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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson

Well folks, I’m now 25 weeks along (23 weeks in these photos) and things are going totally fine. Every morning I wake up and get a surge of excitement knowing that in less than 4 months I’ll have this little baby girl and our family will be complete. No more trying/failing to get pregnant and no more BEING PREGNANT. Just Four. More. Months. I’m not pregnancy’s #1 fan (I am however, motherhoods #1 fan) and in this one I’ve felt way more frumpy and just kinda ‘meh’ than when I was pregnant with Charlie. That’s probably because with him I didn’t have a toddler already, let alone a toddler going through separation anxiety (why now at 18 months!!??) that didn’t want me out of his sight. The first time around I had so much more time. When I wasn’t working, I was working out all the time, sleeping a ton, shopping constantly for adorable maternity clothes and doing silly things like lotioning up my belly to reduce stretch marks (which I’ve done maybe once this pregnancy). It was just so much easier to feel good and look good because I had one less MAJOR thing that I wanted to give my attention to. I see the cycle of looking/acting like ‘a mom’ so much more with 2 kids. Its rather terrifying how fast you slip into the ‘not caring’ phase of your life. At times it’s liberating and yet generally terrifying – because lets face it, you do care, you just don’t have time to follow up with what ‘caring’ requires from you.

Meanwhile when we brainstorm blog content my staff is always like ‘what about maternity fashion posts?’and I instantly respond, ‘I know, I know, I should but I just don’t feel like it.’ What I’m really thinking is I feel gross, my body is soft, I’m not a model, my last fashion post was humiliating, I work out once a week at most, I’m not a fashion expert or even particularly fashion forward, let alone the fact that fashion is not interior design related (although it’s obviously style related).

But then I thought about how much I love seeing what some design bloggers that I follow are wearing (Joy, Erin) and so I tried to change my game and thought to myself Calm down, you don’t have to do anything fancy. Just go to your favorite stores in an afternoon and then pretend you are 26 again and, you know, TRY for 15 minutes to pull together an outfit that you don’t hate. Then call Steph and have her shoot 5 of them in an afternoon. So that’s what I did.

Before I get into it, the point of this whole ramble is that by taking 3 hours to shop and then another hour or so to actually plan the outfits, I felt WILDLY better about myself and my pregnancy (fine, the spray tan didn’t hurt). I was feeling seriously frumpy, wearing mainly muu muus and just feeling like giving up looking cute til six months after the birth. Every now and again I would feel sorry for Brian for marrying such a slob and then my inner irrational demon would say Feel sorry for HIM? The guy who gets a free family????? The guy that can eat philly cheesesteak sandwiches every night for dinner, and never gains weight??? And then I was like, Screw it…. Where is that tent dress? But I was the one suffering more than him because I was just letting myself feel gross and sad and then taking it out on him. I seriously wouldn’t want to be married to me while I’m pregnant.


I know this job kinda forces me to do things that are a little outside my comfort zone (like these posts) and many of you don’t have this kind of job. But I am hereby asking, begging, giving permission and more importantly encouraging you to get out there and just put a tiny bit of time and effort in when you are feeling blah, because most of the time its just a matter of having some new on-trend pieces that are flattering to make you feel so much better. Spend some money on yourself, please. Combine just a few new pieces with what you already have (or in my case buy some clothes that actually FIT) and I promise you will feel better. Emily_Henderson_Summer_Maternity

This outfit is clearly not revolutionary but I love it for my lifestyle right now. Its extremely comfortable, easy to wear, is totally my style and I feel good in it. Every body is different so i’m not saying this is universally flattering, but that shirt (this one is AWESOME, too) has these little cute sleeves that exaggerate the width of the shoulders THUS decreasing the visual width of the rib cage (and making you look slimmer through the middle). But it doesn’t hug the belly so its comfortable and flattering (pregnant or not).

