Mama Style 101
Ladies! Let’s talk maternity clothes. When I first found out I was pregnant, I swore to myself I wouldn’t be a frumpy or disheveled mama-to-be. Comfort is important, but it shouldn’t mean looking a mess. Even now that I’m home most of the time, I try my hardest to get dressed, do my hair, and put on at least a swipe of blush and lip gloss in the morning. It makes me feel better and when you’re as big as a house and waddling all over the place, little things like this make the world of difference. So, I wanted to share my two cents on shopping for maternity wearables and a few of my favorite buys. But before I begin, let me preface the post by stating that I try my hardest to be practical with money. Especially when it comes to shopping for clothes, shoes, accessories, and other items that fall into the category of superficial (at least for me). Sure I love a good impulse buy and a splurge here and there is totally necessary sometimes, but for the most part I believe in spending smartly. Because of this, I tend to look for classic pieces that will last in my closet for years versus trendy styles that are en vogue for a short window of time.
That being said, here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way about how to shop for clothes while pregnant:
1. Bras – it’s time for an upgrade
Almost immediately after learning there was a little person growing inside me, I noticed a HUGE change in my boobs. As in, they were huge! So the first thing I did was buy myself a few new bras. I really love the T-Shirt Bras from Gap Body. They’re soft and comfortable and fit really nicely. You’ll find that good support is important especially as you get into your later months.
2. Have patience
It will take a few weeks (maybe even months) to grow out of your regular wardrobe. In fact, you can probably get away with wearing your everyday clothes throughout your first trimester and maybe even into the beginning of your second trimester. My advice? Wait until you need them to buy maternity clothes.
For me, it wasn’t until about week 20/21 that I finally had to admit to myself I could no longer fit into a lot of my regular clothes. Tops, for the most part, were still fine at this point but bottoms were no longer cooperating. So I started with one purchase –a Bellaband. This allowed me to extended the lifespan of my regular jeans and postpone buying maternity pants for a while longer. But once I did buy maternity pants, it was a game changer! I was so much more comfortable.
3. Rain or shine?
Ask yourself if it will be warm or cold where you live when you enter your second and third trimesters? This will be key in shopping for maternity necessities. We moved from sunny Southern California to unpredictable Richmond, VA smack in the middle of my pregnancy so I was glad that I hadn’t made any maternity purchases yet until we arrived at our new home. In LA, I think I might have survived the winter in summery maxi dresses and cardigans but here in RVA, where winter actually means winter, my maternity wardrobe has consisted of much warmer options. Knowing what to expect will help tremendously in planning your purchases.
4. Sale! Sale! Sale!
In addition to promising myself that I wouldn’t slack on style, I also vowed to not purchase any maternity items at full price. Early on, when I was just “window shopping” online, I noticed that many stores put maternity items on sale a lot faster than non maternity apparel. I don’t really know why this is, but I like it. Gap is most guilty of this! In fact, I never buy anything full-price at the Gap because I know it’s just a matter of days before there’s a sale of some sort. Look at the big picture, this wardrobe will be worn less than 40 weeks of your life. That’s minuscule in the grand scheme of things! My advice is to not overspend on such temporary items. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love a good toothpick jean and while I’d love to “hang out” in this dress, the price tags on both of these are just outrageous.
5. Pick a color, any color…
…and stick with it. Picking one color palette that can work for you throughout your pregnancy will higher your options for mixing and matching. This doesn’t mean that everything should be all black or white but choose a 3-5 colors that complement each other and build your maternity wardrobe around them. For this pregnancy, I’ve stuck with blacks, whites, greys and blues. I let accessories like my shoes, purses and scarves introduce pops of color because these are items that I’ll be able to wear again long after the baby is here.
6. Keep it basic
Just like in my regular wardrobe, basics like tees and jeans have remained staples of my maternity wardrobe. There’s really no need to reinvent your style while your pregnant (unless, of course, you want to). Stick to your favorites and you’ll always look and feel your best. Also, while I’ve worn heels on several occasions that called for heels, I’ve mostly lived in flats. Invest in a few comfortable pairs – I recommend a good pair tennis shoes and something that can be dressed up or down like ballet flats or loafers.
7. So, what to buy?
This one’s hard to answer since everyone’s needs/wants are different but just to give you an idea, here the items that I’ve purchased during my pregnancy:
6 T-shirts ( 3 long sleeve & 3 short sleeve – and even though these have ruching, I still plan on using them, if only for layering, once the baby is here.)
3 pairs of full-panel pants (skinny jeans, cordouroys and a good pair of leggings that aren’t see through)
3 sweaters (great for layering on cold days)
4 simple dresses that can be dressed up down (and that will most likely be worn after pregnancy)
2 blouses – one in chambray and one in a simple white. Both pair with practically anything.
2 jumpsuits & 1 pair of overalls (while none of these were too pricey, I consider them my “splurge” purchases since I really don’t need maternity jumpsuits. Although I have to say, they’re my favorite items to wear because they’re so freeform and comfy.)
You’d be surprised how much mixing and matching I get out of this small amount of clothes, I almost never repeat an outfit! So far, I’ve gotten away with using non-maternity jackets and coats, even in these frigid temps! I’m hoping to make it through winter without having to buy an oversized coat that I’ll only wear for a month or so. And I’m still able to wear tons of my non-maternity clothes, namely items that are stretchy or kind of loose fitting to begin with so those pieces have been great supplements to my maternity wardrobe.
Below, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite places to shop (and window shop):
Old Navy (shocking! I know. Being pregnant has restored my faith in this brand)
Best Trendy Fashions:
Best Work Clothes: