My Maternity Fashion

21 Sep

As you all probably noticed by my weekly updates, maternity clothes and I have been at war since the beginning. I grew out of my clothes pretty early (around 13 weeks), but was in that weird bloated stage where you just look like you overate for a week. I tried to do maternity shopping during that time because I didn’t have any clothes to wear that looked appropriate,
but none of the maternity clothes looked right either. I don’t have any advice for this stage except just do your best. I had a couple of shirts that I liked and wore them over and over. I thought it might be helpful to others having babies (or planning to) to write up a few posts on my maternity purchases and styling the bump.

Now that my bump is filling out, maternity clothes are looking better on me. I still don’t necessarily like the style of most maternity clothes, so I’ve looked high and low for clothes that I feel good in. I now have a good mix of maternity and non-maternity shirts and several different maternity pants to complete my wardrobe. I’m hoping that at this point, I will be pretty much set until delivery (we’ll see how much this belly can grow of course) with just a few more warm pieces needed.

In purchasing tops, I’ve been very cautious to consider bump growth. I buy a size up if the shirt is a little bit more tailored fit (even if that means it is a little baggy in the shoulders and arms) so that I can stretch all 10 months. I’ve also tried to buy shirts that are appropriate for work but also are good for the weekend. I have a mix of flowy blouses, knit and cotton tops, and sweaters.

In looking at non-maternity blouses, I looked for flowing tops and stretchy material. The main concern with non-maternity tops is the length. I spent about an hour looking through Forever 21 and picking up about 15 different flowy blouses to try on, only to discover once I got in the dressing room that they were all too short. I ended up finding my non-maternity shirts at Francesca’s, the Limited, and Ann Taylor outlet (all of which I purchased for $40 a piece or less). I will be able to wear all of these tops post-baby, which is a major plus!

As for maternity shirts, my favorite place for cute shirts has been a Pea in the Pod. They really have some cute pieces. BUT, I quickly learned the cuter it is, the pricier it is. Boo hoo. I did splurge on a few cute tops from there, particularly for work (I have three blouses that were around $80 each….my sis got me one actually J). I’ve gotten a couple less expensive maternity shirts from Motherhood Maternity/Macy’s as well (under $30 each). The quality is not nearly as nice, but they work. I’ve purchased a few staple pieces from Gap Maternity (t-shirts and long sleeve t-shirts). I love them. Great fit and super comfy. I bought my first maternity plain t-shirt from Target (Liz Lange) and was really disappointed. It stretched out and then rode up all day long. I would not recommend them and it was $15. Gap’s are a much nicer material and fit for only a few dollars more (I actually got mine for $16 a piece because they were on sale, but are regularly around $20). By the way, I prefer the t-shirts with the gathers on the side. I think they are more flattering on the bump and my body. The last place I found shirts is at a maternity boutique in Franklin, TN called Pickles and Ice Cream. They have some really cute things, but are pricey (most tops were around $90-100). I ended up buying the two cheapest shirts in the store that were both $40 (a sweater and a top). I’m probably set on tops, but if I find something non-maternity that works and I love it, I’ll probably get it. I do need to get a few long cardigans as well because my short ones look a little ridiculous now, but these can be non-maternity.

On to the britches. I bought my first pair of maternity jeans early on (around week 13) because I could no longer wear my regular jeans. I tried on several pair at Pea in the Pod and ended up with a pair of SOLD brand dark skinnies ($100). I loved them- comfy and flattering. Unfortunately, I did not account for continued growth down low (as in a low bump and my hips spreading). I cried in the closet for about an hour when the seam on the side stretched to the point of almost busting. Lesson learned- if you are buying pants early, make sure you have room to grow in the hips. I will keep wearing them until they pop. After I got my job, I knew I needed work pants. I ended up finding 2 pair at Macy’s and 1 pair at Pea in the Pod. I don’t recall what I paid for them, but I know all three were different prices ranging from about $40-$80. I got a black, a gray print, and a navy. I do not plan on getting any more work pants. I can wear jeans on Fridays so it has been fine. Lately I have purchased a pair of black skinny jeans (which I also wear to work on non-jean days….cut the preggo chick some slack I say) from Motherhood ($40), red skinny jeans from Old Navy (40), denim skinny jeans from Gap ($60), and a nice pair of jeans from Pea in the Pod- JBrand (you don’t wanna know….I had a gift card). I’m loving all my jeans and wear them ALL the time. I can wear the black and red to work (at least I am until someone says something about them being “jeans”) on regular days which is great. My least favorite pair is the Gap pair- they stretched out within a few minutes of wearing them so I’m constantly tugging on them. The Old Navy red pants sag too, but not as bad as the Gap. I think sagging pants is kinda par for the course when you don’t have a waist band, but the Gap are way worse than the rest. The JBrands are my only pair with no real maternity band, just elastic inserts on the sides (which is where my SOLD brand got too tight). They also have a zipper and button and belt loops (this is rare in the maternity pants world) which makes me feel human. I’m done with buying pants I hope!!!

If there is any area where I’m “lacking” it is dresses. I have only purchased one maternity dress (thank you Stacy) and it is adorable (although I haven’t worn it yet, but plan to this weekend). It is a long maxi dress that is black and gray stripes from Pea in the Pod. I actually don’t like wearing dresses all that much (self-image/leg issues). I do have a couple of sweater dresses that I think will work with tights or leggings and boots this fall that I am a little excited about wearing (maybe just because that means it is cool outside). I’m sure I will want to wear dresses to my baby showers, so I’ll be looking for some cute ones as the showers approach.

As for lounge clothes/PJs and work out clothes, I have only bought one pair of lounge pants from Old Navy (upping my order for free shipping). I’m still able to wear my pj pants and my yoga pants so that will suffice for now. I’m running out of room in my sleep tops, so I’m thinking of getting a pack of men’s v-necks to get me through (in a LARGE, yes LARGE….Jason’s mediums are already tight and short). You can’t go wrong with a white v-neck for around the house.

I haven’t even thought about outerwear yet. I am hoping it will be a mild winter and I can get away with wearing my jackets open and not freezing to death?!

And that is it! I’m sure some of you are thinking I’ve spent a fortune on clothes (I feel kinda like that too), but a girl has got to have nice clothes when you work outside the home in a professional environment. Jason likes for me to look and feel good and has been really supportive of all my purchases (actually making me to get a few things that I thought were too expensive). Luckily I will be able to wear a lot of the tops post-baby (and the pants too while I’m working to fit back into my regular clothes) so that stretches out the wear time. I’ve purchased some fun pieces and some standard pieces that I can mix and match. I do plan to get some additional belts and scarves to jazz things up through the fall/winter. I plan on doing a post with pics of how I am mixing and matching my pieces and accessories to create different looks. I am definitely NO expert and always doubt whether my outfit looks good or if I look as huge as I feel (thank you Stacy, Sarah and Jason for helping me with my wardrobe), but I’m getting a lot of compliments on my “maternity style” so that makes me feel good and encourages me to keep dressing up.


One Response to “My Maternity Fashion”

  1. Kristen Nelson September 23, 2012 at 1:00 PM #

    I took a little blogging and blog-checking hiatus, but I am back in the swing of things and glad to have found yours again. You need to post some pics of your fabulous pregnant self. I am sure you are glowing and more beautiful than ever! You have such great style – thanks for sharing it with us!
    Love the name Liam! Perfect for you guys!

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