August 5, 2016

Sexy and pregnant? Yes, it’s possible!

There somehow exists – not written, just subliminally and generally induced – this notion that being sexy during pregnancy is in some way more akin to taboo than anything else. Sexy and a baby? Absolute opposites! Sexy and an ever growing body? No way! What a distorted image… Sexy and being a mum? How so? Shouldn’t mums be serious (whatever that means)? They now have a new status, new responsibilities…
This is pretty much the image you see reflecting back at yourself from the all-knowing and judgmental eyes of those around you, this if they haven’t straightforwardly shown the initiative to make it clear to you that you’re now done with acting 16 and exploring – all the more with respect to personality and look…

Well, my answer to all that is a no! Life after pregnancy does exist and, surprise, it also does during the pregnancy itself! So if someone feels like looking sexy, let them look it away! It’s all about democracy! In terms of outfits as well! Still! Thank God!

And if we’ve already outlined that the frowning upon the combination of these two concepts is, actually, an issue of the beholder, let’s also get straight about how it is that we get to that point in the first place. I’m sure that most mommies (current or future) will agree if I say that pregnancy is not the best time for feeling sexy and that that’s precisely why it is such a difficult feat to achieve!
Especially since for most women being pregnant brings along a whole lot of esthetic insecurities about the new look, sometimes with even finding it difficult to identify with the reflection the mirror. Full hips, swollen ankles, puffy knees… One thing is sure and that is that each body reacts and, consequently, develops very differently.

And if these look insecurities come to be topped by psychological unsettling questions such as the eternal ’’I wonder how it is that my partner sees me and my new shapes?’’, the ’’sexy during pregnancy’’ concept gets to be prematurely abandoned to loose and engulfing dresses that can hide away the body parts we no longer are so keen about and end up covering us all up…

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There’s no need, though, to let ourselves get overtaken by waves of fabric! Even if the first impulse is that of covering it all up, maxi dresses are the easiest way to go and one that should be kept aside for, say, the last month of pregnancy. Up to that point there are out there many other much more flattering solutions to get us enthusiastic about.
The pregnancy can be fully hidden for the first two semesters, while there also exist many options of ‘’sexy with a bump’’ looks. We’ll surely get there, but first I want to show you a truly astounding stylistic effect. I’ve practically played the magician and made my bump appear and disappear, somewhat like the bunny out of a hat. I’ve also done it HERE. See the result!

Whatever might be said (and all the prudes should restrain themselves from reading any further), in order to reach sexiness, we do need to show slightly more skin than usual. I also get to hear that ’’you can also be sexy in a massive fur coat, it all comes down to your attitude’’… But, no! Attitude and covering up in something (including a tight-fitting piece) can make you a little bit more sensual, more feminine, more elegant, however you want to call the end result. But, in order to be sexy, we need to highlight at the very least a tiny bit of a sex-appeal-oozing spot. That we can’t go wearing such an outfit to the office or for a walk in the park is an altogether different topic but, at the end of it all, to reach such an effect, the eye needs the stimulation of some level of bare skin…

In these pictures I’ve come up with a telling example, the idea behind it being that of getting an outfit with a lot of sex-appeal while still being cool, fresh, young as well as allowing for optical illusions that take away from the fuller curves of pregnancy: hips/bum and abdomen.

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I remind you that my pregnancy is now 6 months along and that these pictures have been taken at this time.

If you want to see how my figure actually looks like, without any wardrobe tricks and illusions, I invite you on  Instagram @Janina Nectara.
Very importantly, the images have not been edited in any way, the only effects used to visually sculpt this silhouette are clothing-based!

What are the steps I’ve followed?

1.Camouflaging the abdomen
A peplum or a waist-hugging flounce play a double role. On one hand, they underscore the waist and, on the other, they shield a fuller abdomen. Knowing this, I’ve started the whole concept by building around this trick and adding to a body an elastic belt with a flounce that can adjust to the growing size of the area. The belt rests just below the bust, so doesn’t in any way impose on the bump, while fully covering it beneath the volume-accommodating flounces. Just like that, abracadabra, with just one item of clothing, we’ve tucked away the area biggest to accommodate!

2.Guising the hips
If the hips have already started to gain weight, you can add another small piece, a translucent or barely there skirt like this leather mesh to do away with the issue. You should never go for an opaque skirt, as this will only optically enhance the area. If you carefully think about it, you’ll recall the way women, when at the beach, tie around their waist a bum-flattering see-through scarf. Or, for instance, the way a skin-toned fishnet stocking can mask away cellulites.

