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When I was pregnant with Emma, I was adamant about buying as little maternity clothing as possible. My reasoning was that I would only be pregnant for nine months, and I’d only be super big for about five of them. What a waste to spend hard-earned money on clothing that I’d use for such a short period of time! And almost everything that I came across looked frumpy and was ridiculously over-priced. No thanks.
So I got by with three pairs of maternity jeans, none of which I loved… and then only invested in a few oversized non-maternity pieces to get myself through. My hope was that I’d continue to wear it long after I had the baby.
Not so much. 😂
It got really hard toward the end, and I hated everything I owned. And then I simply gave up on my appearance and refused to leave the house, haha. Luckily, Emma came less than a week later. Sigh. ;)
With Baby #2, though, I have a slightly different approach. I suppose it could be because it’s been such a physically challenging pregnancy and because I just want to feel put-together, in some sense, once again. Whatever the case, I’m purchasing actual maternity clothing this time around! Not a ton, since I really do think it’s possible to make many parts of one’s non-maternity wardrobe work during pregnancy. (See below.) But I’m putting a lot of thought into which maternity basics I’ll get the most wear out of, and I’m researching what the best bang for my buck is in regard to price, quality, comfort and style.
And guess what? I’m feeling good about my appearance again! I have pants that I love. Tops that flatter, not make me look like I’m wearing a tent. And most of my stuff can be mixed and matched. The best part is that I found the majority of my most-loved items at stores like Old Navy and the Gap, which are constantly having huge sales. (They’re also right around the corner from me, which makes returning and exchanging easy.) And while I saved a ton by mostly shopping at Old Navy and the Gap, I’m amazed at the quality. In many cases, it’s better than that of those brands that dare to charge $200 for a simple gray maternity dress. (Infuriating, no?)
But let’s focus! Today, I’m sharing my 30-piece winter maternity capsule wardrobe. It’s comprised of what I’ve purchased recently, which non-maternity items I already had in my closet that also work for pregnancy, and a wish list of sorts. Ready? Let’s dive in!
Favorite maternity staples:
“Rockstar” Skinny Jeans: Guys, I tried so many pairs of designer maternity jeans, yet Old Navy’s amazingly affordable Rockstar Jeans are, without a doubt, a zillion times better than expensive denim. I can’t get OVER how great they are. They’re extremely comfortable in waist, they don’t fall down or stretch out (like, at all), and they’re unbelievably soft and comfy. Heck, the other day I took a four-hour nap in them. I really can’t recommend these more. They’re the best on the market, and come in a ton of different washes! TTS.
Super Soft Skinny Jeans: This is the runner up, for sure. Not as fitted as the Old Navy pair, but they ARE super soft, which is why they’re a close second. They’re what I reach for when I know I’ll be hardcore playing with Emma, as they’re so well-made, and they’re what you’ll find me wearing on the weekend. They come in a slightly darker wash, too, btw. TTS; order your pre-pregnancy size.
Classic Leggings: Something else I searched high and low for. And where did I find the perfect pair? Old Navy. These fit fantastically, and work great when paired with long sweaters or worn underneath casual dresses. (Just add boots!) A great alternative is Gap’s version of the leggings, which are slightly longer. (I do, however, prefer Old Navy’s version.) Totally TTS.
Stripe Boatneck T-Shirt: This is the softest maternity t-shirt ever, and as I was typing this post, I ordered two more because I realized that mine are almost always in the wash! It’s perfect as a layering piece, or just on its own. It’s also available in solid black and white versions, and here’s a great navy long-sleeved tee. TTS, but I sized up because I like my tops looser.
Lace-Trim Ponte Dress: Here’s my little black dress for my pregnancy! It’s seriously perfect, and I think I might wear it to an upcoming wedding in March. It’s warm and feels like a t-shirt dress, but the ponte material makes it appear fancier. I love it! I went down one size in this dress.
Black Swimsuit: This is a must! Love this similar one, too, which comes in a floral and in black. I ordered a size up for extra length in the torso area and it was a good decision.
Navy Striped Dress: I bought this for our upcoming vacation! Just needed a casual t-shirt dress to run around in during the day, and this one is fabulous. Love that it functions as a nursing dress after you have the baby, too. I went up one size.
Non-maternity stuff that still works exceptionally well:
Halogen Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater: Bah! It’s selling out, but it really does look lovely with the baby bump. Not tent-like at all! I went with a small, since it runs very large. It’ll be a little big after I have the baby, but I love that slightly oversized look.
Rothy’s shoes: YOU NEED THEM. Pregnancy is known for being tough on the feet; these shoes make it all better. They feel like walking on clouds since they’re made from a soft woven material, and they’re machine-wsahable. TTS.
Camel Sweater Blazer: Blazers, in general, are great for pregnancy because you typically wear them open. Yes, some might be too small, but there’s probably one in your closet that works! The sweater blazer is my all-time fave, though, because hello, Chicago. I need all the help I can get with this weather! Runs extremely big. Size down at least one size, if not two.
Classic Cable-Knit Scarf: Another product that can top off an otherwise perfectly preppy (and striped!) outfit. It draws attention away from the bump, too.
Maternity products I’d like to try:
J Brand Mama J White Skinny Maternity Jeans: I’m desperate for a pair of side panel or low panel white jeans. I wish Old Navy or the Gap carried a nice low-panel white pair, but nothing yet. (Probably too early in the year.) I heard great things about this pair from J Brand, though, so I decided to splurge and I ordered them last week. I’ll report back soon, but do you have any recommendations for white maternity jeans?! I just can’t do the over-the-belly type of jeans as I find them to be uncomfortable. Thanks in advance!
Nom “Ellie” Striped Dress: But this is super cute, too, and way more affordable. I want a cute wintery striped dress with sleeves to wear under a cardigan and with black legging and brown riding boots. :) What do you think? Pounce or keep looking?
Low-panel leather or velvet leggings: CAN’T FIND A GOOD PAIR OF LOW-WAISTED ONES. Please, someone: help! Would love to have a pair for more formal events… but I could probably get way with just wearing the black jeans, which is fine. ;)
Gingham bathing suit: Of course, I wish it were navy… but cute nonetheless and I ordered it for our trip!
A maternity coat: Just not sure it’s worth the investment. Bah! I mean, I do live in Chicago, haha. Then again, the baby is due in May, and by then, it’ll be warming up here. Buy a coat for the next three months or get by with simply leaving it open?! Decisions, decisions. HELP ME.
Maternity product I would skip:
DL1961 Florence Maternity Skinny Jeans: This is the one pair of designer maternity jeans I purchased, before I discovered how awesome Old Navy’s Rockstar line is. They’re good, but just not as good as the Old Navy ones. If you’re married to these, though, be sure to order one size down. They’re very stretchy and tend to lose their shape throughout the day! (But yes, they’re very comfortable.)
Hope this is helpful, Friends! I should note that this post is not about buying everything here; it’s about determining what you already have and what “wardrobe holes” you’ll like to fill in. :) Basics, basics, basics.