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With personal advice from your favorite haute mommas like Gwyneth Paltrow, Elle ...
With personal advice from your favorite haute mommas like Gwyneth Paltrow, Elle Macpherson, Britney Spears, Mariska Hargitay, Joely Fisher, Jennie Garth, Kimora Lee Simmons, and many more, Hoppus provides the inside scoop that style-driven pregnant women are looking for. Hoppus also includes must-have tips from industry standouts such as Fit Pregnancy, UrbanBaby, Spanx, Bugaboo, and babystyle!
Whether it's heading to the mall, running errands, grabbing a movie with the girls, or going for a laid-back Sunday morning brunch, "casual cool" is what it's all about. In those pre-pregnancy days, you'd just toss on a tracksuit or an old scrappy T-shirt, some awesome jeans, and a killer belt for instant style. But now that you're knee-deep in hormones and feeling like the human equivalent of a Hummer, getting dressed to run around town isn't the no-brainer it used to be. Even picking out a basic T-shirt can turn into such a daunting task that finding the square root of 126,784,589 seems almost easier. Ah, the joys of hormones, my dear pregnant friend.
Enter Casual Cool. This chapter was created to help make it easier to achieve relaxed pregnancy style that flatters and feels good, even on those scary, hairy, hormone-laden days. Through the following sections, Rock Star Momma will make sure you've got the pregnancy essentials for looks that rock! Check them out:
Totally Tanks and Tees
Denim to Die For
TOTALLY TANKS AND TEES
T-shirts and tank tops are the Holy Grail of casual cool. Whether they're paired with your favorite pair of jeans, comfy trackpants, stylish cargos, or a sassy skirt, tanks and tees are true maternity wardrobe staples. By the very nature of being pregnant, passersby can't help but look at your tummy -- and in turn, at that (hopefully) darling tee covering it. So now's the time to step on up and embrace those fun and funky tops like never before. After all, people are looking!
How to find simply fabulous casual cool tees for your belly? It's easy. I promise. First, just say "no!" to those huge, long, tentlike tops. No, no, no! Honey, this is the time to delight in your curves, not drown them.
Then, keep in mind the metamorphosis your belly is about to embark upon: from shape and size to how high or low it sits each and every day of your pregnancy. What you'll look for in tops during month three is different from what you'll need by month eight. Thankfully, with the "T-shirts by trimester" guide below, you'll learn all about the hottest tops to wear now through to baby. Read on, maternity maven!
T-shirts by Trimester
In those early months of pregnancy, even though your bundle of joy is barely the size of a lima bean, your bod is gearing up for the many changes to come and the pounds may be a-packing. You may be feeling so nauseous that the only foods fit to soothe your stomach are laden with comforting but calorie-packed carbs. French fries? Pasta? Cereal? Bagels, anyone? Add hormones to the mix and it's only natural that you may be feeling a little bloated and...well, slightly curvier than the pre-pregnancy you. Don't even get me started on the fact that your boobs are about to burst out of your shirt!
That said, it's not quite time for you to make a mad dash to thematernity boutique to outfit your changing shape. If this is your first trip through the wonderful world of pregnancy, you probably won't even "show" until around the seventeenth or eighteenth week -- that's over a whole month into your second trimester. But subsequent pregnancies can start to show between weeks twelve and fifteen.
The best way to conceal that burgeoning bulge during those first few months is to wear tops that flatter and minimize your subtly expanding curves -- until, that is, your soft midsection evolves into a firm bump. Boxy and unshapely tees are never flattering, but if you arestarting to get mushy around the middle, relaxed, languid ones are. Justdon't wear your tees so loose that the whole world wonders what you'retrying to hide, especially if the nonpregnant you usually sticks toform-fitting shapes...you wouldn't want to blow your little secret too soon.
Sometime during your second trimester your belly is going to pop. And when it does, get ready to have the most fun with your maternity clothes, especially with those tees. But until it does, those first few weeks of the second trimester can be a bit challenging. You know, when you're not big enough to don maternity duds, but you're also just a little too big for your regular clothes?
Rock Star Momma solution: Make friends with s-t-r-e-t-c-h. Cottonor jersey that also contains Lycra or spandex will hug you gently andlook sexily slim-fitting, but will grow with you as your belly (andbreasts, don't forget) expand.
