- Sources of Inspiration
- The Fine Print
- And Whatnot
- Draped Tuxedo Shirt: Joie, via Nordstrom’s (gift from Mom)
- White Tank: Gap Maternity, via Gap.com
- Boot Cut Jeans: Kut from the Kloth, via Nordstrom’s
- Red Pumps: BC Footwear, via Amazon.com
My window’s back! We’ve moved a few things that were sitting in front of the window, reopening my favorite indoor photo spot just in time for…another dark, rainy day. We could say I was doing something intriguingly commentative about the weather with the dreamy photos and the gauzy blouse, but, really, let’s not get too carried away….
My very stylish (and very generous!) mother and her dear friend J. picked this top out for me while we were shopping this weekend (and okay, I’m using the word “we” there with liberally). It marks a first foray into a genre of clothing I’ve typically eschewed (and by eschewed I mean “stayed away from in blinding fear of looking like a blocky mass and totally obscuring parts of my body I’ve typically liked.” A vague disclaimer is nobody’s friend*). I think I’m embracing it, but admittedly cautiously.**
While my mom and I were drawn to many of the same pieces on Saturday, our conversations revealed the vast diversity of existing viewpoints on dressing the pregnant body and the visibility of the pregnant form, particularly in the workplace. For me, at least in early pregnancy, a part of maintaining my sense of self and genuinely embracing my changing body has been trying to maintain my personal style as much as possible, including continuing to wear many of the more fitted silhouettes in which I feel most comfortable and confident, under the general theory of “wearing bigger things just makes you look bigger!”*** However, both my mom and J. noted that in their experience, they rarely saw professional women (in particular, women lawyers) in more fitted maternity styles, and suggested that a kind of uniform of straight or slim pants and skirts and draped tops and long sweaters might be more appropriate for the workplace. None of us are alone on these views, and I’m sure that age has something substantial to do with it. On further reflection, though, this struck me as yet another one of those totally not at all “just” about pregnancy moments, but rather an issue that’s incredibly loaded with complicated baggage about gender performance and the visibility of the female form (pregnant or not) at work, and the relationship between sexual regulation and workplace regulation. And then I realized it was pay equity day, and the conversation in my head got really broad, and I…went back to reading about the law and economics of video game modifications.
Styling this kind of piece more casually seems more obvious, if not easier (though I’m obviously pulling heavily from great examples like Kiera’s here), but I’m less sure how I’d style this piece for work, which made me particularly intrigued by the idea that these kinds of pieces “should” (a loaded term I’ll pass on defining for now) be staples of a pregnant woman’s working wardrobe. Any ideas? I love its ease and luxurious drape, but I’m less clear on how to keep it from looking sloppy in an environment that I tend to view as more crisp and pulled together. It’s possible that the answer just involves getting over my irrational fear of drapeyness (as the other emily and I have discussed with regard to wide leg pants), which is probably more of a body image issue than a sartorio-creative challenge.
So, what are your thoughts, both as to pregnant and non-pregnant women: do you wear draped silhouettes or other oversized pieces in the workplace? If so, what do you pair them with? What kinds of connotations do these pieces carry for you? What are some of your favorite looks featuring draped and oversized pieces?
*Reference points available!
**I genuinely love this piece in both abstract and not-so-abstract contexts, and I’m so grateful that my mother was willing to share both her sartorial expertise and her largesse in gifting it to me. I’m just still trying to figure out how to wear it, you know?
***I fully and completely acknowledge the possibility that this will change in the future.
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