Q&A: What to Wear for Maternity Part II
Yesterday, my best friend talked about what to wear during early maternity-and beyond-from a mother's perspective. I haven't ever been pregnant (and am not currently, just in case you were curious! Did you wonder?), but I have what might be an abnormal interest in maternity fashion. I just think that pregnant women can get away with things that the rest of us can't when it comes to clothes, and I love that! And there's nothing that says that you must wear clothes from a maternity store while you're pregnant. So darlin', here' are the five questions to ask yourself.
1. What can I expect to look like?I'm not sure how you can buy things or take stock of what you already have that might work if you're pregnant for the first time and unsure how your body will change. Of course everyone is different, but let's check out some general ideas!
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Ok! So we need to think about clothing that is going to be comfortable and able to be worn with a pair of rapidly growing bodies inside it. Before you panic and start buying everything on Pea in a Pod's website, I have some ideas to save you money and keep you feeling comfortable and stylish.
2. What do I already have that could work?Some of what I love most about maternity style is the creative use of clothing that women already owned. Let's take a look at what I mean.
Clearly, I love stripes. But! I do think that they have a place in pregnancy because a lot of patterns can feel very busy; stripes add interest without feeling too fussy. Stripes aside, some of the other elements that work here that you might already have in your closet are: blazers, cardigans, a jean jacket, a bright scarf, and a t-shirt or tank that you can eventually tie up over your bump. My understanding is that you'll be able to continue to wear many of these things in your usual size for a long while.
I think a pregnant woman can wear a maxi dress or skirt in a semi-conservative office without anyone batting an eye. The same goes for tighter styles-I love when a pregnant woman really shows off her new shape in the second or third trimester by wearing a tighter pencil skirt, for example. Just because something feels uncomfortable in your first trimester, don't give up on it. Once your bump looks more defined, you might come back to that item.
3. Where can I get what I don't have?
How fun! Lots of the same places you might already shop also have maternity lines. Also, check the plus size departments for great sizes because they go on deep sale more often than maternity. Cheaper stores like Target or Old Navy are best for basics like their tank tops, leggings, or t-shirts, while you might want to check out Destination Maternity or Asos for cardigans or dresses once you are really starting to show.
Make something yourself!Check out my Pinterest Board for two great roundups with links to women who sew incredible clothes-sometimes for maternity, too. And, don't miss my Maternity Style: Bump it, Bump it Real Good board, too!
Raid your partner's closet!
Things I would look for: belts in a bigger size than you usually wear, button downs (put a belt over your bump to cinch in the waist), pants that you could gather together and secure with a belt, t-shirts in a bigger size, and comfy, cozy sweatpants or PJ pants for you to wear around the house. Same goes for friends and family-start digging around to see what they've got that you might want to wear.
Here, she's wearing her regular leggings with a men's shirt and a skinny belt. This is a great idea because the arms tend to be bigger for menswear if you're starting to feel bigger all over. The belt shows off the shape!
4. What will I wear once the baby is born?
I think this is an important thing to think about. Some styles that were typically "maternity" don't lend themselves to life with a baby who is breastfeeding. For example, the empire waist: if it's too tight, it will be hard to work around. I think shirts that can easily be lifted up or unbuttoned are a better bet. Here, the tops are all stretchy and able to be pulled up easily once the baby arrives if you're breastfeeding. What makes the outfits cute is the details.
Which leads me to this:
5. How can I still feel like myself through all of these changes?Hopefully taking stock of your own clothes that might grow with you and your baby will help you to feel like you don't need an entirely new wardrobe-at least for the majority of your pregnancy. I also think that adding small details to outfits can help you feel put together even on the days that you're exhausted, sick, or just not feeling like yourself.
Tie a scarf on and wear boots or shoes that you love.
Tie a shirt over a dress that doesn't work on the top anymore or over a size that's too big for you from the thrift store. You'll find some great patterns there! I also love her bracelet.