Since not much has been going on lately, I’ve been thinking back about my fun makeover a number of years ago, it reminded me of a special adventure, which took place courtesy of my supportive seamstress from the other side of the bay (who had been altering my clothes for a long time). I asked whether she could come up with a pretty “just-above-the-knee” lightweight summer dress that fit me properly. She thought for a few seconds, smiled devilishly (that should have been my first clue), and said “Yes indeed, sweetie…and it’ll be one which really flatters your figure.”
Easy request. Sounds simple, right? Ummm…Perhaps not so much…
It took a while for everything to come together (think in terms of months). When she had everything ready, she made sure I would be wearing needed underthings (a second clue?), and a date was set for my unveiling. On the appointed day (with wife out west, visiting her sister), she ushered me into her dressing room. Then she handed me a very pretty blue polka-dot, lace-trimmed, sleeveless short dress, which I casually mentioned looked much too big for me. She gave me that silly grin (third clue??), said “you know me better than that,” left the room, and and came back with a large package. “Congratulations, sweetie. You’re now 8 months pregnant…and it’s a girl, confirmed by an ultrasound two months ago.” I opened it and OMG – it contained a big and very realistic silicone pregnancy belly.
I decided on the spur of the moment that “In for a penny, in for a pound.” It’s a new experience. Why not try it? She helped me fasten it on, and “now let’s get you into your pretty new dress.” I had wondered about the measurements she took during prior visits – but as it turned out, instead of sewing it herself, she simply altered an abandoned maternity dress to fit me, to keep the cost down. Estimating what my size would be with the belly in place was her challenge, and she added an inch of pretty lace around the hem to give the illusion of more length…which could be removed quickly if necessary to shorten it. The result was amazing. It fit perfectly, and she described how she did it, while I stared at the pregnant girl (me) in the mirror.
She was right – it was a perfect outfit for this heavyset girl. My extra pounds morphed into the figure of a pregnant woman. She told me “you look so pretty, that you should be pregnant all the time!” I was nervous as a kitten.
I have to admit I’d never before (or since) worn such a short dress. Nor have I ever felt so thoroughly undressed. Nothing was covered except the essentials. My legs, arms, shoulders and neck/top of chest were all on display, with a hemline she told me she precisely measured and shortened to cover “only that which must be legally covered, and not one millimeter more.” And the chunky sandals I chose to teeter on that day finished my “look.”
She gave me a big grin and a hug as I stepped into the main room of her shop, blushing bright red again whenever I saw myself in the big mirror. “You must never forget what you are (or more appropriately aren’t) wearing. But you’ll soon come to realize how much more you prefer wearing short dresses above all else.”
Standing there tugging on my hem as we talked, did absolutely nothing to lengthen my dress. She smiled with satisfaction at every tug, and reminded me that “nothing you do makes it any longer, girlfriend. You’ll get used to showing off those legs.” But at least the habit lets me concentrate on feeling that somehow, I’m protecting my modesty.
She suggested that I step out in the morning sunshine to get used to feeling the breeze on my legs. I took her suggestion and learned that my dress behaved itself much better than I thought it would. Initially I had feared having to imitate Marilyn Monroe’s famous pose in the slightest breeze…but that wasn’t the case.
I walked around in front of the shop for a few minutes, feeling quite naked, but enjoying the smiles and waves from mostly female passers-by. Then I went back inside, expecting to change back into my pants and top for my day of errands. She noticed and smiled sympathetically, but confessed that she had just spirited them away for safekeeping. “Now that you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t be surprised that your old clothes don’t fit. Come back wearing your pretty dress the next time you’re in the neighborhood, to pick them up.”
“Mommy, you have lots of errands to run, and you need to start enjoying the advantages of your new dress. I’ve got to get back to work. So, have fun showing the boys those pretty legs you’ve been hiding all these years. And don’t forget to go shopping for another maternity dress, so you have something else to wear.” Then she, wearing slacks and a long-sleeve blouse, grabbed me by my bare arms and escorted (translation – literally dragged) a beet-red and very self-conscious me out to my car. I blushed as I looked at her and told her I was soooooo jealous of her pants and blouse. She just laughed at me. “You’re going to love the attention you get from being pregnant, girl.”