Second Trimester Tee Tip
It all began one day -- almost to the EXACT first day of my second trimester -- which I remember as vividly as if it happened this morning, my husband as my witness. That day I headed into my closet and something just felt "different." It was during that time when -- and if you haven't experienced this moment yet, then you might want to skip this and come back later! -- NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, worked. My belly was getting bigger but not BIG ENOUGH for maternity wear. (Later I realized that this was the moment that drove me to start my own maternity collection.) I wasn't showing enough to convince people I was carrying a child, yet I was far too big to remain looking -- and feeling -- my normal self. I was knee-deep in that awkward transition time in between showing and not showing and I felt completely and utterly GROSS. Nothing fit. Nothing was comfortable. Nothing looked or felt right. So I did what any hormonal pregnant woman would do: I wept -- like a baby! -- on my closet floor. After a box of tissues and many reassuring words of comfort from my wonderful husband, I decided to attempt small wardrobe victories one T-shirt at a time. How? I pulled out all my old favorite longer tees and layered them with those stretchy maternity tanks that are so incredibly flattering. I also loved layering a three-quarter-sleeve henley with a contrasting colored tank. Your husband's Hanes tanks will also come in handy but I say, if you can, splurge for the good maternity styles with added Lycra and length.
POP, THEN SHOP
When you do finally pop, you'll be MORE than ready to shop till you drop! When you head out on your spree, use your prepregnancy sizing as a general maternity fit guide, keeping in mind that there isn't a whole lot of consistency in sizing among maternity designers. You may be an extra-small in one brand's tees, but large in another's. Your best bet: Spend some time in the fitting room to assess what works for you. A great maternity store should also have those "fake" bellies that you can Velcro around your existing "new" belly so you can see if that shirt you have your eye on will fit in month nine! Those strap-on bellies (yep, strap-on!) are very useful and hey, it's a fun thing to visualize what's to come while attempting to master your first real maternity wardrobe purchase. Just do it...you'll thank me later!
Once you actually LOOK pregnant, don't be afraid to take risks -- you can certainly pull it off, maternity momma! Go for fitted tops in bold colors, fun prints, and flattering cuts to create looks that are cool, hip, andtotally you. Stick with body-hugging shapes. Why? Because a great fit will accentuate your bump...which will then -- hooray! -- create the illusion of a more slender you everywhere else.
Star Style: Joely Fisher
"There is no way to compare the magnitude, the wonder, the amazement, and humility of being with child, knocked up, having a bun in the oven. It is difficult to describe the unparalleled power in housing another's soul. It's also a bitch to find something to wear. In my chosen profession, I have found that I have had the unfortunate reality of my pregnancies not only having three trimesters, but second halves. The first four or five months is about hiding or masking the 'bump' from the immediate world; therefore, finding a look that is hot and being Houdini (although I hear straightjackets are making a comeback!). It's not that I have found myself unhappy with the bulging belly, just working a little harder at having that sex goddess look I've tried desperately to achieve! Second, only because it works that way -- the great reveal, the announcement of the impending addition to our planet. It is at this time that you want to do a naked photo shoot, you are constantly massaging the lump, and you can really belly dance."
-- Joely Fisher, actress and mom of two
As you work your way toward delivery day, that baby's a-growing at the speed of light, and your belly and boobs look like they're about to burst.So finding great tees and tanks to fit, flatter, and feel great in during those last few months can be HELL.
Here's the key to feeling heavenly again: layering. This little trick will continue to work all the way to birth day. You may think it would add extra bulk, but hold it there! Imagine a fitted, brightly colored camisole in a thin fabric as your bottom layer. Now add a slightly shorter tank top over that (like the cheapie Hanes tank I was talking about), so that the colored cami peaks out from below. Then finish the look with a shorter, long-sleeved, fitted maternity tee. Result? A miraculously elongating (read: slimming) effect for your arms and bod, with a look that's fun and funky, too.
Be Awesome Anytime
Besides these must-have trimester tips, this section's got an arsenal of tips that will help you look and feel tee-rific anytime -- whether you're in that first, second, or third trimester.
Color Therapy: When you're feeling tired or nauseous, choose bright, colorful tees in colors like hot pink, aqua, apple green, or eggplant.They'll add sparkle back into your complexion, making you look rested and ready for the world (even if you've been up most of the night with an endless urge to pee).
