Moms-to-Be: Let's Keep it Loose in the Office

A new trend in office fashions includes a movement toward skin-tight maternity clothes. Expectant mothers are beautiful, but shouldn't we all vow to leave spandex at home when it comes to office attire?

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Commentator Dawn Turner Trice is having her own dilemma at work.

DAWN TURNER TRICE: More and more of my pregnant colleagues are letting it all hang out in spandex T-shirts and dresses. Even winter sweaters cling and hug the mothers-to-be, revealing all those pokey belly buttons. I have to admit, sometimes it is a bit unsettling.

When I was pregnant 12 years ago, it was the first time I had real curves, and I was tempted to show them off - maybe on the beach, never in the office. In the office, I tried to conceal my expanding girth by dressing in muumuu-like attire. But that's definitely not the fashion these days.

I believe a lot of women are taking their cues from Hollywood's new mothers. I'm thinking of Angelina, Katie and Gwyneth, who grace the magazines during their pregnancies in form-fitting clothing.

Okay. I am not a prude. Women's bodies are quite lovely during gestation. Pregnant women should don all the bikinis they want. Their bodies are far more attractive than those of guys who stuff their beer bellies into Speedos. The office is another matter.

When I've seen these new skintight maternity fashions stretched across huge bellies at work, I sometimes thought, now that's a look. I've even wondered if someone should say something, but what? A supervisor might tell a colleague she's showing too much cleavage. How do you tell an expectant mom that she's showing too much curvage?

I'm thrilled that pregnancy is no longer and automatic ticket to the mommy track, but maybe we need a rule. If you want to get ahead, spandex has no place in the office, whether you're pregnant or not.

INSKEEP: Commentator Dawn Turner Trice is a columnist with the Chicago Tribune.

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