Being pregnant means going through various items of maternity clothes as your body shifts and grows. This can be frustrating and costly. But imagine being pregnant and needing to wear a suit to work. "I worked … for 16 years and I was so frustrated with the lack of quality suits for pregnant women and how they fit," said Jennifer Skanron, founder of suitsyourbelly.com. "I thought there had to be a better way to make pants that can take you from the start of your pregnancy, all the way to what is now called 'the fourth trimester' — that transition time post-delivery when you're still carrying some of the baby weight." So Skanron started creating prototypes for maternity pants and suits, all while working full-time and being a wife and new mom. "What I came up with was (a suit with) this zip-in panel, which is a very soft, three-inch elastic waistband. So when your bump gets big, you add this panel. Then you take it out when you've had your baby." Skanron launched suitsyourbelly.com in October of 2011 and said the feedback has been positive. "The fabric of maternity suits can often be very itchy and not flexible, so it was really important for me to design something that moms wanted to put on," she said. "And the fact that you can remove the panel depending on how much support you need, it's nice to have that option." Skanron's suits start at $199 for spring and summer styles and $250 for fall and winter attire. Her hope is to expand to casual clothing items as the business expands. "I had an order from a trial attorney in Indiana and she had nowhere to buy good suits and now she says she feels good getting dressed in the morning. Pregnant women are tired. The last thing they want to do is wander the aisles looking for clothes."
Brian Skanron photo courtesy of Jennifer Skanron
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