WIW 8/9-8/24: Time to stop hiding the bump!

I am sorry for having been rather vague about my "health issues" that have been causing me to gain weight. Actually, I've only gained about 3-4 lb, but it's all concentrated in one place--my apple tummy! AKA Baby Bump! Finally nearing the end of my first trimester so it's time to stop hiding the bump! Actually I was outed by one of the nurses today when I wore a fitted buttondown shirt--I guess the skirt wasn't structured enough to rein in the bump. She said, "How come I'm the last one to find out that you're pregnant?" I laughed and said, "Actually, I haven't told anyone yet and no one else has been rude enough to say anything!" (I thought you weren't supposed to ask a woman if she is pregnant, unless she is in labor!) She felt so bad about it, but I made an announcement to everyone, so she wouldn't have to keep a secret. I was actually planning to make an announcement next week when I hit 2nd trimester, so I almost made it!

I'm sure some of you must have suspected something was up, with all the closet angst posts I've been posting over the last couple months since I found out I was pregnant! Like these ones when I was panicking about losing my wardrobe after I thought I was finally "done":

Or the many threads a couple months ago where I started trying to buy stretchy peasant blouses and loose tunics and posting K/R's on (secretly) maternity jeans and boyfriend jeans even though I normally wear very fitted clothes (although I ended up returning the peasant blouses because they just made me feel like more of a whale).

Or maybe you were wondering why I had lowered my standards on my K/R's and kept this dress even though my tummy looked a little too large in it? LOL!

Actually, I thought I had been doing a pretty good job of hiding the bump, considering none of you have said anything about my tummy in my recent WIW's! (Or maybe you're just more polite than my coworker!) ;) Surprisingly, I've still been able to wear most of my clothes despite the growing belly. I've put away all my jeans now--I decided to jump straight to comfy maternity jeans instead of messing with Bella bands and unzipped jeans that could fall down. But so far I can still fit into my sheath dresses and pencil skirts, and they actually worked the best to minimize the bump. My stretchy jersey dresses are certainly comfy, but they don't hide a thing. They'll be perfect for 2nd and 3rd tri though, now that the secret's out! And I can still wear my jackets and cardigans open over maternity tanks and jeans. I will still be able to wear a couple of my stretchy skirts and maybe 1/3 of my dresses. So I think I'll be OK, just living on a much smaller subset of my wardrobe (I guess I'll finally have to explore this capsule concept that Angie has been touting!)

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that what works best for apples also works for hiding a first trimester bump. That was my biggest revelation so far. But I'm amazed at the difference cut and structure makes in figure flattery. Take for example pics 1 & 2, both taken on the same day two weeks ago (week 11). The first one is a maternity top with diagonal stripes and maternity shorts, I was just trying it on at home but saving it for later when I get bigger. I look like I'm going to go into labor any minute! But for work I wore a pencil skirt (amazingly, they all still fit, probably because they're so high waisted) and buttoned a jacket over it, the bump nearly disappeared. And pics 3-7 in my sheath and wrap dresses were all taken in the last week (week 12) and I think it's still hard to tell. But in pics 8-10 today (week 13), I guess I let it all hang out a little too much and got caught. Oops!

I read somewhere that maternity fashion goes like this:
First trimester--Hide the Bump
Second trimester--Embrace the Bump
Third trimester--Flaunt the Bump

So now I'm moving on to embracing the bump! Still scared about growing out of my clothes, because I don't want to invest a lot in maternity clothes (especially since this is going to be our last one). My plan is to keep wearing what I can out of my current wardrobe until I can't stretch it out any more, then I'll have to break out my 6 year old maternity clothes. That is going to be a sad day--I know they aren't going to feel as fab now as they did pre-YLF (when I loved them so much I used to wear them even when I wasn't pregnant, LOL). But it'll hopefully only be for a few months and then maybe I can squeeze back into my old clothes ASAP! Or else you'll just have to put up with me wearing my Bailey 44 dress seven days a week!

Thanks for putting up with my previous vagueness! I didn't mean to worry you--we're both perfectly healthy and doing fine (I haven't even gotten morning sickness once)! I promise I'll post a WIW recap of my first trimester style soon!
(PS, anyone know of any good maternity fashion blogs?)

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Zapotee replied 7 years ago

    I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. Gosh you look so GORGEOUS.
    What a cutie-ful bump. Congratulations!
    What a stylish mommy to be. These are all beautiful Natalie!

