For my first pregnancy, I fell into the first-time-mom trap of thinking I needed a while wardrobe of maternity clothes and I’ve learned my lesson. I simply didn’t need that much stuff for what boils down to a five month period of time, but I still wanted to feel put together and, most of all, to feel like myself. Here are the pieces I’ve been loving to make that a possibility. The first time around I got a few expensive pairs of jeans, some pretty awful cheap pairs of pants, enough maternity dresses to wear a different one pretty much every day of my pregnancy (did I mention Lema was born in January??) and all the maternity and nursing wear Target had to offer. What I realized after being pregnant back to back was that I needed the clothing I purchased to be able to transition into my wardrobe long after the pregnancy was over. I paid attention to shapes that would work for the long haul while, of course, mixing in a great pair or two of maternity denim and a couple maternity tanks and tees to get my by.
At 22 weeks my belly isn’t quite as enormous as it will be for the second half of this pregnancy but the tops and sweater styles that work best are oversized and cut evenly all the way around–no high/low hemlines or strange crops. I got this three pack of t-shirts on sale after a friend recommended them during her own pregnancy and I’ve been blown away. They’re exactly what I look for in a tee thanks to the perfect crewneck but also the fabric is incredibly comfortable and soft on my belly. They layer so well under everything and can be dressed up or dressed down. I’m smitten. The price made me nervous but considering they’re the only tees I’ve been wearing and will still be able to wear them once the baby comes it’s been more than worth it. Here are some other pullover and top styles that work so well with a belly:
Free People typically becomes my best friend during pregnancy and I still wear three tops I rotated heavily while Keogena grew in my belly. I typically am not drawn to the tunic style top but let me tell you, it really comes in handy for these 9 months. I’ve been wearing this one non-stop (in more colors here) and people have actually stopped to inquire about it because it’s so pretty. I’ve also worn this dress and this sweater over and over again and they receive the most questions and compliments. Here are some more Free People favorites that work with or without a bump:
Friends. If you are pregnant. If you are not pregnant. If you’re post-partum. If you’re a woman period, these pants are worth their weight in gold. The fabric is like softened butter mixed with silk and they’re so stinkin’ comfortable I wear them much more often than I wear leggings lately. They feel so comfortable on my growing body and I love them for exercise but also to feel put together when I don’t want to put real pants on. They’re an investment for sure but that’s my favorite part about avoiding maternity clothes when possible- I’ve worn these for years and will continue to once this pregnancy is over.
Cardigans become essential for me when I’m pregnant. Not only do my arms grow pretty quickly as I put on weight and retain water but I feel so much more comfortable and cozy in my go-to outfit: a maternity tank or tee, a comfortable pant and a cardigan. They make every outfit look complete, even if I throw it over what I’d consider pajamas. Since I’ll be pregnant until the very end of Spring I’m steering clear of the really heavy options and I’m much more drawn to the lightweight, year round cardigans.
Dresses are essential for any pregnancy. Thankfully, I’ve found tons of styles for each pregnancy that don’t require an actual “maternity dress.” I love dresses and they get some of the most wear out of any item in my wardrobe so it’s hard to justify the purchase of a dress I’ll only wear for a couple months. Wrap dresses, tie waist dresses, a-line, completely stretchy dresses and empire style dresses work best and I avoid styles that have a true waist or a tight zipper. Those are pretty impossible.
Cozies never need to perform more than during pregnancy for me. I want to be comfortable above all else at all times and this often looks like switching into my cozies right when I get home. I’ve raved about my favorite robe for years and if you haven’t splurged on the best purchase you’ll ever make yet, pregnancy is the time to do it. I also fell in love with this robe at 1Hotel in L.A. this summer and O got it for me this past Christmas. It’s essentially a giant hoodie and so many people asked what I I was wearing when I made a video in it. It’s not as cozy as my first love but it serves a different purpose and I’ve been reaching for it all month. I’m also gonna let you in on a secret-these men’s pajama pants are a dream and a half. I’ve convinced my sisters to get them and once you try them on you’ll never want to take them off. Ever. The band is super belly friendly and I wear them through all my pregnancies.
I’ll be sharing a round-up of some of my go-to outfits in the coming weeks as this belly grows and, hopefully, the temperatures get a bit warmer. I’m looking forward to being as creative as I can be to avoid maternity clothes as long as possible!