Accentuate Your Assets: Got biceps? If you've got 'em, flaunt 'em, girl! Show them off in a great sleeveless tank. If you've suddenly got boobs, flaunt them with a sexy V-neck or scoop-neck tee.
It's All in the Neck: Necklines are an easy way to change your entire daytime vibe. A basic black tee can be brilliant in a boatneck, sexy in a scoop neck, and dramatic in a drape neck. From a less-is-more crew neck to a va-va-va-voom V-neck, you can completely transform the feel of your outfit by simply switching up your neckline.
Cool and Kitschy: When you're going about your normal nonpregnancy life, the last thing you may ever think about wearing is one of those T-shirts with some kind of corny saying. You know the ones: "J'adore Logos," "You're Fired!" or "Mrs. Pitt." They're just so NOT hot. Yet when you become pregnant, suddenly it becomes more than okay to sport them. That's right -- bring on those tees that scream "Baby On Board!" "Got Milk?" "9 Months," "Breeder," and, of course, "Rock Star Momma"! You're clearly pregnant, so why not have some fun with these clever shirts that humorously declare your pregnancy to the world? You'll pretty much never be able to wear them again, so go for it.
Support to a Tee: Feel the need for extra control up top now that your boobs are bigger? You can still achieve casual cool in tees that come with a built-in bra, offering additional support to your two new, fullerfriends. (They'll give extra camouflage to darkening nipples, too.)
Casual and Comfortable: As skin stretches, it becomes itchy and sensitive. Don't add to the trauma with synthetics. Choose tees and tanks in tissue-soft cottons and jerseys (cashmere is also nice if the weather -- and your wallet! -- allows), natural, breathable fabrics that stretch, soothe the skin, and keep you casually cool even when it's ninety degrees and rising.
Simply Sleeves: Whether it's due to weight gain, water retention, or both, many women complain that their arms magically expand during pregnancy. The solution? Get creative with your sleeves to create a look that flatters all shapes and sizes:
Get Shorty: Contrary to popular belief, cap sleeves are always great. They open up your shoulders, making your waist and arms appear smaller, which is an especially handy trick during those last few months.
Three-quarter: You can't go wrong here. No matter what size your arms may be, three-quarter sleeves give coverage where you need it, yet offer just the right amount of sexiness and sass. Try fitted sleeves for a more sporty vibe or a looser, free-flow arm for a more romantic look.
Long and Lovely: Long sleeves suit you best? Looking for a top that also takes you to work? A bell sleeve or a gentle flare is great for hiding heavy upper arms and adds a touch of whimsy to any look.
So there you have it -- Tees and Tanks 101 to help you get through any month of your pregnancy in comfort and style. Just one last thing before moving on to Denim to Die For. While I know that you'd never be guilty of committing the following tanks and tees no-no's, I just need to list them for my own little peace of mind. Don't fall victim to any of these fashion faux pas, no matter what your hormones are telling you:
Too tight is never just right. If you can't breathe when you get it on -- or you can see bra-strap bulge -- it's time to part ways. Bra- strap bulge is NEVER sexy!
Vintage is cool...dirty, tattered, and falling apart is NOT!
Forgo horizontal stripes. Diagonal and vertical are fine, but you're already on your way to getting big, so don't do anything that might make you look bigger, okay?
DENIM TO DIE FOR
Thanks to the advent of those famous 501s a hundred and fifty years ago,jeans are a major part of our daily twenty-first-century wardrobe -- whether it's to the office, for a night out on the town, or running those endless errands. Yet considering how often you wear them, it's still shocking at how hard it is to find the perfect pair. Now try adding pregnancy and a whole lotta pounds to the equation. Yikes! Don't fret. Why? Because you're gonna make your first major maternity investment right now. (Pause for effect.) You. Are. Going. To. Buy. A. Pair. Of. Maternity. Jeans.
I know, I know. I understand you're glued to your Sevens and Hudsons. I know it's terrifying to imagine life without your Citizens or True Religions. But take a deep breath and listen to me: Your behind is going to get bigger. Your hips, legs, and thighs, too. And you've probably already lost that thing you once so proudly called your "waist." Maternity jeans are designed with all these things in mind -- unlike regular jeans, which are designed for supermodels (which explains why finding the perfect fit for mortals is so insanely difficult).
