Your bump hasn’t “popped” yet, but your regular clothes feel snug and unflattering. Whether you to want to disguise your pregnancy or just feel comfortable without sacrificing style, try these strategies from The Mommy Diet: A Month-by-Month Plan for a Healthy Body and Mind Before, During, and After Pregnancy, by Alison Sweeney, host of The Biggest Loser.
1. Wear some clothes one size up from your normal size. This works best with tailored pieces, like structured jackets and menswear-style shirts (with feminine cuts, so they have shape and definition).
2. Go for dark colors, especially on the bottom.
3. Avoid baby-doll–style tops at this point if you don’t want people guessing you’re pregnant.
4. Try a tunic top. It has a slim line but doesn’t cling in the middle, and it hides the high-bloat areas well. Pair it with leggings or narrow jeans.
5. Wear a chunky knit, longish sweater over leggings or jeans. But don’t wear one that’s way too big on you — that will just make you look bigger.
6. Stay away from thin, gauzy T-shirts. Those burnout shirts are cute on the hanger but not so much on a bloated tummy. Nightmare! Right now sturdier fabrics (like cotton broadcloth or heavier knits) are your best bet.
7. Show off that neckline and cleavage… shirts with V-necks are much more slimming than crewnecks, which visually shorten your torso. Plus, that’s a part of your body that probably isn’t bloated, so call attention to it.
8. In general, choose pieces that skim the body but don’t cling. Baggy clothing will just make you look bigger, but that doesn’t mean you should squeeze yourself into anything supertight and formfitting. Give yourself breathing room in pieces that suggest shape.
9. Remember that this is a temporary phase! Don’t run out and spend a lot of money on clothes. Find a few cute and inexpensive pieces that work for you, borrow clothes from a mom who’s been through this or a friend who’s a size larger than you are, try on what’s already in your closet to see what works, and put away the stuff that doesn’t make you look and feel good. Seeing it in your closet every day will just frustrate you and distract you from what fits. You will wear it again when you’re ready.