There is no state of womanhood more confounding, emotional and wrought with expectation than pregnancy. These days, media and popular culture love to celebrate (and criticize) celebrity #bumpstyle, a trend that has set yet another expectation of how a woman should look during the most hormone ravaged season of her life.
During my pregnancies I embraced both of my bumps as the ultimate accessory. But even for me the maternity market was frustrating to rationalize: the clothes are temporary, everything cute is freakin’ expensive; affordable options all look the same (cheap with side ruching) and they pill or unravel after a handful of wears.
Don't tell my husband, but between AJ and Ashby, I spent thousands of dollars on fashion-forward work clothes from designers like Noppies, Maternal America, Tart Collections, Isabella Oliver and Imanimo.
So this summer, when I heard that a colleague had launched BellaGravida.com, a revolutionary new e-commerce model, renting the very maternity apparel I spent a small fortune to wear, I was sideswiped by the depth of her genius and just had to know more.
Founder, new mom and business owner extraordinaire, Christa Floresca, invited me to Bella Gravida headquarters to witness its vast garment inventory for myself. I anticipated maternity clothes, what I discovered was racks and racks of legit fashion. My hands caressed yards of sublime fabric, a veritable sea of ultra flattering, on-trend details. Dresses, tunics, blouses, sweaters, open cardigans for days! I wanted everything. Except a baby. We concocted a plan to prove how chic and versatile maternity clothes could be – even for a girl with no bump.
So what actually happened when I wore maternity clothes for one month? To start, I was comfortable all of the time. High-end maternity designers love super soft and flattering fabric like modal and jersey knits. My outfits earned daily complements. My husband routinely asked for confirmation that my clothing was actually intended for a pregnant woman. The girls in my office wanted hints but I don’t think any of them actually guessed that my mystery wardrobe was built for a bump.
If I had paid full price for each of the items I wore this month the total would rival what I actually spent on clothes during my pregnancies – roughly $5000. If I were renting them from BellaGravida.com the month would have cost me $79.
If you are a pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant fashion lover or know someone who is, I highly recommend BellaGravida.com. Monthly plans start at $39 for one garment and go up to $119 for seven. Every plan features unlimited exchanges, complementary laundry service and fast free shipping, both ways.
Tell me the truth - did you guess?
Maternity Outfit Details: Noppies navy blue nursing tunic with gray print
Model's Own Details: Gap denim shirt dress, worn open (2015); Ada metallic leather tie belt (birthday gift from Pilar, 2010); Banana Republic ribbed leggings (2013); Loeffler Randall Olive Matilde Boots (206); Joie fatigue jacket (2014); Versace sunglasses (2015)