Truth is, maternity jeans have come a very long way from what they were even a few years ago. Phew. Whereas once upon a time, maternity jeans were those full-paneled "mom jeans" -- with a panel so high, it could readily be mistaken for some sort of breast support, and those giant, unflattering pockets made even Twiggy's ass look the size of Texas -- today's pregnancy jeans are available in a plethora of hip styles that'll make even the most stylish momma smile.
Use your pre-pregnancy sizing as a general reference for maternity sizing, but as with tees, there really isn't much consistency among maternity brands. If you can't bear the thought of those scary dressing room mirrors,order online and try dozens on in the comfort of your own home. Butremember: Ignore what the numbers say on the tag and go for what trulyfits (repeat the mantra: "I am embracing the new me"). While you're at it, follow the handy guide below to finding the perfect pair of kick-ass maternity jeans.
The Rockin' Guide to All Things Jeans
Stretch, Baby, Stretch: Those jeans have just got to have stretch. Think major S-T-R-E-T-C-H, momma, because that's what's going to keep those jeans fitting from month five through your trip to the delivery room. Look for somewhere between two and eight percent Lycra or spandex to ensure that your jeans will grow with you while still keeping their shape. A good pair of maternity jeans should fit fabulously throughout your entire pregnancy!
The Right Rinse: The general rule of thumb is that the darker the denim rinse, the more slenderizing it is. I say stick with darker washes and avoid lighter ones (especially those ass-enlarging acid washes of the eighties). If you're trying to conceal a particular area, steer clear of distressing in that given spot. For instance, if you've got largish thighs already, don't wear jeans that have distressing at the tops of the legs. Get it?
Fab Fabric: Comfort is SO key during your pregnancy, especially when it comes to your jeans. Go for soft, washed denims, rather than superstiff, heavy jeans. I'm loving the new "jeano" -- a buttery-soft cross between jeans and chino that you can wear for hours and still feel great. And rumor has it, supersmart, momma-friendly designers are working with cashmere-denim blends. The gods have answered!
Perfect Pockets: Ah, the endless quest for those perfectly placed booty pockets -- you know, the ones that'll miraculously lift, shrink, and shape all in one? Here's the inside secret to finding them (they DO exist!): Choose jeans with larger back pockets that are proportionally placed in the center of each cheek. If they're placed too high up or are too small in size, they'll make your butt look bigger. If you opt for pocketless denim, go for jeans that have a deep V yoke at the back to create the illusion of "cleavage."
She's Got Legs: From boot-cut to loose leg...no matter what kind of style you choose, one thing should always be consistent: longer equals leaner. Boot-leg and gentle-flare cuts look great on every bod -- no matter how tall, short, big, or small you may be. If you're tall and slender, you can pull off a wide-leg cut, too.
Star Style: Mariska Hargitay
"I absolutely cannot live without my Childish frayed stretchy jeans. They're cleverly cut to fit below the belly, yet they never migrate downward or make me look like a plumber. Plus, they really talk to a pregnant chick...their tag says, 'You Are Beautiful...Rock On!'" -- Mariska Hargitay, actress and mom
Waist-land: There are so many different options for waistbands these days, but my favorite is consistently a soft under-the-belly waistband. It's the only one that's truly comfortable from sunrise to sundown and works great all the way through to delivery and into postpartum. Some have a gentle supportive waistband, while others just offer a lot of stretch around the waist -- to give the illusion of nonmaternity jeans -- and are ideal for days when you want to wear those shorter, fitted tees and tanks.
Last Resort: If you just can't be separated from your Blue Cults or Paige Premiums, think about customizing them into your own special maternity jeans. You can buy maternity panels from sewing or notions stores and ask a tailor to sew them into your favorite pair. Voilà!
Star Style: Gwyneth Paltrow
"I preferred simple clothing myself, on a daily basis, and I found itrelatively easy to find things to wear. Stretchy jeans and T-shirtdresses, lots of layering and cardigans. I think the thing to rememberwhen you are pregnant is comfort and ease. Sometimes just your hairscraped back with some nice earrings are enough to spruce up the jeansand shirt that you wear every day. And accessories are a great way to feel a bit stylish." -- Gwyneth Paltrow, actress and mom
Wanna find the best jean for your bod? Read on...