    ETA: Try not to worry to much about fitting back into your current closet. I know it's easier said than done but with a little determination, you will and if not, we are here to help you tweak things to make it work.
    I am pinning this for reference. Not that I'm expecting but I am actually considering it, now that my daughter is so grown up.

  • Deborah replied 7 years ago

    Natalie, congratulations! How exciting for you and your family:). Your little bump is gorgeous (I loved being pregnant!). Given its such a short time I agree you don't need to go crazy buying things but it is important to feel good. The dress in 6 will be wonderful. Wrap dresses are great for pregnancy. I was watching "Private Practice" the other night and a character who is pregnant was wearing the Bailey 44 dress,... It looked amazing.

    And I bet if you need to pull out some of your previous maternity wear, with what you have learnt here, you will be be able to make it work beautifully. xxx

  • Mona replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations! This is so exciting. A new addition to the family...let's celebrate.....

  • Preppy Pear replied 7 years ago

    Hi Natalie! I'm new, but I just wanted to say how wonderful you look in all these pictures - truly an inspiration for all, not just pregnant ladies!
    One fashion blog for pregnancy I can think of is Ain't No Mom Jeans - and on that site they do talk about "hide the bump/embrace the bump/flaunt the bump" so I think you may have seen it.

  • replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations! I have to admit I was wondering if that was your medical issue :)

  • Scarlet replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations!!!! Well I did have my suspicions just because of what you wrote (gaining weight, don't suggest dieting, etc.) but not because of how you looked. You look fantastic. I do love outfit 8, even if it is the one that outed you :). I feel like in the first stages of pregnancy I learned apple dressing and felt pretty proud of myself for figuring it out :). I have been trying to do my maternity wardrobe on the cheap, and although I have been successful it is still a lot of money in the end due to needing new EVERYTHING! I can really understand your heartache about having to pack up your fabulous (and pretty spanking new) wardrobe just when you had it all figured out. But I am so happy for you!

  • Traci replied 7 years ago

    Oh wow! I can't believe the difference in 1 and 2. That's astounding!

    Even though they shut down quite a while ago, I still refer to academichic quite often. They went through a few pregnancies during their run. Worth a look.

    B jones is pregnant right now too.

  • Janet replied 7 years ago

    Congrats! I'm so glad the "health issue" is a happy occasion. :-) You look beautiful.

  • Sona replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations Natalie! You are looking amazing in all these pics. What wonderful news!

  • jen replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations "Yummy Mummy" :)

  • Claudia replied 7 years ago


  • replied 7 years ago

    CONGRATS!!! I am thrilled for you!!!

  • replied 7 years ago


  • Jjsloane replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations. You look great and your little bump is lucky to have you dressing it.

  • marianna replied 7 years ago


  • Emily replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations! :) I look forward to watching you for inspiration.

  • Mochi replied 7 years ago

    Wow, Congratulations! What exciting news!

  • Isis replied 7 years ago

    Congrats; what thrilling news!!!!!

  • nancylee replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations! What exciting news. :)

  • Classically Casual replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations to you & your adorable family!

  • Diana replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations!!!!! And, wow, those pencil skirts and sheath dresses are GOOD at hiding the bump!

  • Elly replied 7 years ago

    So glad to be let into the loop on you and your husband's wonderful news! I'm sure you'll find a way to keep demure bombshell sashaying into you second trimester!

  • christy replied 7 years ago

    Super exciting news - congratulations!

  • velvetychocolate replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations! And you know, I had no idea - I honestly thought it was some minor, temporary health issue that wasn't a big deal because you didn't seem worried. Meanwhile, I couldn't even tell that you had gained weight, even though you mentioned it in one of those threads.

    Interesting how something like a pencil skirt or sheath style dress was perfect for hiding the bump - this is good information for anyone who wants to conceal a tummy. In the the meantime, you look just fabulous, and your family has a very stylish Mom!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 7 years ago

    YAY - YLF is having a BABY! I mean....Natalie is having a BABY!!! Congratulations to you and your family. You look beautiful and healthy and that bump is just darned adorable. You will be one stylish pregnant woman - of this I am sure.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    WHOOOTTT!!!! Congratulations, Natalie! This is SO exciting! You and Scarlet can share tips and ideas, and we will all get to glory in your beauty!

    You look sensational, and your insights into dressing for pregnancy are also brilliant. If there are no good blogs for dressing as a pregnant woman, maybe Goldenpig will become the first!

