A pregnant graduate student took time from growing a HUMAN to ask: I need a baby shower outfit! Baby shower is going to be November 17 on the Northeast and I'll be 6 months pregnant. I'm really tall and usually wear a size 4 (just add a football). I'd loooooove to wear sneakers, I have maternity jeans, but I have a feeling this might be a dress occasion. Help?
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS to you and ALL the soon to be new moms who read this blog. I'm actually going to be throwing a shower that same weekend so I'll be thinking of you in spirit. So, let me also start by disabusing you of one notion RIGHT off the bat - its YOUR shower and you can dress as you want to. But, I will agree, that most Northeastern baby showers I've been to tend to be somewhere between kind of church wear and cocktail wear. But, as the mommy to be (and a SIX month pregnant mommy to be) you get a lot of lee-way. So I will go two routes here - I will recommend some dresses that I think are adorable and would look good styled with either sneakers or supportive flats (maybe I can find you some good flats too?) And I will also find a couple of dressy maternity blouses that would take a pair of jeans and dress them up enough to make them baby shower ready - especially with some fun jewelry and a nice manicure and hair do (every pregnant mommy should have an excuse to primp.) So let's get started, shall we?
Dresses with sneakers or flats
| |Easy Jersey Dress at Boden Maternity
($148) - I love Boden for tall readers because their dresses tend to be longer than average - I also LOVE this fun pattern and this "easy" jersey dress that I think could be a go-to both for the rest of your pregnancy and for the post-partum weight loss period. Its just so pretty. They have lots of dresses, both in their maternity line
(I adore that maxi - but wonder if its too springy) and even in their non-maternity line
(I own this and the a-line skirt is so generous and the length so long it just might work for you.)
| |Nom Maternity 'Sophie' Ruched Dress at Nordstroms
($96 - I really, really like the idea of this particular dress for you. First, it is designed to be a midi-dress for women of average height, meaning it will likely be of "normal" length for you. The ruching around the stomach area takes a sheath dress and makes it flattering. The reviews suggest it is a nice, comfortable basic dress that can be dress up [say with a cool Geo blazer like the one below] or down [maybe with a camel colored cardigan....just saying.] This would be a nice piece to have throughout your entire pregnancy, not just for the shower - which makes it a two thumbs up in my book.)
| |Merona Maternity Long Sleeve Ponte Dress - Black and Cream at Target
($22.99 - so if we're being honest with ourselves, there's a pretty good chance that this dress would be short enough on you that you would need leggings with it to make it "appropriate." Though you could decide not to care. But I loved the chevrons and its trendy and cool, unlike many maternity outfits that seem not to care too much about being cool in the interest of being exclusively flattering. This does both. Plus - knowing where you're located - black and white is the way to be mommy-o.)
| |Liz Lange for Target Flutter Maxi Dress from Target
($13.98 - all sizes available - I love LOVE the idea of a maxi dress for this event for you. It's easy, you don't have to worry too much about length [if its a bit too short, no one will care, really] and you can throw a cardigan or a jacket on over it if its not heavy enough. This purple dress is my favorite, but Target also has a nice maxi by Merona right now as well
. The Merona dress comes in a bunch of colors and both of these have good reviews. If one doesn't have a tie or thin belt to go under the boobs, I would add one - it really helps with definition. Nude for you flats or something cool and graphic would be great with these. Or sneakers - sneakers are awesome.)
| |Colorblock Striped Dress at Gap Maternity
($59.95 - I'm sort of in love with the colorblocking of two grays with icy mint on this dress - in non-maternity I would absolutely want it. No question. I'm not sure about length and how it would work on a particularly tall person and never having been six months pregnant, I'm not sure if this style is too fitted for the size of your belly at that point. But if it could work, I feel like this dress would look lovely. Especially with nude or black flats and perhaps the beige sweater I feature below if you get too cold.)
| |Women's Sueded Stud Ballet Flat from Old Navy
($15.99 - so, one of the tricks for buying shoes for this little event [if you decide to do so] may be admitting that these shoes may simply not outlast the pregnancy [or even the event] because your larger than average feet right now will stretch them out. So, why go for the HIGHEST quality when you can get adorable shoes at Old Navy for $16?)
| |Corso Como Famenka Flats from Nordstroms
($59.50 - Nordies now has a section for "flats under $60 and these are amongst the most well reviewed flats in the bunch. They also come in black, cobalt, mint green, and this nude. So they go with almost all the dresses I recommended. So if you decide to go with flats instead of sneakers, Corsos might not be a terrible choice.)
| |Purple floral statement necklace from GemPearls on Etsy
($35 - Despite the fact that this has nothing really to do with this post, I came across this necklace the other day and thought it was lovely. So in case anyone who reads this blog is on the hunt for an interesting floral statement necklace - here you go. Though do read the reviews as this seller ships from China.)
