Pregnant in the Workplace
The need for professional maternity clothes demonstrates that the challenges of being a working mother start long before your baby even arrives. But, don't despair! With the proper planning, you can maintain your sense of style throughout your pregnancy.
Repurposing Your Existing Wardrobe
In most cases, you won't need a new wardrobe of professional maternity clothes until you are three to four months pregnant. And, there are some women who don't appear to be visibly pregnant until the end of the second trimester.
To minimize the strain on your clothing budget, try to repurpose your existing wardrobe for this awkward in-between stage of your pregnancy. Unless your bust size has changed dramatically, most of your blouses should still fit properly. Pair these tops with skirts or pants with elastic waistbands to create a look that's comfortable, yet professional. You can also consider wearing some of your suit jackets open over your blouse for a slightly more formal look.
Buying Professional Maternity Clothes
When it's time to buy professional maternity clothes, remember the following tips:
- Even though you'll only wear these outfits for a short time period, don't skimp on quality. Suits made from high-quality fabrics are a necessity for any professional woman, regardless of whether or not she's expecting a new addition to her family.
- When shopping for professional maternity clothes, the goal is to look sophisticated--not sloppy. Pants and skirts that use Lycra for the belly will accommodate your changing shape without unsightly fabric puckers or bumps.
- Consider purchasing a small selection of basic items in neutrals such as tan, black, white, and gray. Then, accent these pieces with seasonal colors like cranberry, brown, or red.
- If you're trying to downplay your pregnancy, purchase one or two new items at a time and gradually introduce them into your wardrobe by pairing them with tops or bottoms that are familiar to your colleagues.
- If you're approaching the third trimester, remember that many pregnant women feel skirts are more comfortable than pants during this time. Simple A-line dresses also win rave reviews from many moms-to-be.
Places to Shop
Many busy career women dread the thought of rearranging their schedules to accommodate several hours of shopping for professional maternity clothes. Fortunately, there are a number of online retailers that make it easy for you to get the clothes you need without ever leaving your office. For example:
- Seraphine offers affordable professional dresses and separates for the mom-to-be.
- A Pea in the Pod offers a wide selection of stylish suits, pants, and blouses which are perfect for the workplace.
- ASOS has a variety of career looks for the expectant mother.
- Figure 8 Maternity has mix-and-match suit separates that work well for a number of office settings.
- Suits Your Belly specializes in professional maternity clothing.
While you're pregnant, don't become so focused on finding professional maternity clothing that you overlook the rest of your appearance. Tasteful jewelry, fashionable shoes, carefully applied makeup, and well-groomed hair will go a long way towards presenting the professional image you desire.