9 Ways to Hide Your Baby Bump Better Than Jessica Simpson Did

Real Style on 11.01.11
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Photo: Bryan Bedder/Staff/Getty Images Entertainment

In the big-screen blockbuster Knocked Up, Katherine Heigl plays Alison Scott, an on-screen reporter for E! News. During her celebration for her promotion, she has a one-night stand and discovers shortly thereafter that she's, well, knocked up. Fearing for her new job, she decides she simply won't tell her bosses that she's pregnant, and does anything she can to hide her baby bump. The wardrobe stylist is on to her, and soon enough, everyone else is, too. It turns out she didn't need to hide her happy news from her bosses, but in this day and age of layoffs, it's a real fear many women have.

There's no word on why Jessica Simpson avoided the pregnancy rumors for so long, but on Halloween, she confirmed the worst kept secret ever: She is indeed with child. Her baby bump had become so obvious that there wasn't really any doubt, but she kept us all guessing anyway. While most of us don't have paparazzi following us around angling for money shots, you may fear for your job like Alison Scott. Or maybe you just want to make it through the first trimester without anyone bugging you with a million questions. Whatever your reason, here are a few things you can do to keep the bump rumors at bay.

1. Wear dark colors. We all know black is slimming, and it's no different for a newly pregnant woman. Because black doesn't reflect light,  you can more easily hide those rounding curves than you could in a lighter color.

2. Look for loose clothing. Obvisouly, if you wear tight clothes, you'll be showing off just how big your belly is getting. By wearing loose, flowing clothes that are more forgiving, you can conceal the basketball growing in your uterus.

3. Empire waists are not your friend; they'll actually accentuate your bump. Let's face it, a lot of empire waist shirts and dresses make even the skinniest girls look pregnant when they're not. Add a real baby bump and there's no denying it. They are incredibly forgiving if you have a bit of a pooch, but they're also a dead giveaway for a pregnant figure.

4. Layer with jackets, sweaters, and cardigans. They'll move more easily when they're left unbuttoned and provide great coverage for your stomach area. They're also a great option for covering your chest, which is getting bigger and bigger by the day.

5. Busy patterns will detract from the bump. Don't look for plaids or stripes, though: They'll make the bump look bigger than it is. Try to find a bigger pattern in darker colors instead.

6. Wear dresses or tunics with no detailing at the waist. The boxier shapes that go straight up and down will have some give in the tummy area, without the flowiness of an empire waist to give away your secret.

7. Buy pants a size bigger than you normally wear. As your pants get tighter and tighter, the waistband will actually begin to push your bump out further. For non-pregnant women, this comes in the form of a muffin-top, but during pregnancy, it all gets pushed out right in front.

8. Load up on the accessories. A scarf can cover, but necklaces, earrings, and a great hairstyle can distract people to look elsewhere than your tummy. And while you may be bored wearing monochromatic, dark outfits, this is the place to play with color, texture, and bold patterns.

9. Hold your purse, backpack, a book, or even your dog in front of you to cover up the evidence. You can use just about anything as a prop to cover your front, just make sure it makes sense. If you work in an office, maybe invest in a chic computer case and leave the backpack at home.

In theory, Jessica Simpson did everything correctly. She was always in black, she wore jackets and oversized sweaters, and she carried ginormous bags (from her own line, natch). Some women can get away with this for months, while others have only a few weeks to keep the news to themselves. The problem was Simpson stayed quiet for a little bit too long. At some point, hiding the fact that you're pregnant won't be an option. Then it will be time to embrace the bump and invest in a new wardrobe of maternity clothes. Susan Wagner's post on maternity shopping by trimester can help you there. Until then, happy hiding ladies!

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