You all were so awesome with advice on that last post that I’m going to push my luck and ask you to help me out again.

The Situation:

Big Giant Conference is in a week and a half.  You’ll recall that I am (scarily) presenting (my crappy paper) for the very first time there. I will also be generally hobnobbing networking, going to receptions (but not getting sloppy drunk at them, for the first time in like five years of these conferences), and attending a panel or two (since I won’t be hungover every morning this year).

You’ll also recall, of course, that I don’t leave the house much lately, and I pretty much wear sweatpants or the same pair of jeans every day.

You’ll also also recall that I will be 11 weeks pregnant at Big Giant Conference.

The Dilemma:

Today I bought a full-length mirror (first mistake), and tried on all of my “professional” clothes.

This was an unfortunate eye-opener.

All my nice pants still fit, but I can’t comfortably button any of them. I do have a Bella Band cheapo knockoff from eBay, which allows me to (theoretically) wear the pants unbuttoned without being noticed (by people who are too polite to ask, “Are your pants unbuttoned?”).

Almost all of my shirts look like crap. My boobs are bigger (just a smidge; nothing glamorous unfortunately) and I definitely have a belly. No, it’s not a baby belly yet…It’s definitely a “things are shifting in weird ways” and Oh-my-god-I’m-bloated belly. But a belly, nonetheless. I don’t so much look pregnant as…thick. And lumpy. My torso is now (even more than it usually is) shaped exactly like a rectangle, when you look at me from the front. And like lumpy too-many-donuts from the side. All of my shirts are now too short, too boxy, and unflattering.

I imagine this situation will only get worse over the next week and a half. It’s clearly too early for maternity clothes, but something must be done.

What I’ve got:

I have two pairs of pretty nice black pants–I would have to do the belly band thing with them, though. I guess going up a size is a possibility, but these still fit well in the ass and legs.

I have a black v-neck Gap sweater that will work for most days, probably. I also have a short-sleeved black velvet-y top that is in that weird trendy cut that looks like maternity clothing anyway. On me now, it will totally like like preggo clothes, but I can wear it.

I have nothing that looks decent enough to wear for confidently speaking to scary people.

I also have very little money. I will probably be looking at Ross over the next few days. Let’s just say that the freaking Gap is out of my price range right now.

I beg you:

Help me figure out what the hell to wear–to the conference in general, but mostly to present my paper.  I don’t have to be super-dressy, but I have to look okay and feel good.

Also, can I count on being about the same size at 11-ish weeks as I am at 9-ish weeks? I swear this belly just popped up in the past two days. I have no idea what’s to come.

Bigger sizes? Maternity clothes that will look absurd right now? Shapeless sackcloth or this T-shirt? Friends, what to do?

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