If you are: Heavy around the tushie
Then try: Boot-cut with wide back pockets set high and close to the center to minimize a wide butt; if they're too small, that booty will look even bigger. Avoid distressing around the butt -- it'll only call attention to your derriere.
If you are: Heavy thighs
Then try: A long boot-cut or straight (not narrow) leg is superslimming. Look for jeans that are darker at the edges of the legs than at the center, with a whiskered look (whitish "crumple lines" in the inner thigh), which creates a slenderizing illusion. Remember: The shorter the jean, the shorter -- and heavier -- your legs will look.
If you are: Long and lean
Then try: Lucky you! Pretty much any style works, but I always love a gentle flare. If you're supertall, look for at least a thirty-five-inch inseam (the average inseam is around thirty-two inches) so it's long enough to graze the top of your shoes in the front and hit halfway between your heel and your ankle in back.
If you are: Short and hippy
Then try: Stay clear of lighter washes -- they make everyone look larger. Instead, opt for a boot or flared leg in a soft, stretchy fabric with a dark or antique rinse -- and wear with a pair of sexy stilettos. Need to shorten jeans, but don't want to lose that cool "jeans" hem? Take them to a tailor who has yellow-gold jeans thread. (Tip: If the hems of your freshly shortened jeans look unnaturally clean, run an emery board or cheese grater over them for a distressed finish in seconds!)
Now, I must preface this story with the fact that MOST pregnant women are not as genetically blessed with a body and legs like Heidi Klum. Yes, I know you are all probably praying daily to the maternity god to have a body like Heidi had during (all!) her pregnancies. With that said, I received a call one day last year from Heidi, who had fallen in love with my denim pieces but wanted a more fitted style. She wanted "skinny" jeans. Without hesitation, I dashed to the sewing room and created a maternity skinny jean-something I thought I would never do! "Maternity" and "skinny" are just not synonymous but in this case, it felt like two peas in a pod. And, to date, I continue to manufacture this style!
Hopefully I've taught you well and by now you've probably got the jeans thing mastered, right? So while you're at it, why not get a little funky and have some serious fun with your denim? If the length allows, cut off a touch at the bottom of the legs, then wash to give it those unfinished edges. Try sewing a patch or two on the front or back pockets, or try aptly positioning vintage silk pins on your front pockets, or add a stunning silk scarf that doubles as a belt...all make a serious statement on your jeans and your style. Very Gucci a la 1980! Wow!
Some women's friend, some women's enemy, jeans have never really been my best friend; more like an acquaintance. As if it's not hard enough trying to find the perfect jeans on a normal day, as you now probably know, trying to find a great pair of jeans when pregnant can feel like a losing battle. When I was pregnant, there were no "cool" maternity jeans. So I bought those mediocre, paneled (yes, gross) maternity jeans and literally tore them up. I took scissors to them -- a la Edward Scissorhands style -- and went at it! Hey, why not. After all, it made those miserable, drab jeans feel and look like something I would've worn any other day. Create something of your own, a style all your own. You know your limits and what makes you feel and look your best. Simple adjustments with a little flair will do the trick. Trust me, it will make the thought of maternity jeans far more palatable to even the biggest fashion slave. Another piece of advice: Longer is always the way to go. It elongates those legs -- and mine needed all the help they could get. I always chose a longer fit and paired them with a sexy stiletto or my favorite chocolate-brown knee-high Prada boots. Sexy, sophisticated, and a look that carried me perfectly from day into night.
Whatever route you choose to go, I leave you with a few little "denim don'ts" -- you know, things that should just never, ever happen with your jeans. I'm pretty darn sure you'd never go there, but hey, better safe than sorry:
Never. Wear. Acid. Washed. Jeans. Ever.
Crack just ain't cool (see the Panty Shmanty chapter for more on this one, gals), so just don't show it.
Ditch jeans (or any trousers, maternity or not, for that matter) with pleats, as they'll only make you look bigger.
Avoid the ripple effect; that is, jeans that create a ripple on your inner thighs. This is a clear indicator that your pants don't fit, so size up and/or look for a different style.
Tapered jeans are never cool.
Don't resort to your husband's jeans. They may feel comfortable, but they'll do nothing for your butt...even if you do cinch the waist with a Roberto Cavalli belt.
