Courtesy of Ashley Stoney

Get Out Leggings, This Maternity Romper Is Legit

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Let’s be very, very honest about this — pregnancy and childbirth change your body. Regardless of what tabloid headlines about celebrities’ post-baby bodies and Instagram #fitspo posts might tell you, the reality is that your body’s going to look and feel a little different after having kids — which means your clothes will probably look and feel different, too. Luckily, you don’t have to wear your maternity jeans and your partner’s ratty old college sweatshirts forever (unless you want to!). Mom Jeans is Romper’s guide to helping you figure out your postpartum wardrobe during the first few months postpartum and beyond.

During my first pregnancy, I remember masking my bump in non-maternity leggings and tees under cascading Free People sweaters and tunics. But during my second pregnancy, that's no longer the case. The myth is true: a second baby means you'll have a bigger bump sooner. Plus, it’s summer where I live in Washington, D.C., which is the humidity capital of the country, and my non-maternity, pre-pregnancy mini dresses aren't working quite as well with my growing body as they did the last time. Let's just say those hems are a liiiitle higher than they used to be.

Recently, I set out to find a flattering summer maternity dress or two, and then I found the romper that changed everything. And I mean everything.

Courtesy of Ashley Stoney

Although I'm typically opposed to online shopping — I like to see and feel things on my body — I recently hopped online to find new pieces that would make me feel good about my growing bump.

The few maternity pieces I purchased during my first pregnancy were mostly flash sale buys, as that was all I could afford at the time. The clothes were floral, flowing, and awkwardly long, and I didn't feel my sexiest. So with this pregnancy, I opted to put my best fashion foot forward, and I tried more trendy websites like Topshop, Asos, and Mina Roe. I wanted clothes that would allow me to look like myself and feel age-appropriate without sending me into credit card debt.

I ended up ordering a bunch of items that were squarely in my comfort zone, like my signature denim overalls, a piece I wear when I'm not pregnant, as well as things that were not, like bodycon dresses that hug my pregnancy curves and give Kim K. vibes. I also threw two rompers into my cart: a cotton millennial pink one that was a total, horrible fail and a navy romper with a ruffled top (Asos, $38) that ended up being super flattering. (It's currently on sale for $38.00, and there are only a few sizes left, but there are alternate versions available too, like this ribbed jumpsuit from Topshop for $68.)

Courtesy of Ashley Stoney

The romper was both sleek and trendy, and I ended up wearing it to brunch on my 30th birthday. I loved it. It felt youthful and trendy but also tailored and family-appropriate. What I like most about this piece, however, is its seasonal versatility. It’s perfect for both spring and summer, and it transitions easily from office to outdoor concert. You can totally dress it up with heels or pair with a bomber and heels for a casual Friday in the office.

It's not perfect. The downside to maternity rompers is the downside to all rompers: stripping down in the bathroom. Whereas my non-pregnant self was usually bursting into stalls after a beer or mimosa, now I'm hurrying to accommodate a potty-training 3-year-old and a bladder with a growing fetus bearing down on it. And when you're trying to keep your toddler from unfurling alllll the toilet paper, re-zipping and clasping a romper is challenging. It was still worth it.

When you're pregnant, it's so hard to find clothes that are both flattering and appropriate, but when you find The Thing That Actually Looks Good, it really can build your confidence. Hormone fluctuations, miscellaneous less-than-glamorous symptoms: it's all rough. My romper made me look like someone who could took all that in stride. As I wore it, I started to feel like I could, too.