Adapting to and Hiding a Pregnancy Belly

Around the 11th week of my pregnancy, it started to look like I gained back all 10 pounds I just lost on Weight Watchers.  Since I was trying to keep my pregnancy under wraps*, my doughy middle presented an interesting challenge.  Even thirty pounds heavier, I've focused on highlighting my shape, not hiding it.  How was I going to dress my body, hide my pre-bump, and not be constantly sloppy at work?
 
A couple of things stood in my way.  I was not motivated to pay attention to getting dressed 'cause I was exhausted**.  My closet was filled with lots of body skimming shapes like fitted blouses and pencil skirts that were quickly getting too tight and un-wearable.  And, there wasn't much in my wardrobe that fit in with the standard pregnancy advice of "loose, flowy clothing" because baggy isn't really my style.

So, what did I do?  First, I gave myself a break.  I was juggling a lot and I needed to expend my energy where it mattered.  I know that I went into work a few times looking "less than" my regular self, but I had to let go a bit.  I focused on getting my work done and through the day.

Then, when it made sense, I shopped at online plus-size retailers with generous return policies like Asos Curve and Forever21+.   I bought items that would fit me until at least 5 months pregnant and that would work again after I have the baby.  Everything came it at around $20 or less except for a single pair of true maternity pants, which were $35. 

I also dug into my stash of slightly oversized clothes and put away everything that was too tight.  Why stand in front of the closet wishing I could make outfits with stuff that doesn't fit? It was counterproductive, so I just accepted that my wardrobe was smaller for now. 

In the end, I realized that I couldn't control how my body was changing; I needed to use my shopping skills and creativity to figure out solutions.  It reminded me of my shopping habits when pennies were much tighter in my house.  I was excited to combine my old sale hunting and bargaining skills with my fresher styling and shopping skills.

How do you use clothing to conceal something you would rather others not see?


*I was keeping my pregnancy a secret until my first trimester was over.

**Reasons for exhaustion include:  general pregnancy fatigue, looking for a new house, and preparing old house for sale.  Who wouldn't be tired? 

Ladies Night, Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Another day was spent working on our current house to put it on the market.  BUT, the husband and I both agreed we needed a break, so I took the night off to go out with the ladies.  It was just supposed to be Elle and I, and then Sizzler, T, and Dr. J decided to join us for sushi.  Deliciousness. 
 

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Since I spent the day in old paint clothes and covered in dust from scraping windows, I wanted to look nice but fast.  Enter the maxi dress.  I don't think you guys have seen this one yet, so finally, something new on the blog.  To add color, I put on a head scarf--maybe a little bit, too, because my hair was messtacular.  Prepare to see the dress on repeat.
 
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Head scarf :: thrifted
Heart pendant :: gift from husband
Pearl ring :: gift from Mom
Crystal ring :: Margaret Elizabeth
Black maxi dress :: Marshalls
Nude sandals :: Old Navy

The Breakfast That Almost Wasn't, Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

I'm back in photos, and I have a good story.  Yesterday, I was driving home when this a**hat stopped short in the road for no reason.  There wasn't a single person or car around this guy.  I jammed on my brakes, and the entire contents of my purse spilled onto the passenger side of my car.  I thought I managed to get everything, but turns out I was wrong.
 
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Fast forward to this morning... when I arrived a bit early for work, I decided some eggs and a banana would be a welcome breakfast.  I start rummaging through my purse to find my wallet, and it's nowhere to be found.  Now, I'm super embarrassed and digging around for change to cover my eggs.  Then, this very nice stranger says he will pay for my breakfast.  Much appreciated very kind stranger.  My banana eating wouldn't have happened without you. 

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As for clothes, I'm wearing a dress that's comfortable and doesn't restrict my middle area.  Dark colors are nice for camouflage.  Sweater dresses are a bit expandable, and I really wanted to wear those two rings together again.  I've missed accessories, and now that the hubbub at home is winding down, I am feeling a bit more comfortable with playing dress up again.

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Heart charm pendant :: gift from husband
Pearl ring :: gift from Mom
Quartz ring :: Margaret Elizabeth
Navy dress :: Anthropologie
Navy slip :: Target
Nude flats :: Old Navy

My Hair, The Mop

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Now
 
There it is peoples, my hair.  That sort of shaggy shapeless frizz is the best I've been able to manage lately.  I know that it probably doesn't help that I haven't had a haircut since December 2013.  See the photo below for a reminder of what it looks like when I actually seek professional help in taming my wildness.   

