Bored & Pregnant: With Nothing to Wear

nothing to wear

Think boredom is a choice? Think again. We’re all searching for things to do while playing it COVID safe, but searching for things to do in a pandemic while pregnant presents a whole new set of challenges; a set that Allie Hartwick is ready to take on.

It’s been a year of yoga pants and athleisure. I am kicking myself for not investing in lululemon, maybe I’d see some financial returns on my many, MANY, purchases.
Pants and shirts with buttons have been occupying space in the back of our closets and the bottom of our drawers for ages, and moths have been well fed.
But as we collectively make our way back to the office, we’re now dusting off those jeans and inspecting sweaters for holes.

I find myself in an odd situation, as I have more events and public gatherings to attend these days, and literally nothing to wear, mostly because I’m twice the size I was when this whole year at home began.
Dressing for the office has also become a bit trickier, and my coworkers would all agree, I am not pulling off the overstuffed look.
A few weeks ago I planned what I thought was a spectacular office outfit, only to find the dress wouldn’t lower beyond my armpits and while my workplace is very progressive, I’m pretty sure showcasing my bra, belly and underwear would be pushing it. Also, maternity bras and underwear are not worth showing off. No form, all function.

General modesty guidelines might not be something I strictly adhere to, but I’ve never been one to wear leggings or sweatpants in public. Even while traveling, I prefer to wear more substantial, smart-casual clothing.
People assume that because I work in radio, I show up to the studio in my pajamas. While some in my office take full advantage of a relaxed dress code, I typically do not. I feel more productive when I’m dressed for the day.

But dressing for the day has become much more difficult over the past few months.
I publicly held onto the secret of my expanding family, and waistline, well into my second trimester, which meant I had to get creative with oversize sweaters.
When I was finally ready to reveal my baby news, it had more to do with the fact that my jeans were both unbuttoned and unzipped, and less to do with my personal excitement.

Just pretending I'm not pregnant at work, while wearing maternity jeans

As my husband lovingly put it, I needed to purchase an expansion pack, because my old clothes just weren’t working anymore.
So here, I’m faced with an interesting challenge: purchasing clothing in our more casual COVID world, for a body I’ve never dressed before.
It was just a whole mess of unfamiliarity.

Pregnant women hate unsolicited advice, so I’ll try not to give any, however, if you are interested in a bit of wisdom, I’ll offer it up. Buy and wear maternity clothes WAY before you feel like you need to.
Maternity pants are so flipping comfortable, and far more flattering than stuffing yourself into pre-pregnancy garb. Why all pants don’t come with elastic panels or a band that reaches up to your bra is beyond me. There’s a good chance I’ll be rocking my maternity jeans until this kid learns to walk.

That being said, maternity clothes are EXPENSIVE! You also know when you buy them, that you’ll only be wearing them for a few months. That bitter pill is easier to swallow for staples like jeans, tee shirts and sweaters. It becomes a bit more difficult to choke back when you’re looking at an exorbitantly priced dress you need to get for a wedding, and know full-well you’ll never wear again.
We all want to look our best, but at what cost? I felt like I was lighting a pile of money on fire in order to feel as elegant as I could in the third trimester for a few hours. I’m far from frugal, but even my Simone Biles level of mental gymnastics couldn’t justify the purchase.

Enter my sartorial savior: Rent the Runway.
I’ve been a customer of theirs for years, and am also an ambassador (more on that later).
There are a slew of clothing rental companies out there, and in the past, I’ve used them for formal occasions, as well as everyday wear.
Before I started growing a baby, subscribing to RTR’s rental program changed my wardrobe, and helped me cut back on impulse buys.
I’m that person that truly believes my life will become instantly better if I could just create the perfect ensemble. It’s silly, but other shopping addicts I’m sure can relate.
Now that I am growing a baby, Rent the Runway is keeping me from regularly sobbing in a fit of size-related rage, and from spending an irresponsible amount on clothing with an expiration date.

wedding outfit
Not a super flattering photo, I blame the wind