The Outfit Project - otherwise entitled "Fight the Frump"

March 09, 2012 Candace Morris 9 Comments

In light of recent struggles with identity and style during pregnancy, I had purchased a rather silly but surprisingly helpful book about how to maintain fashion sense throughout gestation.  I have always known how to dress my figure, which is a huge part of style knowledge.  I assumed this would stay true during pregnancy, but I forgot that your body is transforming into a totally different shape, and you really need to educate yourself on how to dress that new mutation.  A few rules I learned about pregnancy fashion: hold off on buying maternity clothes as long as possible, invest in a few key pieces, GET CREATIVE with accessories, and show off your newest assets (hello mammory's!).

After being inspired to "fight the frump" (which is SO tempting, I might add.  And I do not want anyone to feel judged if they wore sweatpants their whole pregnancy, but it just isn't an option for me working and as Candace), I took myself shopping for a few classic items, and made a goal that this week I would put forth a concentrated effort to dress better, knowing that how I dress almost always determines how I feel.  These are no by no means the best possible outfits ever, but I felt good about them and consequently uncovered some of my pre-pregnancy self.  I also don't want to give the impression that I don't usually think about what I am wearing, because I certainly do.  I just determined to fight the self-pity and push myself!

Additionally, I wanted to improve my self-portrait abilities (which I find EXTREMELY challenging as a photographer) and also have determined to set aside my convenient iPhone app and pick up my DSLR more.  I also knew this would keep me accountable in my dressing better goals.

Below is the product of my effort as well as an explanation if you want an education in maternity dressing.

For Monday, I chose a bright orange/red blouse from H&M ($20.00) in a size large (I usually wear small shirts) and wore it unbuttoned with a camisole so as to draw the eye to my now lovely cleavage (and more importantly, away from my expanding midsection).  I wore a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans with a belly band ($30.00) and an older pair of camel wedges.  Earrings, bracelet, and two rings completed the look for me.

Tuesday was a rainy day and I felt the need for a sweater.  This is a man's sweater size small from H&M ($15.00).  Everything else is from my pre-preggo wardrobe (gotta love super stretchy pants!). I wore a striped shirt in the effort to layer more and chose a blazer to give the look a more structured appeal -which is especially helpful when dressing a bottom-heavy physique such as mine.  I wore black on bottom with heeled-boots to elongate my bottom half (I usually wear these boots over-the-knee, but knew I would be wearing them later this week and wanted to give the impression of variety.  This is a universal fashion rule: You don't need a lot of things, just don't wear the same items the same way twice).  Dual necklaces (though not visible in this photo), petite turquoise studs, and  two rings completed the look.

I woke up in a bad mood on Wednesday, so I feel particularly good for pulling this outfit off.  The tunic is a size larger than I usually wear and stretchy (H&M $10.00 on sale).  I had to wear the belly band again today, but wore long white tank under the tunic to hide it.  Here, I am focusing on proportion.  If wearing something flowy and bigger on top, wear skinny jeans or leggings.  I am addicted to cuffing my jeans for that extra attention to detail and to show off my booties.  (Side-note about shoe wear.  The book said that heels are a MUST for pregnant bodies, and while I don't imagine I'll be able to do this very long, it's actually really helped in how I carry myself.  Also, all of my heels are comfortable and stacked (fuck the stiletto, not only are they uncomfortable and impractical, they make the preggo body look comical in comparison to that skinny heel.)  I broke up the vast expanse of white with a big statement-getting necklace and dangly earrings (hard to see here).  This outfit completely improved my mood.

I've had this dress for a few months now (Forever21 $20.00) and only just thought to wear it.  It's a larger size than I usually wear, but the book talked about belts being the preggos best friend.  Your upper belly is the narrowest part of your body right now, so it should be accentuated.  I felt a bit Sunday school-ish in this dress, so adding the irreverent blue tights and booties really helped me feel more edgy.  Cardigans are a must - but they HAVE to fit well - during pregnancy for hiding that expanding back-side.  This dress is low-cut, so it helped draw attention to my bosoms (appropriately so, I still had to go to work after all).  Also, the book recommends wearing patterns...which I find hard to buy.  I felt pretty good in this all day.  I added a pair of blue mod-ish earrings to tie in the tights and help me feel young despite my hair being pulled into a french twist.

I didn't have to work today, and was saving this outfit for a social outing (if going to work, I probably would have paired with black skinny jeans and my Prada flats).  I picked up this tunic at H&M ($15.00) and love it.  It's super stretchy and comfortable.  The book talks about wearing short things during pregnancy and I tend to have a hard time with that in general, but with black opaque tights and boots that cover most of my leg, I felt pretty snazzy going to brunch with Jess at our favorite French bistro.  Since it's such a loud pattern, I tried to have messy hair in order to unfussy the look.  I added a pair of industrial-looking dangly earrings to toughen up the sweetness, and added my favorite bright coral lipstick to add a trendy feel to a classic cut/pattern of a dress.  

After such an intense week of thinking about what to wear and photographing it, I am looking forward to a weekend of pajamas!  Here's to fighting the frump, and embracing it when you need to!

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