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Dressing to hide an early pregnancy for an interview

(50 Posts)
webminx Tue 01-Jan-13 14:25:24

Happy new year!
After months of looking (made redundant from previous role early in 2012), I finally have been shortlisted for a role I really want. Interview is next Tuesday. Really excited, hopeful and motivated. Is for a part time role for 2 years. Only downside is, I'm 17 week pregnant and am terrified I won't get a fair shot at interview if they realize. It's a large multinational company, I know I'm really qualified and appropriately experienced for the role and I've been preparing all week since I heard for the interview.

Can anyone help me by suggesting what I could wear for the interview to help disguise my "condition". Is not too obvious, but my tummy does look pretty round! I'm very happy to buy something. Am thinking suit trousers and a professional but skimming top (any suggestions welcome) or a wrap dress with thick tights and boots. Please help if you have ever been in this situation or have any suggestions for what to wear!

MissBeehivingUnderTheMistletoe Mon 21-Jan-13 21:46:13

Oh, well done webminx - fingers crossed smile

webminx Mon 21-Jan-13 21:29:58

Just wanted to update all you lovely ladies who offered ideas, shared your experience of similar circumstances and wished me luck: I was shortlisted, so hope to attend a final interview this Friday. I intend to address my circumstances at some point during that interview (again, any ideas on that very welcome!!) and will hopefully get a second wear out of the Cos dress I bought, on your recommendation. Thanks again all and please keep your fingers crossed for me!

hugoagogo Wed 02-Jan-13 20:29:24

Of course, there is the point of view that some employers might be more inclined to choose a pregnant candidate, worried that they might be accused of discriminating if they don't.

Employment law is very much in favour of pregnant women; a fact that must be at the front of interviewers minds.

So, not revealing the fact at the interview stage is fairer all around.

shelldockley Wed 02-Jan-13 17:01:26

What DrRanj said.

I think plain loose fitting shirts disguise a bump quite well.

Northernlebkuchen Wed 02-Jan-13 11:36:43

Oh I'd read your posts and you were both very, very lucky to get away with that -as the reaction of other posters shows - that 'employers have a right to know', that's it's not being honest not to tell them. Well hang on - pregnancy has no impact on your interview performance so why would you tell them? If you want to avoid being done over don't tell. It's that simple.
Why do people presume that their isolated experience trumps all others? There is a whole body of employment law based on pregnancy related discrimination. It's a real problem and the way to avoid it is simply not to tell something that isn't relevant to the job anyway.

BackforGood Wed 02-Jan-13 00:58:32

Don't tell them till you have an offer in writing. Anybody who says otherwise just hasn't been on the sharp end of job hunting when pregnant Northern, have you not read the thread ?
Both Emo76 and I have said we were honest with our prospective employers whilst pregnant and seeking new jobs, and we both got the role. Both of us have then had successful careers and good relationships with those employers, after starting out honestly.
Why do people presume to make such sweeping statements about things which have already been proved to not be true, by other posters in the thread ? confused

JohnnyDeppsfuturewife Wed 02-Jan-13 00:14:47

When I was pregnant with dd1 5 years ago I lived in phase eight dresses as they're often tight / fitted but with room in the stomach area.

I've just looked on their website and they have some quite nice dresses with ruching. I'm not preggers now but I do have a round tummy and I find ruching is a good way of hiding it. Sorry I don't know how to link on an iPad.

Also agree with advice on wearing a scarf. I hid my pregnancy for about 6 months and had lots of interesting scarves.

Good luck with the interview.

AloeSailor Tue 01-Jan-13 21:53:08

Ignore baddog, she gets her kicks from trying to be horrible and killing threads.

ElectricMonkBelievesInSanta Tue 01-Jan-13 19:16:10

Oh, and I meant to add - yes, M&S's petite range is very forgiving, especially in stretchy fabrics like the one the wrap dress is made of. And fortunately, as it's already a 3/4 sleeve, it won't matter if it's slightly shorter on you than it's supposed to be.

ElectricMonkBelievesInSanta Tue 01-Jan-13 19:14:08

You're welcome - good luck tomorrow! Another thing you might want to do is pop over to an Estee Lauder/Bobbi Brown counter and get an assistant to show you how to contour your face with bronzer and blush if you don't already do it. The lines of your face will probably have rounded out/softened a tiny bit by now, and the effect of contouring will subtly counteract that. Estee Lauder girls are generally very good at that without going OTT, and I know Bobbi Brown's bronzer colours are a lot more subtle than some other brands.

hugoagogo Tue 01-Jan-13 19:06:19

Gosh you have got a lot of grief on here!

I think this dress looks smart and of course you will still be able to wear it as you get bigger, but it doesn't smack of I'm pregnant (well not to me)

Good luck grin

Northernlebkuchen Tue 01-Jan-13 19:01:31

Don't tell them till you have an offer in writing. Anybody who says otherwise just hasn't been on the sharp end of job hunting when pregnant.

webminx Tue 01-Jan-13 18:04:57

@tethersjinglebellend LOL at dressing as a man :-)

webminx Tue 01-Jan-13 18:03:49

Wow - thanks very much for those suggestions! I think I'm going to try the M&S wrap dress as their sizing can be forgiving (although frankly, the application of the word petite to my frame is a bit of a stretch ;-) and two Cos dresses. Love peplum on others but have not tried it myself, yet - will try some on and see how it looks. Will be heading into town tomorrow morning so fingers crossed! Great idea re a scarf, big bag and some hold-in tights!
Thanks again!!