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Back in January
 
I really need to take care of this whole messy business, but I'm scared.  I don't want to lose much length, and I love having the ability to do a ponytail.  What I'm thinking might look cool is a bob that angles a bit towards the front.  I could wear it curly, wavy, or straight.  I dream that this look would be magic.  What say you Internet friends?  Do you think I need a haircut?  Do you have any suggestions that won't lop off all my hard grown length?

Big Announcement

Have you noticed that I look a bit different?  Possibly, that I'm larger around the mid-section or maybe just wearing really baggy stuff?   This is for good reason... I'm expecting my first child in late January.  It's getting a bit difficult to hide, so I figured I might as well share with my friends on the Internet... and those strangers who randomly stop by the site once in a while.
 
How will this affect blogging, you ask?  It kind of already has.  The first trimester made me exhausted beyond measure some days.  It didn't help that the husband and I were getting ready to put our house up for sale and buy a new one.  These combined factors resulted in way less photos of my daily style.  Most days I just wanted to wear pajamas to work anyway, so you guys wouldn't really have enjoyed those shots.
 
And going forward, you ask?  I can't imagine that many changes other than my occasional rant about so and so saying something stupid (pregnancy apparently attracts stupid comments and inappropriate touching).  Oh, and I'm likely to get kind of huge, and eventually, I'll have a really tiny person to take care of.  I don't intend to switch to blogging about being a mom or to focus on pregnancy more than it affects how I dress.
 
So, mostly things will remain the same.  I'll be posing around my old house or (fingers crossed) the new one soon with an ever expanding mid-section.  Not super exciting except for the fact that I have a new excuse to shop regularly.  I mean you can't expect a style blogger to just wear any old thing while she's pregnant, right?  Any one who feels free to support this in writing so that I can convince the husband that's totally a thing is free to email me!
 
 

Blossom, Remembering the Early 90s

I like to re-watch TV shows from when I was a kid be they obscure cartoons (Kidd Video) or teen dramas (Degrassi).  I saw a recent online article about how Blossom was coming back to TV via the Hub channel and immediately hoped I would be able to catch a few episodes.  This show was one of those programs I totally identified with on every level.

Blossom was on TV during the early 90s when I was a pre-teen trying to figure out everything.  It starred Mayim Bialik as Blossom, a girl who was smart, played music, dressed awesome, and who was just trying to grow up surrounded by her two brothers and single dad.  Watching Blossom navigate decisions about her life and her values helped me become a stronger person.  I envied her ability to stay true to herself as an intelligent young woman who made mistakes and learned from them.  She gave off this confidence I strived to have in myself.

Back then, Blossom and I had so much in common in my mind.  I loved hats, she loved hats.  I played the xylophone, an unusual instrument for a girl; she played the trumpet, also an unusual instrument for a girl.  She was also smart and worried about boys and fitting in, the same things I struggled with then.  I think the best compliment I ever received freshman year of high school was that I looked like Blossom in an outfit.  I'm pretty sure that sort of funky sensibility of mixing preppy with edgy and menswear with feminine silhouettes still influences me today.

Sooo, if you have the Hub channel and you're up around 9pm Central time, tune in.  Plus, there's always Joey Lawrence if you need eye candy, although he looks really young in the first few episodes, which made me feel equal parts old and grossed out at the same time.


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See I totally liked hats

Random, True Things 7

While I'm not quite back into the swing of blogging, I figured it wouldn't hurt to put up a few regular features in August like shopping bags, another TV and movie post on Friday, and this one.  Since I'm a bit overwhelmed, I thought a fitting theme would be things being overwhelmed.  Revolution, I know.
  1. The first thing to go when I get overwhelmed and stressed is packing my lunch.  It's such a great habit to have, plus it saves money.  BUT, when the days get long, I wander over to the cafeteria and buy whatever I can find to stuff my face and take those extra minutes in the morning for sleepy time.
  2. Sometimes to keep the stress from making me cry I end up laughing like a crazy lady.  For some reason recognizing the hilarity in a situation always makes me feel better.
  3. Situations where I'm the center of attention totally wig me out (weddings, showers, etc.).  One, I hate showers in general.  People who love me know this.  Two, I never know how to act properly.  Every single one of my small talk conversational skills goes out the window.
  4. I assuage my stress by watching lots of TV.  Sooo much TV.
  5. When I'm really frustrated, I come up with a line that makes me feel better.  Lately, it's been "I will stab blank"--the computer, the stupid person, the whatever is frustrating me.  Of course, I don't say this out loud unless I'm surrounded by friends who know I'm joking.  I'm totally joking, by the way.
How about you guys?  Any bad or amusing habits come out when you get stressed out?