Maternity Fashion Can Be Fun (I Swear)

By: Jessica Tomes

The little stick read “pregnant,” and you knew your life had changed forever. Visions of baby bottles, baby blankies, and sweet little baby diaper changes whirled and danced in your head. You could not have been happier, or more excited for all that the next nine months were going to bring.

And then you went maternity clothes shopping.

What a nightmare. Especially in a place like Billings—I think we technically have one maternity clothing store? Covering your rapidly expanding waistline, while still maintaining some level of chicness, can be challenging at best. My own personal frustrations were doubled as we had just moved to Billings from shopping Mecca (otherwise known as Houston, Texas). Let it suffice to say I tried on some truly awful stuff.

Just because we are pregnant, doesn’t mean we want to feel totally unfortunate. We still want to feel pretty…pretty plus about 40-50 extra pounds. Am I right, ladies? Up until this point—I am now seven months pregnant with beautiful Baby Tomes and feeling like I might explode at any moment—I have been able to get away with mixing maternity and non-maternity styles to create a fun and hip, mama-to-be wardrobe. And luckily, with all of the lovely blousy and oversized styles that are so popular right now, you, my newly maternal sisters can do it, too! I’ve done the legwork, now you can reap the benefits.

Where to Shop

On my hunt for the perfect pregnant wardrobe, I quickly discovered there are tons of online shopping options, in varying price points. Again, applying my quintessential quality over quantity methodology, I tended to opt toward more mid to high priced items. With eight plus years experience in retail, I truly believe that you get what you pay for. Plus, I want to recycle all of my fantastic maternity finds when we decide to try for our second baby. (Stepping off my soapbox now.)

So, with all of that in mind, here are some of my favorite places to shop:

Pickles and Ice Cream (www.picklesandicecream.com)

A Pea in the Pod (www.apeainthepod.com)

Ingrid and Isabel (www.ingridandisabel.com)

ZukaBaby (www.zukababy.com)

Rosie Pope (www.rosiepope.com): my all time favorite maternity store!

Baby Bump Maternity (New Orleans, LA): it’s not technically an online store, but I love it so I had to include it. And they take phone orders!

What to Wear (and How to Wear it)

Okay, so you’ve done your homework. You visited some websites, you may have even ordered a few pieces, but how do you pull together a complete and polished look? Easy, just try these simple suggestions. I’ve got three trends, with two looks each, to get those cognitive juices flowing. And don’t be afraid to get creative!

Colored Denim + A Printed Blouse

Colored denim (especially neon and pastel hued) is huge right now. Thankfully, some of today’s top denim designers are now catering to the expectant demographic; and that means us preggos can wear colored pants, too! Pair some colored skinny jeans with an oversized, printed blouse for a modern, pulled-together look. Add a hot summer wedge and some fun jewelry to take it up a notch.

Look One:

DL 1961 Angel Maternity Jeans in Milk (available at www.dl1961.com)

Show Me Your Mumu Baxter Blouse in Light Peacock (available at Marcasa Clothing in downtown Billings)

Look Two:

DL 1961 Angel Jeans in Sherbet with a Bella Band (available at Marcasa Clothing in downtown Billings)

Rosie Pope Maternity Romantic Blouse in Poppy Print (available at www.rosiepopematernity.com)

Maxi Skirt/Dress + Tribal Print

Thank goodness for the resurgence in popularity of the maxi dress. No longer oa silhouette of the past (hello 1970), this floor length beauty is perfect for hiding a multitude of sins (otherwise known as the 10 or so Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches you ate last night). Added bonus: most non-maternity style maxis (as long as they have some stretch) will work with the belly. If you can find a maxi in one of this summer’s flirty tribal prints you are even more golden.

Look One:

Ingrid and Isabel Maternity Skinny Skirt Maxi in Black (available at www.zukababy.com)

Show Me Your Mumu Huck Top in Folklore Floral (available at Marcasa Clothing)

Look Two:

Berry Tribal Maxi Dress (available at Baby Bump Maternity in New Orleans, LA)

All Abouthe Stripes!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that stripes are everywhere. Classic and nautical, this pattern has been a staple in my own wardrobe for a while now. Typically, pregnant women have shied away from stripes—especially those of a horizontal nature—but I am here to tell you this does not have to be the case. Given the proper application (including both fabric and color choice), a striped maternity garment can be downright adorable.

Look One:

The Rosie Pope Maternity Best Dress in Navy Stripe (available at www.rosiepopematernity.com)

AG Jeans Robyn Jacket in Villa (available at Marcasa Clothing)

Look Two:

Jules & Jim Maternity Denim Slub Cargo Shorts in Indigo (available at www.picklesandicecream.com)

Rosie Pope Maternity Roma Tee in Red Stripe (available at www.rosiepopematernity.com)

This is only meant to serve as a jumping off point. These stores/their products may not be your cup of tea, and that’s perfectly okay. This is simply meant to get you started looking online. Like I said, there are tons of options out there. In fact, I would love to hear about someof your favorite places to shop—feel free to post links in the “Comments” section below.

Happy shopping!