Friday’s Faves: Maternity Clothes

I thought I might do a few pregnancy themed posts between now and D-Day.  Not sure how many pregnant people read this blog, but I know I sure did love it when I came across some tips and tricks for getting through these totally-awesome-but-kind-of-awkward 9 months.  I’ll start with the all important clothing category.
From the gecko I knew I did not want to be stuck in frumpy, unflattering preggo outfits.  Thankfully, maternity clothes have sure come a long way from the flowery moo-moos and overalls our moms had to wear.  First and foremost, go through your closet and pull out the pre-preggo items you think you’ll be able to continue to wear.  For me, this was tunics, empire waist dresses and other blousy tops and dresses.  I put all of my pregnancy clothes in one section of my closet, so I wasn’t constantly digging around trying to find things that fit.  My pregnancy attire was all in one place.  I just pretended that my cute fitted dresses and pencil skirts didn’t exist:)  Once I took inventory of what I already had that would work during pregnancy, I made a list of some staples I would need to buy.  My #1 tip is to buy staples in a similar color scheme so you can easily mix and match. I mainly focused on black, grey, beige and red, with just a few other colors thrown in, and jeans of course.  Most of the maternity outfits I have bought consist of items I would buy even if I wasn’t pregnant.  Gap’s maternity line has definitely been my go-to, but I’ve also purchased a few things from Ingrid and Isabel, A Pea in the Pod, Motherhood Maternity and Target.  Here’s a quick rundown of my favorite items….
(this is usually found towards the back of Gap Kids…not all Gap’s carry maternity in store, but you can get everything online)
  • Jeans.  I have lived in jeans this whole pregnancy.  I like the “Always Skinny” and the “Long and Lean” styles.  I bought 2 pairs of the Always Skinny jeans, which easily tuck into my boots, and 1 pair of the Long and Lean jeans in a darker rinse, which seem a little dressier.  I also like Gap’s jeans because they have 3 options for the tummy band. You can get the full panel (that comes all the way up and over your belly) or the demi or ultimate (which sit below your belly).  I decided I preferred the full panel because it conceals my new outie.
  • Cords, khakis and other “fun” pants.  I am in love with the cords and have bought 3 pairs in black, cream and red, all in the “Sexy Bootcut” style with the demi panel (below the belly).  These are as comfy as the jeans, but more work appropriate.  Honestly, the red cords are probably my most favorite purchase.  They look great with a black, grey or white top.  I bought 2 pairs of the “Perfect Khakis”, one with a full panel and one with a demi panel, which have been great for work.
  • Long sleeved tops.  Obviously I have been pregnant through the winter, so my purchases have all been cold weather appropriate.  Gap has the softest long sleeved tops in all different styles and colors.    Again I stuck with black, grey and white, but I bought several styles, including v-necks, turtlenecks, crew necks and wrap tops.  They all have shirring along the side and are longer in the front.
  • Comfy skirts.  Gap has the best foldover waist skirts in this really soft, jersey knit material.  They are knee length and have a full panel.  Seriously, I could wear them all day and even sleep in them.
A Pea in the Pod (in store and online)
  • Sweaters.  I have a few cashmere sweaters from here that I adore, and that have kept me warm during these cold months.  Granted these were a little on the pricey side (although Matt did catch a couple on sale around Christmas), I do think I will still be able to wear them post-pregnancy.
  • If you’re going to need a cocktail dress, this is a good store to check.  They have a nice selection of evening dresses
Motherhood Maternity (in store and online)
  • Dress pants.  I picked up a few of their staple dress pants in black and grey, all with the full panel.  If you’re working, these are almost a necessity.  They’re not expensive…I think I got them on sale 2 for $50…which is good since I doubt these are worn post-pregnancy.
  • Basic dresses.  I have a few stretchy, jersey knit dresses that I bought on sale.  They have this line of maternity/nursing dresses that are really comfy during pregnancy and then provide “easy access” for nursing.  I like that I’ll get use out of these even after Asher is born.
  • Underwear and sleeping tops.  You will want maternity panties…trust me.  And you don’t have to rock the granny panties.  Motherhood has tons of cute bikinis and thongs that sit below your belly and have a little extra stretch in the hip area.  The built in bra tanks are great too for sleeping.  You’ll want a little extra support up there as you grow, and these offer it while still being comfy.
  • Leggings and tights.  Buy several with the full panel.  A staple outfit for me this winter has been leggings with a long top or sweater, and boots.  Even if I were pregnant in summer I would probably wear leggings with a tunic and flats most days.
Target (in store and online)
  • First off, just know that the Target stuff is not going to last as long or hold up as well.  Therefore, don’t spend a ton of money.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Target clothes, but in comparing them to items I bought from other stores, they just didn’t hold up as well after washing.  For example, I went through about 3 of the exact same white cotton tees because after a few washes, they had shrunk too much. 
  • Basic long sleeved tees.  I had one of these in every color.  I lived in them on the weekends with jeans or yoga pants, and they were good for layering.  Go up a size (or two) because like I said, they shrink.  At $10 each though, it’s ok. 
  • Liz Lange dresses.  I bought a few stretchy dresses from this line that I love, including a little black dress that carried me through holiday parties and events.  They were inexpensive ($25-$30) and the quality was decent. 
  • Clearance racks.  Every time I was in Target I would check the clearance rack and usually leave with a bargain or two.  I rarely spent more then $10 on a clearance find, so even if it shrunk or didn’t hold up after a month or so, I didn’t care.  I have bought several cute tops and tunics (mainly from the Liz Lange line) that I’ve paired with leggings.
Ingrid and Isabel (found online)
  • I love this line!  Such pretty pieces, especially if you need something for a special occasion.  It’s a little on the pricier side, so I’ve only bought a few things, but the quality is wonderful and I’ve been able to get pieces that I should be able to wear post pregnancy.  I particularly love the shirt dress and the maxi skirts.
  • One thing I wish I had gotten?  The Belly Band.  This would have allowed me to wear my regular pants for a lot longer.

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