The shorts are maternity and are super comfortable and affordable (although I wish that those elastic panels were light blue instead of dark blue). Those Rachel Comey shoes (I can’t find those online right now) are my current favorite everyday shoes – although the color of the leather has changed A LOT since I purchased them 6 weeks ago, so be warned. Nude shoes are always flattering (they make your legs look longer). These have a 2″ chunky heel which makes my legs actually longer, and they are so comfortable I can wear them walking/standing all day long, even at the flea market. I’m not a shoe person, but I will probably buy another pair of these before they leave the stores (of course, now I can’t find them) because in LA you can wear these year round and I love them that much. Although frankly for $280 they should last a few years without me needing to buy two pairs, right?

Summer_Maternity_FashionOne of the other ways I convinced myself to do these more fashion/lifestyle shoots was to get some more photos with that kid. Sharing the camera with him makes me FAR more comfortable, and then I don’t “pose” quite so much (not to mention its easier to smile naturally around him).

My encouragement really goes out to all of you ladies – moms or not, working in the home or away from the home. Please. Take an afternoon to make yourselves look/feel better. Go get a spray tan, get your hair highlighted or blown out (or grays covered – OR ALL OF THE ABOVE), your nails done, your makeup done at a blush bar and buy (or borrow) a couple new ‘go-to’ outfits that flatter your body. Sure, you may not be able to swing all of that at once, but man, I had been neglecting myself really bad. And when you neglect yourself you feel gross and ugly and when you feel gross and ugly you get resentful and look for someone/something to blame – at least I do. I can’t blame this little innocent baby in my belly that I already love so much, nor can I blame that innocent toddler that yells ‘mama, up!’ with his arms reaching towards me all day, so instead I was blaming Brian or my job – neither of which were to blame.

While most of you won’t do all the above and then book a photo shoot to shoot your outfits I HIGHLY suggest that you pull together a few outfits that you love and then take photos of them with your phone for reference. I did that before we started the shoot (mostly to not waste the photographers time), and now I have these photos to reference for whenever I think, ‘UGH I HAVE NOTHING THAT LOOKS GOOD’. I have five outfits that I like, and if you guys are into these posts I’ll post the rest of them. If you aren’t at least I now have five outfits that I can throw on when i’m feeling frumpy and I plan on wearing these 5 outfits all summer … as in you might get sick of seeing them over the next 2 months. 🙂

*Photos by Stephanie Todaro, Makeup by Danielle Walch (I did my hair this time due to time – I’m telling you because I don’t want you all thinking that she would ever let my hair be that messy on purpose, its my fault:)) testtest

  1. I think you look amazing, and I would love to see the rest of your new outfits!! You make a great point that a little effort will go a long way, mentally-speaking. I need to remind myself of that often!

  2. love these fashion posts! You look amazing mama 🙂

  3. I love these posts!! I think one of the reasons why myself and many others love your blog so much is that besides the wonderful design and interiors inspiration, it’s fun to get a peak into your personal life and personal style. Plus, as a mama of a toddler as well, it’s nice to relate, girlfriend! Time to post those other 4 outfits … 🙂

    xo, gemma

  4. You look so cute! I’m in the same boat. Second pregnancy (3 yr old), 35 yrs old, 34 weeks along. It just gets worse and more uncomfy unfortunately. But you look way better than me! And we’ll have cute babes soon!

    1. It’s the clothes, I promise. I’m tempted to really show you how I looked/felt before I picked out some cute outfits. NOBODY was telling me that it was cute (which was a big sign that maybe I should try). Anyway – get a spray tan. it makes everyone look 5 pounds less and covers a lot of cellulite, and there are a lot of organic ones out there if you are concerned about mixing with pregnancy. xx

      1. I sometimes use spray ‘hose’, which is nasty, but so liberating. It makes everything look smooth and gives some color. Just hard to apply this large. 🙂

      2. Thank you for this! I am taking my pale freckled 10 months post partum self to get a spray tan when I get home from vacation. I am one of those who hasnt miraculously gotten skinny from nursing and I am alternately pissed and sad about the current state of my body. I lived in lulu lemon until I signed up for rent the runway unlimited in May- now I get all kinds of dresses for my currently larger self. This post was a fab reminder for self care- the hair and nails are next.