    LOVE your outfits and am just as amazed as you that they do such a good job of covering the bump. But now it is time to embrace it. Enjoy!

  • sarah replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOORAY!

    Gosh, between you and Scarlet, I almost wish I was pregnant again, so I could it STYLISHLY this time around.

    You look FAB.

  • Jem replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations!!! :-) This is so exciting! You are a great mom,. Do you kids know yet? I'll bet they are/will be really excited, too. BTW, your "bump" is adorable!

  • replied 7 years ago

    Gorgeous, Natalie....just gorgeous! Congratulations!!!! ;)

  • Astrid replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations! How exciting. :) You look fabulous!

  • replied 7 years ago

    Okay, I'm so excited for you that I can't even comment on your fab dressing skilz! When you mentioned "gaining weight because of a medical condition" and "don't suggest dieting because it won't help" I began to get suspicious! I'm so glad that it is a Happy Medical Condition. You are one stylish woman and I look forward to the next two trimesters watching your fashion evolve! Congratulations to you and your family!!!!!!! :)

  • MsMary replied 7 years ago

    Natalie shared her happy secret with those of us at the Orange County YLF swap a few weeks ago, and it has been super fun sitting on the sidelines and watching her talk-about-it-without-talking-about-it on the forums!

    So now that it's official: Congratulations, Natalie and family! You look fab and I can't wait to see the rest of your "bump" fashion journey!

  • KathyL replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations! You did a great job at hiding the bump! It is amazing what a difference clothes make, especially comparing the maternity top to your non-maternity clothes. You rock those wrap dresses and you look amazing! So happy for you and your family.

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    More congrats from me! You look *so cute* in that first photo I can't stand it.

    You did a great job camouflaging the bump! You will do as great a job embracing the bump :)

  • cinnamon fern replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations! I love Shannon - 'YLF is having a baby' indeed.

  • jayne replied 7 years ago

    Happy happy congratulations! Oh yeah Natalie...babes, I love babes...and you make the cutest ones!

  • Keix replied 7 years ago


  • Thistle replied 7 years ago


  • Parsley replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations, Natalie!
    How thrilling!
    I also had my suspicions, based on what you said, not how you looked...
    Can't wait to see what a stylish expectant mom you will be!

  • Vix replied 7 years ago

    Congrats and best wishes for a healthy rest-of-pregnancy! You look great.

    I too had no idea...I'm prone to relatively minor health issues that cause a lot of swelling and figured you were just dealing with a fibroid or something. Glad it was something a lot more exciting for you/the family!

  • Kari replied 7 years ago

    Wow, Natalie! I was bowled over by your news. Congratulations! Perhaps it's just my own weight gain or the fact that I'm not a parent, but I was totally oblivious and didn't suspect a thing. You look beautiful and I cannot wait to see how incredibly stylish your maternity wear capsule will be throughout the next 6 months! What an exciting time for you and your beautiful family.

  • christieanne replied 7 years ago

    I have been away a lot for YLF so I missed all the clues but wanted to say congratulations. I know you will look fantastic while you "embrace the bump" and look forward to watching the evolution of GP style.

  • Kari replied 7 years ago

    P.S. Take a peek at the maternity wear archives on academichic if you haven't already done so. E. and S.' maternity wear was incredibly beautiful, fun, and creative!

  • harmonica replied 7 years ago

    Congrats, Natalie! Wonderful news and you look gorgeous as always! I had my suspicions, but would *never* ask before I was 110% sure.

    I also experienced how pencils were really good for hiding the bump and that dressing can do amazing transformations for how the body shape is perceived. Though it was impossible to hide DH3 from a very, very early stage.

    Can't express how excited I am and wish you all a healthy journey and I'm sure you can't escape style after all the work you've put into finding your personal looks and everything. All the best, Natalie! Three is awsome!!

  • HelenInCanada replied 7 years ago

    I knew something MAJOR was up! You sneaky gal, Natalie! CONGRATS!!!

    Honestly, you and your Baby Bump look absolutely fabulous. Take good care and definitely embrace and flaunt! :D

  • MNsara replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations! Your baby bump is ADORABLE!! Count me as another clueless one - but probably because I haven't been keeping up very well here and the threads move v.e.r.y fast!!

