5 wardrobe staples for dressing ‘Chic in Academia’ while expecting

So…you’re knocked up. Haha, just kidding!  But really, you are.  So, congrats!!  Super exciting times lie ahead for you!! Let’s see…sleepless nights, hormonal adjustments, very little ‘me’ time, and a body that is dismorphed (possibly temporarily, possibly permanently), to name a few.

Now you’re thinking, “It’s hard enough to be chic with a normal body, much less a gigantic belly protruding from my body!”  And, honestly, you’re right.  No sugar coating there.  I will say this though:  I’ve now been pregnant twice during my tenure as an academician (is that even a word?!).  The first time I was a 1st year PhD student and the second time, I was a 1st year postdoc.  Actually, both kids were also born in June, right before the summer.  Interestingly, neither was planned… A-NY-WAY….I digress. But, that said, I’ve had some experience with having to find maternity clothing that was outfit appropriate.

Here are a few pointers for dressing for your new, baby-in-utero-body:

1) The Long-Length Blazer Jacket

Think in terms of body proportions.  First and foremost.  You want to wear clothes that make you look, well, proportional!  Hard to do when you have a giant belly, but feasible with a few key pieces.

Take for example the two Kardashian sisters with babies, Kim and Kourtney.  You may love or hate them, but these girls can dress!  And dressing chic while pregnant was something they both did well!  I especially like what Kim Kardashian wore during her pregnancy, because like me, she had major edema towards the end of her pregnancy (I had it with both boys), so I feel a certain type of kinship with her.  Anyway, so, to even out her body a bit, she took to wearing blazers.

Pregnant Kim Kardashian

Photo Credit: JustJared.com

I loved wearing blazers as well.  Here is one example, taken May 2012 (one month before my second son was born, and one of the only pics I had on my current phone!):

PregnantIt’s a little hard to tell here, but I’m basically wearing a non-maternity dress (Prabal Gurung for Target and a Forever 21 blazer, one size larger than usual).  The key for me to wearing blazers, was to find ones that were a little longer than usual, in length (i.e. ones that cover your bottom).  Theory blazers are great (super expensive in store, averaging $400 or so for the blazer alone…though a great investment; and less expensive on eBay), as are Forever 21 Boyfriend Blazers (if you want a way less expensive option, averaging about $30).

And on blogger, Morgan from Allen and Co:

Great style during pregnancy can be done!

Photo Credit: AllenandCoblog.com

2.  The High Waisted Pencil Skirt

I LOVE pencil skirts.  Pregnant or not!  I just think they are incredibly flattering, and work well on most body types.  When pregnant, I really feel that pencil skirts work well.  For those of us who are not blessed with long, slender legs, pencil skirts also help to give the illusion of length and to add, well, proportion!  Here are some examples I love:

Love, love, love these colors as well as the fit of the skirt.  For me, below the knee is key for work-appropriate looks.  This one in particular hits right below the knee, so it really works to give the illusion of (or enhance) an hour-glass figure.

Pregnant Kim Kardashian in Los Angeles on March 12, 2013

Asos maternity pieces are also great staples while pregnant!  They are inexpensive and well-made for the price.  Here’s a popular skirt from their maternity line:

:

Photo Credit: asos.com

NOTE:  Also in this picture are the opaque maternity tights.  Though they don’t really qualify as a staple because you can only REALLY wear them during the fall/winter, they are amazing during pregnancy!!  Let’s be real, for those of us without a thigh gap, they prevent thigh-chaffing; they usually are control top, so they keep your baby-belly nice and snug and your thighs and buttocks in place when wearing tight-fitting clothes; and, finally, keep you from having to shave EVERY.SINGLE.DAY during the winter (don’t judge me!!).  My favorite tights come from Target and can be found here.

Here’s an example of the longer-length blazer paired well with an above the knee-pencil skirt on Ivanka Trump.  A similar skirt can be found at Destination Maternity.

