how to build a maternity wardrobe you'll love.

how to build a maternity wardrobe you'll love!

As I begin my sixth month of pregnancy, there are a number of things I wish I could tell my eight-week pregnant self about building a maternity wardrobe. Though I cannot profess to be an expert on dressing for the entire duration of this journey, I figured I could share a few tips now and add more depth as I edge closer to delivery. Without further ado, here are my eight tips on how to build a maternity wardrobe you'll love...

1) Invest in a pair of comfortable maternity jeans early on in your pregnancy. I know a lot of people want to "hold out" to buy maternity clothes, but honestly, it isn't worth waiting to buy a reliably comfortable pair of jeans. After years of working in a boutique, I have high standards for denim, so I asked for this pair of maternity jeans for my birthday. They were worth every penny my mother spent. Since a fair portion of my pregnancy fell in the summer months, I opted to add a pair of white maternity jeans as well. It was another of my better maternity wardrobe decisions: even when I didn't feel super visibly pregnant, I was comfortable and could throw on a top without fear of a serious "taco belly" dilemma. 

2) Stick to the basics. Since most pregnancies last about three seasons, there is plenty of ebb and flow in the fashion world during those ten {yes, ten} months. My early 20's self often fell victim to some crazy fashion trends, but my late 20's self has finally learned her lesson. Fabulous prints and bold colors are fun, but they won't stand the test of time. Lord-willing, this won't be our last pregnancy. If things work out the way we hope they will, I will need these maternity clothes again! I don't want to buy things which look great now but will be totally faux pas in a few years. I decided early on in my maternity wardrobe building process that I would stick to the basics. From colors to cuts, I have been picking things which aren't so specifically 2014. {If you take one look at Shopbop's maternity section, you'll understand what I mean. ASOS Maternity is the polar opposite.} The clothes work together and aren't totally out of the box. This philosophy has worked well so far, so time will tell if it was a good call or not. One small note on this: if I am making more "trendy" purchases like this dress from TJMaxx {also seen here!!!}, I try to choose items I could wear whether I was pregnant or not. In other words, I won't buy trendy pieces from the maternity section of a store, but I will buy something a size up that I could comfortably wear for a few months in the post-baby days. 

3) Treat yourself to a few pieces you know you'll love. When you don't feel like yourself in clothes, you can feel pretty miserable. The first trimester was especially hard for me: while I wanted to scream to the world I was pregnant again, I also didn't want people to assume that I had a few too many slices of pizza. I found myself feeling very out of sorts in whatever I wore those first 12 weeks. I didn't want to accentuate the extreme case of muffin top I was baking under my clothes and I didn't want to wear a giant paper sack. I decided it was worth it for me to save up and buy a few pieces I would live in -- and love. Case in point: I love Splendid. {I always have -- and I always will.} Their soft cotton is my jam. Even if it is a casual outfit, I somehow feel extra confident in their pieces. I stalk Destination Maternity for sales on my favorite brands and have done very well with their redline promotions. Whether those splurges are at Old Navy or Shopbop, you'll be happy you made them. 

4) You can never have enough white tanks, pretty scarves, and skinny belts. These basics will solve some of your toughest pregnancy conundrums: hiding your lovely pregnancy "ladies" and giving some definition to your higher waistline. I live in these tanks {they're both super soft and cost-effective} and I know I'll wear them even more as the temperatures cool down. I purchased this belt in a few colors {it goes on sale frequently}. I love it because it has holes around the entire belt, making it easy to adjust based on where you want your waistline -- and if you had a big meal. I also scored this scarf on sale this summer and have been loving it for air-conditioned flights and chilly restaurants. No matter where you buy these staples, you'll be glad to have them as your belly grows.

how to build a maternity wardrobe you'll love!

5) Shoes and accessories will long outlive your pregnancy. This point relates a great deal to my third point, but go with me here.} These two wardrobe staples will make your maternity fashion feel much more fashionable--and work with you throughout most of your pregnancy. Example: I snagged these sandals on sale during those early weeks of pregnancy because I knew I would love to wear them, even when I felt large and in charge. Though I won't be able to wear them into the fall and winter, I will be able to wear them next spring and summer...and love them all the same. Also, I realize some folks may fight me on this tip because shoe size can fluctuate with pregnancy. I'll agree on the fluctuation, but I never buy shoes which are so constrictive that I could only wear them at that exact moment. The accessories are a no-brainer though: a fabulous pair of earrings or a beautiful statement necklace will go a long way into jazzing up a baby bump.

6) Max(i) it out. Because I'm on the shorter side, I don't always love maxi dresses. As a clumsy gal, I tend to get tripped up in them--and tripping isn't something you want to do in pregnancy. However, I have found that a baby bump raises the hem of a maxi every so slightly. This is a HUGE plus for me. The maxi I'm wearing in the photo above does have shorter hemline, so I found it worked well--especially with a belt. It just requires a bit of extra effort to identify a maxi which will fall at the right length and grow with you. Though it isn't my normal "look", I do anticipate wearing maxi dresses into the fall with a jean jacket or cardigan and boots.