    Between you and Scarlet, this will be SO fun!! Maternity styles are infintely cuter than 20+ years ago. There was nothing back then to 'flaunt the bump' ;-)

  • JR replied 7 years ago

    Aw, how wonderful! Congratulations! I have to admit, I did a bit of a double take when you talked about gaining weight as if it were inevitable. So glad to know I won't have to do any finger-wagging over that. Well, not that I was planning on it... ;o)

    And it sounds like you have a very good wardrobe plan for the duration. And I am willing to bet that even those old pieces will take on new life now that you are so much more aware of your own style and how to style for it. And if you still can't stand them, hey, it's only a few months.

  • merwoman replied 7 years ago

    Lucky baby to have chosen his/her mommy so wisely!
    You look absolutely beautiful Natalie - and what a relief to read that the health issues are actually joyous news. Congratulations and best of everything to you and your family.

  • catgirl replied 7 years ago

    AHA! You sneaky girl! I suspected something was up but couldnt' quite decipher your "tone" online.

    *squeeeeing* So excited for you and your family!

  • Sveta replied 7 years ago

    Natalie, how exciting! Congratulations on such a happy "medical" condition!
    You do look adorable wih the bump in the last picture. I am with Sarah and Sara - I wish we had better ways of dressing a pregnant body 20 years ago. I cringe just from thinking how frumpy I looked then...
    I will watch you "two for one" fashion journey with great interest!

  • Kate replied 7 years ago

    Hi beautiful girl; I'm so happy for you and your hubby. Call me clueless, because I didn't suspect a thing.

  • Jenava replied 7 years ago

    Congrats!! You look amazing!

    Beth Jones has been going through her first pregnancy, but I think her style is a lot more bohemian than yours. (-:

  • Beth Ann replied 7 years ago

    Best wishes to you and your (growing) family! You look beautiful. Don't hesitate to keep posting WIW!

  • Marley replied 7 years ago

    Yea Natalie! You are such a beautfiul Momma-to-Be! I'm amazed at how your clothese have camofluaged your baby bump! AND - I am so glad that you've finally made the official YLF announcement, because I was having a hard time keeping my mouth shut (or my fingers from rattling over the keyboard!) whenever you posted something about your weight gain. My main strategy to keep your secret was to just not comment - because I really didn't trust myself that I might spill the beans! :-)

  • Gaylene replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations, Natalie. I was also one of the ones who was wondering if you were expecting because you seemed quite OK with gaining a bit of weight. So much fun.

    And I'll be waiting with the others to see you rock the mom-to-be look in the coming months.

  • O replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations Natalie. Looking fwd to the next leg of your style journey ;-) I think you'll find that living with the capsule wardrobe can be just as liberating and easy.

  • Irene replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations!!! :)

  • annagybe replied 7 years ago

    Congrats! And wow this this third pregnancy I've been told about this month.

  • Echo replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations! What wonderful news! I wish you the happiest and healthiest pregnancy, and it is clear that you will be one stylish expecting woman!

  • RunningSue replied 7 years ago

    Such great news! As soon as the stick turned blue my pants no longer fit. It will be fun watching you style your bump as your baby grows. I am a stay at home Mom so no great styling tips here. Enjoy!

  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations! You look wonderful and what you learn about hiding the bump will serve you well later when working on getting back your figure.

  • shevia replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations and wonderful news! How exciting for you and your family! There is lots of fun pregnancy style out there now - enjoy the embrace stage!

  • qfbrenda replied 7 years ago


  • Kyle replied 7 years ago

    You look sooo beautiful, Natalie. Warmest congratulations.

  • Debora replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations, Natalie! I am so happy for you!

  • JenA replied 7 years ago

    Congrats! Phew.... I was a bit worried about your "medical" condition that required weight gain and you seemed so upset about your fab wardrobe....

    You look amazing in the pictures and it was such a eye opener to see how well you hid the happy bump.

    Good luck!!

    ETA. Hope you are feeling ok!

  • Sylvie replied 7 years ago

    Natalie, congratulations!

    I am totally clueless and I had NO idea at all. Clearly the moms on this board were far more astute. You really have been doing an amazing job at camouflaging your bump until you were ready to go public, as it were.

    The difference in the first two photos is incredible. Your wardrobe gets an A+ for being flattering and still fitting your new shape. I am looking forward to seeing your posts as you go through your pregnancy as you are right that the aren't that many pregnant style role models out there and I am certain that you are going to be the most stylish pregnant lady ever.

    Congratulations again!

  • ButterflyLady replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations, Natalie! Lovely news.

