Monday, October 7, 2013

My best tips for feeling slightly fashionable during pregnancy...

Finally by round three I actually felt like I found a way to still feel and look like myself when putting together outfits. I've learned how to take advantage of what's already in my closet and how to invest in a few things that make me feel more like "me" while pregnant, but that can be used after pregnancy as well. There are much more fashionable ladies than me that probably have way better "how to dress while pregnant" tips than I do, but here's my two cents, especially if you're not working with an unlimited budget... I tried to come up with the list I wish I would have read prior to my first pregnancy, before buying anything, and then pulled random pictures from throughout my third pregnancy to use as examples. Hope this is a help to someone out there!

1. Don't believe the lie that if it's not a maternity item it can't be worn while pregnant. 

This leads nicely into number 2...

2. Sometime in your first trimester, go through your closet and pull out anything that you won't be able to wear, leave in everything you already have that you might be able to wear. 

Ok, so how do you know what you might be able to wear... ? 

Anything with an empire waist and slightly flowy body should work at least part way through your pregnancy. If it is a tunic top it will work even longer, with leggings at first, and with jeans at the end. 

(the top two tunics were from ross, around $12 each if I remember right, the pink tunic tank was from h&m, and the brown floral top was from forever 21, all but the pink tank were things I already owned before I got pregnant)

Cardigans or jackets that you wear with an open front- jean jackets etc. should work through your entire pregnancy. You wouldn't believe how many maternity stores sell cardigans.... as if they fit any differently than the ones you already have. 

Form fitted shirts that are long and/or made of a more stretchy material, especially ones with a band around the bottom should be left in your closet to wear as long as possible. 

(none of the three shirts above are maternity, had them all pre-pregnancy)

Empire Waist Dresses with a good length and a flowy body.
 (left from target, right from american eagle) 

Leggings or pants with an elastic or forgiving waistband should be left in your closet to wear for varieties sake until they are no longer comfortable. (I still wear my normal, non-pregnancy leggings at 37 weeks, just not for too long at a time as they are starting to be uncomfortably tight... I also had a pair of lace shorts and a chevron maxi skirt that I wore until they were no longer comfortable, around 26 weeks or so)

3. While maternity stores tend to be over-priced or not always my style- I am thankful for them and there are some key things that I think make life much more comfortable for you if you have them.

-Maternity cami. I have a few from Motherhood and they are made of this wonderful, super stretchy material that fit all the way to the end. The same goes for their belly bands, I used mine more my first two pregnancies than this time for some reason, but they are nice to have as shirts get shorter or to extend the life of your normal jeans. 

-Depending on the season, several super long basic shirts of different colors, either tank tops or long sleeved (I got tank tops). Old Navy Maternity has really great extra long tank tops, and I got an aqua one, a purple one, and a gray one for this pregnancy. They were a GREAT investment, and by mixing and matching them I was able to come up with all kinds of different outfits using them as a base. 

-A few maternity statement shirts with side ruching. The side ruching is much more flattering to your growing belly instead of the typical maternity shirt that just hangs like a tent over it.... 

-Maternity shorts or jeans. Unless you stay super tiny, there will probably come a point in your pregnancy where belly bands, leggings, or whatever that you already had just aren't going to cut it anymore comfort wise and you will want the loveliness that are maternity jeans, with their extra stretch, no button or zipper and stretchy panel that comes up over your belly. I have made it through all of my pregnancies with just one pair of maternity jeans because I love the ones that I have.... straight leg in a darker wash. Plus I was pregnant through the summers, so I got a few pairs of shorts. If I had made the investment earlier, it would have been nice to have a pair of maternity leggings, either gray or black. But with just a few weeks left I'm not going to do it now.

-Can you talk about underwear on a blog?? Well, I'm going to for a second... go to Motherhood and get a pair of their maternity underwear that are shape slimming and fit from just above your belly to mid thigh. If you want to wear a dress made of thinner fabric or are going to be in a wedding, or just need to not have any lines for some occasion.... this is the way to go. You'll thank me later. ;) 

-And last but not least, if you are going to be pregnant over the summer, get a good maternity tankini. I LOVE the ones from A Pea in the Pod. They are expensive but hold up so well and last through the whole pregnancy.

4. Don't under-estimate the power of accessories or a great pair of shoes. 

Instead of spending my budgeted money just on clothing this time, I chose to get a few non-clothing items that were in style this season that can last past my pregnancy. I got two new statement necklaces (one pink and gold, one blue and gold) a pair of t-strap white sandals with rhinestones on them, and a pair of black flats with a pointed toe. Boots, scarves, fedoras, sunglasses, nail polish, skinny belts (don't try to wear a thicker belt above your belly at the end... just not comfortable or flattering) and fun earrings are also great ways to add some style to a basic maternity piece. Being able to add these pieces that feel very much like me to an outfit help so much.

(not seen: cognac, studded j. crew flats that also feel like me) 

I love that those pointed black flats can be worn with dressier outfits, especially now when I just don't feel like wearing heels. But they were also fun with cutoff white maternity shorts, a gray tank and some big jewelry. 

5. Add a few non-maternity pieces to your wardrobe so you feel fresh and current and can wear them afterwards too. 

Go to places like Forever 21, Ross, Target or H&M and look for some inexpensive pieces that you can wear while pregnant. Empire waist is the biggest thing, if it's got that and it's long and flowy, whether it is a dress or a tunic, it should work while pregnant and be flattering to your figure while you lose your baby weight afterwards. Maxi dresses are really in right now, and forever 21 typically sells them for around $13, and their leggings are $4. You just can't beat that.

(Both of the above dresses are from Forever 21- $13 each) 

6. Mix & match what you have to make a variety of different outfits. 

Just two examples show here, but I wore this purple tank top so many different ways... With a navy and white chevron maxi skirt, with lace shorts and a scarf, with jeans and a statement necklace, or even just with cotton gym shorts to stay cool. Sometimes having less to choose from forced me to be more creative and that was really fun. 

The maxi above is another maternity piece that I have worn a TON and tried to change it up each time. Above I wore it with a chunky silver necklace and earrings and a top knot. When it started cooling down I wore it with my blue and gold statement necklace, a short sleeved cream cardigan, and blue flats. Another change up was to wear it with a coral, 3/4 sleeved cardigan, chandelier earrings, and my hair in a low, curly pony. 

7. Don't be afraid to repeat an outfit a couple of times in a short time span, and try things on often. 
If you happen to put together an outfit that feels and looks good at any given time in your pregnancy, wear it a few times and don't worry about it being repeated... chances are it won't fit or feel the same within a few weeks anyway and you'll be on to something new. Trying on what you have off and on is important so you don't miss out wearing something that will only fit until a certain point in pregnancy. Call me a nerd, but I even write down what currently fits so I don't have to try to figure it out when I'm rushing to get ready to go somewhere...

K, well that's pretty much it. People don't always expect much of you in the clothing department when you're pregnant, so honestly, it's almost easier to look fashionable during pregnancy. Have fun!! :)


  1. This is AWESOME! You have great style!

  2. I love this post! and always love your style!

  3. Thank you girls!! It was a fun post to put together :)