She blocked the view from the road, while I made my first “grand car entrance.” That was much appreciated – particularly her helpful guidance about keeping my knees together and putting both legs in the car at the same time! Before I left, she said “By the way, my shop will be closed all next week, so enjoy your extended pregnancy!” (In retrospect, I think she planned it that way!!)
I’m truly glad she hid my pants outfit. Even though it wouldn’t have fit me, its absence drove home the point that I was now, and would be for over a week, a pregnant woman to the world. Yes, I blushed almost all day. But it was good practice. My new dress kept me on display. I quickly learned to move around without showing more of my “assets” than necessary. And as I was out and about, I noticed that guys ignored my face and baby bump and concentrated on my “leg show,” while women (particularly mothers) smiled knowingly. A few teen girls even commented “love your dress, mommy!”
The only folks able to see my panties for more than a glimpse were two men and three women behind me on an “up” escalator in a mall department store. There was nothing I could do about it for the entire 45 seconds (which seemed like about three hours.) As I stepped off, I looked back and all of them were smiling at me. I bet I know why! So I smiled back – and started to look for elevators….
Memory of the many places I went for the next few days escapes me, because they were exclusively in “other towns.” I do remember blushing from some boys flirting with me and checking out my legs at a sandwich shop. I was wearing my engagement ring, but I suspect they read that as “hmmm…an unwed mother!” There was lots of practice getting in and out of the car, and I stopped at a maternity shop to look for a casual maternity dress, to give me some variety over the next week.
Fortunately, the store wasn’t busy, so the girls took good care of me. Using my existing dress as an model, they selected only above-the-knee styles, with bare arms and shoulders and an open neckline. “You’ll be more comfortable in hot weather, and will get a lovely tan just from shopping.” She was right about both. (Sunscreen would have helped prevent the tan, but I neglected to use it. Thus, I had to keep tops on around the house for several months afterward.)
They picked out this little black number for me, which I ended up buying. Their comment (while I was staring in the mirror, blushing) was: “And the boys will like it, too.” We all got a laugh out of that. I’m glad the seamstress told me how far along my pregnancy was…the girls wanted details. A believable answer led to 10 minutes of girl talk (many topics, including – of course – our boyfriends – theirs and mine), and the manager invited me back with my next pregnancy, for some lovely early pregnancy outfits. (The two the girls showed me were absolutely adorable!)
I soon learned that the following pic of my dress displays the most comfortable position (cradling my baby bump) with my arms and hands. And, as you might expect, for my entire pregnancy, I didn’t hear the “dreaded S-word” at all. Period. Just Ma’am or Miss.
Attaching my belly took some time, and I proved that sleeping in it wasn’t comfortable. So, I put it on early each morning and stayed pregnant all day. Two long, loose loungers I already owned proved to be comfortable house dresses for this pregnant girl. And I decided to wear makeup…just to finish the look. Passing as a guy was impossible, so I might as well be a pregnant girl around the house.. Fortunately no neighbors rang the doorbell – just two small UPS deliveries to sign for. What a fun experience that was! In hindsight, the only additional thing I could have wished for would have been 20 bright red nails…never even thought of that at the time!
But all good things end eventually. Once my seamstress returned to work, I stopped in as a pregnant female and walked out as the androgynous girl in my own pants and top, carrying my pretty dress. Because neither dress fit me without the belly, and there was no safe place at home to store it (thus I couldn’t attempt to buy it from her), I passed the dresses and sandals on to charity. The seamstress retired and moved away, and we moved not long after.
Now for the question du jour: would I do it again if the opportunity presented itself?
A pre-planned photo shoot, at my age? It’s very likely I would, since these are my only pictures. I’ve seen some really cute maternity styles while window shopping, which I’ve envied and would love to wear.
Since my 2012-era “pregnancy”, I’ve acquired more than a few signs of aging. I’m way past my prime “child-bearing years.” Makeup may work wonders for pictures, but “not necessarily in public presentation.” HOWEVER…if I were 35 years younger (and not married), that closet door would have long been kicked off its hinges, and my answer would be “yes.” (It would truly be fun to present as an 8-months-pregnant woman during my various excursions.)
Alas, I’m not younger… 😦