Over the weekend I held a Blog/Business Bash for my new partnership with Arbonne (more on that bash and a giveaway in another post--most likely tomorrow), and while there, some of my awesome friends started talking about what they do when they find out they are pregnant but they don't want the word to get out yet. A lot of my friends, including myself, live by the "wait until the second trimester--or 12 weeks" to tell everyone about pregnancy. There are many reasons to wait, but the reason most of us wait is for fear that something will go wrong with the pregnancy (like miscarriage) and then we will have to spend the next few months answering questions about our pregnancy that wasn't. It is a terrible thing...but one that has to be addressed.
The discussion then turned to what to wear after you have given birth, you know right after having the baby when in reality you still look pregnant. You so DESPERATELY don't want to appear pregnant, but you do, so you try your best to find anything. ANYTHING. that doesn't make you look like you are about to give birth. I have had this happen to me:
Teenage Boy Sales Clerk: "Ah, when are you due? Are you excited?"
Me: "I gave birth last week. I am here for some slippers because none of my shoes fit--my feet are swollen to three sizes bigger than normal."
Teenage Boy Sales Clerk: (Turned BRIGHT RED.) "Oh, ugh, ah, uh, oh, oh, I...aaaamm...sssooorrrry."
Me: "It's okay, I can't even wear normal clothes yet, so of course I look pregnant. You wouldn't know better. What are you, 17? It's okay!"
Teenage Boy Sales Clerk: "Lance, LANCE, I can't make this till work, can you take care of this lady, PLEASE!?!?!?"
Yes. I frightened a poor teenage boy because of my inability to choose my wardrobe wisely enough to prevent his breakdown after he discovered that I was indeed not pregnant, but instead just REALLY. REALLY. FAT. (It's okay, I know it is baby fat, but come on, you all, it is still an extra--in my case--45 pounds of fat around my belly and face and FEET.)
So why do I highlight both newly pregnant and newly not pregnant? Because these are two times when a lot of women have extra weight where they didn't before, and is the time where your choice in clothing can AND will do a lot to "hide" your condition.
And just so you know, many of my newly pregnant friends are pregnant for the third, fourth, fifth, and even sixth times, and supposedly the weight comes on faster and fiercer with every baby you have.
As far as the postpartum weight goes, each lady is different. The story I told about me was with Rex...and although I carried an extra 35 pounds after CW, the running around after a very active BOY toddler helped me shed that much, much quicker. I still needed to hide the "pudge" a bit, but I found that I was able to put away the specialty clothing much quicker.
SO--with that transition sentence--onto the main crux of this post. What is the best shirt or top (specifically--we will get into other items of clothing in other weeks) for the newly pregnant or newly not pregnant?
It was determined at my bash that the best shirt or top was not a maternity top as most of those styles actually make even the most flat-tummied women in the world look pregnant. It was also determined that the baby doll style top also has that effect, even on teenagers (who still wear this style, regardless).
No, hands down, the favorite style was any top that had shirred or gathered detailing at the neckline and then flowed gently and smoothly away from the bust down. It made a lot of sense after we deconstructed the choice. Rather than being too tight at the bust and then too loose through the waist like many maternity/baby doll tops, this style top is loose throughout but not too loose. After all, whether newly pregnant or newly not pregnant, there is generally not enough belly to justify a super-loose waist/belly area on a top.
What also makes this top a go-to choice for us is that is super-flattering even when you aren't trying to hide a little something, something. I still wear these style tops and I have lost all baby plus some AND *very important* am not with child now.
Gathered and Shirred Tops!!! by dinagideon featuring Old Navy
Above are some examples I found over at polyvore this morning.
I love them all but am especially fond of the purple blouson top at the very top left hand corner, the floral v-neck in the second row, the grey cowl style tank on the left in the third row, and the ultra-luxurious silk tied waist shirt at the very right of the third row.
And here is a photo of me wearing a popular tank style of this top (J. Crew--summer 2007). I was still attempting to lose that last little bit of tummy in this pic and I love how this just looked fresh and sweet on me and not like I was trying to hide. Because in the end that is what we all want when we are trying to hide something...to make it look like we aren't.
And with that I bid you farewell! Happy Mommy Style Monday!!!
P.S. Do you have a question for Mommy Style Monday? I would love to help find you an answer to your specific needs...either newly pregnant, pregnant, postpartum, stay at home mommy chic, working mommy needs, etc. If you have a kid and have a question, I will do my best to help you out! :)