My Maternity Wardrobe Essentials

My_Maternity_Essentials

There have been so many interesting and unexpected phases of this whole growing a baby process– especially when it comes to getting dressed!  I wasn’t even sure anyone was going to be interested in style posts once there was a bump involved, but so far you don’t seem to mind so I will keep them coming as long as you keep reading them!  I have also had quite a few of you email or comment with questions about where I have had the best luck maternity shopping and what my favorite pieces have been, so I thought I would round it all up in one post here!  Here is what I have loved– as well as what hasn’t worked out so well– in these last twenty two weeks…

ONE // Maternity Jeans. This one is inevitable.  People love to complain about spending big money on jeans you will only wear for six months, but you will wear them almost EVERY DAY for six months!  For me, the investment has been worth it.  There are two types of maternity jeans these days: those with the big stretch panel that pulls up all the way over your belly or the low-rise ones with stretch elastic panels on the sides.  Personally, I find the low-rise ones with the stretch panels to be much more comfortable, but it’s totally a matter of preference.  Keep in mind, though, you can see the big over-belly-panel through lighter color shirts.  My favorite maternity jeans have been these J Brands from Belly Dance Maternity and these Verdugo skinnies from Paige.

TWO // Extra Long Tops.  I have a relatively long torso to begin with so this growing baby bump hasn’t been easy on shirt hemlines.  I have found even some maternity tees to start inching up on me now that I’m at 22 weeks! (Personally, I have found ASOS to be on the shorter side for tees.)  I recently picked up these two tops (and a couple others!) from Pink Blush Maternity and am totally in love!  They are EXTRA long– I can even wear a couple of them with leggings– and super affordable.  Most of their tops are under $30.

THREE // Dressy Tops.  While I wasn’t impressed with the fit of their tees, I have loved the dressier pieces from ASOS Maternity.  This coral scalloped top was less than $12, so no need to feel guilty if you only wear a few times!  I love the color and it’s super easy to throw on with a pair of skinny jeans and a pump for dinner or an event.

FOUR // Statement Accessories.  Sometimes when you’re not feeling you’re best, you can’t be bothered with fussy pieces or trying to look stylish.  My go to look for those days has been a fitted tee, my favorite jeans, and a great statement necklace to catch everyone’s attention.  Super easy and no need to stop wearing this little gem once baby girl is born.

FIVE // I picked up this over-sized white button down at Madewell before I flew to New York earlier this month and love it for days when I want to look more stylish.  My favorite way to wear it is with my Isabella Oliver leggings (see #11), my flat riding boots from Coach, and my quilted leather jacket (see #10).

SIX // Flat Ankle Boots. I recently met Mara from M Loves M at a Land of Nod event last week.  When she told me she worked at the corporate HQ for Seychelles I had to tell her how I am overly obsessed with both pairs of Seychelles boots I have picked up this season.  These flat ‘Lucky Penny’ boots have become my fall/winter daily staple.

SEVEN // Active Pants. I think everyone’s capacity for exercise during pregnancy is totally different.  Before getting pregnant I was up to running 3-5 miles  four times a week.  Running hasn’t jived that well with my pregnancy but I have still been hitting the elliptical machine and spin bike at our local gym as well as a prenatal yoga class from time to time.  These Ingrid and Isabel active pants are super comfortable for the bump.  These NIKE pants were my favorite pre-pregnancy and actually work remarkably now even with this growing belly.  Who knew?!

EIGHT // H&M. I have had really good luck with the couple of maternity pieces I picked up from H&M.  This striped sweater is easy to throw on with leggings and boots for a casual day of running errands.  I think I missed my weather window on this bohemian white top, but I’m hoping we’ll get some warm, sunny days between now and April and I can channel my inner Kate Hudson.

NINE // Bella Band.  For me there was about a three week window where I couldn’t have lived without this little gem!  My old jeans were getting incredibly uncomfortable, yet there wasn’t enough of a bump to start sporting maternity jeans yet.  This was a lifesaver and totally worth it even if I did only use it for a few weeks.  I have heard it comes in handy post baby when you’re trying to squeeze back into those old jeans.

TEN // Quilted Leather Jacket.  I have found the key to pregnancy is to accentuate anything that hasn’t rapidly expanded during this new phase of life.  For me that means keeping things fitted on top.  If a shirt is a little too drapey or billowy, I can throw on a fitted jacket like this leather one and it instantly becomes much more flattering!

