Wednesday, September 14, 2016

maternity musts:: wardrobe

Although I haven't been pregnant with Baby #2 for very long, I've put a good amount of thought and research into how I want to do this pregnancy the same and differently than Lilly's. I was adamant about not wearing much maternity clothing last time, but I also opted for oversized leggings and Drew's shirts a good deal of that time too! I want to look stylish and feel confident rather than slobby this go-around, so here's what I've comprised as my maternity wardrobe musts!

A really, really fabulous pair of jeans. Requirements:  Soft. Well-fitting. Flattering. I got a designer pair off Ebay and I hope it's really worth it. I imagine it will be. I got a pair of so-so Target jeans with Lilly and I hated them, rarely wore them, and they were not worth the cost per wear.

Super-comfortable everyday-wear leggings. April says these are boss. I lived in oversized regular fold-over waist leggings with Lilly but they were less flattering and not as long-lasting as maternity.

One pair of comfy pants that are NOT leggings. There will be days (either swollen days, or slouchy days, or whatever) you do not want to wear jeans or clinging leggings, and all you want to do is wear your husband's huge-ass holey sweatpants out in public. A nice pair of comfy elastic-waistband joggers will save you those days. I got mine from lululemon right after I found out I was pregnant with Lilly and wore them throughout pregnancy and before/after. A couple of pairs of slightly oversized athletic shorts come in handy, too. (I wear basically the same size in these joggers/shorts as I do postpartum.)

A gorgeous nice dress. Mine was a bit of a splurge during my pregnancy with Lilly, but it's nursing-friendly and looks amazing even postpartum as a normal person! It's big on cleavage, but it covers everything else up so I feel glamorous but not skanky. This needs to fit perfectly (but room to grow), be ultra-flattering, and make you feel gorgeous. You only need one, but any holiday parties / weddings / special events you get asked to attend, you'll feel like the belle of the ball. (I've already worn mine to:  New Year's Eve party, Drew's promotion dinner, LJ's rehearsal dinner, NWPG holiday dinner, church, concerts, date night... you name it.)

A more casual but still pretty dress (maybe for a different season, if your pregnancy will be spanning a few!). I got a seafoam green knit jersey dress from Target and wore it a TON -- to two of my showers, to church, to client meetings, casual get-togethers, errand running, you name it. Very livable. The one I have is not as wearable postpartum because it's longer in the front (and "low-high" isn't a trend) but it got worn a TON during pregnancy! 

A few really soft, comfortable, flattering t-shirts. Especially if they're actually maternity, you'll live in these. I wore so many of Drew's shirts and sweatpants on my days at home slouching around with Lilly -- I'm determined to feel attractive and like I've put some effort into my appearance this go-around. Comfy leggings and a soft shirt are just as comfortable as sweats and a big top, so why not look presentable? #activewear #haha

A couple of nicer tops that can accommodate a bump. This is one area I like to go non-maternity -- there are plenty of flattering styles nowadays that can be worn as a "normal person" that still fit over a bump. My favorite are Lilly Pulitzer Elsa tops. I can wear either an XS or S in those, so I just opt for the S and they fit great up until I deliver! I have three of them that I rotate for work, church, and occasions I want to look a little dressier. Piko tops are also great options for non-maternity shirts you can wear during pregnancy -- they're stretchy, flowy, and very comfortable. I don't usually care for the empire-waisted blouses I see out there (they usually make me look fat and make me hot), so my suggestion is to eschew those and just invest in a couple form-fitting maternity t-shirts instead.

For fall/winter - an attractive sweatshirt that will accommodate the bump. If it's cute / has a cute saying / not enormous but still big enough, you'll not feel like a slob wearing it out and about, and you can wear it over jeans/leggings/joggers/whatever!

For fall/winter - at least one neutral-toned open cardigan you can toss over anything for warmth. Layers are key for fluctuating pregnant temperatures; I lived in my grey and white Breton-striped cardigan last time and have worn it postpartum too. I think I'd like to update this year to something either camel or cream colored.

For fall/winter - at least one lightweight but warm jacket you can throw over athleisure outfits and feel put-together but also ready to brave the elements. Ability to zip is great but not required.

For fall/winter - at least one non-maternity coat big enough to either belt or just hold together, so you don't freeze your ass off. Not a huge deal for Southern states where it doesn't get too miserable. (Or at least as a Tennessee girl, I wouldn't buy a maternity coat strictly for that reason.)

At least one skinny belt you can fasten under your boobs to show off the bump. This was the style I rocked almost daily when I went out anywhere. It helps define the bump.

A sports bra that can contain your boobage for athletic purposes. I never had to deal with big boobs pre-pregnancy but by my second trimester with Lilly (and then the first 10 months postpartum while nursing) I had some major stuff to contend with.

At least one or two stretchy bras with cups for late-pregnancy comfort. I tried to wear my normal underwire bras in my 7th and 8th months and I remember one miserable dinner trying to affix a safety pin to the center clasp to expand the band size (unsuccessfully). I got the bra expanders but they didn't work great for me. I'll be wearing a racerback and normal Coobie bra this time around when my ribcage has gotten so big!

5 nursing bras for postpartum. I like the Stella ones from Target and Coobie bras (via Zulily),  although the Coobies don't hold up super well. I had to wear a bra (AND a nursing pad) 24/7 until Lilly was almost a year old, so comfort was key and they had to withhold a range of bizarre boob sizing changes. (Shrink... Expand... Almost burst... Shrink...)

A couple of nursing tanks. I had the Target henley style ones with Lilly but I hate them because my huge boobs would always pop those damn buttons straight open! Pointless!


A few tunics from your normal closet. Swimsuit coverups can be great for this! I have a navy anchor tunic from J Crew Factory I had in big rotation last time, as well as a Lilly Pulitzer Captiva coverup that I swapped out from time to time. The LP coverup and a pair of leggings were what I was wearing when my water broke and I went into labor with Lilly!

Maternity Spanx. I've heard these help out varicose veins really well (ouch!) but also if you want to wear any super body-conscious dresses or skirts sans lumps, this is the way to go.

Some bodycon dresses and rotating crop tops (as long as they can accommodate big boobs). This time I'm going to try this out -- could go great or terrible. All my pieces for this option are non-maternity; we'll see how it goes!

A couple of pairs of colored solid leggings (the one-size-fits-all with fleece lining are what I opted for) to layer under longer tunic sweaters. These were nice to have but not absolute MUSTS.

Maternity pantyhose, if you're in a cold climate and wearing a lot of dresses. I maybe wore one pair once? (I have black and nude pantyhose.)

Totally Optional: A pair of stylish glasses you feel confident in. I bought a pair of Warby Parkers for my birthday last year and they've helped me feel cute rather than a slob when I can't bear to put my contacts in!


Cheap jeans. Just get a nice pair, even if it's secondhand.

A ton of empire-waisted tops. They're not flattering; you can do the same effect by belting a longer top (that you'd otherwise wear as a normal person). Don't waste your money on a ton of "maternity blouses"!

A lot of maternity activewear. Last time I got away with sports bras (as long as they could accommodate a larger chest), oversized t shirts, and one actual "maternity" active top. I can wear it postpartum (it's black and not obviously ruched) and it's still fitted enough when I am largely pregnant to cover the bump while still looking very polished and put together. Some of my pre-pregnancy Lululemon tops were loose enough to accommodate the bump, too!

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