Don't be seen in the Texas tuxedo -- a denim jeans and denim jacket together. Just not chic. If you can't be persuaded, at least wear a light-hued jacket with dark-hued jeans. But please, puh-leeze, avoid light and light -- we love him, but you don't really want to look like Jon Bon Jovi circa Slippery When Wet.
Need I even bother to say this? Denim overalls are meant to stay on the farm, not in your wardrobe -- not now, not ever!
Sometimes pants just won't do. Like when it's midsummer and it's so hot outside, your legs have swollen and the very idea of stuffing them into pants causes your heart rate to soar. Or in spring when you're feeling light and airy and you want to celebrate your femininity as you're out tackling the town. Perhaps it's in the dead of winter when a mini, some bright tights, and knee-high boots call to your inner fashion goddess. Sometimes a great skirt is just what the doctor ordered for creating casual cool. Whether you're at month four or month eight, here's how to look simply stellar in skirts:
The Simply Stellar Guide to All Things Skirts
Mini Madness: There's just something to be said about a great mini. It's a little bit sweet, a little bit sexy, and all parts chic. Whether it's ruffled terry or daring denim, miniskirts are pure magic for rock star mommas. Supercurvy or hippy gals: Look for slightly longer minis, so that any trouble spots are well hidden. Whatever your size, use your best judgment when it comes to length -- that behind should always be wellcovered.
Amazing A-line: No matter what your body type -- from straight and skinny to completely curvy -- A-line skirts flatter all. They shrink hips if you've got 'em, while creating flattering curves on a straight frame. Tip: Best worn until month seven, when your belly will be so big, you'll start to look like a ship in full sail.
Wrap Skirts: Gotta love the wrap skirt. This staple is ideal for every stage of pregnancy, especially if you feel really comfortable with a low, under-the-belly waist. The beauty of this skirt is that you can wrap it as loose or as tight as you want, so it can grow with you through your pregnancy. Make them your belly's best friend in any color or print -- from neutral tones and bright colors to funky patterns and asymmetrical edges.
Pencil Skirts: Show off that new booty and those sexy hips in a pencil skirt! Paired with your favorite tee and casual shoes, a pencil skirtimmediately imparts subtle sophistication into your everyday look. Or,elongate your frame by tossing on a pair of peep-toe heels. Note to self: Fit is key here and if there is EVER any doubt as to whether you can pull this off, then refrain and try something more appropriate for your body.
Long and Lovely: When opting for long skirts, think really, really long...as in just about grazing the floor -- if your skirt hits in between your calves and the top of your shoes, you risk looking shorter and...well, rounder. Try layered or tiered long skirts to add a touch of bohemian beauty to any casual look. When going long and lovely, it's best if you wear flats or sandals. The cool factor completely disappears when paired with heels.
The Quick-n-Dirty Guide to Skirts That Scream "Hot Momma"
When done right, skirts are a rockin' part of your maternity wardrobe through all nine months. The following is a quickie skirt-style checklist to make sure you've got all the basics covered:
The right length When in doubt, the best length for all body types is just below the knee, hitting at the narrowest part of the leg.
Big booty A-line, gentle tiering, or layers are best to help diminish that derriere.
No booty Look for flattering back pockets, yoking, or ruffles to add bulk where there is none. And an A-line will give the effect of more!
Short Pencil skirts that hit just below the knee. Look for vertical detailing (pinstripes or waist-to-hem stitching) to elongate you.
Tall Anything goes -- just make sure that if it's short, your tushie is covered, and if it's long, that it grazes the floor.
So there you have it. See? Skirts are actually surprisingly simple duringpregnancy. A few last thoughts to make sure your skirt style is always stunning:
A skirt that hits at your midcalf (usually the biggest part of your lower leg) is never, ever flattering.
I see London. I see France. I see pregnant chickie's underpants. Whether it's how you sit or how you bend over, just make sure it doesn't happen. Crack ain't cool...especially now!
Pleats are never pretty. They just make you look bigger and boxier.
Bulky, heavy fabrics will make you look just that: bulkier and heavier.
Just a few years ago, the thought of a hip girl wearing a tracksuit -- other than to the gym -- was just plain nuts. Rather, upon hearing the very word, an immediate flood of childhood memories could easily be evoked: Senior citizens heading to Denny's. John Travolta in Perfect. Old-school Run-DMC in Fila. Nope, tracksuits certainly weren't must-haves for the fashionably hip, least of all rock star mommas.