  • Jonesy replied 7 years ago

    I had a sneaking suspicion, but then I wasn't sure....YAY! Congratulations! Your "baby bump" is so cute in that first pic--no hiding it now :)!

  • cheryl replied 7 years ago


  • anne replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations!!! I had NO idea and I have had 3 kids. You look super stylish!!! I wish the YLF forum had been around when I was pregnant

  • Alecia replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations, Natalie! I love these posts. So very exciting. And I also think this is an incredibly instructive post about the power of clothes. After seeing you in full on baby bump flaunt, your outfits did an amazing job of camouflaging that little peanut. It's like magic.

  • rae replied 7 years ago

    Natalie, I'm so very late to the thread, but I'm adding my congrats!! I have so loved secretly watching your bump grow after your announcement in OC. You are one Fab Mama-of-three-to-be!

  • celia replied 7 years ago


  • Debbie replied 7 years ago


  • Jamie replied 7 years ago

    Many congratulations, Natalie!!

  • JulieJohn replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations! Your secret love's no secret anymore.

  • Aziraphale replied 7 years ago

    I missed this thread too! Congratulations on baby number three! You're at the "adorable bump" stage. :-)

  • Vicki replied 7 years ago

    You are just so stylish and beautiful, Natalie, and I am so happy for you and your family. Having never been pregnant, I was so amazed to see how differently your baby bump looks from photo 1 to photo 2 and how fashion and style transform every look, all quite beautiful. This is an enjoyable time, because you know how to dress the part with such easy elegance. So thrilled for you! ;)

  • cciele replied 7 years ago

    Congrats Natalie! I love your photos of Hide the Bump and can't wait to see how you Embrace the Bump!

  • Inge replied 7 years ago

    I hadn't connected the dots yet:-)
    Congratulations, Natalie!! You look absolutely amazing! I bet your two kiddos are pretty excited too.

  • RunnerChick replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations - you are one hot pregnant momma! So excited about the new arrival!

  • Fruitful replied 7 years ago

    Gorgeous Natalie. Congratulations on your wonderful news, take time to enjoy the pause of pregnancy before the exciting arrival. Don't be afraid to get yourself some new maternity clothes, I didn't want to wear any of my old stuff the second time round, it wasn't me anymore even though I loved it before.

    I will say my first pregnancy led to the discovery that I could look and feel good in a (stretchy) pencil skirt! I think they suit apple-y bodies very well. I think the best thing you could do to overcome any misgivings about giving up the wardrobe you've curated is to have some fun with your pregnancy fashion xo

  • goldenpig replied 7 years ago

    Thanks so much everyone for the congrats and compliments and well wishes! We are all very excited, including the kiddos! They have nicknamed the baby Socks, and like to talk to the baby through my belly button in a very high voice, "Hi Socks! How are you? Let me give you a kiss!" It's so cute I can't stand it!

    I have to admit at first I was afraid of how the pregnancy would decimate my wardrobe, but now I have resigned myself to the inevitable changes and even looking forward to the challenge of stretching (literally) my current wardrobe. My challenge for year 1 at YLF was all about overhauling my wardrobe and finding my personal style, year 2 is going to be how to look stylish while pregnant without buying a bunch of maternity clothes that I will never use again. The challenge for year 3 is going to be getting back into my year 1 clothes, haha.

    Sorry for being so mysterious about my "medical condition"--although I had to chuckle at the confusion I caused with my "I'm gaining weight and dieting won't help" posts--a certain ex-forum member sent me a concerned PM saying "Are you sure you can't get a handle on this weight gain?" and started posting helpful links about how women of a certain nationality never get fat...had to bite my tongue on that one. I'm pretty sure they still get pregnant, LOL!

    If/when I grow out of my loose and stretchy non-maternity stuff, I'll try to see if I can manage to bring my old maternity wardrobe up to my new standards somehow, and my SIL has offered to bring me her maternity clothes (she has a 1 year old), some of which I donated to her. And I may break down and buy a few more cheap maternity pieces to fill in if I get desperate. Also fall/winter should be an OK time, since I can get away with wearing my sweater ponchos that I bought last year.

    I'm really excited about the upcoming changes in my body, my wardrobe and our life. I too was amazed at what a difference cut of clothing did for hiding the bump. I learned even more than I thought I already knew about apple dressing. Now, I can't wait to show off the bump!

  • Sheila replied 7 years ago

    Awesome news! Congratulations, I am so happy for you.

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