3.Highlighting the best feature (in my case, the legs)
First of all, you have to know that in any pregnancy, even if the transformations undergone by the silhouette can be dramatic, any, absolutely any woman also stands to gain. Thanks to hormonal changes, some will have a flawless complexion or resplendent hair, like never before and probably never after (except for during another pregnancy). Some will gain gorgeous legs or a luscious bust line or a Brazilian supermodel’s bum and so on and on…
The point I want to make is that every woman has to take full notice of her newly enhanced features and highlight them as best as possible. (And her ability to do so is going to become fully developed here! With every new article, new insight will be gained, so follow them all!)
Their advantages are, first of all, that of providing distraction away from more sensitive areas, like ample hips, puffy arms or a highly prominent bump. And, secondly, they stem from their amazing yet fleeting character that needs to be fully seized!

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So, if you feel less comfortable with the evolution of a specific part of your body, you should emphasize the others!
I, for example, avoid wearing low cleavage tops, as my bust has increased considerably. On the other hand, I used to almost never wear miniskirts, while now I can’t quite make myself wear something else, as I fell like me legs look better than they ever have.
At the same time, I have a pregnant friend who is experiencing edema, with fluid retention heavy legs, so she chooses to cover up her legs. On the other hand, she frequently wears shoulder-revealing tops that elongate the line of her neck and underscore her naturally augmented cleavage.
The bottom line is that you must find your new stylistic uniform. More exactly, the outfit formula that can retouch the areas you feel esthetically insecure about while flaunting your new physical best features.
Going back to the picture above, because I like the way my legs have gained shape, I’ve chosen a pair of shorts.
If the legs are not your best feature, a black pair of skinny trousers can create a lengthened and slimer look for your calves while also covering any imperfection there may be. A highly form-hugging knee-length skirt (other than the leather mesh one) will have the same effect.

4.Moving attention away to a flattering feature
And in order to make sure the optical effect leaves no room for failure, I’ve also devised a distracting element. I’ve deliberately chosen a low neckline, knowing that it’s an area that almost all women are going to be able to flaunt.
If, to begin with, the bust’s size is rather delicate, over the length of the pregnancy it gains in shapeliness in a way making you unable to not flaunt it. At the end of the 9 months period, the measurements of the silhouette are going to steadily head back to normal, so take full advantage of your 9 months plus breastfeeding months cleavage.
The arms tend to be puffier than usual, but there’s an easy way out! Just add a jacket casually over your shoulders or wear a vest.

5.Don’t forget to factor in the accessories
Typically, no one pays a thought to the way bags, shoes and jewelry can be successfully used in shaping a silhouette, but their capacity to lengthen and slim down legs or cut away from the volume of a bum or bump (and the list doesn’t end here) is tremendous.
In this case, the results we were looking for have already been reached without any use of these elements, so the booties you see me wearing have been chosen having in mind the way they can shape the look of a widening foot and leg. It’s widely known that during pregnancy you can gain one or two shoe size numbers and that feet are frequently swollen. The style you see I’ve chosen is able to accommodate this issue.
Still, if you are petite, you should choose a pair of sandals cut low around the ankle with two narrow straps (the less straps the better), in order to optically lengthen your leg!
Fuller legs? We go back to point 3 and choose a pair of black skinny trousers and one of black classic stilettos (they have a leg-shaping effect that is similar to that of the booties). The heel can come down to 3-5 cm, meaning that you can opt for a kitten heel should your higher heels already be giving you trouble. And, even if you feel splendid, don’t stand on high heels for more than two hours at a time.

6.Is black the only option?
Notice that I’ve chosen an all-black outfit and I’ve only played around with textures (shinny/opaque, leather/cotton/tweed). A valid question would be that of whether I could have reached the same effect by using color… Yes, if the pregnancy is less far along.
From the last semester, though, the non-color (black) is best able to maximize the optical effects we desire.

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Another example of camouflaging a full abdomen, with only using wardrobe tricks! This photo has been taken during my third month of pregnancy, for Unica magazine. If you look carefully, the bump (smaller than it is today) is shielded beneath the pleats of the jumpsuit that are generous enough to accommodate just about any grown abdomen. Implicitly, the pleats also make this a very comfortable outfit for the one wearing it.

What other tricks can we make use of? How is it that we can hide volume-gaining areas? Find out here!

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