The Show Goes On...
Bridesmaid? Is the bride pushing you to get the dress fitted? Yeah, it won't work. What you need to do is OVER-estimate on this one (think your original proportions + at least 1-4 sizes up depending upon how much weight you gained, the restrictive nature of the dress, etc...). With alterations, you can always take IN, but it is much more difficult to let OUT. Find yourself an emergency seamstress for the week of the wedding to do a last minute fitting and book them, making sure they understand the turnaround time. My sister was a bit pregnant in this photo and had to have her dress taken out via emergency seamstress work the week of the wedding because of the nasty nature of the unforgiving dress material (sorry ladies!).
The Black Tie Affair
In your daydreams, you sashay into the room in your 6" stilettos, svelte and toned, well-rested and freshly highlighted. Oh hell no. Depending upon how soon the event is after you give birth, your ankles might still be swollen, you probably won't have time to get your hair done if you are exclusively breastfeeding every few hours (I ALMOST tried to smuggle my baby in under the color cape but thought the toxic fumes would not be beneficial for his overall well-being). You might still be soaring on adrenaline so good for you, but this cuts out after the first few weeks of not sleeping and you crash. My pediatrician laughed at me during our first two visits when I was bright-eyed and busy-tailed, saying "Just wait." She was right.
Ok...back to your ensemble. Here is a photo of what I wore to a black tie wedding when I was about 5 months pregnant. It isn't a maternity dress; just a cleverly-designed Laundry by Shelli Segal number. I don't think Ms. Segal knows this, but she makes some amazing maternity/post-maternity wear. Here is what to look for- a structured top with a little give (or corset-type adjustment) in case your boobs explode. Try for an A-line that flows from just below your bust line; nothing form fitting or rigid material. You can also go for a dress with ruching (gathering)...photo shown of me in a red ruched Laundry Dress that would have worked when I was pregnant except for the whole large chest scenario.
I would have been mistaken for the bachelor party entertainment.
|5 months pregnant- Laundry dress|
|NOT pregnant, but a Laundry dress with ruched, stretchy material|
The Cocktail Party or Patio Party
A simple dress in a loose jersey fabric can do wonders if you are pregnant, but it can cling to the unwanted curves that stayed since you recently gave birth. It definitely provides the stretch necessary to adjust to all sorts of size madness you go through. Below, I am wearing a (non-maternity) black dress with lace detail in a jersey material...I was about 5 months pregnant, but wore it soon after giving birth as well. ANNNDDD...the photo I am probably most self-conscious of (lucky you, I don't like to share it) is one of me exactly 1 week post-delivery. I am wearing a dress in (surprise!) jersey material that flows from just under the bust, non-maternity wear naturally because I never wanted to see a stretchy panel again. You can see that I look about...4-5 months pregnant still (but I am trying to hide it with the stroller). Something a bit more flowy like chiffon would have been a better choice, but I was lucky to leave the house.
|5 months pregnant- Victoria's Secret dress|
|Me, in Puerto Rico 6 months pregnant in a Max Studio dress|
|Me, 1 week after delivery in the same Max Studio dress|
|Pick Up Strapless Gown- Laundry by Shelli Segal $240.99 @ Zappos.com|
|Split Sleeve Color Block Dress- Laundry by Shelli Segal $155.99 @ Zappos.com|
|One Shoulder Drape Dress- BCBGeneration $89.99 @ Zappos.com|
Dress #2- You might be able to get away with a drop waist as long as it is elasticized. I am not sure if this particular one has give, but this gives you a general idea. With the drop waist, you are pulling in the fabric at your largest point, which carves a waist.
Dress #3- Again, the draping provides post-bump camo and keeps a more structured top.
Please, please, please for the love of your self-esteem, do not purchase a dress with the words "trapeze" or "swing" in the title. You will still look pregnant. This is maternity wear in my mind and I would refuse to wear it unless I was pregnant!
NOW for the undergarments...
Spanx. The best thing to happen to women's clothing and the worst thing to happen to romance. Luckily, you won't be in the mood for romance so soon after baby comes so hop aboard the Spanx train! Make sure to get something that comes almost up to your boobs; you need to have room for the distribution of wealth.
|Super High Power- Spanx In-Power Line $38 @ Zappos.com|