  5. I was so much bigger during my second pregnancy, and at around 7 months pregnant I actually started growing out of all my maternity clothes. I didn’t really want to buy clothes for just the last two months, so I pretty much resigned myself to wearing my husbands tees and not really leaving the house.
    My sister rescued me: she bought me a gift certificate for maternity clothes and made me come shopping with her. A few hours later I had some cute tops and bigger pants that got me the rest of the way through my pregnancy. And just like you I felt SO MUCH better about myself.

    Thanks for this post. Glad everything is going well for you!

    1. Thank goodness for your sister. And for this blog (which forced me to). I was trying to just wear my maternity clothes from last time that, yeah, weren’t really fitting this time so I was just kinda giving up. It’s annoying that sometimes in order to feel better you have to spend money, right? But it WORKS. at least temporarily.

  6. You always look great (at least on your blog)! I am definitely not very into shopping for clothes (it seems like nothing ever fits), but I like seeing your clothing posts because you tend to offer ideas for things that could look good on a lot of bodies. But maybe you could do two or more outfits per post? That would make it a lot more interesting and seem less like filler.

    1. Ha. Yes, good idea. We’ll try two in the next one and see how that goes. Thank you. xx

  7. Love the fashion posts — LOVED the skinny jeans one, too! — keep ’em coming!

  8. Emily, you look gorgeous! I’m 17 weeks pregnant with my first baby, and I’ll be absolutely thrilled if I look that good at 25 weeks (I’m keeping my fingers crossed). For utterly selfish reasons, I want you to please post the other four outfits!

    1. I promise its the clothes – also I just don’t post any photos where I look crazy frumpy because, well, it would just make me feel worse, but trust me when I say when I don’t try to look better its definitely frump city over here. At 17 weeks I think I looked/felt worse because I hadn’t popped yet. I tend to just look kinda chubby til 20 weeks at least, so if you feel that way it’s totally normal. 🙂 Hang in there and CONGRATS!!

  9. So cute!!! Post the rest please!!

    Showed my hubby your comment about the guy getting a free family and he loved it. So how I was while preggo.

  10. Please post them!! I am 2 weeks behind you with my first baby, and I love following along. Your plane analogy is the best description of pregnancy I’ve ever read, and I tease my husband (who is going to be flying first class to meet me on vacation, where I’m flying– separately– coach– your analogy coming true!) constantly about his “free baby.”
    Anyway, feeling pretty and like myself has been a huge struggle, and just reading about other ladies going through the same is so awesome. (Also, I lucked into a super stylish girlfriend giving me her entire maternity wardrobe, so now I DO feel prettier, but it’s definitely not easy!)

  11. I love your fashion posts! Mostly I love how honest you are. I’m pregnant with my 4th (!!) and know exactly what you mean. It only gets worse the more kids you have. I wash just surfing Pinterest and saw maternity outfit posts and thought “hah! I’m just happy to not be in sweats today!” But then I got my hair cut and bought some new tees at target that actually cover my 36 week belly and now I feel so much better. A little effort really does go a long way!

  12. happy to say that while i totally understand where you’re coming from, you still look amazing and adorable as always. 🙂

  13. I’m 23 weeks now and I feel your pain. It’s either been a dress that my husband says looks like a big bag (which is very comfortable- he should try it) or I am trying to shove my belly into pants that just aren’t comfortable. BTW- your legs looks amazing for only working out once a week. We are trying to go hiking a few times a week and I’m upping my walking schedule cause it seems my ass is also preggo and my thighs look like they belong to someone else. Yay baby!

