After several weeks of hiding my newly formed baby bump, I can’t tell you what a relief it was to finally share the good news with the world and stop worrying about which parts of my body were causing the people around me to look my way with a raised eye brow. I learned a few things along the way about what helps to draw attention away from the tell-tale bump and I’m happy to share a few tips and examples today for how to hide the baby bump.
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The Best Way to Hide Your Baby Bump
I know a lot of women are tempted to just buy larger sizes and rely on the extra fabric as a disguise. Unless you are actually gaining weight all over your body, larger sizes are probably not the answer for simply hiding your baby bump. It will just have the effect of making you look less put-together than usual and people will still give you sideways glances as they wonder what’s up with all the baggy clothes.
Rather than simply sizing up, I looked for clothes in my closet that I could use to draw the eye away from my belly. You’ll quickly notice three trends among my favorite styles: printed fabrics, layers, and draping. I’ll show you what I mean.
This is only my first pregnancy, so my baby bump was a little more reluctant to develop than women who are on their second (or subsequent) pregnancy. I deliberately held off on shooting these photos until late in my 14th week. Rest assured, there is definitely a bump hiding under all those printed, layered, draped clothes.
With A Printed Floral Blouse and Draped Cardigan
It’s no secret that I love a good floral blouse. I picked this one up at TJMaxx last summer and it quickly became one of my favorites. Little did I know, it is the perfect blouse for disguising a baby bump. Prints are a pregnant woman’s best friend because the print distracts the eye from the surface the print is laying on (aka your body shape). I like floral, large-scale prints in general, but they are especially perfect for this task because they are arranged somewhat randomly on the fabric, which helps to disguise any curves. This particular blouse happened to be extra helpful because it has a split back which provides a lot of extra fabric drape around my mid-section.
The floral print was a good start, but I also wanted to add one more layer to help draw the eye away from my mid-section. Layers are key! I received this beautiful blouse in my 19th Stitch Fix shipment. It took a while for me to find the right pieces to style with it, but I’m so happy I kept it. Pregnant or not, this lightweight blouse is just lovely. It just so happens that the sweater’s natural drape adds one more distraction to the eye. People end up looking at the sweater and not what’s going on underneath!
Add a pair of black leggings, Pixie pants, or Maternity ponte pants along with some black riding boots (similar), and this was a perfect outfit for staying comfortable while I tried to hide my baby bump. A simple necklace and Kate Spade silver watch just completed the look.
RECREATE THE LOOK
With a Printed Blouse and a Contrasting Printed Cardigan
Mixing prints is not for the fashionably faint at heart, but holy cow does it work wonders for hiding a baby bump! I already mentioned how wearing a printed blouse helps to draw the eye away from your body’s curves. Adding a printed cardigan on top of that printed blouse doubles the effect!
The advice still holds that a large-scale print, like my 1″ polka dots, is more effective than a tiny polka dotted print. I know it can seem crazy to mix prints, but, if you’re intimidated, try to stick in the same color scheme (such as a black and white polka dotted blouse with a black and aztec print cardigan).
You’ll notice that the cardigan I’m wearing is does not drape and is not loose fitting at all -- as a matter of fact, it’s actually an extra small. The extra drape isn’t as important for this look because the contrasting prints did my figure a pretty big favor all on their own.
You’ll also note that I didn’t button or close the cardigan in any way. If I had buttoned the sweater a little bit closed, it would have been pulled across my curves and drawn attention to them. By leaving the cardigan open, the edges of the sweater created two vertical lines up my torso, which served as another disguise to draw the eye away from my baby bump.
RECREATE THE LOOK
My blouse, sweater and jeans are all from Stitch Fix and this became one of my favorite weekend styles, especially when paired with a classic pair of Converse shoes. I found several printed blouse and cardigan options online. Click through the widgets below to start shopping!
By 14 weeks, the fitted cardigan and blouse combo made it a bit more challenging to hide my baby bump. To remedy this, I just added a scarf that coordinated with the blouse! This drew the eye up toward my face and added volume to my torso -- just another visual distraction away from my midsection -- which helped buy me just a little more time before I was ready to share the good news.
With a Plaid Shirt and a Blanket Scarf
Plaid shirts can be a great way to disguise your baby bump! They usually have a nice, large scale print (which provides a distraction for the eye) and most plaid shirts have a natural boxy style which helps keep the shirt from clinging to a newly formed baby bump. If you aren’t showing too much, wearing just a plaid shirt on top might be enough of a disguise to suffice. But if you really want to avert any unwanted attention to your midsection, add a plaid blanket scarf on top of the plaid shirt.
Why a blanket scarf you ask? Well, there are actually a few reasons. First of all, plaid shirts are often pretty casual and you don’t want to over dress your look with a dressier scarf. More importantly, blanket scarves have a lot of volume, which draws the eye up your body -- toward your face and away from your belly.
Comfort has become my primary fashion goal these days and I’m always trying to wear regular tops with leggings. This particular plaid top is amazing, but a little too short to wear on it’s own with leggings. I easily remedied that fact by adding an ivory scalloped lace extender from Grace and Lace underneath. My look suddenly became stylish and work-appropriate!
RECREATE THE LOOK
With a Printed Scarf, a Draped Cardigan and a Top Extender
So, as a general rule, I avoided solid color tops once my baby bump started to show. It’s so much harder to disguise a round little belly with solid color clothes. That being said, it’s not impossible to hide a baby bump under a solid color top. I just had to get a little more creative.
And by more creative, I mean add as many layers as you can!
I dug into my closet and found a loose fitting open cardigan, a printed floral scarf that coordinated really well with my LuLaRoe perfect tee (yes, I finally drank the Kool-Aid … this is my first piece of LLR). That was a great start, but I wanted to add a little more length to the shirt (so I could wear it to school with leggings and still look professional). I added the same ivory scalloped lace top extender, which dressed up the outfit and added (you guessed it) one more distraction for the eye.
RECREATE THE LOOK
And there you have it! Four ways to hide your baby bump to help keep your secret under wraps. It’s not always necessary to size up -- just look around in your closet for pieces that you can drape and layer together and remember that prints will be your best friends during those bump-hiding weeks.
Get Hand-Picked Styles for Your First Trimester and Beyond
As you can see, many of the clothes I already own lended themselves perfectly into my second trimester of my pregnancy. Much of my existing wardrobe comes from Stitch Fix -- the online personal styling service for men and women. With the help of my Stitch Fix stylist, I receive regular clothing shipments that are hand-picked to my personal preferences. There are many wonderful clothing items in my closet that are exclusive to Stitch Fix and it’s very difficult to find similar items in stores.
Stitch Fix also offers maternity styles! I actually received my very first Stitch Fix maternity shipment earlier this month and I cannot wait to share the full review on the blog- it’s scheduled for February 1.
If you’re pregnant and worried about how to hide your baby bump or just plain overwhelmed by the upcoming changes to your body and wardrobe, give Stitch Fix a try!
Stay tuned in the coming months for more maternity style as I “dress the bump” throughout my pregnancy.