7) Stock up on cardigans, which will fit now and later. Regardless of your due date, having a few of these easy breezy cardigans will improve your quality of life immensely. This simple cardi is nearly always on sale and available in a myriad of colors. {Word for the wise: buying in store often garners even better deals--I got mine for a whopping $9!} Though I haven't purchased these just yet, I love this cozy shawl collar cardigan, as well as this swingy jersey option. Cardigans are available virtually anywhere, so find one or two you love and call it a day.

8) Don't hold out on buying maternity clothes, just to say "you're not wearing maternity clothes". I see a lot of bloggers talking about how they didn't transition into maternity clothes until halfway through their pregnancy. All I can say is this: more power to them. As a person who has worked hard to stay roughly the same size throughout my 20s, I have also found styles which work with my shape. Let's just say this: most of those styles don't work well for pregnancy. At first, I was embarrassed to buy maternity clothes until I realized how much better I felt in my pregnancy skin while wearing them. I'm not joking when I say that the Secret Fit Belly line seriously changed my pregnant life. The Spanx-like top {without the tightness or constriction} smoothes out my midsection and makes me feel like a million bucks. I have also been a perennial lover of these J.Crew pants, so I was thrilled to see they made them for mamas too.  All in all, don't hold out because you want to "stay strong". Do what your body needs and prioritize comfort!

All baby bumps are different, so I know my advice may not work for everyone. If you've graduated from the days of baby bumps, I would love to hear any advice you might have. If you're going to be in the market for bump advice soon, pin this post for future reference ;) I also can't recommend the "dressing the bump" series on Oh Joy! more highly. Her insight {along with the guidance of a few recently pregnant friends} has helped me successfully navigate the first 24 weeks of pregnancy fashion. I still have a few months to go, but I am no longer scared of how to dress this bump! xoxo {av}

P.S. I think pregnancy fitness attire deserves its own post, so look for one of those in the coming weeks/months!

14 comments:

  1. love these!! you are absolutely adorable, and those dresses look so comfortable! sharing this with my pregnant sis!

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    1. thank you for your kind words--and for sharing, pretty lady! comfort is my M.O. these days ;) xoxo {av}

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  2. love your maternity style! this is really a great post.

    Some other things I am loving:

    JCrew Maternity pants (I have 4 pairs now from them!) https://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/maternity.jsp

    This dress from Target (which I wore to work and to the beach as a coverup): http://www.target.com/p/maternity-v-neck-dress-black/-/A-15067865#prodSlot=_1_28

    This shirt from Anthro (which I bought in three different colors - it flatters my growing chest, and I think it will be great option post pregnancy) http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/clothes-blouses/4112339180628.jsp#/

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    1. thank you so much :) I am a HUGE fan of those J.Crew pants too! I wish they had more colors...I would snap them all up, like I do in the non-maternity version. The dress is totally versatile (solids are my jam). I am also buying things in multiples -- when I like it, I buy it! so appreciative of your input. xoxo {av}

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  3. You have the cutest little bump!!! I can't wait until baby {v} arrives!

    xo

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    1. thank you, lady! we shall see how much longer the bump stays little ;) I can't wait until s/he comes too...December can't come soon enough. xoxo {av}

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  4. My first visit to your blog, its great! :) I found it through another post cleaning up your Pinterest! While not pregnant and probably wont have children I found this a great read! And yes, as you get older and wiser staple pieces are it! I shop for staple pieces I can wear for years as well.

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  5. I cannot get over how gorgeous you are, girl! You look killer in your maternity looks! xx

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  6. LOVE this :) pinning for the future!! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  7. My baby is almost a year and this is wonderful advice, thanks for sharing!!

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  8. Gosh DARN you look amazing. Please remind me to turn to this [hopefully!] in a few years! And in the meantime, cannot WAIT to meet baby {v}!!!

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  9. These are great tips! I was able to not wear maternity clothes for most of the first part of my pregnancy, mainly because I work from home and can wear workout clothes and then the rest of the time I've been wearing my summer dresses which all have a lot of stretch and so it worked...but now I'm finding that I really need to wear maternity clothes almost 100% of the time! I'm tall and so even if a lot of my regular stuff isn't too tight, it's getting to be way too short with the bump! But I've been trying to stick primarily to black/gray for a color palette for my maternity purchases, as I figure a) it's flattering b) it's easy to mix and match c) and it will transition well into fall/winter :) Crazy how time is flying now!

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  10. The belt you linked in #4 is so cute - I've been looking for something similar, and I love the colors! Also- you look great, lady, so I'll be bookmarking this for future use :)

    Alyssa
    www.feathersandstripes.com

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