  14. An enthusiastic yes to the next four outfits, please! I’m 20 weeks along in my first pregnancy and man, is it hard to get dressed in the mornings right now. I’m in that phase between looking chubby & having a cute bump and I’m just not sure what looks good. And then there’s the issue of maternity jeans, which seem to constantly fall down- why is that?! It’s still chilly up here in Northern CA which drives me crazy because I’d love to be in dresses and shorts every day. Anyway, as you can see from my rant, I’m in desperate need of fashion inspiration right now, and you have it in spades, lady! Oh and thanks for the permission to go shopping; I’m heading out right now!

  15. You look great!! Thanks for sharing, I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling like this. I’m 21 weeks and not feeling very pretty lately. This little girl is definitely taking my beauty! The overwhelming feeling of love I have for this little person makes up for all the aches, pains and pimples. Pregnancy is an amazing experience!

  16. you look absolutely adorable! And please post the rest! i need help too. it helps me feel better that it’s not just happening to me – that my ‘pre pregnancy’ wardrobe cannot be my ‘post pregnancy’ wardrobe because shit just fits differently. I get so bummed out about it, but doing exactly what you are suggesting – spending time on yourself, will do wonders. ps that shirt! and BTW you barely look pregnant.

  17. You look adorable as does Charlie. Please post I was rather disappointed and kept thinking the other outfits will be coming such as that adorable dress on instagram you modeled with the hat.
    I’m years away from when my son was born but I’ve gone through some body changes that were good, some health issues that made me miss things I really wanted not to…such as the opening of the shelter in the valley and then I thought screw it I’m keeping two pieces I bought. It is nice to hear people compliment you and even nicer to feel good about how you look…even if some days are more spilled milk than malts.
    Thank you for being so down to earth and honest.

  18. Bring ’em on! I would love to see the other outfits you chose.

  19. You look great! I wish we could post our pictures here )))

  20. You are so adorable it’s absurd. The pictures are cute too. Thanks for your refreshing honesty. I’m not a mother (yet) but I certainly have days (weeks?) of meh, not feeling it, then new shoes, or a new top, or just putting lipstick on and suddenly, oh yea, I do feel good. It’s such a state of mind! (and yea, totally post the rest of the outfits 🙂

  21. Love, I can’t wait to see the other outfits! Also I take your advice and I will do as much of these things as I can ! Love you. Kisses

  22. Love these! I’ve always loved your style (totally jumped on the Lands End Canvas bandwagon a couple years ago!) and was happy that you were pregnant a few months before me last go-round. Now I have a 13 month old and am starting to think about #2. Maybe I’ll hold off a little longer til we get this bar open so I can have a liiiiitle bit of money to buy things that make me feel good. My husband will thank you for your influence. 🙂

    1. That was so nice of you to post this…I’m going to get it!

  23. i’m not a mom (or mom-to-be), but i enjoyed this post because i think even non-preggos can relate to going through “frumpy” phases due to the busy-ness of work and life in general. bring on the other 4 outfits!

  24. Can’t wait to see the other outfit posts! I’m 13 weeks with my first baby and have already raided your archives for anything pregnancy-related! And I agree with the other commenter–your plane analogy is awesome. It’s helped me as I’ve dealt with the awful first trimester…any minute now I’ll get that tap on the shoulder and move up to business class!

    I’m just now starting to feel a little snug in my normal clothes so I know I will need these items SOON! I’m also trying to find stuff that can transition with seasons a little more…I’m in Colorado and it won’t stay super warm for long!

  25. Oh, LOVE to you Emily!
    Even as one who’s never been pregnant, and is in an entirely life phase, believe me, your perspective/tips for all us women–whose lives go through a whole gamut of body changes/images– is helpful and uplifting :))

  26. im pregnant with my second and am looking for cute new outfit ideas, so I love this post! Love the shorts. Haven’t tried the side panels yet, but think I’ll give it a go!

