From left to right: Maxi Wrap Dress // French Terry Shift Dress // Colorblock Shift Dress // Striped Contrast Trim Dress // Pleated Trapeze Dress // Contrast Trimmed Dress // Cutout Back Shift Dress // Twisted Front Sweatshirt Dress // Tribal Print Caged-Back Dress //
I learned a thing or two about maternity dressing from my first pregnancy. When you’re petite like me (hey, I am almost 5’1) you will quickly find that maternity clothing in petite sizes hardly exist. I also don’t like spending money on something I will only wear for a short period – and would most likely want to burn afterwards anyway. I find that I like to dress up more when I am pregnant. It’s one of the things I can do to feel more like myself. I also grew up with a mother who prescribes to the mantra: look good, feel good. I’m lucky enough to not suffer from hard pregnancy symptoms but I do go through a 9 month spell where I just don’t feel like myself or very attractive. But slipping into a new dress or outfit always does the trick!
I found a few affordable and trendy maternity-friendly dresses at Forever 21 that I have been living in lately! They are perfect for dressing up when needed or for throwing on for a day of errands. Here are some tips for my petite girls when shopping maternity dresses at non-maternity places.
1) Embrace your bump! When you’re petite the loose, trapeze-like dresses and shirts that maternity wear is known for is NOT flattering. Look for something more form fitting. I find that anything that shows off your bump is sure to elicit compliments.
2) Dresses are the easiest go-to pieces and are heat friendly. You still look like you’re in the 2nd trimester a couple of months after birth so dresses work well during this stage too.
3) Find dresses that are a cotton/rayon/spandex blend because they have more stretch in them. More stretch = more comfort.
4) Stay away from fabrics made predominantly of chiffon and polyester. They do not have a lot of stretch and they are not comfortable to wear on a hot day.
5) Shift dresses are awesome for pregnancies! Not only are they on trend but they are form-fitting and gradually get looser towards the bottom. The perfect silhouette for the mom-to-be.
6) Another great style is the empire dress. The higher waistline will elongate your figure. For petite women anything that elongates is a winner!
6) Be mindful of the height of the hem. As your belly grows the hem gets higher. If the dress is too short in the beginning you won’t get a lot of use out of it.
7) A lot of maternity dresses are strapless maxi dresses. For me, starting around the 5th month, strapless bras become very uncomfortable. The bottom of the bra seems to be sitting right on top of my stomach. Also, not wearing a bra is not really an option because they feel so heavy. So I prefer tank dresses. I love to throw on a tank dress with a cardigan or blazer.
8) Wrap dresses are awesome! They are also nursing friendly.
10) For Forever 21 dresses I mostly shop the contemporary section because they run a half size larger and they are geared towards an older demographic. I also shop the plus size section. I wore the maxi wrap dress to a birthday dinner and it was perfect!
This is dress #4, the Striped Contrast Trim Dress. I purchased it in a size small. It is unbelievably comfortable and a steal at $15.90. I would wear it every day if I could.The fabric is soft, breathable and has a lot of stretch to it because of the 4% spandex. It also looks super cute with a pair of Converse! I’m so happy they came out with a solid version – Contrast Trimmed Dress.
They are sold out of this dress but it is very similar to the Colorblock Shift Dress. The hem is getting short on this one though so I probably only have a few weeks of wear left. I am pictured in this dress at 25 weeks.
What stores or styles are your favorite for maternity fashion?
Here’s to rocking our bumps!