My Looks

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

Me at 3 months, doing the whole “hide the belly behind a bag” trick.

Q. Hi, 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! – Jennifer

Buy my latest book: The Big Fat Activity Book For Pregnant People

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? Also, The Big Fat Activity Book For Pregnant People includes ideas for how to hide your pregnancy at a bar, woo!)

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 (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.

what to wear to keep your pregnancy a secret

Busy, loose vests are your friend.

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 it was a challenge.

what to wear to keep your pregnancy a secret

Click here to check out a slideshow of my best maternity style looks


First, sort of tent-y style dresses (like the one pictured above) were my go-to all the way through.

what to wear to keep your pregnancy a secret

Here’s another dress, this time paired with a structured swing coat. The pockets create distracting folds, and the coat, left open, cuts the body off in just the right way to create the illusion of slimness. Caveat: it’s important not to completely overhaul your style, so if boho cuts aren’t really your thing, look for dresses with layers and details around the midsection.

Pair a flowy top with a lightweight scarf or wrap, like I did in the above photo

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: aforementioned scarves, hats, vests, and oversized jewelry all work wonders (try earrings that keep the focus on your face rather than necklaces that will draw attention to your midsection).

Here’s the bag trick and the vest trick, all at once! (I’m 7 months here, so there’s no hiding the bump anymore, but if I were fewer months along this would totally work.)

Layer a lightweight vest in an attention-grabbing color or pattern over a dark top, and on cooler days, try a boyfriend-style blazer in a lightweight fabric with a single low button that hits juuuuust below the waistline.

And if worst comes to worst? Lie. (You totally get to lie when you’re pregnant. About everything, including whether you already had ice cream four times today.) Go ahead and answer any any all obnoxious questions with, “WHAT, SO A GIRL CAN’T EAT A CHEESEBURGER ANYMORE?” and watch Nosy McJeeves scamper away.

the big fat activity book for pregnant people

Buy The Big Fat Activity Book For Pregnant People


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