I Don’t Know How to Dress Myself

Every day I wake up and can’t figure out if I look pregnant, bloated, or like I ate too much. Or all three. Getting dressed in a huuuuge pain in the butt, in this awkward in-between stage. The ever-changing weather is an added challenge!

While it was still a secret I tried to wear blousier shirts or big sweaters.Now that our secret’s out in the open and my stomach is expanding, I’m left trying to figure out what clothes fit, what clothes I need to buy, and if everyone is looking at me wondering how I gained so much weight. That sounds really vain but it’s SO weird for me to figure out.

I lost 10 lbs. before getting pregnant and I’ve gained about 5 lbs. back since based on my own scale, but I can’t do up any of last year’s shorts. My lowest-rise pair of jeans still fit but they get uncomfy by the end of the day. A wonderful friend sent me a ton of maternity pants but I don’t have enough of a belly to hold up the full panel pants yet, and in the meantime I have no butt and apparently butts are important for holding up maternitywear.
First Trimester Outfits

Apologies for the crappy Instagram pics and janky mirror but they’re all I’ve got in the mornings. Over to the left is an outfit I actually really liked — I bought a ton of stretchy maxis and I’m hoping I can fit into them for a few months! This dress is loose enough that even when I’m feeling bloaty it doesn’t cling. On the right, I’m wearing demi-panel maternity pants (which are ridiculously comfy) and a regular tall-sized Old Navy tee. Comfortable — but I felt gigantic!

First Trimester Outfits 2

My other strategy has been cheap, stretchy jersey maxi skirts from Urban Planet. I only have two but they’re under $10 each and they will stretch till kingdom come. These are awesome for good weather but I can’t exactly wear them in the mud, rain or cold. Floaty shirts are still my friend.

I thought I’d look forward to the excuse to buy a new wardrobe, once I needed maternity clothes, but it’s actually not that fun. I really wanted to order some Old Navy demi-panel shorts and stretchy tanks, but the duties assessed on an American ON order are insane — like $70 duties and taxes on a $70 order. Not cool. It seems like my only good Canadian option is Motherhood Maternity but almost all of their bottoms are the full panel type that you can allegedly fold down but don’t seem to work for me yet. I can’t imagine having extra fabric in the middle of August’s heat, so I don’t really want that type of clothing until it gets cold again, anyway.

All of the advice I’ve been reading is like, “Go to H&M! They have cute, trendy, cheap maternity stuff. Try Target! GAP has awesome jeans!” But alas, I’m stuck in rural Ontario — even if I drive to Winnipeg I think my only option is still Motherhood. I told Matt I’m going to bury my head in the sand and just see how long my dresses and skirts will stretch. Okay, so I ordered some underbelly shorts and a few tops from Motherhood, and I’m hoping they work out. This probably all sounds whiny but I miss the jeans and a tshirt days!

This, I think, is why the big bunny-patterned A-line dresses were so popular for expectant moms in the ’80s…

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  1. Kalyn says:

    I’m fairly certain I only wore stretchy yoga pants and leggings for my pregnancy, and they worked well. I bought some maternity shirts, but really, there are a tonne of styles that work well for pregnancy.

    Wrap tops, tops with ruched sides, button downs open with tanks underneath…wrap dresses….lots and lots of layering. With the exception of a few shirts, I was able to get away with the majority of my regular wardrobe. Anything jersey or lycra was a godsend.

    Lands End? A Pea in the Pod? Etsy?

    1. Shayla says:

      Alas, I don’t think I can get away with yoga pants at work — I do have a kind of sweatpants-ish material pair of pants that are skinny leg and elastic waist so I’m gonna try to stick with those for awhile. I have a lot of stretchy waistband skirts, too! I just need it to heat up a bit.

      I found a consignment store that ships to Canada pretty cheap so I grabbed a pair of demi panel jeans, three pairs of shorts and capris for $60.

  2. Cherish says:

    I was going to mention yoga pants as well. Im almost 29 weeks and they’re pretty much all I have left to wear. I can’t wait for summer weather so I can wear the dresses and skirts that still fit.

    Im not sure about other areas but where I live, there are facebook groups for almost everything. I belong to two childrens buy/sell groups and an adult one. I was able to score about 25 pieces of maternity wear locally for $30. It’s also where I picked up almost everything we’re using for baby. Perhaps there’s a group somewhat close to you?

    1. Shayla says:

      Ah, yeah, I forgot about the Facebook groups! I’ll try that out!

  3. Catherine says:

    Hang in there, because I feel your pain. Even though we have more stores here, the selection is tiny, so Motherhood is one of the few actual maternity stores. And I hated those high panels that were more like a body stocking. The good news is that you only have to buy for the size you are now, and then just reassess as you grow. You can also get away with tunic-style tops that are not maternity, which are also great for nursing once the baby comes. You might be able to just size up in pants for a bit now, and stick to skirts and dresses once it warms up for you. Maxi skirts and dresses are so popular, so you can live in those for a while. Oh, and check Amazon, because you might be surprised by their selection!

    1. Shayla says:

      I’m crossing my fingers for the good weather in the forecast to come through — dresses, I can do!

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