But then, something big happened. Something really big and...well...juicy. Juicy Couture helped make tracksuits cool with their flattering cuts, comfortable fabrics, and sexy feel. Within no time, tracksuit couture became synonymous with serious style and other designers quickly followed suit. Trendsetting stars like Madonna and Jennifer Lopez warmly embraced the trend, establishing its place in our culture and prompting millions of women to buy into the wardrobe staple.
During pregnancy, tracksuits come in handier than ever. From running errands to hitting the gym, donning stretchy, below-the-belly waistband trackpants in breathable fabrics worn with a fitted tee is an instant way to add major style and comfort to any maternity wardrobe. Whether it's bright and bold, long and loose, or cropped and comfy, tracksuits are the way to go. Plus, not only do they make a stylin' outfit on their own, split up and paired with other pieces -- like a sexy tank with trackpants, a zip-up hoodie with a flirty skirt -- tracksuits can provide endless casual cool options.
Postpartum, tracksuits are the perfect solution to looking cute while hiding those trouble spots that we all develop during pregnancy. Functionally, a zip-up hoodie makes breast-feeding a breeze, while thestretchy waistband on trackpants lets you be comfortable at any time -- whether it's for those endless hours of feeding, burping, and changing or for doing one of those yoga videos that keep calling your name!
Riding in Buses with Belly
Imagine this: Seven months pregnant, a tour bus, hot summer days, long drives, swollen ankles...not the ideal combination, right? Well, all's fair in the name of love and devotion. Not your typical vision of backstage ata rock show? Thanks to the many terry tracksuits I traveled with and aload of old comfy tees, I managed to make it, and make it in a style allmy own. The key for me was to have the basic hoodie and drawstringtrackpants that accentuated those newfound curves, yet managed to hidethose "flaws." You know what I mean, girls!
The key is to choose pieces that are flattering to show off your belly,not hide it. Steer clear of overly loose, big tops and bottoms to avoid looking heavy instead of hot. Also, get creative -- make a simple tank top a classic by adding your own personal embellishments. Ribbons for a little girlish flair, vintage pins for a spark of class, or sew on an old Rolling Stones patch you still have saved in your closet. It's fun, easy, and, most important, you!
ANYTIME TRACKSUIT TIPS
Loose and Low: Wear those pants loose and low on your hips -- it is simply slimming for all body types. (Just watch out for panty peek-a-boos -- you don't want your pants so low that you cross the thin line between cute and crude!)
Bigger Is Sometimes Better: If you try on a tracksuit that just fits, consider buying a size up to help get the most wear for your buck. And remember that if the tracksuit has any Lycra in the content, then you can be pretty sure that your suit will shrink...so be safe and bump -- no pun intended -- up a size.
Cropped Can Be Cute: That is, as long as those ankles haven't turned to cankles (you know, when your calves and ankles mesh into one), which is common when you're retaining water toward the end of your pregnancy. If you do go for cropped, they look best with thongs or sneakers. If you wearsocks with your sneakers, be sure to wear ankle socks. Want some WOW? Try sparkly gold rhinestone thongs, toss on some big chunky earrings, add a cute scarf, and wear a sexy tank underneath. Voilà!
Color Me Bright: Think bright, bold, and brilliant. Mix 'em up with colorful combos. Hot pink, army green, and camouflage are all superstylish ways to go.
Old School: Wear a vintage tee or tank under any tracksuit for anytime cool. Thrift-store tees can be groovy, unique, and so comfortable!
Fabric Finds: When it comes to tracksuits, have fun with fabrics -- no matter what your size. Whether it's terry, velour, or thermal, they all work. And again, cashmere is always a luxury!
the last word
It's hard to go wrong with tracksuits -- they're just so darn easy. Keep in mind, though, that there are three very basic rules that you never, ever want to be guilty of breaking.
Tight, fitted leggings went out in the eighties and girls, they're not about to a make a comeback.
Same goes for stirrups.
Panty lines are not cool. Ever. (Need help finding the perfect panties? Read chapter 3, the Panty Shmanty chapter!)
You're all set on tracksuits, then. Don't forget to check out the Shopping Bag chapter in the back of the book to find out where to get the most necessary casual cool wardrobe and more.
Copyright © 2007 by Rock Star Momma, LLC