Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maternity fashion advice: Part 1

My "fashion" has gone considerably downhill the bigger and more pregnant I've gotten. Most of my maternity clothes still fit but I just don't feel like putting in the energy to come up with cute outfits everyday. It's so much easier to resort to the same type of outfit most days and not think about it. Also, I'm in my office mostly and not teaching or doing many official things right now, so I don't really have to dress up much anymore.

But, in the earlier months I had to look nice and professional and still be relatively comfortable to teach classes and give tours and presentations. I wanted to share what worked for me. Keep in mind my pregnancy has fallen mostly in the fall and winter, so this may not apply to ladies giving birth in the summer months.

PHASE 1: 12 weeks-22 weeks
The "I'm just bloated to there's an actual bump there!" phase:

I didn't start wearing any maternity clothes until 14 weeks, and even then it was just on the bloated days! During this stage I was still relatively close to my old size and could still wear a lot of non-maternity stuff. I really started to pop about mid-way through my pregnancy and definitely needed maternity clothes at that point. My go-to items:

Bella Band

I bought mine at Target. I didn't get much use out of it since I moved on to maternity pants pretty early, but it was good for getting more life out of pre-pregnancy pants. The band was pretty good at holding up un-buttoned pants or too-big maternity pants as well. The only problem was it tends to roll if you are moving around a lot. I bought mine in tan, which worked well under lighter colored tops.

Ribbed maternity tanks from Motherhood

My biggest problem at this stage was tops not being long enough to cover my bump or maternity panel or Bella Band. I really liked the ribbed tanks from Motherhood and Old Navy. They have been great for layering under light cardigans or just wearing around the house.

Non-maternity dresses

At this stage I was still getting a lot of wear out of non-maternity dresses. But, as my bump grew they started to get a little too short. Some people could wear leggings or tights but as I got bigger I never found a good pair of maternity tights that were comfy. I thought I'd be wearing dresses and tights throughout my pregnancy but have found myself choosing pants more often.

Black/gray herringbone Trousers from Liz Lange for Target
(no longer available)

Speaking of pants, I had a favorite go-to pair of dress pants for this stage of pregnancy. They had a nice comfy panel and looked professional and I'm pretty sure I wore them twice a week! I was able to wear them with a lot of my pre-preg tops and cardigans.


PHASE 2: 23 weeks - 33 weeks
The "nothing fits AT ALL and I need more clothes now" phase

Long sleeve t-shirts from Motherhood/Old Navy and Target

I've gotten a lot of wear out of the 5 or 6 long sleeve tees I bought for this pregnancy. I got black, white, purple, fuchsia, brown, and gray. I've probably worn the black and pink the most and the white the least.

Maternity dresses from Motherhood

My mom bought me the cutest denim shirtdress and I got a lot of wear out of it in this stage. The weather was warm enough to not need tights and I could still wear belts so I swapped out the fabric one for some of my fun skinny belts.


At this stage I could not wear heels of any kind anymore. I was having a lot of swelling during this stage (it's gotten much better now that I'm not on my feet as much). But I found that my comfy ballet flats and flat boots are a must.

Creative layering

Layering is pretty typical for most people in the fall, but for this pregnancy I think I got even more creative. I'd layer too-short pre-preg tops over maternity tanks to get more life out of them and wore a lot of cardigans and jackets unbuttoned as well.


PHASE 3: 34 weeks - 40 weeks
The "I'm sick of all my clothes and just want to wear pajamas" phase

In this last stage of pregnancy I've relied a lot on one go-to type outfit: Skinny jeans or black skinny pants, a long sleeve tshirt with a lightweight cardigan or chunky sweater over top plus knee-high boots and cute accessories (scarves, necklaces, hats). It's just so cold and nasty I have to wear boots, and anything else just takes too much thought.

Here are the other things I'm wearing in my last month or so:

Pajama bottoms - Worn only at home - not out in public!

Neil's t-shirts and sweatshirts - Again, mostly at home, though I have worn his solid brown zip-up sweatshirt out

My comfiest pair of maternity jeans

I have a super comfy pair of Liz Lange for Target jeans - similar pair pictured and here. They have a wide leg and just feel good. I'd recommend every pregnant woman to have one pair like this to kick around in.

Fake Uggs

Comfort before fashion when you're nearly 9 months pregnant.


This post was getting far too long, so I've broken it up into three parts. Stay tuned for maternity fashion post Part 2 where I will share my favorite items that worked all throughout pregnancy and Part 3, my advice for pregnant fashionistas!

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