The Shirts for Jeans
| || |Liz Lange for Target Maternity Elbow Rolled Sleeve Top
($34.99 - I love the look of this top and I think it would look great with jeans and a pair of sneakers - and perhaps a long pendant necklace and bracelets - for a shower. One proviso, the reviews suggest that it runs quite large, so I'd order a size down. Or better yet, try it on in person if you can. But between the color, the fabric, and the length of the shirt being great for a tall person - I really think it might be worth a try. Though if you'd like something more fitted, I also like this top from Liz Lange for Target
as well - it would be a great base piece to go under a nice blazer and to wear with a statement necklace.)
| |Boden Henley Strip Tunic
($88 - I think this maternity tunic would look great with maternity skinny jeans and Keds or flats [and perhaps a knit blazer or sweater over it] or with leggings as an alternative. Its casual sure, but the color is pretty and green is super in. I'd dress it up with a gold or bronze opera length necklace and some dangly but funky earrings. Quick note on Boden, when I bought things there a few weeks ago, there was a 15% off and free shipping coupon on Retailmenot - make sure to google and see if there is a coupon available WHENEVER you shop Boden.
| |Maternity Blazer in Geo with Contrast Lapel by ASOS Maternity
($48.05 - this is, by far, my favorite single item I've posted on this post. I LOVE IT. With a simple black dress or a black maxi dress (perhaps the Merona one) or the jeans and a white top as shown here - this would take any outfit and make it fun and funky and totally shower ready. Seriously, I would wear the HELL out of this throughout my pregnancy and perhaps afterwards...and do you think it comes in non-maternity versions? [Note, its a little heard to tell, but the pattern is in blue and black together - not just black - that's why I like it SO much.] Oh and its a machine washable poly. I think the pearl blue version of this ASOS maternity maxi
would be an interesting dress to wear under this blazer..)
| |Eversoft Open Front Cardigan from Gap Maternity
($49.95 - a bit of a splurge for maternity wear, but I see no reason you couldn't continue to wear this cardigan long after the baby is born. As I've mentioned several of these items would look good with a layering item and I think this camel is the perfect late fall, early winter color to go with many of the jewel tones. Though if you would prefer a brighter, white cardigan
, this Old Navy option is pretty great too and a bit cheaper or this fleece tie belt cardigan
for pure comfort. This cardigan comes in heather gray as well.)
So that's all she wrote for tonight ladies. So readers who have actually BEEN pregnant, did I get things rights? Am I being absurd? Have you got any tips for our OP? PLEASE leave some comments in the comment section! Having never been pregnant or bought a single maternity wear piece, I feel this is not my area of expertise, but I did the best I could! Hope it helped Pregnant Grad Student!!
Reader Turkey Traveler asks:
I am traveling to Turkey and Greece this fall. I'm looking for a travel dress I can wear into mosques and Greek Orthodox churches and be respectful. My understanding is that this means below the knee and shoulders covered. I want something packable and not super hot (temperature hot). So far my best find is at lands end but would like more color options--lighter colors (khaki, light blue) because it will still be sunny. Budget is 100 or less. I am 5 foot 6, size 2.
Hey Turkey Traveler! Thanks for the question!! I am so jealous - and I love this question because I love traveling and just went on a big trip out West which involved 2500 miles of driving and mixing up hiking clothes, casual wear, and a little bit of nicer clothes - all of it packed in one carry-on. None of it wrinkling. Two thoughts before I get started - one is that I like to go outside the "traditional" travel and "outdoorsy" wear brands for these sorts of things - there are lots of brands and dresses out there that will work perfectly for this that will be nicely in your price range without having to pay the premium that comes with travel brands. Two - I think you might benefit from a skirt and a couple different wrap tops and or breathable button downs rather than a single dress (given that it will be hot as heck and you might want to switch off the tops) so I'm going to offer you a couple options in that world two.
