Pregnancy Clothing Staples

Last time I was pregnant, three friends in Boston handed over their entire (not small) maternity wardrobes. The amount of clothing I had to choose from was twice what my regular closet offered. It was glorious.

This time, I’ve had to make do on my own. I’ve tried not to spend very much money on things because I don’t want to have a wardrobe full of things I can’t wear anymore next year, but I also don’t want to feel like a complete slob while I am pregnant.

Here’s what’s making up my pregnancy wardrobe this time around:

  1. Dresses – My mom bought me two maternity dresses last time, and I got two really stretchy non-maternity dresses from Loft that I wear frequently. Add a belt or a necklace and it’s an instant outfit.
  2. Skirts – I also have this long one from Target that I love. It’s too long for me to wear when I’m not pregnant, but it’s PERFECT when I am and I think I’ll be able to wear it the entire time. I also have several very stretchy knee-length skirts that are wearable all nine months.
  3. Leggings – Being pregnant means several of my dresses are just not quite long enough after a few months, and these make them work the whole time. I just buy regular leggings at Target for all of $8. 
  4. Sweaters – I wear these mostly on Sundays right now, but once fall comes, I’m planning to wear them even more. I like them over a patterned tank with jeans or a skirt, or to make a dress look a little different. I especially like the open-front ones (this one from Downeast is one of my favorites).
  5. Long stretchy t-shirts – I don’t tend to like maternity shirts very much because I think they have that certain tent-quality that I’m very much NOT going for. I also like that a really stretchy shirt curves around the bottom of my belly so it’s not just tapering off into huge mid-section. I have a black one from Modbod that I’ll probably wear 50 more times during this pregnancy. (But then, you know how much I love black shirts). I also just ordered this striped shirt from Shade
  6. Maternity jeans – I wear jeans WAY too much to not have a real pair of maternity jeans. I really like skinny jeans because a) I need to wear something with the word “skinny” in it and b) you can fudge the length more. I had several borrowed pairs last time around but because they were boot-cut, most of them were just a little too high-water for me. Not the look I was going for. I also strongly prefer the ones with the low-rise knit panel, rather than a full over-the-stomach panel because I feel like those panels are impossible to keep smooth under a shirt and also don’t hold my pants up tightly enough and I spend my entire day hitching them up. I love my Old Navy ones and I just ordered a pair in red too. Did I just write that much about maternity jeans? How embarrassing.
  7. Fun shoes – I like to wear real shoes all the time, but especially when I’m pregnant. I’ve been lucky that my feet don’t seem to change sizes and I can wear my regular shoes, but even if they were, I would buy bigger shoes because I refuse to wear plastic flip-flops and add to my already-feeling-frumpy vibe. 
  8. Bracelets – I’m more of a necklace and earring wearer generally, but when I’m pregnant, I like the emphasis on a part of my body that is still skinny. (The one in that picture above is from Tiffany’s. Mine is from the clearance aisle at Claire’s).

Any other suggestions for must-have pregnancy clothing items? Preferably ones that you wish to loan to me until early December? 

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  • Reply Elaine August 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    When I recently went shopping at TJ Maxx for baby gifts for a couple of friends, I saw a kit for a belly cast and it reminded me of your post about the belly rub. Seriously, what does one DO with the cast one creates with such a kit? Why does anybody outside of the immediate family want to rub someone's belly? Do they think you are a Buddha?

  • Reply Rhiannon August 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I wish there had been colored maternity jeans when I was pregnant! Red is so much fun. I had a couple pairs of jeans that I lived in. I also loved (soft) stretchy and long t-shirts and tank tops. I often wore those with a regular non-maternity cardigan. And, of course toward the end when I was GIGANTIC I just wore leggings (and hoped that I'd go into labor before I had to do laundry again).

  • Reply Ash August 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    … All reasons why you look so cute pregnant! Love this (and making a mental note to remember these things for when I take the plunge and have a baby! 🙂

  • Reply Stephanie Lee August 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Great list! I'll have to try a few pieces next time I'm pregnant. I think my favorite pregnancy pieces were:

    -Motherhood Maternity, Heidi Klum's skinny jeans. I think I wore them every day:
    -This tank, from Gap Maternity. It was fitted and flattering and went so well under everything:

  • Reply Isabel August 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    With this last pregnancy I tried to not buy many actual maternity items. I wore a lot of long t-shirt type (non-maternity) dresses with leggings. My biggest staple was the (non-maternity) Shade shirts. What's so great about them is that they s-t-r-e-t-c-h over the belly, but instantly go back to their original shape so they can be worn once the baby is born. Some of my Shade shirts I had BEFORE I had Babboo. Which means I wore them through 2 pregnancies and am still wearing them now. (And I don't tend to order a size bigger. My Shade shirts are all smalls.) (I love Shade.) (Can you tell?)

    I tried to wear heels as much as I could when pregnant. Sure, I wore my (fancy) flip-flops into the office. But I changed once I got to work. I firmly believe that you can't feel good on the inside when you're pregnant if you don't feel like you look good on the outside.

  • Reply Jennie August 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    You are the cutest dressed pregnant woman around, so these are great picks. When I was pregnant in 2008, gauchos were still trendy. Man, that worked out perfectly.

  • Reply Kayris August 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    I second well cut maternity jeans. I loved my lowrise bootcut jeans from Old Navy. I'm tall and need pants with a longer inseam, and ON was the only place that had maternity jeans in long for affordable prices.

    My second child was born at the end of November and it doesn't really get cold around here until closer to Christmas or even after the first of the year. (Or in the case of last winter, ever.) So I wore my maternity jeans or stretchy dresses a lot with layers–a maternity tank to cover my belly, with a LS knit shirt from Target over top. After delivering, I wore the same layers with regular pants so I could pull the tank down and the LS shirt up and nurse discreetly. And then I could wear the LS shirts under my scrubs for work in the winter.

  • Reply Daisy August 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Makes me want to be pregnant. Pregnant clothes are so cute.

  • Reply Emily August 29, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I have a request, oh pregnant one. Spooky suggestions for October book club?

    • Reply Janssen September 3, 2012 at 8:50 am

      How about Rebecca or Nine Coaches Waiting?

  • Reply kimmie August 31, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    I love the Old Navy maternity jeggings! I had the black pair and wore them every other day (sometimes everyday) because they were so comfortable. I hated the over-the-belly bands, the low rise ones were the best 🙂

    And when I was like 8 months pregnant, I found a pair of the red maternity jeggings (an online return) in my size and on clearance, but the fact that I only had a month left stopped me from buying them. I wish I could have gotten my hands on them sooner!

    For me, I LOVED the Target maternity long and lean tank tops. They didn't have the telltale maternity ruching on the sides, they were just long stretchy tank tops and great for layering 🙂

  • Reply JoLee September 14, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Your maternity clothes are super cute. I always feel like I want to look more pulled together when I am pregnant. It's no fun feeling frumpy and being pregnant. My youngest 6 months old, and, with this last pregnancy, I realized that I really dislike basically all maternity pants. I don't know if it's that I'm buying the wrong brands (had that same Old Navy pair), or if the way I carry makes the pants look weird, but none of them fit me right. I stopped wearing maternity pants and started wearing leggings. I got lucky and found a pair of jeggings at H&M that where jeans in every sense except that they had an elastic waistband. Another plus is that leggings make me feel like at least one part of my body is skinny. Once I banished the maternity pants I was a much happier mommma.

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