Want to showcase that adorable baby bump without falling victim to maternity’s worst dressed list? Bryson walks us through the best ways to create and accentuate the right shapes for our ever-changing bodies.

During my first pregnancy, my doctor said to me, “You are short like me, so we want to watch your weight gain – I’d hate for you to become a square”. I remember smiling and saying, “okay” – all the while thinking, I could become a square? Definitely a far cry from the cute, round baby bump I envisioned I would be rocking during my pregnancy. Instantly, I learned the importance of working with my changing body and finding clothes that created shape – and by shape, I don’t mean a square.

Each body is created differently and beautifully. Creating shape is simply a matter of playing up assets and minimizing those pesky “problem areas” we all have. During both pregnancies, my baby weight went straight to my chest and stomach (not in the cute baby bump way – more like the love handle way). My upper body seemed to just grow and grow, while my hips and thighs stayed exactly the same. Creating shape, for me, meant playing up slimmer hips, legs and thighs, while minimizing my chest and stomach. Skinny jeans, leggings and fitted skirts nicely accentuated my lower body – the part I was confident in. Tops with empire waists worked well to minimize my problem areas by creating shape underneath my bust, but not clinging to my stomach and showing off those lovely love handles. Shirts with banded bottoms also did the trick at minimizing my growing upper body. And, because my hips were smaller, a top with a banded bottom created a “blousing” effect on my stomach and chest, but accentuated smaller hips with the banded bottom.

My sisters both have tiny waists and an upper body that maintains its shape, even with a growing belly. The kind that works perfectly with fitted shirts – ones I could NEVER pull off. They both gain weight in their hips and thighs and their pregnancies were no different. They had the adorable, round baby bump and did a great job of playing up that shape. They chose shirts that were more fitted, showing off their cute pregnancy bellies and wore skirts that were flowy or chose pants and jeans that had a wider leg, drawing the eye down and away from hips and thighs. They wore dresses that perfectly accentuated their perfect baby bump and did not cling to the hips and thighs.

You can create the perfect shape for your body with your maternity clothes. Start by identifying your positive features (and yes, you have them), as well as the areas you wish to minimize. Once you’ve done this (either on your own, or with the help of a professional in a store), begin looking for clothes that create that perfect shape for your body. I promise you will quickly realize that you can be a chic and stylish mommy-to-be, even with a changing and growing body.