Indispensable Knit Wrap Dress from LL Bean
($84.50 - comes in several colors, though I like this blue as it would be a great base piece to accessorize with. The description says it hits below the knee and as below average height people [what what], I think we should be able to rely on that. Would probably pack well and be nice and breathable.)ASOS Midi Dress with full skirt and belt from ASOS
($71.27 - I actually own this dress in another color - it is an incredibly light and comfortable cotton, perfect for hot weather, but it can be rolled up and packed in a suitcase and come out pretty much wrinkle free. I'm still super happy with the purchase and it was one of my go-to dresses on my trip. I thought I wouldn't like the midi length on me [I'm 5' 3"] because I thought it would make me look dumpy, but because the skirt is fuller and floaty, it actually looks good.)Women's Regular Split Neck Half Sleeve Terry Dress at Land's End
($59 - this dress looks like it would be extremely comfortable for touring around all-day [it is a "knee length" dress, but I'm thinking if you buy the regular height it will hit below the knee] - and if you add a more structured belt and some jewelry at night, I think it will dress up well for dinner. Plus, it is also a color that will serve as a nice base for a variety of other looks.)
Women's Woven Clip Waist Skirt
in french walnut from Land'd End ($16.99 on-sale - another one where I think you'll have to buy the regular height to get below the knee, but I think this would be a great, light weight neutral skirt for traveling with - it would basically match any top or shoes.)Carla Skirt in white Periwinkle from Dobbin Clothing
($38 on sale - I like the idea of this skirt for this trip - its light, would pack well, hits below the knees but is a-line and would breathe, and the pattern would go with most colors.)Casual Chino Skirt in orange from Boden
($58.50 - okay - so not precisely neutral - but fun! They do come in white, but the orange is going to wear better over the course of a vacation - get dirtier and frankly (I think) scream tourist a little less. Because, is it only me, but do we only become neutral wearing, slaves to matching when we are on vacation?)
Women's Petite Cotton Voile Drop Shoulder Tunic in navy at Land's End
($19.99 - I think this shirt would go well with any of the shirts highlighted above - navy being such a great color - and its a very ambidextrous shirt. You can tuck it in, you can leave it out for a more relaxed look, and since you'd likely wear a tank-top under it, if you wanted to you could carry it in your bag with you just to put on when you needed to go into a church [especially in Greece, I'm unsure about street norms in Turkey with regards to covering one's shoulders.]). Merona Women's Three-Quarter Sleeve Double Layer Tee at Target
($14 - I like this faux-wrap style a lot and the double knit is heavy enough to travel without getting wrinkled but light enough that it will be comfortable in most weather. It can also look dressed up enough for dinners out while still looking in place on the street during the day. It comes in bunches of colors, but I like this purple. A nice option to consider.)
Okay! I hope these options help you out in shopping for your vacation and you find one or two options you like! One more tip before you depart - there's a reason that scarves are very popular in Greece and Turkey even with women who do not cover their hair for religious reasons. You might want to buy a couple scarves (either at home - or even better once you get there!) both for awesome stylistic purposes AND for sun protection. Plus, then you can use the scarf to wrap around your shoulders inside churches and other places of worship and feel extra secure that you are respecting the holy spaces. Win, win, win. And if you happened to find a nice Turkish scarf and wanted to send it to TCFKAG for all her awesome blogging...well...that certainly wouldn't be remiss. ;-) Just kidding. Sort of. HAVE FUN!!!
I begin this post with a confession - I hate shopping for pants. They are rarely short enough for me (and the petite options frequently are sold out or not as diverse in choices) and so I have to either get them tailored or destroy the hems. And since I'm a lazy person ... I frequently destroy the hems. So I find that I wear skirts more often than not. It is also hard to give good solid pants advice to others, since what pants you like are so very much controlled by body shape and height and general preferences. But, given all that, I'm going to recommend a bunch of pants below that I either (a) own or (b) I know others like a great deal - in case you are looking for some pants. Most will be work pants, but I'm going to throw some more casual pants in there for fun. Most will also be fairly traditional, full length cuts - but I will include some cropped and ankle-pants in their, because I know other people like them (they make me feel even more stunted in my growth than usual.) So here we go.
Martin Fit Straight Leg Trousers in yellow at Banana Republic
($79.50 - much like AT, I have found the quality of BR has gone down a bit in recent years, but these trousers look elegant and nicely designed and come in a variety of great colors for those interested in non black, gray, navy, etc. pants.)Halogen 'Taylor' Curvy Fit Pants at Nordstroms
($79 - I love Halogen's Curvy Fit pants, both jeans and trousers, though some readers on Corporette mentioned that the fabric on these was changed recently to be less sturdy - somewhat like the skirt - so they may not be as fabulous as they once were.)Curvy Fit Polished Sateen Bootcut Pants in navy at Talbots
($89.50 - available in Misses, Petites, Women's, and Women's Petites. Also available in six colors. Like with many of the chains, Talbots quality can be spotty, but I find their trousers generally reliable.)