ElectricMonkBelievesInSanta Tue 01-Jan-13 17:19:57

Good luck OP - and please don't let some of the harsher comments on this thread get to you.

I second the skimming dress plus well tailored jacket combination - would any of these work?


Could hide bump very well, but not necessarily formal enough...

Pattern plus ruching would probably hide the bump very well indeed, and this is probably more formal.

Ruched front could also be good for hiding the bump, but the plain fabric might work against you.

Peplum could help, obviously don't combine it with a peplum jacket though!

Another peplum style...


Very flattering, although I'm not sure of your size so don't know if "petite" would work.

A peplum would help, but this one is possibly not structured enough.

Another peplum, also available in aubergine.

If you add support underwear, plus hold-me-in thick opaque tights, high heels and a scarf I doubt anybody would notice that you're pregnant. Hope that helps!

tethersjinglebellend Tue 01-Jan-13 17:15:56

This sort of bag would work well

tethersjinglebellend Tue 01-Jan-13 17:13:06

You can tell them about the pregnancy -if you wish- when they offer you the job. If they withdraw the job offer due to the pregnancy, they are breaking the law.

Back to the matter in hand: Cos is your friend. I would avoid trousers and instead go for something like this, this or this with heels if you can wear them.

Add a blazer if the role requires, but otherwise one of the above dresses with killer heels and a large shoulder bag should do the trick.

Or you could dress as a man wink

Good luck smile

VerySmallSqueak Tue 01-Jan-13 16:47:52

The very best of luck webminx.

I reckon probably your best bet is an attention drawing detail at the neck as others have said,and an honest opinion and try-on first with anyone who knows you well beforehand.

And wear an air of confidence that this is your year and this is your job.

DrRanj Tue 01-Jan-13 16:45:31

I bet no one would expect a man to tell an interviewer if their wife/dp was expecting a baby, even though they would probably be taking paternity leave and may take time off for midwives apts etc. not to mention being sleep deprived with a newborn if they help with night feeds etc.

Anyway that is beside the point, this is s&b after all, hope you find a suitable outfit op, and nail the interview! grin

webminx Tue 01-Jan-13 16:44:16

Thanks Emo76-well done! Sounds like they knew you were the best person for the job - quite heartening!

Emo76 Tue 01-Jan-13 16:41:17

hello again OP
I still think for a board role they would appreciate your openness but also I can understand that this is not a full time job in the sense of the word. Obviously you may be able to miss two meetings a year and still be in full fulfilment of your duties on the board, I know a lot of board members who do not attend every board meeting. Anyway,best of luck and sorry for being judgemental without knowing the facts. And in answer to your question - Something float or skimming..... maybe a statement necklace or earrings to draw attention away from down below?

Incidentally for the interest (or not!) other readers I was headhunted for my current job at 3m pregnant (having had 2 miscarriages I wasn't that confident it was going to work out..) anyway I was upfront about being pregnant and they still hired me, I said I would return when baby was 4-5mths old and I did, three years down the line I am still there, promoted and very committed - and this is a City job. Sometimes the city gets terrible press, guess I am very lucky.

webminx Tue 01-Jan-13 16:34:51

Thanks very much, Bikerunski, that's really helpful! I always seem to find it so bloody hard to get through the first stage, so I'm just trying to do everything I can to give myself a fighting chance. I really want this role and think I have a lot to offer them - would hate to rule myself out simply by making the recruiters nervous....

BikeRunSki Tue 01-Jan-13 16:28:32

I have interviewed, managed pg people and am about (tomorrow) to return to work from my second ML. You don't have to inform your employer if your pg until 25 weeks; you may go on ML at this point but don't have to until EDD. I'd say, if they are recruiting anyway, then they'll have potential "second chance" candidates to ask for maternity cover if needs be.

Who is to say all the other candidates are not also pg?

And no, they are no allowed to ask you about your pg if they suspect it, or anything about your children or plans to have them.

webminx Tue 01-Jan-13 16:14:07

Thanks for all the replies. Not surprised by the variety of people's responses - I recognize it's not an ideal situation and that some in my position would choose to take themselves out of the employment market altogether.

I wasn't particularly clear on the situation (as I was primarily seeking opinions on wardrobe choices for the interview rather than on my decision to go forward to interview) but maybe this will make my decision to go forward to interview more understandable to some people:

- the role is a board role rather than an operational executive role, where I would be required to attend meetings twice per month for two years
- I would not be taking maternity leave in the traditional sense, as I am a freelance worker. I don't plan on missing more than 2 of those meetings and have a nanny for my existing DC, who would also assume childcare responsibility for the new baby.

Therefore, there is no question of the organization having to organize cover for me. It is a large MNC with a large Board and my being absent from a couple of meetings would not have a material effect on my abilities to contribute meaningfully to their business, in the way set out in the job description.

Either way, many thanks for all the suggestions on the wardrobe choices and for other comments on my decision to go forward to interview or not. Many comments were very helpful in raising alternative ways of managing the situation that I'll consider before next week. The most important thing to me is to get a fair shot at the preliminary interview with the recruiters so I have the opportunity to be shortlisted and be seen by the company panel at all. If I get to that stage, I would be far more likely to be open about my circumstances.
Again, appreciate all the input.

5madthings Tue 01-Jan-13 16:14:02

And i dont think they are allowed to ask about pregnancy ir children/dependents etc?

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