During my first trimester, I didn’t really gain too much weight thanks to the morning sickness. I definitely got that bloated look thanks to water retention, but my weight stayed stagnant and so did my wardrobe. It was only after my fourth month ended and my nausea became a tiny bit more manageable that my bump spontaneously showed up. And then it grew, and grew, and grew, with absolutely no signs of slowing down.
I’ve almost hit the max recommended 35 pound weight gain and my waist size has increased by 10 inches – and I still have 9 weeks left to go. If you think about it, all of this happened between month 5 and month 7 so within a 3 month(ish) timeframe, I gained almost 35 pounds. I am 5 feet (and 1 inch) tall. It does not look elegant in the least. I look in the mirror and I can barely recognize myself. You’ll notice the drastic difference in my pictures when you scroll down too.
I don’t know how there are moms out there who can stay active and healthy and tiny while they’re pregnant – I’m dizzy and breathless and exhausted 24/7 with severe backpain and lingering nausea and constant heartburn, yet I’m still ballooning as though I eat like a dinosaur.
Anyways enough of that. Let’s do some wardrobe analysis. Since I love wearing dresses, I’m going to share some of the pieces from my wardrobe that I went through as I turned into a blowfish.
Forever 21 – I loved buying dresses at Forever 21 because they’re cheap enough to buy in bulk and they can be dressed up or down quite easily. Sweater dresses are excellent for wearing on their own, and I wear any sleeveless ones with sweaters or long blazers. Short dresses are perfect to pair with tights and boots, which makes them my go-to kind of outfit during winters.
Before I found out I was pregnant, I had bought almost a dozen new dresses, and I’m so glad most of them were the stretchy, flared kind of dresses because not only do most still fit, but depending on the material they helped me camoflauge my bump for a long time too.
Take a look at a screenshot of my order summary from a Forever 21 shopping spree last summer. Believe it or not, everything with the exception of dress #1 still fits me. I’m pretty sure they were all small sizes too.
Sadly, I could only find one full length picture of myself in a Forever 21 dress, so I’m swallowing my pride and sharing the bad quality image below. I’m wearing the green Swing Cami Dress you see in the above screenshot, with a black blazer and almond toe pumps from Le Chateau, paired with your regular old opaque tights from Shoppers Drug Mart.
This pic is obviously from well before I hit my second trimester. I can’t wear heels anymore – even if my swollen feet can somehow fit into them, I honestly can’t support the weight. 😦
I shop online at Forever 21 much more often than in store, because really, who has time to stand in that mammoth lineup for the trial room? I found that looking at the measurements based off the model’s sizing really helped me gauge what would fit me, and of course the more spandex a material had the more it would stretch. I bought all my flare dresses in my size, and for any rare bodycons I bought, I sized up. (Those are not in this post because they looked terrible with my new round body and have long since been donated).
YesStyle – I know, I know. What was I doing shopping on an Asian website knowing that US/Canadian sizes are so different? It’s okay! The reviews really help. I got this in a Medium and believe it or not, because of the high waist, it still fits pretty well over my bump.
And thanks to my height, that midi fits much more like a maxi on me, which was what I had hoped for to begin with. I usually just wear it with sneakers, so my socks pretty much bridge the 2 inch gap in between.
Fashion Nova – I love their pants. I love their blazers. I had to try their dresses too. The question is, how do you find any halal dresses on this site??? Fear not, even if you aren’t their typical NovaBabe, you can still work with some of their pieces.
What I’m wearing here is the Singing in the Garden maxi dress in size medium, paired with a half sleeved sweater that I bought from Suzy Shier almost 8 years ago.
I had to get this dress hemmed because it was about 6-8 inches too long for me, but if you’re tall and/or can wear high enough heels, you may not even have that problem. It’s amazing quality – thick yet stretchy, and very true to size. It’s only now that I’ve ballooned up in my third trimester that I’ve set it aside for looser fits.
They always have some kind of discount code on their home page that gives 20%-30% discount, so I’ve never paid full price. I always follow the size guide on their site, and it’s been pretty spot on for me so far. I’d read the reviews just in case there are a few pieces that are anomalies though.
SheIn – You’ll laugh. I did. Just search “Arabian” on their website and behold an abundance of modest maxis. I have a few of these in my shopping cart along with some shorter flare style dresses that will be perfect with tights, so if they turn out to be smart buys, I can hopefully use them during my last trimester and/or post-partum.
PinkBlush – I was looking for a wedding appropriate dress that would fit my new body when I came across this site. And I fell in love with virtually everything! I placed an order, and imagine my surprise when it showed up at my doorstep the next day. I have no words for how impressed I felt. This arrived all the way from the US, and I didn’t even choose express shipping at checkout. What is this black magic??
Anyway, I ordered two dresses, and they both look exactly the same as they did on the website. I’m pleasantly surprised to note that they are very, very good quality, and can be used post partum for nursing too. If you sign up for their site, you can use one of their first time discounts, which might make your wallet sting a bit less. 🙂
I was worried I would have to get them hemmed because I’m 5’1″ and maxis are always too long for me, but I’m wearing this one in a large (with my husband’s jacket since it fit.. and was going to match my purse) and it just grazes the floor when I wear shoes with a 1 inch sole. I can work with that. Excuse the mess, this is basically our storage room.
I bought this one to wear to the wedding I mentioned earlier, and I’ll give you guys a sneak peak of it if I end up wearing it to my baby shower too!
Amazon – Honestly you’d think I’d be done experimenting with online shopping, especially this close to my maternity leave – but you’d be wrong.
I ordered this and this in medium, and I was relying on the stretch to make it fit my ballooned up third trimester body. Alas, it runs big. I think I’ll be good until delivery, but might have to set it aside postpartum assuming that my body will recover to what it once used to be.
I plan to go over some of my other pregnancy wardrobe later, maybe it’ll help give some other expectant moms new ideas. Did anyone reading this have any tips on where to buy dresses/extend the life of existing dresses through pregnancy? Did anyone morph into a house like I did? Is anyone already past this phase and has some sort of reassurance for me? Let me know what you think!