out of its casing. Oh, and you also still have those pants that are now one or two sizes too big. You might even have continued to wear your favorite pair of black dress pants despite the fact they are baggy on you and will show off your underwear if you lean the wrong way. Guilty.
Well, good news. Those pants now fit again! At least for a little while. I was thrilled to learn that my favorite jean skirt, purchased during the +15 days, was just my size a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, now it’s starting to get a little snug, but I knew I kept it for a reason – even if that reason was to wear it twice during a small three-week window while pregnant.
My formerly too-big pants have given me more longevity. Thanks to my tendency to keep things longer than I should, I’ll probably make it decently into my third trimester without donning maternity pants.
And I’ll be back to explain that photo in another post. But note the jean skirt for the purpose of this post.
What kinds of fashion advice do you have for someone in their second trimester? Would you rather show off the bump or hide it during this in between phase? (I’m proud to report that I’m all about letting it shine these days. Clearly a few weeks ago at my conference I wasn’t trying to draw attention to it though.)