Okay, I apologize for being so MIA recently. The last half of September was B R U T A L and I finally feel like I can breathe again. Combination of what I now know to be high altitude influenced pregnancy complications and then getting a nasty, nasty stomach bug a week later. Good gawd almighty, I do not recommend getting the stomach flu when pregnant. However, now that I am feeling more like myself, have caught up mostly on sleep, I am getting back into the swing of keeping up with life.
As our Colorado weather starts to get cooler (we’ve had two frost warnings already!), I am turning to my fall wardrobe and this year, it makes me especially excited because most of the maternity clothes I have gathered are more suited for fall/winter. I know a surprisingly large number of friends who are currently pregnant right now, both ahead and behind me, and I feel like maternity fashion is quite applicable. I am just shy of the grand HALFWAY mark with this pregnancy and I am so happy to be almost there! First off, let me walk through my list of what I consider maternity essentials (speaking specifically as a second time mom and how I have done things differently fashion-wise this time around). Please keep in mind that were this a summer maternity fashion post, my recommended essentials would be quite different!
**Note: With this being my second (and last) pregnancy, I have found I do have definite preferences regarding maternity clothes this time around. I prefer low rise maternity pants to full panel, or even low banded pant tops. I very much prefer more fitted tops/dresses this time around instead of loose and flowy. I know women who preferred the full panel pants, but for me, as I’m short-waisted already, always felt claustrophobic in those types of pants! So all of my recommendations are going to go off these preferences, but I will include alternatives for those who like the full belly, low band maternity pants!**
~ [Fall/Winter] Maternity Essentials ~
- Tees/Tanks/Fashion tops – When I was pregnant with Ender, I only had maybe two actual maternity tops. We were pretty tight financially with my husband finishing his degree and I had stopped working. So I made do with what I had. This method works, but I regret not having three or four staple maternity tops. I prefer short sleeve maternity tops to full length sleeves because it’s easier to layer and not overheat when I have a base of a short sleeve shirt. My favorite go to top right now is from Old Navy and I have this one in black (which I found at the thrift store!). I got a two pack of short sleeve shirts from H&M but I can’t find them online anymore! Basically this top but in white and black. I honestly prefer the Old Navy top to the H&M tops because the Old Navy top gives me a lot of room and it’s got a lot of give. The H&M tops, not to much. I don’t think I’ll be able to wear those tops full term. So when it comes to tops, I definitely recommend Old Navy OVER H&M.Tanks – Again, Old Navy. Like I said above, I am sticking with a lot more form fitted tops this time around, and am finding I highly prefer shirred tops. This (black) tank top from Old Navy (again, a thrift store find, but I will be getting at least one more shortly) is my preferred tank. It is long, stretchy, and so very comfortable. A great layering piece as well.
Fashion Tops – I have several plaid maternity tops, and while they’re not fully fitted, they are tunics and fitted around my shoulders and bust line. These tops (and I forgot to get a picture of the third top I have which I would pair with my gray leggings and tall boots) are comfortable, loose when I don’t feel like having something tight(er) across my belly, and they have a multitude of options for dressing up/down as well as adding a lot of accessories.
tip: Liz Lange Maternity from Target is another great source for affordable maternity clothes. Their clothes are very comfortable, and I wore them a lot with my first pregnancy. I haven’t gotten very many pieces from them this time around because the style is a lot looser and not quite as fitted. I do have one short sleeve top I found at the thrift store from Liz Lange, and this long sleeve sweatshirt kind of top that I pair with a black tank top and leggings.
- Dresses – I have one actual maternity dress, but have two other maxi dresses I can wear for quite a while longer. The maternity dress I have is a brand I don’t recognize and can’t find online, so it must no longer exist. But yet again, it’s fitted and shirred. The reason I prefer fitted/shirred maternity clothes is because the more my belly grows, the more I need to be aware of balancing the lines of my body. This has nothing to do with hating how I look or trying to hide, this is all about being comfortable with your body and loving it as it shifts and changes while carrying your child. So while I prefer fitted looks because I believe it’s more flattering for my body type, it is 100% okay if you don’t and like looser more flowy clothes. Here are some examples of the three dresses I have, and some of the ways I’ll style them.
- Leggings – After I had my first, almost two and a half years ago, I viciously got rid of all of my maternity clothes. I had a lot of prodromal labor before finally delivering him, and I absolutely HATED everything maternity. That being said, I have spent the past year kicking myself about getting rid of my maternity leggings! My absolute favorite maternity leggings are from Old Navy. I am not terribly fond of other maternity pants from Old Navy, but their low rise leggings! Omg, so amazingly comfortable and I don’t spend a lot of time pulling them up like other leggings (or feeling like I have droopy crotch)– low rise leggings in Gray
– low rise leggings in Black
I recently purchased a pair of the black leggings and then found the gray pair at the thrift store this morning for $2!!! Score! Leggings are one of the big essentials I consider worth getting, especially for a pregnancy that takes part mostly in the fall and winter. There are some fashion rules are wearing leggings though! 1. Make sure they fit comfortably, no skin tight unless you want to be tugging at them all day and having them cut off circulation
2. Preferably wear leggings with a tunic top or longer t-shirt (this is personal preference, so this is completely up to you!)