So chic!  *Almost* makes me want to be pregnant again...*almost*. www.chicinacademia.wordpress.com

And finally, this look from Sydney (blogger, The Daybook):

Sydney-daybook-guest-post-1

 

3.  The Skinny Pant or Jean

Okay, so you may be able to give me some insight on great-fitting maternity slacks for the work place, but I was unsuccessful in finding ANY while pregnant with both my boys.  I found maternity slacks to be all around ill-fitting, making me look like I had both a saggy bottom and a saggy belly!  They also were usually didn’t fit well in the thigh area and bottom/tummy area simultaneously.  I did wear one pair that I bought on eBay for $1 (plus shipping, of course) during both pregnancies, but nothing else.  For the most part, I stuck to black leggings with boots (during the winter), and skinny pants/jeans during the spring.

Here are some legging/blazer examples I loved re-creating:

#fabulous and pregnant    http://pinterest.com/treypeezy  http://twitter.com/TreyPeezy  http://instagram.com/OceanviewBLVD  http://OceanviewBLVD.com

Photo Credit: Some pap…eventually Pinterest.

Kourtney+Kardashian

Um, clearly we are ignoring her facial expression here, haha! 😛 Photo Credit: Some pap…eventually Pinterest.

 

Here are some examples of work-appropriate looks with the skinny pant or jean:

Zadie Skinny Maternity Jeans in Blue | Isabella Oliver | Maternity Capsule Collection

Photo Credit: Isabellaoliver.com

 

And from one of the most chic bloggers, pregnant and not, Anh from 9 to 5 Chic:

Day Time Maternity with Rockstud Flats

Photo Credit: 9to5chic.com

 

And, if you are a bit adventurous and like to wear color to work (I personally DO NOT shy away from this!), here’s a look from Karen from one of my favorite Instagram accounts, @mychicbump:

I give it a couple more weeks before I need a whole new closet to fit my baby bump.

 

4.  The Long Length Tank Top

Omgosh, these are heaven sent during and after pregnancy.  You can wear them alone with your blazer and skinny jeans or pencil skirt; under dresses or tops with low-necklines, under tops or sweaters that don’t cover your belly and/or butt; but most of all, to help keep your pants up that don’t quite button during the earlier phases of pregnancy when you can still manage to wear your non-maternity pants/jeans!

Here, Andee Layne (blogger – The Honeybee – who inspired my preggers-style for my second pregnancy) in a Liz Lange for Target tank top styled in an all-black look with the jacket as the pop of color (though this color is more muted since this was worn during the fall/winter):

All Saints Jacket, Liz Lange Maternity tank from Target, Hudson wide leg maternity jeans

Another great, all-black look with pop-of-color blazer from Red Soles and Red Wine blogger (also a target Maternity tank):

Zara Floral Blazer  |  Target Maternity Tank  |  Citizens of Humanity Skinny Denim  |  Zara Flower  |  Christian Louboutin Slingbacks  |  Chanel Bag  |    t+j Designs jewelry:  Mint Jeweled Necklace  |  Black Faux Leather Square Bangle  |    White Faux Leather Square Bangle  |

Here’s the coveted, all-around amazing, Target tank (though, any long length tank will work of course!):

11289931

 

5.  The Fitted Maternity Dress

I was really a fan of the fitted dress.  I think one of the best things about being pregnant is that, for the first time, it is actually socially acceptable to wear fitted clothing with a protruding belly! 😛  For me, anything that was not fitted, make me look HUGE and kind of as if I was wearing a tent. 😦  So, fitted dresses for me!  Here are some looks I used for inspiration during my pregnancies:

for office wear

Photo Credit: ProjectNursery.com

 

Different shoes for the office, but this look from Kim K. would definitely work for the office, and very chic, might I add:

Ms. Kim Kardashian (Pregnant) ...XoXo

I loved this look too!  A bit short for the office, but could work with a longer dress:

Photo Credit: Vogue.com

And finally, the business formal fitted dress look.  Sometimes, we have dinners to attend, galas, or other ‘dress-up’ functions!  Dresses like the following work well paired with a nice blazer during the day, and alone for the evening event.  Here’s Reese Witherspoon with a rouched-black fitted dress that I loved paired with the pink heels (similar here):

Photo Credit: Elle.com

 

And this floral number from Asos.com:

:

 

So there you have it!  My 5 wardrobe essentials for dressing ‘Chic in Academia’ while pregnant!  Of course, there are a variety of other clothing options, and omgosh, let’s not even get into shoes!!  The options are endless!  But, I really do feel like these 5 options work well for most work-appropriate outfits, and furthermore, staples that can be mixed and matched so that you don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe to accommodate your growing baby belly!  Stay tuned for my dressing ‘Chic in Academia’ while breastfeeding/postpartum!  I also have a ‘Pregnancy board’ on Pinterest that you can follow for outfit inspiration or other pregnancy-related pins!

