Minkoff got through her first trimester by looping a hair band around the button loop of her pants, but, she says, eventually moms-to-be turn to maternity clothes. Also, it’s OK if they eventually need a little confidence boost to alleviate doubts about a changing figure, she says. Her easy fix? Invest in ‘‘great shoes, great jewelry and a great jacket.’’
Researcher MyungHee Sohn, an assistant professor of textile and apparel management at the University of Missouri, has found that, based on body scans, most pregnant women should be moving into maternity clothes in their fifth month, although shoppers typically put it off longer, and the industry uses a 7-month model for most of its measurements.
By the time they are five months pregnant, it’s not just their belly that has grown, but also their bust, waist and hips, Sohn says. ‘‘It’s definitely a new shape. It’s not just the body of a woman who gained weight.’’
Pea in the Pod’s Myers notes that what’s in maternity stores now reflects broader fashion trends. You'll find the tunic-and-blazer combination, the cardigans layered with nice Ts, and even the bright pops of color and springtime prints. ‘‘The mistake I see most is the mentality that they think they have to stay away from stripes, or florals or prints because they fear them to be unflattering, but I think the opposite is true,’’ she says.
A clean, sharp nautical stripe, for example, will break up the bump.
An ‘‘it’’ look, like a peplum, which she dubs ‘‘an arrow to your hips,’’ can be harder to pull off, Koch says. Instead consider of-the-moment accessories, such as a shoe-bootie with a stacked heel or a candy-colored, oversized handbag.
Just don’t overstuff it — yet. ‘‘Pretty soon that will turn into a heavy diaper bag,’’ Minkoff says.
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