Pregnancy doesn't have to mean hiding under shapeless shirts and leggings or tent dresses; the trick is to find a look that spells confidence and comfort. Here, four women share their favorite apparel picks.
Name: Sandy Frinton
Hometown: Poughkeepsie, New York
How far along: 28 weeks
Favorite look: Jeans
I'm a preppy, classic dresser, and I typically wear clothes from the Gap, Eddie Bauer, and L.L. Bean. My husband likes me to wear the kinds of things I always wear. He doesn't like "pregnancy clothes." I don't think he's used to my new body.
My favorite maternity clothes are my husband's old Levi's jeans from college. I found a bunch of them when we were cleaning one day. They're in all different sizes so I can grow into some of them. His big jeans were a great find because I'm still too small for maternity jeans. His Levi's are baggy, long, and so comfortable. You can't beat the fact that they were free. I don't want to invest money in clothes until I'm skinny again.
People say that I look cute in his jeans and I like that I don't look as big to the outside world as I really am. I top the jeans with his old oxford shirts-white, pink, yellow, and pinstriped. I just throw them in the washer and dryer and roll up the sleeves. With his clothes, I'm sporting bigger sizes, but I feel confident knowing I've kept my style.
Name: Jill Holder
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
How far along: 36 weeks
Favorite look: Power suit
I'm very short, so I'm conscious about looking round and stocky. I like to wear clothes that give me a shape. Most maternity clothes are "tenty," like smocks and baby doll dresses. I just can't do the look where clothes balloon out over the belly.
So my best find has been the business suit I bought for less than $50. It's charcoal gray and has pants, a skirt, and a jacket with a zipper down the front and two pockets on each breast. The jacket also has a clip so I can taper it in the back. I like that I can switch off between the skirt and the pants. Everything is made out of cotton jersey, so it's comfortable and machine washable.
I spice up the suit with a pair of black leather mules. It's easy to forget I'm pregnant because I look so chic in the outfit. I can walk into a meeting and be taken seriously. One guy at work didn't even know I was pregnant. When I wear bulky maternity clothes, people just look at my belly. When I wear my suit, people look at my face.
Name: Angie Tucker
Hometown: Garden Grove, California
How far along: 26 weeks
Favorite look: Stretchy separates
It's difficult to find stylish clothes that I'd wear if I weren't pregnant. It's bad enough that you gain weight, yet don't look pregnant until the fifth or sixth month-the last thing you want to do is wear dorky clothes.
I'm normally thin and big-busted with an hourglass shape. I like to dress sexy and wear fitted fashions, and pregnancy is no exception. My favorite look is a long, black stretch polyester-blend skirt with a black short-sleeve top. The top was $14 and the skirt was $20. The shirt is stretchy and snug. It shows off my belly and has a scoop neck that looks great, especially when I wear a little choker necklace. The skirt has a drawstring waist so I can roll over the top to make it shorter if I want. I wear black slides to show my toes. I get a lot of compliments when I wear my sexy outfit. It's nice to know I can be pregnant and keep my personal style
Name: Jadie Gamble
How far along: 31 weeks
Favorite look: Bathing suit
I'm kind of chubby, and I got bigger sooner than other women. When I was six months pregnant, I probably looked like I was at eight months. I'm really big now and people ask me if I'm having twins. But I'm not worried about the weight gain-I think I look pretty good all around. In fact, I like showing off my pregnancy.
I bought a great black one-piece swimsuit with spaghetti straps for $35. It has a skirt that makes my thighs look nice, and its scoop neck shows off my cleavage. The other day I felt so good in it, I pranced around the pool.
I actually feel more confident in a bathing suit when I'm pregnant than I do when I'm not expecting. In a bathing suit, people definitely can see that I'm pregnant. My husband likes when I show some skin, too. He says I look like a really cute pregnant chick.
Julie Weingarden is a writer based in Royal Oak, Michigan.
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