Maternity wear. To some people, men included, the thought brings up images of classic muumuus - those awful housedresses from the "I Love Lucy" time period. But, if that is how you're thinking, then you would be wrong, my friends.
Maternity wear has its own fashion thoughts, and they are constantly changing with every celebrity who has their own little bambino.
For example, currently, Kim Kardashian is pregnant, and until recently, she was wearing very little actual "maternity" clothing; Kim garnered a lot of attention both positive and negative for this, but I think she is on to something.
Don't get me wrong, I am not saying all of her tight clothing choices are the right option for all pregnant women, but I think her idea of still dressing for HER, not just because she is pregnant, is the right idea for any mom to be.
In reality, you are carrying that amazing little miracle, but YOU are still YOU. And, not to mention, this nine to ten month period is one of the last times it will really be all about you, so embrace the time before your fashion will include spit-up stains as an accessory.
Pregnancy is an amazing time, but for a lot of pregnant women, it's a very frustrating and confusing time when it comes to dressing their constantly changing and growing body. But the main point you need to remember when it comes to maternity fashion is to make sure that it makes you feel good about yourself.
If you look good, you'll feel better, and with all that morning sickness, backaches, headaches and more, anything you can do to help yourself is a bonus.
Let's put it this way, when you're pregnant, you can do no wrong. So, take the same approach to your wardrobe while you're pregnant. Don't worry about hiding your new body, instead embrace it and show that your body is doing exactly what everyone knows it's doing anyway, building a baby.
Keep your style unique and comfortable and you will go through those 10 months beautifully dressed and happy. And don't forget, you'll have a natural glow that everyone seems to love as it is, so adding some great clothes to that can do nothing but make you feel better.
There are a few fashion no-nos to follow while you're pregnant, because there are just some things you shouldn't wear while furnishing that growing baby bump.
First, steer clear of overalls. In general, I don't see these as being fashion forward, but while you're pregnant? Definitely not a good look. And while you're going to the bathroom for the 67th time in an hour, why would you want to deal with having to take off overalls?
Instead overalls, try a maxi dress. These are completely on trend for any time of the year, but especially great for spring and summer.
As always, I don't think you need to break the bank to have great fashion and I definitely don't think you should do it while you're pregnant. And you don't have to.
Old Navy has a great selection of maxi dresses that you can dress up or down, and in a varied selection of colors and styles for $20 to $35. And the great thing about these dresses, after the obvious comfort and fashion they offer, is that you can still wear them post-baby because they are still on trend for those of us not carrying a miracle in our tummy.
Black is a great color. It's very chic, but it also can be overly done. Granted, your first thought may be 'black is slimming.' Yes, but not all the time. You're not in mourning, you're starting a life! Try some pastels, bold colors or earth tones, and don't be scared of white.
As well as trying to add color to your wardrobe, try to keep it rated PG while you're preggo, too. Spring break was great and that lower back tattoo will never let you forget it, but this is not the time of your life to show it off. That's not to say this isn't allowed to be a sexy time for you, I'm just saying to keep it low key.
Try some fabulous heels (if you can do so safely and keeping your balance with that belly), some great lingerie at home or show off some of that new found cleavage that your hubby can't keep his eyes off of lately.
Another maternity fashion mistake is to wear things that are too big. Why pretend that your adorable baby bump isn't there? Don't cover it up; instead accentuate it with an empire waistline in tops or dresses that gives you that new figure silhouette in a beautiful way.
Adding belts to a dress, shirt or tunic also is a great way to give your shape definition. Old Navy again has a very versatile cowl-neck jersey tunic with a belted empire waistline that will accentuate that baby bump in the best way possible, and at only $15 it will not break your budget.
Also, don't be afraid to try non-maternity clothing in bigger sizes than you normally wear if you simply cannot wrap your head around wearing actual maternity clothing.
And you can still follow normal trends as well, but don't get too trendy, because not all fashion trends will be comfortable for your new figure.
Comfort is definitely a priority to being fashionably happy while you're pregnant, but you don't need to relinquish all of your fashion savvy simply because you're having a baby.
Treat yourself to some new accessories which will work for you no matter your size like earrings, necklaces and scarves; they will do wonders to finish off any of your new maternity looks. And keep your eye on prices. Don't be afraid to shop the sales online or in stores because in reality, this pregnancy wardrobe probably won't follow you after you have the baby for a while at least.
And, after feeling more like yourself, you deserve to treat yourself to some new clothing. But don't go over the top with your maternity purchases.
Always keep in mind, at some point some of your friends will probably have babies, too, so share your maternity wear with them. They will definitely appreciate the help, and you'll appreciate knowing another mommy is feeling beautiful.
Anytime you're feeling not so gorgeous, simply think of how amazingly perfect that little person inside of you will always think you are, no matter what you wear on the outside.
If all else fails, remember this: You are creating a life and there is no piece of clothing or accessory that can outshine the beauty of that fact.
Fashion Forward - It's who I am
Who is Jackie Morone? Well, I am a 31-year-old woman who lives and breathes fashion. I always have had a classic sense of fashion, falling in love with vintage pieces of my grandmothers' during childhood visits.
While attending Penn State's main campus, my love affair with hot fashion and personal style grew leaps and bounds. I saw so many different trends on different types of people, and I realized that ANYONE can be fashion forward while holding on to their own personal style.
Moving back to our little area, I noticed I always was asked where I had gotten my shoes, my clothes, my purses or even how did I learn to do my makeup.
Just because we live in Smalltown, USA doesn't mean there is a law against practicing today's current fashion trends or "big city style."
I hope I can help inspire you to start pushing your own style forward, gaining self confidence and opening your eyes to the fashion world.
You'll see that even by shopping locally you can be a fashionista without traveling to Paris or breaking your bank. Now, fashion forward we go!
Make sure to check out my Facebook page, face book.com/FashionForwardWithJackieMorone, to see matching pictures for the clothing I talk about in my column, as well as extra fashion advice, suggestions and answered fashion questions.