Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Maternity Pinup Style - Sailor Ahoy!

I owned the Sailor Swing Dress by Pinup Girl Clothing very soon after it first came out. I loved it the moment I saw it. It is the ultimate nautical pinup dress, and it draws more attention than anything in my closet. Sometimes people look at the pinup style and go "ah, I love your 70s dress" etc, because they don't have much knowledge of fashions of bygone eras. This dress leaves no room for guessing - it's a 1950's barbie dress, through and through.

I sold it about a year after I purchased it, realising I rarely wore it because the halter pulled at my neck due to my having purchased the wrong size. I got my regular size small, not realising how incredibly stretchy the bengaline fabric is. This dress needs to be nice and tight around the back for it to be supported properly.

I ordered a size small again, thinking a growing tummy and bust would fix this issue. It didn't, and I realised once again I should have sized down! This fabric is so incredibly accommodating that even an expecting mother can go from a small to an extra small and still have room to breathe!

I still wear it often and plan to simply have it taken in, as the exchange rate between the US and Australia right now is ridiculous, not to mention shipping. Selling this one to get a new one simply isn't worth it, and I don't think I could bear to be parted from it for that long anyway.

As you can see from my photos and from the website pics, the nature of the fabric means it doesn't rise up much at all in the front as your belly grows. This is perfect, as sometimes finding normal dresses that could work for maternity wear are cut short because a pregnant belly can cause the front hem of a dress to rise well above the back. 

 This is one of my favourite maternity purchases. It's resell value never really goes down as it is often sold out, and it works so perfectly regardless of pregnancy.

The cups are perfectly molded and supportive, and I think this is one of the highest quality dresses from PUG's early days. The construction is next to none in comparison to the extreme comfort level.

In conclusion, preggers or not, get this dress and you won't regret it. Just be sure to size down even if you are rocking a bump. You'll need to, trust me.

On a personal note, we found out the gender of little bub earlier this week! We are so excited to announce it, and hope to do so soon. A few of my girlfriends and family members know already, and we are already planning cute photoshoots and outfits for when bubs comes.

I am still feeling fabulous and have been spring cleaning my home in preparation for baby number 2. I've been keeping up with the pilates with my also pregnanct girlfriend, and have been doing walks with another to stay in shape. I'm soaking in the energy whilst I can, because I know it'll be in short supply soon!

What's your favourite nautical outfit? xo, Miss Betty Doll


Friday, 16 October 2015

Maternity Pinup Style - Gingham Gal in Heart of Haute

Ages before I had even announced my pregnancy, I began putting out feelers for what retro repro companies deemed appropriate for maternity wear for at least part of pregnancy.

Heart of Haute was one of the first I reached out to. I asked the ladies which of their styles they thought would work for a bump, phrasing it as "what would you say is the most free around the waist area". I was met with the reply that, amoungst others, the Sweetie Dress would be a dream for an expanding belly due to the free waist and tie at the back.

To be brutally honest, this was originally the only thing I struggled with on Heart of Haute dresses. I was afraid anything free waisted, even tied in the back, wouldn't work for me. Not only was I terribly wrong (I loved the little ties in the back whether maternity friendly or not! Makes for a tighter, more custom waisted fit) but I am so thankful for them now that I have no idea how big I will be from one day to the next.

I have a case of the disappearing bump. I am now 18 weeks pregnant and after living off of plain pasta and bread for the first trimester, I am now craving nothing but fresh tomatoes and big salads. Thus, I have no tummy bloating to speak of and have in fact lost a bit of the weight I gained in the first couple of months of pregnancy.

The Sweetie Dress is perfect for that. Some days I don't even look pregnant (I was full of delicious noms the day I did this shoot hehe!) and being able to tie the dress nice and tight and accentuate my waist is a lovely plus.

I grabbed one in black gingham to match an outfit Selene already had (shocked?). I got a size medium, up a size from my usual small. I didn't need to and regret the decision now, as I have some fabric bunching in the back that I know I wouldn't have had with my normal size. I can safely say that even a size small would easily get me through all of pregnancy in this dress.

It's already a favourite of mine! The light and breezy fabric, the a-line skirt, the generous bust and waist, the sweetheart neckline. This is one of those kinds of dresses I would dream about wearing as a little girl.

So, the verdict - I recommend the sweetie dress regardless of pregnancy, but if you are pregnant - get this dress!! It's a steel at $90 USD, and it will last you well beyond pregnancy. The neck tie even means it's breastfeeding friendly as well - just untie, feed, and tie again!

