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5 Tips to Consider When Choosing A Maternity Dress

Finally the time has come when you actually look pregnant, as your tiny bump begins to grow…and grow. Now it’s time to go shopping for some maternity dresses to keep you comfortable and cool in all seasons. But how do you know what to look for?

We spoke to Lili Del Cueto, mother of three and founder of Olian Maternity for her best tips when choosing a dress for your expanding belly.

1. Should you try to hide your baby bump?

Current fashion trends encourage pregnant women to celebrate their expanding waistlines. “Show that bump,” says Del Cueto. “Be happy and proud. Today, there are so many beautiful pieces that are designed to highlight the beauty of a pregnant body.” To that effect, avoid voluminous amounts of fabrics and look for stretchy jersey materials that have style and shape to embrace the curves of your body. Tie-backs and gathers can help a dress flatter your changing figure.

 2. Long or short?

You can’t go wrong when choosing either a long or short dress. A dress that falls to the knee or slightly above makes your legs look longer and has the effect of balancing your expanding torso, she says. A long style covers everything and is super comfortable, plus you don't have to worry about the shoes you will be wearing. Sneakers anyone? Whether you go long or short really depends on your mood for the day and what fun activities you have planned.

3. Prints or stripes? Bright colors or muted ones?

As with everything in life, go with what works for you, says Del Cueto. Having a baby bump should not change your sense of style.  Do you love simple stripes? They can actually flatter your bump. If you have always been a fan of prints, why change? Just keep in mind that it’s better to choose a slimming all-over print, than a dress with areas of negative space, especially if they highlight certain areas of the body. “The empty space tends to visually accentuate the spot it lands on, so if it happens to fall on your expanding belly, breasts or rear, it’s a double whammy from an attention standpoint.”

As for color, let your wardrobe mirror this happy time in your life. Choose colors that accentuate the glow of your skin, which may be different than it was pre-pregnancy. If you think bright colors and patterns draw too much attention, go with solid colors in a palette that makes you feel good.

4. Empire waist or no waistline?

“Belting above your bump to balance your legs is a great favorite of mine,” says Del Cueto. A stretchy belt can be used below the bra line to create an empire waist. Some silhouettes work well on a growing body, including A-line shifts and loose-fitting dresses as well.

 5. Do you find a dress that fits now or one that will grow with you?

One of our key objectives during the design process is to identify fabrics and fits that can both accommodate an expanding bump and still be used post-maternity, explains Del Cueto. She often uses a spandex blend that expands for comfort during pregnancy and can gather back when that extra space is no longer needed. A classic wrap dress, for example, is an incredibly comfortable and fashionable piece during all stages of pregnancy and postpartum, she says. The waist tie can simply and easily be adjusted to fit to the desired comfort level and size. 


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