In the US, statistics show that an average income woman can spend up to the equivalent of EUR 5 000 on maternity wear. That amounts to more or less the price of a second-hand car!
Also in the US there are private companies that offer their pregnant employees vouchers of USD 2 000 to be used for the purchasing of a maternity wardrobe. Still, as this is an exception rather than the rule, we have to wise up and adjust the existing wardrobe to fit our new silhouette without making any financial push.
I know full well that over the length of the pregnancy personal style can be something of a challenge. No pregnancy resembles the next, but the core issue stays the same for most future moms. Pre-pregnancy clothing doesn’t fit any more and the budget simply doesn’t allow for a new wardrobe, since a baby on the way involves much more important alternative investments.
First of all, you’re going to hear constantly: ’’don’t skimp on anything’’, ’’buy quality clothing’’. Well, contrary to all the wisdom of buying ’’quality (pregnancy) wear’’ – expression far too used and far too underspecified anyway – I urge you not to overinvest. Save the money! You’ll need it for when the baby arrives and that spending is most certainly going to be wiser than made for clothing that you are most likely never going to wear again!
In the new book I am now working on I will show you exactly how to go about not spending a penny on new clothing up to halfway through your pregnancy. Yes, you’ve read that exactly! I have a brilliant formula, a logical approach as to the best, most efficient way to use your and your husband/boyfriend’s clothing so as to spend absolutely nothing for the first 5 months of the pregnancy (maybe even 6 – depending on your pregnancy’s specific profile).
The truly wonderful bit is that those not pregnant but experiencing weight fluctuations can also tap into the wonderful results provided by the book’s styling set of rules. While waiting for the book, here is a teaser made up of a few very useful tips.
First of all, you have to fully grasp the way your wardrobe already has items in it that can also be worn during the pregnancy. So, put in maybe two hours to reorganize your dressing. Single out all the looser fitting clothes you have (shirts, blouses or dresses that have an unstructured cut, empire or baby doll waistlines, trousers or skirts waisted using elastic bands rather than buttons or zippers).
Then also save aside the items made out of elastic fabrics (tops or dresses in knit, jersey, lycra or other materials that can accommodate an ever growing abdomen). Put all of these categories in a distinct area of the dressing. You’ll be amazed at how many pieces you’ve accumulated and all of them can be worn during your first months of pregnancy.
In theory, each new month of pregnancy comes with new silhouette adjustments. Ever new areas are beginning to show signs of change, reality that would entail us buying ever new pieces of clothing. For instance, third month trousers will no longer be closeable starting the very next month, which would mean us buying at least a new pair of trousers every month…
What is there to be done? Well, if you still have skirts and trousers that fit with the exception of the waistband area, you can wear them seamlessly, without someone ever noticing the buttons or zippers are undone/unfastened. There are a few especially made products able to tackle this problem. And with prices ranging from USD 10 to 30, they are well worth the investment. Think about the 10 dollars saving you hundreds, which is how much you would probably be spending on several new pieces.
In this picture you seem me in an elastic dress that I’ve worn from the start of my pregnancy up to now, with various jackets, vests, belts or jewelry. I am now in my seventh month, and the dress is still able to host my belly. The pictures in this article have been taken during my sixth month of pregnancy.
During the first two months you can try a sensational trick. It’s called invisibelt and, as the name suggests, it’s an especially made, almost invisible, belt made out of expandable PVC, very similar to the one used for invisible bra straps. Find out more about invisibelts HERE. You can only wear it, though, with skirts and trousers that have straps around the waist.
For the strapless pieces we have, instead, the belly belt. This is an elastic band fitted so as to be attachable to the trousers’ two now unfastenable extremities. The trousers will be held securely in place even if, technically, they don’t fit you anymore. It costs about 10 dollars, but you can also make your own, from a piece of wide elastic band. More on the belly belt HERE.
An awesome trick providing your belly, as well as your wallet, with full comfort is using tummy sleeves or belly bands.
A belly band is a belly-hugging piece that is made out of highly elastic fabric and covering two main purposes. Applied on top of the trousers or skirts that no longer fit across the abdomen, it holds these pieces in place. Further, it also has therapeutic effects. It supports the spine – increasingly under stress from the added weight – and also the abdominal muscles. More on tummy sleeves and belly bands HERE and HERE.
So, with the aid of these belts and bands you no longer need to buy new trousers and skirts in order to readjust to every added pound but you’ll instead reduce to a minimum the need for new shopping sprees. I, for one, am past my first two trimesters and I’ve only now done some new silhouette shopping.
In the case of an emergency, before ordering yourself one of the accessories described above, you can easily reach for your husband or boyfriend’s shelves and use his suspenders. A loose top reaching up to your hips should be able to conceal beautifully the unzipped trousers.
And since we’ve crossed the frontier to the significant other’s wardrobe, it would be a shame only going for the suspenders. His section of the dressing is a free of charge source of clothes, one you’ve probably never considered before. Believe me, over the length of your pregnancy, your boyfriend’s dressing will amount to a treasure, a sort of Ali Baba’s fashion cave.
The reason is simple. A woman’s silhouette tends to resemble the line of an hourglass, while a man’s is, basically, straight, curveless. Over the pregnancy, though, the waist thickens to the point of disappearing, bringing the overall shape closer to that of a man. Of course, there’s the exception of the abdomen and hips that will grow at a steady pace. Only that a man, usually, wears at least one or two numbers more than his girlfriend. Which means that you can go for his jackets, t-shirts and shirts, wide enough to accommodate your proportions regardless if you wear them as a top or dress. What’s more, men’s trousers aren’t a bad idea either. They’ll turn into that cool-looking (genuinely) boyfriend jeans that you can wear any time any place. And if they are made out of a finer fabric, they can even be used at more formal events, with the right accessorizing, of course.
When the moment comes that (almost) none of your usual clothes fit you any more, just remember that jewelry still does and is bound to forever do. During pregnancy, the highest esthetic added value will come from your accessories, with a special emphasis on jewelry. A pair of oversized earrings or massive choker necklace is the perfect de-emphasizer of your now grown mid section, one that can shift the attention to your upper body and especially your face. Jewelry not only provides instant glam to an outfit, but it also helps you rotate the same (fewer) clothes while giving the impression of a new outfit every day. Just mix and match earrings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches…
And one more thing! For a final accent of drama use highly pigmented lipstick. It always has the ability to pick one up and it also always complements any figure, regardless of the month of pregnancy one is in.
Overall, I believe the stylistic recipe described above to be functional up to halfway through the pregnancy or a little longer. Each body reacts differently, so depending on the speed the bump comes to develop and grow we can maybe get to push things a little further along the way. Still, I don’t think you can go as far as attempting this effect beyond the 6 months limit. The abdomen would be far too developed and, as a consequence, the figure-adjustment strategies would have to come up with another type of outfit, all strategies to be revealed in posts to come.
See you soon!