Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Building a Maternity Wardrobe

24 weeks - still holding on to my favorite chambray shirt!

When I was about 4 months pregnant my pants stopped buttoning/zipping. I wasn’t showing at all but it was like I went up a pants size. I wore a bellyband for a few weeks but it became pretty uncomfortable and I was still nervous about my pants falling down (never a good thing, especially when meeting new people).

I started browsing websites for different pregnancy looks, suggestions, and clothes to buy. Most of it wasn't really "me" and I started to feel frustrated. I didn't want to change my style just because my pants no longer fit. While my mom was in town she thought it would be a good idea to go with me to Destination Maternity for moral support and because they were having a 75% off sale. I liked the name, so off we went with Gman in tow (I needed all the support I could get). Immediately upon entering the store I started coming undone and started crying. None of the clothes in there were my style. I didn't want to dig through racks of t-shirt dresses to find a gem nor did I want to be associated with anything "mom" and "maternity". I don't want to wear "mom jeans". It felt like I was shopping in a middle-aged schoolteacher's closet. One who thinks her sweaters are fair game for arts and crafts projects. Not only that but once in the fitting room (hey, I was trying to be a good sport even though at this point I was full on sobbing) nothing fit! Even the extra large was too small in some instances! There was a fake belly in the fitting room you could strap to yourself to see how the clothes would fit at 7 months. I nearly fled the place without my shoes. It was too much.

25 weeks, winter layers

So now what to do? I had to make a plan. I had to try to be rational and decided to plan a maternity wardrobe. Some people will say don't buy maternity clothes or only buy one or two pieces. And yes it is difficult to justify spending money on clothes you will only be wearing for 5 months to a year. But in reality a lot of us do that anyways. Besides, to have peace of mind while I'm trying to dress a changing and unfamiliar body in the morning, and having a wardrobe that fits and feels comfortable is worth its weight in gold.

After making a plan and a budget, I bought a whole new maternity wardrobe. In the end it was actually really fun to plan a wardrobe from scratch and I started playing with new shapes. I included several non-maternity pieces that I could wear from 5 months up until I can't see my feet at (I’m assuming) 8 months. Seriously now that I wear elastic waist pants, I’m never going back! Once the baby is born, the elastic waist will come in handy as I get back down to my regular size.

You can check out some of my favorite maternity pieces and essentials over on my Maternity Must Haves pin board over on Pinterest. Below are a few of my favorite looks so far – which you’ve seen if you follow me on Instagram. Interesting note: looser regular clothes seem to hide the bump and maternity clothes all enhance it. Good to know if you are trying to hide it for work reasons or for a big reveal.

I’m at 26 weeks now and some of my non-maternity button-up shirts are starting to be a bit snug around my belly. I’ve been layering them underneath a maternity sweater and unbuttoning them at the bottom to get a little more wear. 

Thanksgiving dinner (so thankful for the elastic waist pants this day especially!) 23 weeks

Wear to work, non-maternity sweater dress at 24 weeks

Do you have any maternity favorites? I'm curious to know, how long did you wear your maternity clothes after your baby was born?


  1. isabella and oliver were big staples of mine and I still wear the black wrap dress years after just because its' a great wrap dress. But went to them for a few staples, especially tops w/ ruching, and also jeans from gap (who doesn't fit me normally). Also took the opportunity to start a rockin' necklace collection since those looked fantastic on top of the solid black and white tops from I and O, took the focus off my growing "assets" and are with me still today...

    1. The necklaces or your "assists" are still with you today? :) Kidding! I agree though, buying neutral tops does allow for one to indulge in more jewelry.

  2. Ponte de Roma pants from Pea in the Pod. Omg! These are a lifesaver for me here in cold MA. They're basically just thicker leggings that aren't going to show your skin through the fabric even when you have to kneel or bend your knees. They also have back pockets. Jeggings, I guess, but not that faux jeans fabric and much better quality. I'm definitely wearing them after I deliver 'til I get back into my pre-pregnancy pants. Large size sweaters from Wooden Ships, Ingrid and Isabel camisoles, and non maternity large tops from TJMaxx are also on constant rotation in my wardrobe right now. Love your pins on pinterest. All great ideas to look chic while pregnant. :)

    1. Its surprisingly cold here! I'll have to look into those leggings/pants.

  3. Being hugely pregnant in the summer was the best b/c I just threw on cotton sundresses. I ended up shopping a lot at Gap & bought some of my pants there too. I think fall/winter would be harder. I also stopped fitting into pants REALLY early on!

    I didn't wear my maternity clothes past about 2 weeks & ended up buying some bigger clothes to hold me through. All of the clothes made me still look really pregnant b/c I carry all my weight in my tummy, so I've gotten through with cheaper pants/jeans from Target & Old Navy. Still making do with that. Using the belly band again though so you'll get some more use of that, since those things really only last for a few weeks! Glad I wasn't the only one worried about pants falling down!


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