What To Wear: To Keep Your Pregnancy A Secret Until You’re Ready To Share

Q. Jordan!

My husband and I just found out we are pregnant, but are waiting to tell everyone until the 3-month mark, due to health concerns and for our sanity’s sake.

In comes the dilemma: I’m a petite girl, and can’t quite figure out how to conceal a bump through the spring and early summer. Throw a girl some ideas!


(Above, Vicky B. uses the old wear-black-and-carry-a-big-bag trick.)

A. Congratulations!!!

OK, here’s the thing with pregnancy concealment: some people are going to figure it out immediately, no matter how hard you try to hide it, because there are just so many “tells” in early pregnancy. My plan was to keep the fact that we were expecting to ourselves for at least a couple of months, but the second that I went out to dinner with anyone and turned down a glass of wine, whomever I was dining with immediately screeched “You’re pregnant!” (Can you tell how often I turn down glasses of wine?)

Your best friends and closest family members may notice that you’re wearing slightly more relaxed clothing, or drinking ginger ale instead of Pepsi, or looking a little green around the gills…or may just feel like there’s something “different” about you. So my first piece of advice is to have a plan of action for when people start guessing: it’s totally your prerogative to tell little white lies or practice mini-deceptions to keep your secret (adding limes to your soda water to make it look like a cocktail, pleading the flu rather than morning sickness, etc.), but being ready for the questions will save you from getting flustered and give you the opportunity to break the news your way.

So. While I ultimately decided to just tell my family and close friends more or less immediately, mostly because I am incapable of keeping a secret, I wanted to wait to announce my pregnancy on my site because I knew that if anything went wrong it wasn’t something I would likely want to talk about right away.

And you may have noticed that I occasionally post the odd picture or thirty of myself. So while late winter is definitely an easier time to hide a pregnancy, still: it was a challenge.

First, my favorite pregnancy wardrobe discovery: the dress pictured above, a tank-style, sorta tent-y dress from H&M, was my go-to outfit all the way through. I’m about 6 1/2 months pregnant in that shot, so there wasn’t even a whit of hiding going on, but in the early days these dresses (plus a lightweight scarf and distracting hat/jewelry) did wonders to camouflage my tummy when I wasn’t ready to talk about it.

Some more ideas:

– Don’t completely overhaul your style – lest you raise suspicions – but veer towards looser, boho cuts with layered details (like that dress pictured above).

– Pair a flowy top with a super lightweight scarf (lucky you, scarves are in fashion even in warm weather these days, thanks in large part to Jessica Alba)

– Wrap tops (like the one pictured above) are your best friend – especially in a silky, patterned fabric, there’s so much going on there that no one will be able to tell what’s shirt and what’s shape.

– Extend the life of your non-maternity jeans by purchasing one of those waist-expanders…or by pulling a rubber band through the buttonhole to keep them closed.

– Distract with bells and whistles: the aforementioned scarves, hats, and oversized jewelry (try earrings that keep the focus on your face rather than necklaces that will draw attention to your midsection).

– Layer on a lightweight vest – especially one in an attention-grabbing color paired with a dark color underneath.

– On cooler days, try a boyfriend-style blazer in a lightweight fabric with a single low button that hits at the waistline (the blazer pictured above was one I wore constantly during the first couple of months).

Anyone else have suggestions for Jennifer?

*Name posted with reader permission.

  • I have not been pregnant yet, but I’m planning that when I do become (or are trying to become) pregnant, and I turn down alcohol — which I also, never do it seems, my white lie will be “I’m on a cleanse.” We will see how that goes…. 

    • jordanreid

      you can also try “i’m hungover” (which does double-duty explaining why you feel sick) 😉

      • Adeline

        I was about to suggest pretending you’re on antibiotics! I use that one a lot when I simply don’t feel like drinking but want to avoid the nagging.

  • Sarah M

    Crazytown. My husband and I just found out we are expecting (like 4 days ago found out) and I’m going bonkers about having to attend a bachelorette party this wknd in the city of a dear friend of mine.  I’m the “have another!’ friend so we’ll see how well my odouls or soda & lime combos can fool the crew;)  I’m nervy!

    • jordanreid

      yayyyy! congrats!