Thursday, July 25, 2013

One Dress, Three Ways: Maternity Autumn Work Wear

I know maxi dresses have been around for a few years now, but I have always resisted.  They just seemed so...long and flowy and conspicuous.  However, I have found that they are extremely forgiving of growing bumps, so when I found one in my favorite color (I know, gray is the most boring thing ever, but it's beautiful and versatile and I love it), I picked it up.  I was beginning to have second thoughts, however.  How was I going to wear this?  The top is rather awkward and, without a camisole, obscene.  I was wanting something to wear to work once classes start back this fall, and I rather doubted that this would work.  However, since the dress came from a consignment shop, it couldn't exactly be returned.  I decided to see what I could do with it.

Here is the back view, just to emphasize that the top was not going to work for creating a professional image on its own.

Look 1: Black Blazer.  At this point, I can still button the top button, but it would also look fine open.  I would wear this with a long silver chain necklace, which I forgot to put on for the picture.

Look 2: Blue Button Down with Brown Leather Belt.  I love belts and wear them almost everyday.  A friend asked how I would manage to wear them with the bump--just cinch them higher, of course!  I also think my brown leather boots would work with this look.

Look 3: Long Gray Sweater.  Gray on gray--love this.  I am hoping I don't stretch the knit out too badly as I get bigger.  Notice the strategically placed arm to actually make the bump visible.  I am 20 weeks along, and although the bump shows up in person, on camera it somehow disappears.

A few thoughts on making the maxi dress (typically a casual, summer item) work for the office in the fall/winter:

1) Pick the color/print carefully.  Solid charcoal gray (or black, beige, navy) can be made to seem appropriate.  Bright colors and huge prints might be a bit more tricky.

2) Keep the top covered.  Basically, it it going to make the dress look like a skirt.  I toyed with the idea of cutting off the top and adding elastic to actually make this a skirt, but decided against it--I think it is more comfortable this way, and I don't have worry about waist band placement.

3) Choose a fitted top.  To balance the long, flowiness of the dress, a more tailored piece helps.  A loose top with a loose dress is going to look sloppy.  A belt can make a looser top seem more fitted.

Just to point out a few things: first, none of these pieces is "maternity" and I hope/plan to wear them all again post-pregnancy.  Second, this is my first pregnancy, and I have no idea how big I will get.  Hopefully these (and a few other ideas that I have, some involving actual maternity wear) will see me through.  

Classes start back in late August and I am due in mid-December.  With teaching five days a week over the course of my third trimester in weather ranging from sweltering late summer to freezing early winter, this should be an interesting experience.     

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love all of the looks - great idea!