It's a common notion that pregnancy and fashion are two mutually exclusive things. It only makes sense to swap out those trendy pieces for comfier ones to make room for that slowly ballooning baby bump. But, the old-fashioned concept of maternity wear (i.e. slouchy loungewear with no sartorial appeal whatsoever) has been thrown out the window ages ago, and the new idea of maternity fashion combines comfort and style in easy-to-wear designs.
While some expectant mothers feel the need to immediately gravitate towards standard maternity wear, others, especially those with a trained eye for fashion, are more crafty when it comes to adjusting to their body's needs. Style blogger and influencer Tricia Gosingtian-Gabunada is one such mother-to-be. Since her start in blogging back in 2009, we've seen her outfits evolve but her style remains the same. This applies to her take on "maternity fashion" as well.
How does one retain personal style during pregnancy? What are some workarounds? Does curating one's outfit become a painstaking task? Below, Tricia weighs in on the sartorial changes that pregnancy brings, as well as the lessons she's learned along the way. Consider this as a fashion girl's perspective on maternity dressing.
1. Before you were pregnant, how would you come up with outfit ideas?
"Almost 30 weeks now and I still have not bought anything marketed as maternity wear. I’m still wearing the same styles I’ve been wearing pre-pregnancy—romantic dresses, floral prints, puffed sleeves, billowy silhouettes. I was never the type to wear tight-fitting clothes so I didn’t have to shop for an entirely new wardrobe."
2. When you found out you were pregnant, were you immediately concerned about maternity fashion? Did you do anything to prepare for it?
"Since this is my first pregnancy, I approached it with a 'let’s cross the bridge when we get there' mindset. As long as my existing clothes still fit, I am totally fine with just using them over and over again until I outgrow them. Despite being disappointed a few times, I’ve been enjoying the process a lot. The only preparation that I did recently was bring out all my wrap-style and button-down tops and dresses so I can easily breastfeed once the baby is out."
3. With that in mind, how has pregnancy affected your style?
"My style has remained exactly the same, but with all the changes in my body, I’ve become more understanding of 'universally flattering' 'fits. I’ve become more appreciative of particular pieces in my closet."
"I launched my own clothing line, Hinhin, last August 2019, and found out I was pregnant later that month. I took it as an opportunity to test my own dresses out—which ones would still fit and until what week, and which ones aren’t pregnancy-friendly at all. So far, 98% [of] the dresses still fit me (instant capsule wardrobe!), so I’ll definitely keep those silhouettes in mind when I design the next collection."
"I really like the idea of investing in items that can grow with you. I apply the same mindset when choosing items for my baby—which ones can last me until the baby is three or four? Instead of buying items that are only good for the first 3-6 months."
4. Do you put more thought into your outfit choices now? What kind of outfits do you find yourself gravitating towards?
"I’m actually more relaxed with my fashion choices now that I’m pregnant. I’ve become less conscious about what I wear as long I’m comfortable. I spend less time thinking about what to wear since there are more pressing matters that I have to attend to, so I just stick to a formula that works: Hinhin dresses and anything tent-ish! I love bold prints and floral patterns. I never veered away from them even if they’re supposed to make you look 'bigger.' As long as I feel confident and truly myself in my outfits, I don’t really care about breaking fashion rules."
5. Have you learned any "maternity fashion" tricks? Any favorite pieces or outfit combos you would recommend?
"Dresses are your best friend! One-piece items save so much time as they are already considered complete outfits."
"Just because you’re pregnant, doesn’t mean you have to throw your personal style out the window and start dressing like the image of a mom in your head. It’s easy to feel like your body isn’t your own anymore, but fashion is one thing that you can always control. I look at dressing up as the first step to 'showing up.' Sometimes, even if I don’t have anything scheduled for the day, I will still wear a floral dress at home to put me in the right headspace."