  27. It’s not separation anxiety. It’s healthy attachment. Good sign:)

    1. I second this thought!

  28. This was such an amazing post….but I will need more than one like this to get me out of my “I don’t give a %$&& mom zone….but you do have me remembering what I used to be like…

  29. I am on baby number three due a couple weeks after you. buying some cute summer dresses made a hug difference in how i feel when stepping out of the house. I dont work outside the home, so during the day i am mostly in comfy lounge clothes. ha! i have to make it a point to go places so i can dress nicer and actually brush my hair:) you look great and that outfit is so cute! please post the rest!!

  30. I am 38 weeks and living in a bunch of cute vintage house dresses that I bought off eBay — can’t necessarily say that they are flattering but they are fun to wear and make me feel loads better than sweatpants. And this week I went on a shopping binge for POST-pregnancy wear, which sounds crazy but again made me feel great because I can look forward to new outfits when baby us out of here (so soon!!)

  31. ALWAYS post all the outfits. We want to see what you find, and I love that you shop the whole spectrum (Gap/Target vs. Anthro/Rachel Comey/Madewell). I’m not pregnant but will be trying for #2 soon enough, and I need you to lead the fashion way for me.

  32. More outfits please! Love this post!
    You look absolutely gorgeous, brilliant outfit #1.

  33. Thank you so much for this post! I can totally relate. This makes me feel a lot better and a lot less crazy. I’m pregnant with my first and not a twig to begin with so the extra weight has added so much frump. The nausea kept me from anything active so I just packed it on. I try to get cute outfit ideas online and it only makes me feel worse because all I see are 6 foot tall, stick thin models with tiny bumps in tight dresses. I’d look like the Goodyear blimp in most of those outfits. Anyway, you are gorgeous! Thanks for the refreshing honesty!!! Keep it coming!

  34. Oh lady, I feel you on the separation anxiety. I, also have an 18 month old son who freaks out whenever I’m out of his sight! It’s simultaneously sweet AND heartbreaking! 🙂

  35. Love love love this post!! You are glowing! Thank you for sharing!

  36. Please share more!

  37. I definitely laughed at the bit about the “free family.” It’s so true! I felt like my husband should have been way nicer and catered to my every need for that reason, haha. I honestly wouldn’t have wanted to be married to me either during pregnancy. That said, when a pregnant wife asks for a leg rub, she should get one, no questions asked.
    You look great, by the way. And I can’t even tell you’re pregnant in that top!

  38. I’m a mom of two young boys and I needed to hear this. I could take a day or two off of the cropped leggings.

  39. More please! I started reading your site for the design but must admit I get most excited when these personal posts pop up. My two pregnancies have lined up with yours and I love reading about how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking and yes… what you’re wearing!

  40. You look gorgeous in these photos and I love those shoes! If you need inspiration, this might help: http://en.emoi-emoi.com/ 🙂


  41. You look gorgeous! I’m struggling to find my pre-baby (who’s now 1!!) enthusiasm for my appearance.

  42. If I didn’t know that you’re pregnant, I would never guessed based on these photos.
    And that part about “it’s not that we do not care, it’s just we don’t have time”? Soooo true

  43. I’m into them! And I’m not even pregnant (I have 3 boys. I love them SO much but I seriously cannot ever be pregnant again!)

  44. You are so honest and genuine that it’s inspiring. Thanks for this post!

  45. Love this post & would really love to see your other outfits! I’m only 12 weeks pregnant with my first & already feeling super frumpy…but this post literally just inspired me to go snap some photos of outfits in my closet that make me feel good and finish clicking the “purchase” button on some maternity clothes I have saved in my cart. And also to purchase that Madewell top. 😉 As always, thank you for the inspiration! Mucho love.

  46. NEEDED this post during my first pregnancy and feeling soooooo much like what you described. Thank you!!

  47. This outfit is so cute. Please show the others!

  48. Yes! More posts like this. You look lovely 🙂 I think I might just do the spray tan thing!!

  49. I loved this post! I have two kiddos and I feel the same way that I let myself go way more with two than I ever did with one! But those five minutes of mommy time are so valuable! You and your family are so gorgeous, and you can tell that little boy adores you so much!


