Maternity fashion is like sushi in Kansas – either really expensive and worth it or cheap and questionable. But mostly its just really hard to find the good stuff. I went to some of the maternity stores and the sales people were trying to convince me that something was ‘cute’ and in my mind I was like What are you talking about???? This shirt is generic and marmy it just happens to be better than the rack next to it that is even more hideous. Its like expectations are so low for maternity clothes that anything that has a color or a pattern is all of a sudden ‘super cute’. But its not, folks, its just not.
I bought some of those shirts, I did, but I only wore them once before I saw myself in the mirror and thought what am I wearing … and why would I do that?
So the items below have saved my wardrobe the last four months. They are either maternity clothes that were worth every penny or staple pieces that you can wear with maternity clothes to feel cute and flatter your figure.
Please excuse the gratuitous amount of photos of me in this post – I wanted to show you how I actually wear these ALL the time, that they are crucial parts of my wardrobe and not just links that I found. So I went through my instagrams and found mediocre photos of myself said fashion on my person. Plus otherwise that would be a LOT of type without images because y’all know that I can talk and talk …
Here goes …
1. A chambray shirt. I bought this from Madewell and I wear it ALL the time, unbuttoned like a jacket or buttoned up with the bottom two unbuttoned and a tank underneath. I can wear something blouse-y underneath it and yet my shoulders and my ribcage still look small – therefore showing that I’m indeed pregnant. I wear it CONSTANTLY because its cute, flattering and comfortable (and yes, not maternity so I can wear it after very easily and breast feed easily in it). This was me at 30 weeks showing you that I know how to count even while pregnant. Thinking for two.
2. Anthropologie seamless reversible tank tops. I’ve been wearing these for years and I love them very much. They are thick without being too thick, so they hide all the soft skin (aka any layer of fat, cellulite or flab doesn’t show through). They DON’T ride up, and yet are flattering because they hug your boobs. So I love them when i’m not pregnant, and are just as great when pregnant. They stretch a ton so I can wear them at 8 months and they show off the belly (and are long enough to go over maternity jeans).
3. Kork-ease Olive Pump wedge oxfords. So cute and comfortable PLUS they still give me a couple of inches so I feel taller (and therefore skinnier) and just generally less like a slug and more like a pulled together pregnant chick. I can wear them all day without my feet aching AT ALL. I was wearing them below, although that dress is not my favorite (good example of expensive and not worth it – it shrunk IMMEDIATELY). Thanks Brian Morrow for taking that weird photo.
4. Skinny belts from Target. I realized early on (around 5 months) that I needed a belt to indicate that i’m pregnant so i can stop getting that questioning glance down and subsequent ‘I’m not sure so I won’t ask’ silence. I secretly have large chichas so in conjunction with a large belly it becomes one big mass of movable/shakeable flesh that is just generally not awesome and doesn’t really look pregnant. The belt helps define my girl parts from my pregnant bump and have proved to be CRUCIAL to my maternity fashion. I went to Target and bought 7 belts – all different colors and have worn the heck out of them. They are pretty much the same ones that are at Jcrew and Madewell, but much cheaper.
5. Gilligan and O’malley underwear. I’ve been wearing these for years. They are super comfortable because they are so stretchy (which clearly you need whilst pregnant). But more importantly they don’t cut into your flesh and give you lines. As you get more and more swollen you obviously want to still look smooth and NOTHING ruins that faster than panty-lines that define your fat rolls. I literally own like 42 pairs of these.
6. J brand elastic waisted maternity jeans. Absolutely worth the splurge (I wore them in the above photo) Yes, it’s a total bummer to spend $200 on jeans that you’ll only wear for 6 months but honestly you have no other options except to buy garbage jeans that immediately lose their shape, give you a flat mom-butt and make you feel even less sexy. These jeans are AWESOME and I highly recommend them. They don’t have that second stomach that you have to tug up the whole time and while you still have to tug these up, in between tugs your butt still looks good and your thighs look small. They are pretty flattering. I’ve worn them probably 100 times in the last 6 months so therefore they are absolutely worth every penny.
7. Leather Mixed moto jacket as seen in my ‘I’m pretending to be a live model, too ‘ photo above. This is not maternity and doesn’t even come close to closing on me now, but it has a lot of stretch in it and is flattering in the shoulders, neckline and the arms. Most importantly it keeps me kinda looking edgy and hardcore. Clearly i’m no threat to you on the back streets of Glendale, but it makes me feel less marmy.
8. Splendid maternity stretch pants. I could live in these alone. I wore them in the first photo with the chambray shirt and probably 3-4 times a week since I bought them. They have a high maternity waist that really stays put. They are soooo soft and stretchy but keep their shape. I wear them 5 times before I wash them and they don’t really get baggy – yet aren’t too tight. I LOVE them and will continue to wear them postpartum.
9. Trina Turk stretch maternity dress. This dress looks super basic and it is, but it’s secretly awesome. It has two layers of fabric – an inner one that keeps all your flesh and skin looking and feeling smooth and then the outer layer clings just so nicely on the right parts. I dress it up with a jacket and heels and then down with a jean jacket and flats. It’s incredibly comfortable, shows off your belly and is just so slimming everywhere else.
10. Lauren Moffatt shirts and dresses. I’ve loved these forever and have worn them pre-pregnancy, but they are also the perfect really pregnant and postpartum breastfeeding shirt. Yes, they are expensive, but I’ve worn my so many times before and while I was pregnant. I feel really cute - it’s flattering in the ribcage area, has pleats in the back and then billows open around the belly. I’m actually probably going to wear it home from the hospital so you can’t see my deflated (depressing) tummy and so I can stop to breastfeed on the way if I have/get to.