3. Think Balanced when it comes to pairing tops, jackets, and such with leggings. Do not do super super flowy top with leggings as this creates a top heavy kind of look that with a growing belly makes you look unbalanced. If you’re wearing leggings, have a looser top, but still with definition in the shoulders or around the rib-cage.
tip: along with leggings, I consider yoga pants to be an absolute must. Especially on those colder fall and winter days when you don’t have to go anywhere! I have two pairs of non-maternity yoga pants, and they’re a definite staple for me. I also have a pair of these workout pants from Be Maternity by Liz Lange. I love the crossover back panel, and they are thicker and just all around super comfortable.
- Pants – Like I said above, all of my maternity pants/leggings are very low rise. Both pairs of my actual pants/jeans are low rise, have no panel whatsoever, and have belt loops. For some reason, my hips shrink during pregnancy, so with the low rise and with belt loops, I can actually keep my pants up this time! I have three pairs of maternity pants (one of those is not an actual maternity pant but they work very well despite that) 1. Dark Wash Low Rise Jeans from Liz Lange Maternity 2. Black Low Rise soft cotton stretch pants from Gap Maternity 3. No Boundaries Gypsy pants (I call these my crazy pants). Gap no longer carries the black pants I have which kind of sucks because they are so so comfortable and I will definitely be wearing them after I deliver as well. The Liz Lange pants are a little bit iffy, I need to break them in a lot, but they fit me overall (which is a difficult feat for me and jeans) and I have the skill set to alter them if I decide I need to (I’d need to take two tiny darts along the back waistband so they lie flat against my back). I have heard very good things about both Gap and Old Navy Maternity pants/jeans, and I’d highly recommend them as an affordable option. I would also recommend Liz Lange at Target for maternity jeans as well. The nice thing about Target, is those pants/jeans are on sale a lot.
tip: just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean your wardrobe has to become boring or bland! I have several what I call crazy wild pieces (those gypsy pants for example) and I love mixing them into my day to day outfits. Granted, I do have mostly black and gray wardrobe staples, but those are base pieces and can be built upon for some awesome looks!
- Accessories – This is my favorite category and the one area of fashion you can go as big as you want or as minimal. Accessories are also the things that you don’t have to have as specifically maternity. These are good at all times, not just when you’re pregnant! I love using accessories (jackets, shoes, jewelry, belts, scarves, etc.) to up the game of a favorite outfit. I am all about comfortable, especially being pregnant, so any accessory I add has to be comfortable and match the comfort level of the base outfit. I have 4 [fashion] jackets and one specifically maternity jacket for wearing on top of layers. The fashion jackets are all pieces I’ve carefully spent time collecting over the past two years. I have two green jackets (I know, I know, a little redundant), one is a cargo/army type jacket and the second is the green jacket I am wearing above in the multiple pictures. I have a tan faux leather jacket, as well as a navy blue cargo type jacket as well. Two of the things I didn’t have were sweaters, which I found two of them at our local thrift store. One is the gray and black striped sweater above. I have a handful of scarves that I only wear when it’s freezing outside, but that make amazing fashion statements for outfits that just need a little something else. I jumped on a deal from H&M for this maternity MAMA Parka and I really like it. It’s not very thick, but there’s enough room to layer sweaters and whatnot under it. The green is not as bright as the picture (think an almost black teal green).Let’s talk about shoes. As this is specifically winter, I’m going to talk about my winter shoes, which include quite a very more shoes than my summer wear (literally sandals and maybe a pair of flats). I have collected over the past two years three pairs of booties. A dark tan pair, gray blue pair, and a black pair. I have three pairs of flats – a black and cream spotted pair, dark forest green, and black with a gold chain around the ankle. I also have two pairs of tall boots – a brown pair and a black pair. Then, I have my winter boots. I carefully looked for the boots I wanted and ended up finding a pair last winter at TJ Maxx of all places! These snow boots can take the place in any fall/winter outfit I would normally wear booties or tall boots with. If you’ll notice, every single pair of flats, booties, winter boots, and tall boots, can be worn with almost any outfit I have. This was done on purpose and these are all pairs of shoes that will [hopefully] last me a very long time. I will need to replace my black and cream pair of flats soon, but I have worn those religiously every fall and winter for the past 4 years.
tip: I have mixed feelings about their boots, but JustFab has a deal right now where your first pair of boots is just $10 ($15 something when shipped) and that includes booties or tall boots. I just got my black pair of boots from them and they are stiff (they’re brand new and I think just need to be broken in, and they are wearable/comfortable) and after I got the boots, knew I liked them and would wear them, I canceled my subscription to JustFab and that was the end of that. They also carry wide calf boots that are legitimately wide calf.
Alright, so those are all of my tips for Maternity Essentials! I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thanks for stopping by. ❤