Wednesday, December 07, 2011

wear: maternity style.

i've had some requests over the years to do a post on maternity style and i don't know why it has taken me this long to do it, but here are a few things i learned over the course of my pregnancies.  (and hopefully some of you that asked are still pregnant!)
it can be so challenging (and annoying) to get dressed every day while you're pregnant. your body is constantly changing and it can seem like you need a new wardrobe every couple of months. i didn't have a lot to spend on maternity clothes so i learned to just "make it work" on a daily basis. 
when i was pregnant with piper, we lived in a mountain town in colorado so my "style" was pretty basic; lots of leggings and long sweaters, jeans and stretchy shirts. i didn't buy very much maternity, instead relying on "regular" clothes with plenty of room to grow. when i was pregnant with quinn, i was working at j.crew, so i had to look presentable and get more creative with my clothes. 

1. invest in the basics.  
there are certain things during your pregnancy that are worth spending a little extra money on. if you're a "jeans" gal, it is totally worth investing in a good pair of maternity jeans. the gap has come along way in its' maternity offerings and there are some really cute skinny jeans in the stores now.* however, don't spend a lot of money on jeans if you have to wear dress pants to work every day. i think it's also worth investing in a couple of maternity tanks. i wore these from the gap under everything. i had one in white, gray and black. and you'll still be able to wear them after you deliver! i also found a light denim jacket that i wore all. the. time. it actually became a running joke on the blog because i wore it almost every day. over dresses, tees, tanks, etc. (mostly because my arms were pudgy and yours probably will be too, haha.)
*one reason i really like skinny jeans during pregnancy is because so many of the tops are long and flowy, the skinny leg helps balance that out. 

2. belt it.
another trick is to belt loose tops and dresses. even though you'll basically have no waist at the end of your pregnancy, if you wear a belt between your boobs & belly, it'll accentuate those hot-mama curves that you've earned! i wore belts all the time.

3. skip the maternity section.
i understand there are some things you'll just need (or get desperate enough to pay full price for), but maternity clothes are so expensive and often pretty boring. i totally recommend browsing the sale section of maternity stores and i'm not saying i never purchased "real" maternity clothes, but if you're a momma-to-be on a budget, you don't have to buy everything from the maternity section. stores like forever21 have all kinds of tunics and babydoll dresses that are perfect for pregnancy. buy bigger sizes of normal clothes or even check out the plus-size sections. i know this doesn't work for every body type, but no matter what your size, it is possible to dress affordably and stylishly when you're pregnant.

4. accesorize!
the one thing that will always fit when you're pregnant is your accessories! add scarves, necklaces, belts, bangles, and fun shoes to spruce up a very basic outfit. (this is true whether you're pregnant or not!)

5. beg, borrow, steal.
if you have other friends who have been (or are) pregnant, they can be a great resource for you! if you have a dressy event to go to, consider borrowing a nice dress or skirt from someone else rather than purchasing something new that you may only wear once. my sister and i were pregnant at the same time with both of our kids (and she's expecting again!) so occasionally we would trade clothes, just to give ourselves some variety. towards the end of your pregnancy you'll get so sick of wearing the same things over & over again--try to avoid desperate trips to the mall! (though they may be inevitable.) also, don't count out your partner's closet! i loved stealing mr.a's button-downs.

6. dress in dresses.
dresses were my go-to when i was pregnant. there are so many stretchy options out there and you don't have to mess with yanking them up every 5 minutes the way you do with pants!

7. the extras.
i totally recommend buying a belly band of some sort. they sell them at target, the gap and i'm sure most maternity stores. it's just a stretchy band that you wear under your shirts, but you will totally get your money's worth out of it. you can wear it in the beginning of your pregnancy, when your pants are starting to get snug. just leave that top button undone and the belly band will cover it and keep your pants up! also, if/when you transition to maternity pants, they'll likely be a little too big and the belly band will help them stay put. and, after you deliver the baby, it will help you make the transition back to your normal clothes as well! i just bought a white one and it looked like a tank peeking out from under my shirt.
at some point i also bought some maternity spanx. as i mentioned, i wore a lot of dresses and the spanx help keep everything smooth and comfortable. they also provide a lot of support for your belly as you get really big. plus, you don't have to worry about all that extra junk in your trunk!

these photos aren't great, but here are some of the ways i incorporated these tips... 
wearing my infamous denim jacket.
this was a non-maternity tube dress--super-stretchy.
one of my favorite outfits included one of mr.a's shirts and of course, a belt.
not much of a bump, but wearing a flowy,  j.crew blouse.
you can see my bella band poking out under that t-shirt.

regular top with maternity pants.

no "maternity" but lots of accessories.

i hope these tips are helpful for you mommas-to-be!
if you're blogging your own belly style, include your link in the comments.
i'd love to see how you rock the bump!


  1. You were the cutest little pregnant chick!!

  2. THANK YOU! you have no idea - this is SO helpful to me right now. :)

  3. Um, how cute are you?!?!? I seriously have NO pictures of my pregnant. This is both good and bad... but looking at your cute pics it makes me a little sad (although I prob didn't look half as cute!)

  4. great tips! you were so adorable pregnant!

  5. Have another one you're too cute when you're preggy :)

  6. I loved this post Bethany!! Blog post request: How to accessorize?! I have few accessories and NO jewelery...what are some good "starter" styles...I love your style!!

  7. You were so pretty pregnant! Your pregnancy style is awesome!

  8. I love this post. Although I don't plan on having kids for quite some time- I found it very insightful :)

  9. i have to say, dressing while pregnant is not as tough as i thought it would be. although it does seem like each day is different as far as what fits :) i am 26 weeks and have stayed away from the maternity section for the most part and only have a few things...and since i'm on a tight budget i totally made sure i can wear those things even while i'm not pregnant. thanks for sharing!

    all my pregnant outfits can be found at :)

  10. Did your feet grow? And if they did, permanently?

  11. oh my gosh! you look soooo young in the LOVE tshirt!

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  13. Love this post! You were so adorable pregnant!

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