  50. Being a functional, multi-faceted lady is really tough. Thank you for being genuine about the feelings and also gentle with yourself (and us) – cuz that’s what we need to remember most. You look lovely, and even better, so good that you’re feeling good!

  51. Yes!! Please post the other style posts! This one was so fun and that top and those shorts look great (but I really like that top). You may have felt blah before this shoot but you certainly don’t look blah. Also, I can’t believe you thought the skinny jeans post was embarrassing. I found it incredibly helpful and really enjoyed it. While I’m a huge fan of your design work (um please Ban.do my life. I loved all those posts), I like seeing this side of your style. It’s different from your regular posts and really fun.

  52. Of course we’d love to see the other outfits.

    I had a baby girl 4 months ago and your encouragement about self care really hit a nerve. With the extra baby weight it’s hard to find things that fit.

  53. I loved this post, and you should definitely add the other outfit posts. My little people are 2 and 4 and I STILL fall into the rut of wearing the same old tee and destroyed shorts… My poor husband. Hope the rest of the pregnancy is a breeze for you!

  54. hi Em – both Steven Alan, Mille, W Concept and Alt House have the Rachel Comey Tulip sandal right now. And for what its worth, I have a pair of her Lubbock sandals I bought last year and after wearing them daily (and walking every day in the city) I completely wore through the sole, wore off the heel cap and started wearing down the leathern under the sole. My cobbler put all new heels and soles on for $35! Comey’s shoes are easy to fix and thats why I love them so. And they look great on you!

  55. i think you look beautiful! and totally know what you mean about pregnancy the 2nd time around (i was thinking, yesyesyes as i was reading). you know what i’ve splurged on since having my 2nd baby? lash extensions! i thought i’d wait because of the whole hair-falling-out phase, but surprisingly my extensions last a long time (4 – 5 weeks!) between refills! it helps me feel more put together now that i’m back at work and lessens the impact of those sleep-deprived nights. i’ve decided it’s my high maintenance thing (for now) so i can be more low maintenance day to day.

  56. Wasn’t the whole point ‘pregnancy’ fashion? Where’s the bump? I loved being pregnant because then I never worried about whether I looked too thin or too fat, I just looked pregnant 🙂 Charlie is so cute!

  57. I really enjoyed this post. And it came a psychologically helpful moment for me. Personally I’d love to read your other posts, though I think it’s best that you don’t have a negative experience with it (you alluded to for your last post). So whatever will keep you feeling confident!

  58. I am almost 23 weeks pregnant, and this post encompasses all the feelings I have in regards to how I’m feeling, I.e, frumpiness, resenting how I can’t shop at my favorite stores any more because nothing fits, and generally just feeling gross and wondering why do people say that pregnancy is a so blissful. My pregnancy has been smooth (knock on wood) but it’s hard to vent my feelings to my friends because some of them are having trouble getting pregnant. These feelings are insignificant compared to those who can’t even get pregnant! Anyway, thank you so much for posting about this issue because it’s en pointe with what I’ve been feeling lately! May you have a blessed pregnancy and safe delivery! Xoxo

  59. I love your post!! It’s like you reading my mind but funnier. I have baby girl Emma 2 month old and everething you wrote is very fresh to me (it’s my third child after two boys, so it’s even more crazy here). I’m fashion designer and I love your style, you are very true to yourself what I really appreciate! I learned so much from you!

  60. I love these posts! Keep them coming:)

  61. Thank you for posting. I’m pregnant with my first and I have felt just what you are feeling, but I’ve also had serve morning sickness. After reading your post I know its not just me. I am back to work and dressed in real clothes today and I feel better. After reading your post I finally booked my hair cut to donate my hair and get a new fresh style. Thank you for your post it made my day!!

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