Signature Glen Plaid Pant at Ann Taylor
($69.99 - gets good reviews - though AT quality is of course a worry.)Slim Cropped Pants in cobalt at Gap
($39.99 - pictured pants available in limited sizes, other colors available in more - comes in regular height and tall.)Mossimo Women's Skinny Premium Skinny Jean
($27.99 - available in assorted washes and in long, short, and regular. I have these in black and for someone who doesn't *do* skinny jeans - these are amazing. Not too tight to be uncomfortable or unforgiving, but tight enough to fit under knee high boots or look cute with flats. And the price is right.)
Sun dresses for summer are so fun....and I love this dress from Patagonia - the Margot Dress in "Palm Fronds/Dragonfruit"
at 6PM for $41.99 (comes in several designs/colors). Here are a few more fun summer weekend day dresses that I've seen around the internet recently that I think you all might like.
Vibrant Paisley Maxi Dress from Forever 21
($29.80 - I'd definitely add a belt - maybe in brown or red.)Merona Rugby Shirt Dress
($22.99 - available in blue and white also - one good customer review).
Now...clearly....if you are buying a cute dress for bumming around in the summer...you need cute new sandals, yes? Here are a few options!
I've gotten a couple questions about maxi dresses recently - so I thought I'd do a bit of a master post. So here goes.
Reader Kumquat Weekend asks:
Oh illustrious TCFKAG, can you please advise? I just bought two lovely maxi dresses. Solid colours. Cap sleeved, U-neck... they look like really, really, really long t-shirts. T-shirts that flow and drape and make me look like a queen. How on earth can I accessorize these for work? Sweaters? Blazers? Shoes? Belts? Necklaces? Any/all of the above? (I know maxies are often considered a workplace no-no, but my environment is business casual and I'm willing to risk it.)
Hello Ms. Weekend! So, I will address this first - and I will start with a confession, if you had asked me six months ago I would have said "I really don't think that maxi dresses are work appropriate, even at a biz casual office." But then I joined Tumblr and started following some hijabi and otherwise conservative dressing fashion blogs and realized I had been so-so dumb! I've seen so many women absolutely styling maxi dresses in awesomely stylish and beautiful manners. I'm a big fan. A few ideas with the dresses you've described based on what I've seen on those websites. (1) I would probably pair them with a blazer - something fitted and maybe with those sleeves that role up and reveal another fabric or are scrunched up (not too formal but still adding a little structure.) (2) I think adding a belt, something wider and leather or perhaps with a design, would be a really nice way to add structure to the dress and add some formality without too much weight or a ton of cost (plus it adds definition at the waist, which is nice with something like a maxi dress.) (3) For scoop neck dresses, I think that substantial, statement dresses are really nice for work. Not only does it add interest to the neckline, it covers up a bit (which is nice). You could also add a scarf if that's something you like. I think that big bangle bracelets would also be nice (especially with a three-quarter-sleeve jacket.) Finally (4) in terms of shoes, I think the key is to wear either closed toe pumps or a formal sandal - not something flat like gladiator sandals or something that reads "beachy." You don't want people to think you're going work to beach to night (no matter what Lucky Magazine says you should do.) Here are some pictures with inspiration, if you're interested.
Here are the sources of the images above:Mango Chutney (Archive - the 70s)Simple Modesty (Archives)My Dress Ways (Archives)
All are cute outfits that I think are super work appropriate (don't read into two of them being green - just random chance.)Reader B questions:Hi TCFKAG, I am looking for a long (or 3/4) sleeved maxi dress. I prefer a printed chiffon, but I am not really committed to a specific fabric or print. I need it for a wedding in Indiana (I'm expecting hot and humid) in June, so something wedding appropriate (not a lot of white). I've looked at my usual haunts, and am coming up empty. Since I need it by the end of this month, I have to either be able to get it in store, or shipped within a two week timeframe. Any ideas for me? I'd like to keep it under $100, but definitely under $150. I'm looking for a L/XL or 12/14. I love this one, but its out of my budget: Rachel Zoe Silk Maxi Dress. I also fell in love with this and was going to buy it, but its not available: Rachel Pally Aurora Print Maxi Dress.For those shopping along at home, these are the dresses that Reader B is inspired by.
Those are both lovely - I especially love the Rachel Pally dress - lets find you a few options.