Non-maternity maternity, a outdoor summer wedding

This last weekend my husband and I attended an outdoor wedding in Tennessee. The dress was listed as “summer formal” which does not mean much to me. What it did say was dress, and I was determined to look cute. I’m still in that awkward stage where some maternity clothes look great while others (like formal dresses) look like a tent. So that meant spending a bit of time to look around and find something that I would feel good wearing, looked good on, was appropriate for the occasion, and was cool enough for a hot and humid Tennessee afternoon. I was lucky enough to find something I loved in one day of shopping.

Then my husband drops a bomb on me the night before we leave. We are supposed to go to the rehearsal dinner too. I wasn’t expecting it because neither of us are in the wedding party nor are we family traveling from out of town. I asked what the dress was, based on a more formal wedding I expected business casual. The groom told him that khakis and a polo or button up would be fine. OK, so business casual and maternity, WTF am I supposed to do with that. There would be no time for shopping the next morning except maybe to grab pants and a shirt off the rack for my husband so I had to find something at home. I ended up getting lucky with the most random items out of my closet.

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This shirt was one I bought previously for New Years. Usually I’d stay away from something like this because of the ruffles in the front. That is a great way to attract even more attention to an already attention grabbing feature. It looks pretty horrible on the hanger, but the wide elasticized band just under the breasts works well for highlighting the thinnest part of a pregnant waist, the underbust. Normally this style could make a fuller bust woman look pregnant, not desirable. But when you are pregnant a style like this is exactly where you want to go for non-maternity maternity clothing. Why? Because it makes you look pregnant, what you want to avoid before becomes an asset now.

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I dug these shoes out from the bottom of my closet. They are size 5 1/2 Steve Madden shoes bought on a trip to Las Vegas a few years ago. I did not realize it at the time, but no matter how cute they are heels this high are a bad idea. It is pretty much impossible to walk in something like this while pregnant. Not a good choice on my part. I also dug out a high waisted pencil skirt from the back of my closet. This was bought a few years ago at a fashion boutique like Forever 21 while on TDY. It was a cheap purchase, about $15. The entire skirt is an elasticized stretchy material that works very well with a changing body shape.

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Here is the shirt on, with a 28HH Curvy Kate Thrill Me under it. We did not get to go to the rehearsal dinner because we got stuck in traffic, so you get to look at badly taken cellphone pictures in my bathroom. I don’t particularly care if my bra is partially visible under the bra, but a smooth camisole could easily cover the lumps and bumps of a bra. The shirt was bought at Dillards for about $35 and is a size medium.

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From the side, just long enough to cover an almost pregnant looking stomach. There is definitely room for the “is she or isn’t she” question here. The back arch kind of gives away pregnancy.

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Here’s the top of the skirt. Normally it would sit about this high. The stretchy material is very accommodating for my belly and it is smooth enough to not have any painful stretched seams. Definitely looking pregnant here.

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The full outfit together minus the shoes. You can’t see in this picture, but the skirt is about knee length with a short slit in the back. It is very easy to move it and not restrictive feeling. I’m not sure what is going on with the lighting in this picture, so sorry about that. Again, we did not get to go to the rehearsal dinner because we got stuck in traffic, but I think I would have been very comfortable in this, minus the shoes. But I had back up shoes in my shoes for the wedding.

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This is the dress I bought for the wedding. Notice a color pattern here? Can you tell my favorite color is grey? It also has ruffles along the bust, something you’d usually avoid with a fuller bust, but the lower cut front decreases the ruffled look. It has the fabric bunching in the center front, something I’d normally avoid because it will make the not pregnant look pregnant. So, perfect for the pregnant needing a non-maternity item. The dress is by Maggie London, normally carried at department stores for about $109. I bought it at Ross for $40. It was the only one there, so I got lucky. I ended up buying a size 6, normally I’d need a 2 for my non-pregnant waist, but by the end of the wedding I was feeling a little cleavagy and wishing for a size 8.

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The shoes were something I had already in my closet. They were bought last year for my second college graduation at Payless for pretty cheap. They are a size 5, which is impossible to find anywhere, much less smaller towns. The heel on these is low enough that I could survive in them. Eventually they were traded out for black flip flops. But I take a bit of pride in saying that I was not the first woman to trade my heels for flip flops.

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The side view of the dress, I swear in person I look more pregnant in it. That front bunching allowed for a flowing skirt that kept me more cool outside in the heat. Luckily for my husband and the other men in suits the wedding did get moved inside. Under the dress I wore seamless boyshort panties from Victoria’s Secret, part of the Sexy Little Things line. Great for the no seams, but too much movement for comfort under a dress.

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Here is the front view of the dress. As you can see it is a little more boob baring then intended. I only bought this a week before the wedding, but in that short amount of time the pregnancy breast changes made it a little more cleavage baring. The dress has foam lined straps and bra cups. The bra cups are not shaped completely like a bra, but gave a touch of lift to allow me to go braless. The foam is also great for those moves from outdoor heat to indoor air conditioning. No nip slips or shows here.

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This picture is from the dressing room when I originally tried on the dress. As you can see the cleavage is a lot less and definitely more appropriate. This was the intended look for the wedding. I am amazed at how much change there can be in one week in the breasts of a pregnant woman. I definitely felt a little more on show in the boob department then what I expected based on the dressing room try on. Unfortunately I did not try it on again until we were getting ready for the wedding and by that time it was too late to find something else or to find a wrap to wear over top.

So a few lessons learned from this wedding experience.
1. Be careful in heels. What was a high heel before is now a super high stiletto.
2. Pregnancy boobs change fast. Try on your outfit again to make adjustments before you are stuck just wearing it.
3. Clothes that you’d normally avoid because they make you look pregnant make perfect non-maternity maternity clothing. Why? Because they make you look pregnant! Only one person missed the fact that I was pregnant and offered me an alcoholic drink. Everyone else figured it out pretty fast.

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6 Comments

  1. Very cute! I was never brave enough to wear heels while pregnant, though! ;)

    • Thanks! I wish I didn’t have to wear them again, but I will. I have another wedding in early August and then a formal military graduation to go to in October, so I’ll be wearing heels again. I hope by August I’ll look pregnant enough to wear something cute and maternity. I know I will by October. I’m also kind if hoping for some feet swelling. I’d love to be able to buy some cute shoes to wear in a size that is easily available. Everything here starts at a size 6.

  2. Wow, that dress is gorgeous on you! I’d try my luck with a similar style… but, of course, I want to avoid looking pregnant. :)

  3. The dress looked adorable! And the gray top was a perfect length/style for this stage of pregnancy. I also wore non-maternity dresses/tops to dressy occasions until probably 28 weeks. You look great!

  4. These are great suggestions. I think too many women just resign themselves to the fact that they’re not going to look good while pregnant so your strategy is definitely a good one to share!

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