As excited as I may be to be pregnant, I'm somewhat allergic to the general idea of maternity clothing. It's hard to stomach spending money right now on something I'll only be able to wear for a few months. (Have you heard about the cost of daycare?) More importantly, I'm simply not feeling the need to embrace this life change through fashion. For me, wearing regular clothes has actually been one of the few things that's helped me maintain a sense of normalcy even when I catch strangers staring at my midsection.
And yet, there were three pieces of clothing that I knew I needed almost immediately: A bigger everyday bra that I wouldn't spill out of, a high impact sports bra that would keep everyone in place during workouts, and a versatile pair of leggings that could take the place of, well, basically all my pants since I'm too stubborn to invest in those jeans with an elastic waist band.
The bras were easy enough—I just went up a cup size for my normal bra, and jumped up and down in a few dressing rooms until I found a sports bra that didn't let the girls bounce around.
The leggings, however, were trickier. I wanted something both comfortable enough to work from home in and classy enough to dress up at night. Most importantly, they had to grow with me: Even in my first trimester, the waists on all the running tights in my closet were getting too uncomfortable to wear while sitting down for long periods. (I blame the ice cream cravings.) Still, I refused to buy an over-the-bump pair that would leave me with an unnecessary amount of extra fabric in less than a year.
So I looked through the always-entertaining What to Expect When You're Expecting message boards, and came across one recommendation over and over in multiple threads: the Lululemon Align Super-High-Rise Tight. Although these were by far the most expensive option suggested, what grabbed me—aside from the sheer number of endorsements—were the posts claiming the waist was high enough to support your bump without cutting into it or squeezing it like a sausage, while also resilient enough to fit nicely when your waist changed shape again after labor. The best part? Most everyone suggested not sizing up because the tights would fit both your bump and post-bump body comfortably if you ordered your normal size. Sold!
Since getting a dark olive pair in January, I've worn them more than anything else in my closet. Being "super-high-rise," this version of the tights has an extra-long waist band that sits high enough—a couple inches over my belly button—to feel like a gentle hug, and stays in place all day long without rolling down. And yes, I sometimes do wear these almost all day long: They're perfect for working from home, doing a quick yoga session (which, well, is what they're technically designed for), and even dressing up for a night out. Although I'm not usually a "go to dinner in leggings" kind of person, the thick fabric offers dependable coverage without the risk of anything see-through going on—even after multiple washings. They offer just enough compression to hold everything in place without ever becoming uncomfortable.
And that's all stayed true even as my bump has grown from barely there to big enough to get me a seat on the subway.
Also, I have to admit: Having something luxuriously buttery against my skin is just the kind of pampering I'm craving these days. On the cusp of my third trimester, everyday movements I used to take for granted are starting to feel awkward and uncomfortable (why is the ground so far away when I bend over?!). When my back is aching, and it feels like something alien is busy practicing somersaults inside me, the indulgence of soft support is the kind of self-care that feels worth investing in.
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