As a personal update, I am feeling fabulous. Finally. I had a fair bit of anxiety and a whole lot of exhaustion and nausea in my first trimester, as I mentioned last time. Now, I am doing pilates with one of my girlfriends almost every day via webcam (because, mom life), my house is clean all the time (as clean as it gets with a toddler sprinkling magical messes behind me) and I can cook dinner without needed to be sick. Yay!

I have some water bloating just like last time, but my aforementioned salad cravings are helping with that anyway. I am actually less bloated than I was with Selene. I am now 64 kilos and have been for awhile now. I started at 58.

Baby is wiggling all the time and I am so thankful to be able to feel it so early. Sometimes if I'm having a bad day, I feel a little wiggle in my tummy and give myself a mental kick. There's lots to be grateful for.

I have a baby sprinkle, Selene's second birthday, a baby nursery and christmas to get through in the next few months, so I am enjoying a few weeks of calm before the (very happy!) storm. I love parties and all things homey, so all of these events are a big deal to me. I have been practicing with fondant decor so that I can do Selene's birthday cake myself this year, So excited for what the next few months will bring!

Do you own a Sweetie Dress? What's your favourite Heart of Haute design? xo, Miss Betty Doll


Monday, 5 October 2015

Maternity Pinup Style - Polka Dots by Le Bomb

As promised, I am excited to get started on familiarising you with maternity friendly retro wear!

Half of what is in my closet will work for me until near the end of pregnancy, so I was excited to pull out the Miss Mabel Dress that I already owned by Le Bomb Shop! This print is also available in the Eleanor Page Dress, which I think works even better for a bump because the waist starts higher up. I will be grabbing a couple for sure!

Le Bomb does alot of shirred back dresses. They are perfect for the peak of summer when only the most comfortable of items will do, but they also have the added bonus of helping many of their dresses stretch with your tummy.

One of the biggest tips I can give on maternity fashion is this - buy maternity friendly clothing early. Here's why - your bump will probably not really require actual maternity clothing until the last trimester, so we can often get away with squeezing it into existing clothing. However, you will get more and more uncomfortable in this clothing towards the end of the second trimester, and suddenly near the end of your pregnancy you will have nothing to wear. Those of us in the pinup community tend to do most of our shopping online, and when you only have nine months of pregnancy to contend with, waiting a month or longer for clothing just won't do when you are near the end! Just get it first thing so you can be comfortable and maximize your wardrobe the whole way through.

When looking for dresses that will work for both maternity and post pregnancy, you want to look for ultra-stretchy or shirred items with enough length at the bottom to let you pull it higher as your bump grows. Most retro dresses have a waist that starts right at, well, your waist. You basically lose that waist during pregnancy as your belly expands, so being able to hoist it up over your bump instead of cutting yourself off around the middle is essential.

As you can see here, my 17 week bump isn't massive yet, but even when it grows, this dress will work without a problem. 

 Little Miss Selene and I wore our polka dot outfits to the zoo. Not gonna lie, our hats flew off about 20 times before I gave up, but they look oh-so-fashionable in photos, no?

 I've been getting requests for personal updates on myself and Selene, so here goes: on a personal level, I am struggling more with this pregnancy than the last, for sure. My husband was injured during much of the first trimester, so I didn't have any rest time when I needed it the most. Nausea was worse due to having a toddler to chase around. I found myself having to constantly shove carb-y foods down my throat to keep the nausea at bay, which led to more weight gain than I would have preferred. Having said that, I have gained 5 kilos so far at 17 weeks which is right on track with where I should be! I started at 58 and am now 63. Weight isn't important in the grand scheme of things, but keeping track whilst ensuring my baby is healthy is important to me.

I am very lucky during pregnancy - no stretch marks with Selene (though who knows what could happen this time!), no swollen feet, no excess weight gain, etc. But I retain water like a hippo, which means my thighs look like something akin to sausages. And now summer is coming up quickly here in Australia. Yay.

I am now feeling the baby kick all day long, though this one isn't as excitable as little Selene was. We aren't sure what the gender is at all, but I have mostly gone off sweets and am going through nearly a bottle of hot sauce a day, hehe.

Selene has been very, very cuddly lately. She will spend over an hour on my husband's chest just watching videos on his phone, and needs a good 20 minute cuddle first thing in the morning and straight after naps. This is a recent development, which makes me think she senses I have changed with this pregnancy and instinct is probably telling her to soak it up while she can!

She's an introverted little thing, with random burst of energy and urges for attention here and there. I can't wait to see what this next baby will be like. 

Was this post helpful to you mamas to be? Is there anything you would like to see reviewed for pregnancy? xo, Miss Betty Doll

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