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Layers! Leggings! Accessories! Oh my!

July 15, 2009

As a somewhat plus-size pregnant mom who lost about 30 pounds right before I got pregnant, a lot of my pre-pregnancy, pre-weight-loss clothes still fit me here at month 5. This leads to strange questions sometimes as I look more pregnant some days than other simply because of wardrobe.

But the liberating joy for me has been discovering ways of mixing and matching nonmaternity clothes in new ways that allow me to keep wearing them not only size-wise, but comfort-wise. I had a closet full of no-waist dresses that had seen limited use in their non-pregnant-wear life, but now I’ve discovered that leggings, scarves, and other accessories can really dress them up. And the same is true for the maternity clothes I find myself drawn to. Sometimes, a long t-shirt over a tunic and leggings is just what I need to get through a day.

So then a friend of mine posts a link to The Uniform Project, Sheena Matheiken’s fundraising project that involves wearing, essentially, the same dress every day for a year. (They are actually seven identical dresses.) The project really shows off how you can be creative with limited clothing by accessorizing, and Sheena is apparently the master of finding nifty accessories on sites like eBay and Etsy.

This is particularly significant when you’re dealing with a maternity wardrobe. I’ve bought two single-color (one black, one brown) maternity dresses that are sleeveless, and love dressing them up by pairing them up with shirts, sweaters, leggings, shoes, bangles, bows, headbands, and other things that give them more life. This way, I don’t have to buy more maternity dresses, but instead have all these fun things that I will be able to use no matter what size I am. (Although I’m fighting another round of shoe-buying. I had finally accepted that I became a 9 1/2 because of the weight gain. As much as I’d like to be a perfect 10–not!!)

Check out Sheena’s site because it will give you some great accessorizing ideas. And be sure to read up on her chosen charity, the Akanksha Foundation, “a grassroots movement that is revolutionizing education in India. At the end of the year, all contributions will go toward Akanksha’s School Project to fund uniforms and other educational expenses for children living in Indian slums.”

What’s your favorite way to get more mileage out of your maternity clothes?

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