Stay chic!!

‘Chic and Fit 2014 – Day 4’ and ‘Girls on the Run’

Just checkin’ in to see how all my peeps are doing?!  As you might recall, earlier this week, I proposed to engage in 30 minutes of physical activity a day.  I actually didn’t think much of it, until I got some feedback from people.  It made me think, “Hmm, am I REALLY going to be able to put in 30 minutes of physical activity a day?!!”

Well, so far so good!!  Here’s a recap:

Day 1:  Jog on Treadmill, 35:14 min:sec, 2.271 miles.

0506142138

Day 2: Elliptical Workout, Level 5, 30:53 min:sec.  I BARELY got through these 30 minutes!! I forgot my socks and headphone at home, so I worked out in silence and sockless!!

0507141718a

Day 3: Another jog on the treadmill, while watching the last two episodes of Scandal.  Note to self, watching Scandal while running can be hazardous to your health.  I nearly went tachycardic!!  Shonda Rimes…please include a disclosure stating that content from your show, combined with physical activity, may cause one’s heart to react abnormally!! 😛  Treadmill workout, 45:41 min:sec (some jogging, some walking), 2.989 miles.

0508142203 So, not too bad so far!!  I have a run planned for tonight, so that will get day 4 in the books for me!  How are y’all doing with your workouts??!  Remember, you can follow along on Instagram or Twitter, as well as on Facebook here on the blog!

If you are in the Birmingham, AL, area, tomorrow, May 11th, Black Girls Run, Birmingham (the group that helped me get my running groove back after the birth of my first son) will be supporting little-er Girls on the Run tomorrow morning!  Feel free to go out, join them,  and show your support!! Or, if you have daughters, nieces, little girl friends, etc., encourage them to participate in Girls on the Run!  Getting healthy and fit should be a community-wide effort, so let’s do our part and support each other and help others get involved!!

Stay chic and fit, friends!!

A ‘Chic and Fit 2014’

I had a relatively stressful day today.  All self-imposed, so no one to blame but me. 🙂  That said, I turned to a couple of things today that usually help me ‘de-stress’, so to speak.  Among those things, chats with friends!!  Many thanks to my amazing friends (you know who you are) who listened to me vent. 😀  The other thing I tried was…a run.  Yup, a good ‘ol run on the treadmill.

I haven’t worked out regularly in a while, mostly because I was breastfeeding my son for the past 10 months (have you ever tried running with breasts full of milk?!  PAINFUL.  Or at least it was for me!!).  But also because I didn’t HAVE to!  He’s turning 11 months this week and this past month, I’ve watched the scale climb faster that I ever knew it could!  I knew I was burning lots of calories while breastfeeding, but didn’t realize how many until I stopped (though we do have frozen stock to get us through the year, fortunately!)!

Anyhow, I forgot how good it feels to get some physical activity in my day.  The stress is not completely gone, but the endorphins appear to help me manage the stress better, I think (this, by the way is not a scientific opinion, haha!  Just my opinion. 😉 ).  So, I thought, why not engage my friends and see if we can all get a little healthier and de-stress together?!

So, I am starting ‘Chic and Fit 2014’!  The goal here is not to:

  • Get skinny
  • Try new diets
  • Workout like crazy

The goal is simply to incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity into my day.  If by chance I happen to lose some weight along the way, become less stressed, eat healthier, or decide that I love working out (this has never happened before, so I doubt it will happen now, but I’ll never say never, haha!), then so be it!

Want to join me?!  I will post updates here on my blog, also on Instagram, and on Twitter using hashtag #chicandfit2014.  You can post as well and use the hashtag, so we can all keep up with each other.  Sure, we may be halfway through 2014, but the year is not over yet!  So, follow along as I incorporate fitness into my attempt to stay ‘Chic in Academia’.  No gimmicks, nothing difficult, just me, a workout, and social media. 🙂

Stay Chic!

Workout Treadmill Day 1 edited

Me, my treadmill, and my phone (camera) 😉

Workout Day 1

Day 1 – A slow jog on the treadmill.