I'm 39 Weeks Pregnant, And I Still Haven't Bought Maternity Clothes

Photo: Courtesy of Ida Kay.
This story was originally published on January 19, 2016.

I’ve come to discover that pregnancy is an interesting time — it’s 10 months (Not nine — Google it!) of strangers rubbing your belly, trying to distract yourself from a 24/7 sweet tooth, and witnessing your body changing in all kinds of ways. Your walk can go from 2Pac’s “Put a little twist in her hips 'cause I'm watching” to the waddling penguins of Happy Feet in a matter of weeks, your bra size get supersized, and your expanding belly means that you have to say au revoir to a whole host of other body parts (anyone else miss their ankles?). What’s “normal” during those 40 weeks can be so out of the ordinary — it's nice to do things so you still feel like yourself throughout it all. For me, that meant holding onto my personal style, even though I couldn’t wear most of my clothes anymore.

I'm now 39 weeks pregnant, and I haven’t purchased any maternity clothes. Even though it'd be easy to lay down money for clothes that are tailor-made for big bellies, I can't bring myself to spend so much money on something I wouldn't want to wear outside of these 40 weeks. Limiting myself to maternity wear takes the fun out of shopping. Not shopping maternity also makes me feel like I'm still in the game. I'm shopping for things that I’ll be be able to wear after I give birth, and will continue wearing, despite any more life changes, and that's a mindset I’ll continue to have long after I pop. Right now, it’s important for me to feel like life is continuing as normal (or at least as far as my closet is concerned).

It was challenging at times, but I found that the same kind of problem solving I used to figure out how to take my day outfit to night because of that phone call, or not looking like a hot mess for a meeting after hot yoga applied, too. Here are some rules I’ve been “maternity” shopping by — illustrated by Instagram pics of myself in the actual outfits I've been loving lately, as well as pregnant celebrities (if you're into that kind of thing!).
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Photo: Courtesy of Ida Kay.
Keep It Bumping — Though this might sound counterintuitive, I found that the bigger I got, the more I craved body-con clothes. I had dresses that I used to skip over because they were too unforgiving, but guess what? There’s no hiding my belly now. Wearing looser silhouettes makes me feel like a tent, so I’ve been sticking to sleek body-con dresses (that still have stretch — blood flow is important!). Cotton jersey T-shirt and tank dresses make me feel sexy, which I’ve found is something that’s been more important to me lately than before I was pregnant.
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Photo: D. Dipasupil/Getty Images.
Blake Lively feels me on this one.
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Photo: Courtesy of Ida Kay.
Black As Backup — I’ve been wearing a lot of black dresses in a bunch of different cuts, and feel so chic in them. I love topping them with a looser black sweater or an unzipped leather jacket on top.
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Photo: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images.
Angelina Jolie's all-black suit and blazer is something she can still wearing afterward (try this trick to maternity-ize pants).
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Photo: Courtesy of Ida Kay.
In the Trenches — Lightweight trench coats are great during pregnancy, especially if you want to feel more covered up (I bought my first one when I started showing). In the first trimester, I wore my trench like a dress; in the second trimester, I started tying the waistband behind my back to give my bump center stage. Toward the end of the third trimester, I tied the band right above my waist to showcase my silhouette. I purchased one in beige and one in black, and have been wearing them constantly.
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Photo: Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images.
Kim Kardashian knows her way around the flowy — not frumpy! — silhouette.
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Photo: Courtesy of Ida Kay.
Create A Waist — For those items that aren't skin tight, I try to accentuate my "waist" with a small belt, or choose garments with high-waist drawstrings. I try to avoid low waistbands or anything with front buttons — they look like (and feel like!) they’re hanging on for dear life.
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Photo: Todd Williamson/Getty Images.
Rose Byrne cinched her breezy maxi with a buckle belt.
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Photo: Courtesy of Ida Kay.
Maximize the Maxis — Maxi-dresses are super cute on preggos, but I always try to make sure that it's cut in a sleeker silhouette that fits my form. Wearing oversized items just makes me feel like I’m wearing a tent. To really lay it on, I play with slits. This way I can show a little skin, without looking like I’m trying too hard, or feeling like I might slip out.
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Photo: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images.
Nicole Trunfio takes advantage of a long hemline and a high slit.
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Photo: Courtesy of Ida Kay.
Give ‘Em Heel — There’s no reason to give up your heels and wedges throughout pregnancy if you lived in them beforehand. Just make sure you’re listening to your body and doing what feels right. Don’t feel like you have to switch to ballet flats all-day-every-day as soon as you get the news.
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Photo: BM1/Getty Images.
My soul sister Chrissy Teigen doing three of my favorite pregnancy looks: Heels, body-con, and a flowy trench!
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