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Fashion Forecast - Hip Maternity Clothes

Seize the spectacular opportunity pregnancy brings, because fashion trends are on your side. Surely your Latin teacher taught you carpe diem means "shop right now!" Get fit, stay fit, buy tons of leggings and blousy tops, and invest heavily in really cute belly bands.

A couple of years ago, leggings began their comeback. Updated from the eighties, new millennium leggings are slimmer and sleeker than the Jennifer Love Hewitt autograph models from back in the day. Today's leggings look sleeker, sexier, and more flattering; but, good news for expectant moms, they also contain double the Lycra of the so-last-century heavyweights. Because they stretch all directions instead of just two like the oldies, new leggings comfortably glide over and cradle you and your growing baby until well into your second trimester. If you eat right and stay fit, your new leggings will stay comfortable until you go into labor.

Maintaining your loyalty to fashion, of course, you must not give up all the cute clothes already hanging in your closet. Look in your thesaurus: you will see that "pregnant" is not a synonym for "fat," "frumpy," "lame," or "flat-out ugly." Reading all the "what to expect..." books, you also will realize that nowhere-absolutely nowhere!-is it written that you must wear cottony-stretchy turtleneck things with duckies and kittens printed all over them. The rules do not say you must wear baggy Oshkosh B'Gosh overalls and forfeit your signature look. Pregnancy may challenge you, but it is not supposed to punish you. Even your baby feels embarrassed when you look like a renegade from the 1950's. Cute, fashion-forward belly bands let you keep on wearing all your cute tops and sexy jeans. They provide that little bit of extra room the baby needs to stretch out.

Meanwhile, complementing all those great new leggings and all those great jeans you already had, tunics, short and versatile tank-strap and gathered short dresses, and billowy blouses have returned. These updated classics promise to stay au currant for several seasons. Invest, girl. Invest! You know the look: After your baby makes her debut, you will wear the short dresses and tunics alone or with your very slinkiest jeans. While you and the baby grow, wear them with your leggings or jeans, and blend right in with all those poor girls who do not yet have the joy of expecting a baby.

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