Thursday, April 07, 2011

What to Wear: Berlin with a Baby on Board

Megan wrote in with a major What to Wear request:
I've got a "small" problem, perhaps you can help. I'm invited to a big wedding in June in Berlin. This will be a very elegant affair with the reception being held at the famous historic Hotel Adlon (where the guests are staying as well), after a formal church ceremony. I've just been told that I will need two dresses, one for church and one for the black tie reception in the evening. For church I will also need a hat (this is Europe after all) and my shoulders and upper arms will need to be covered.
The wedding guests will be coming from all over Europe and the Middle East (expats primarily). These will be a mix of business and personal relations, so I will really need to look the part.
Here's the kicker: By then, I will be six and half months pregnant.
I've already done a thorough scan of the sources I know over here for maternity clothes and what I have found (or not) so far worries me. The 'evening wear' I've seen are either black and/or made of jersey fabric. Also, empire-waisted gowns and kaftans were other options I considered, but they don't appear to be so available right now. I will however be flying home to the Bay Area for one last visit before the wedding (and before the baby) and hope to be able to tackle some of the items on this list while I'm there. Oh, and I look terrible in red or purple, but most other colors (green, blue, brown, grey) are fine. Budget is around $800 for the whole deal.
How fun! What a wonderful time you'll have in Berlin. And what a great chance to be really fancy. It wasn't too hard to find nice maternity dresses. And easy, lovely silver accessories add polish.















Ceremony:
Dress - A blue maternity dress with satin trim and long sleeves for $62. Probably a good idea to buy a couple different versions and sizes to your parent's home and ship back the ones you don't pick.
Belt - It seems like a silver belt would be a good match to cover the elastic empire waist. This is an inexpensive version from Old Navy.
Pumps - A pair low heeled silver pumps. This $22 pair from Target just happened to be my favorite choice.
Hat - I like a fun fascinator instead of a complete hat. This version from Etsy is $50.
Clutch - A versatile silver basic for the whole day.

Reception:
Dress - Such a pretty gray gown with gathered flowers on the bodice. On sale for $299. There's a Pea in the Pod store in San Francisco if you need to return it.
Headband - Silver beaded headbands adds to the Greek-goddess effect for $35.
Shoes - The same pumps work with this dress, but you'll probably want a pair of basic silver flats for comfort.

5 comments:

Yvi said...

What a great outfit.
Emily, you always impress me with your styling tips, even for pregnant ladies. And the idea to order in different sizes and then send back is absolute right. But I would recommend also to order two different dresses for each situation, because I had the problem that some maternity clothes just didn't work for me.

MelD said...

Hats at weddings is English. They are not common at other European weddings ;o Germans really like formal evening wear and the Adlon is the poshest hotel in Berlin. Not sure why shoulders/upper arms should be covered unless you're in an RC church...?!
(reporting from central Europe!)

Megan in Munich said...

Thanks Emily for the great suggestions!! I'd completely missed that gown at A Pea in the Pod. It looks perfect. Your ideas will be a great help for this shopping expedition. 1000 thank yous!

Yvi has a point about sizing - it's particularly hard to gauge right now. I'll definitely order two sizes and may just buy slightly big and then tailor to fit the week before.

And as for hats MelD, they are growing in popularity - sort of the final accessory frontier - at least among those I know in Germany (where I am too). And a good portion of the guests are coming from London, the bride's second home. The shoulder coverage is for two reasons: a conservative crowd and a pregnant lady's tendency to catch a chill in big old drafty stone churches. ;-)

Michele said...

I think that Pea in the Pod is pretty strict about returns on evening wear. Definitely check their policies before ordering. Gorgeous dress though!

Anonymous said...

MelD, after having attended church weddings of different denominations in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Latvia, UK and Sweden over the past 5 years or so, I can say that wearing covered shoulders inside the church is pretty much the norm, so if you want to be on the safe side, you should at least bring a pashmina to cover up, most women will. I had a sleevless dress to the last wedding I attended, but I also had a bolero to cover my shoulders while in church and when to ward off the evening chill.

Mims