ELEVEN // Isabella Oliver.  I have mentioned in an older post that I picked up a couple of pricier items at Isabella Oliver to wear over these next few months.  One of those things was this pair of maternity treggings.  To be totally honest, I’m not even sure what word is being mashed up with leggings here, but regardless, I am OBSESSED with these.  They are SUPER thick and flattering and the interesting seam detail makes them feel much more stylish than your average legging.  Comfortable.  Machine Washable.  (Sidenote of vanity: I wear them to all of my doctors appointments because I figure they weigh less than jeans when I have to get on the scale… just being honest!)

TWELVE // Tight, Stretchy Dresses.  Pre-pregnancy I thought I would be all about the drapey maternity clothes.  However, I feel so much better in things that are stretchy and fitted.  You feel pregnant, not just bigger than usual.  I have worn these Nom dresses from Belly Dance Maternity at least a dozen times each… Probably more!

If you’re expecting or planning on getting pregnant in the near future, I hope this helps!  If you have any other suggestions, leave them in the comments!  I still have 18 weeks left to dress this bump!

  1. rachel

    11/27/2013

    if i could be pregnant at 50 I would, just for the clothes! Some very dodgy outfits I remember wearing back in the day, the ‘tent’, the ‘jolly green giant jumpsuit’ to name two, plus massive t-shirts in Hong Kong and massive jumpers in the UK, o and ‘the duvet’ coat, almost forgot that one!!

    • Jen Pinkston

      11/28/2013

      Oh my goodness, I can’t wait to google image these pieces! It’s funny how quickly times change!

  2. Please keep the maternity posts coming!! It’s great to get some advice on how to dress during the various stages of pregnancy. x

    • Jen Pinkston

      11/28/2013

      Thanks, Cara! This is a new season for me, so I’m never sure how much people actually want to read about the maternity/baby stuff. I’m sure it will continue to find its way in from time to time!

  3. Thanks for the guide! I’m almost 12 weeks pregnant, and I’m glad to hear the positive review of the Isabella Oliver pieces. I’ve been contemplating taking the plunge on a few of their dresses because they look so versatile, even if they are a bit expensive. Would you say it runs true to size – like if you wear a 6 before pregnancy, get a 6? Hard to find reviews on that brand online!

    • Jen Pinkston

      11/27/2013

      Congratulations! I hope you’re starting to feel better and have more energy! My personal experience has been that the more fitted things run true to size while I tend to need a size down in those that are a little more drapey. H&m is definitely true to their own sizing which tends to me smaller than the average. The stylist in me always orders a couple of sizes so that I can try them on at home and then I ship back whatever doesn’t work :).

  4. This was fantastic! I’m just three months so I’m still wearing normal clothes, but who’s kidding who – I know it won’t be for much longer. These are fantastic tips 🙂

    • Jen Pinkston

      11/28/2013

      Congratulations!! Be sure to send any great maternity finds my way!

  5. For anyone thinking of the Bella Band, the bella band was extremely uncomfortable for me, because it plastered my jeans and its buttons right into my belly which hurt when I sat down or moved around.

    I much preferred having stretchy dresses instead, or maternity jeans (either with stretchy side panels or a full bump cover).

    • Jen Pinkston

      11/28/2013

      I loved the Bella band and found it so comfortable! They do come in different sizes and it sounds like you may have needed to go up a size or two.

  6. Shannon

    11/30/2013

    Agreed — please keep the maternity style posts coming! Us pregger gals need to stick together and inspire each other along the way! I’m personally 24 weeks with a little girl on the way — what an adventure! Congrats Jen!!

  7. New reader here…
    Thanks for the suggestions! I am due in April (I am about 2 weeks behind you), and start having some difficulties in getting dressed. I have had quite some luck in H&M, as you suggested, and found a pretty dress that is not even on their website. I have to check it out again within the next week, to see if they have some new shipment and buy a belly band – don’t know why I skipped it last time.
    I want to buy leggings – you mention it, and more than one friend/ colleague said they can be a lifesaver. And have to look for a maternity swimsuit…

  8. Pingback Styling The Bump / Maternity Giveaway! | The Effortless Chic

  9. Pingback Pregnancy Essentials | The Effortless Chic

  10. Lindsay Zibach

    09/29/2016

    Digging deep in the archives here, but THANK YOU FOR THIS POST.