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

Maternity Heart-Print Crepe Blouse from Old Navy ($23.50 - is this a little cheesy - perhaps - but I think a heart polka dot blouse for your baby shower might be just the thing.  Especially with a cobalt blue blazer or sweater, jeans, and sneakers - this would be adorable.  Either tucked in or loose, I really like it, and under a professional blazer I think it will be a good option for work as well.  If you like polka dots and want a little more bling, you might also like this other shirt from Old Navy.)
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!!
Victoria
10/12/2013 07:27:01

TCFKAG, I really like that purple flower necklace! And totally not pregnant, but totally coveting the Nom Maternity dress too.

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HSAL
10/12/2013 14:51:47

Not pregnant, never been pregnant, but I might want to be after seeing all the cuteness. That Boden dress is killing me. You're very quickly becoming one of my favorite clothing blogs - might be sending in a question soon!

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Cat
10/12/2013 15:38:09

As a pregnant woman, I think you got it totally right! Of course, I'm probably among the least fashion-conscious of your readers, having come to the blog through knowing you in real life rather than through any fashion-related source.

I'm a couple weeks further along than your question writer, and having twins so I'm probably at least a month bigger, and my biggest piece of advice is to keep the receipts and to shop as close to the event as is practical. I have a couple of non-maternity shirts that worked fine on me two weeks ago but are now too short, and the same with some regular jeans that fit under my belly with a bella band. A lot of maternity clothes went from looking kind of long and weird to looking fitted and normal in the space of a couple of weeks, too. I expect that some of the blousier styles that still feel frumpy on me will be the only things that look dignified by the end, given the twins thing, but I won't know until I get there. So don't invest in something really cute and flattering but non-returnable 6 weeks before a big event.

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10/13/2013 19:37:42

Cat - since you already spilled the beans that I know you IRL - several of these items would look SO GOOD on you IRL. Especially the blue dress from Nordies or the camel cardigan from Gap for late night study sessions (which frankly, seems like it would outlast the pregnancy by a good long while.) And the Maxi dress is such a good deal, that it might be worth trying out (even if its not in your usual style wheelhouse) and actually all of Target's stuff is great! Want to go to Target and maybe Old Navy together sometime to try on a few things? We can look for things that will work for the rest of the pregnancy that can perhaps transition to post-baby living!!

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