When I shared about my capsule wardrobe last year (here and here), I wrote about how important it is for me to have pieces in my wardrobe that would last through all the phases of my child-bearing years. I'm a huge fan of the boho look anyway, so this works for me, because I choose loose fitting clothes and feel most comfortable in this style all year round, pregnant or not.
When it comes to maternity style, I hate the thought of having to buy a whole new wardrobe that will only last 9 months. I do think there are a few key staples every pregnant woman needs while also being strategic about how you shop:
- a couple flowy dresses
- 2-3 pairs of maternity jeans or shorts
- a quality nursing bra
- quality leggings *
- A limited amount of rouched shirts for a growing belly
- a plethora of flowy shirts
- layering pieces such as cardigans and jackets depending on when in the year you're preggo
* This time I already added a pair of maternity and postpartum leggings to my baby registry. They are these leggings from Blanqi that I've been eyeing since my last pregnancy. They have a really supportive stretchy band and they look like they will last well into my postpartum time as well. Since I'll be pregnant all winter, I know I'll need a good pair of leggings, and I'm willing to splurge a bit after wearing holes through about three pairs this last year.
I don't currently have a good portion of my maternity clothes from my last pregnancy because a friend is borrowing them, but here are a few pieces I picked up at Target last week to add to my collection. I had a lot of luck in my last pregnancy wearing some loose fitting tops I already had all the way through my third trimester without stretching them out. Since that worked so well then, I decided to add a few more pieces that would work the same way.
Liz Lange for Target Shirt Dress - with slight rouching on the sides, it's my only rouched dress. I decided to go for it since it's my only one and I know it'll stretch with me when I'm really big. I plan to wear it when I start showing more and through the winter with leggings and cardigans.
Liz Lange Sleeveless Woven Top - A great top that will last me well beyond pregnancy.
Liz Lange Denim Top - When I remove the belly string it fits loosely and can be worn with just about anything.
Liz Lange Flowy Top - I can't seem to find them online, but they are carried in store. They are sooo comfortable and fit so well that I got two, one in grey and one in dark green.
Mossimo Printed Soft Short - I already loveee these shorts. They are so comfortable. I got a size up to add length (I'm pretty paranoid about shorts being too short) and they fit perfect. The stretchy band will allow for me to wear them throughout the rest of the summer and into my second trimester. And since they aren't maternity (no maternity stretchy band) I'll be able to wear them next summer as well when I'm not pregnant!
Mossimo Loose Tank - I can't find this one online either. It was kind of sitting alone in the store, so it may be from way earlier in the spring/summer and was still hanging around. It's shaped like a bell but falls flat, so when not pregnant it'll just be a loose top, and while pregnant my belly will have space to grow!
TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR MATERNITY CLOTHES LAST:
Rouching vs. Flowy Shirts - This time around I stayed away from shirts with rouching on the sides, with the exception of my dress. Though great for a growing bump, these shirts fit weird when you aren't pregnant. They are also obviously maternity shirts, where as a nice flowy top, even if it's technically a maternity brand, wont look like it to the public after you have your baby.
Dresses - Limit the number of dresses you buy. I know it's tempting because they are incredibly comfortable while pregnant, especially in the third trimester, but if you want your clothes to last past pregnancy, keep in mind that they wont work if you are breastfeeding. For me, I hate seeing a ton of dresses hanging in my closet for a year unable to wear because it's inconvenient while nursing. Definitely add a few, but don't go overboard.
Maternity Pants - You definitely need a few good pairs of maternity pants (or shorts) with the big stretchy bands. I swear they are magic when you are entering your second trimester and the hair tie looped around your jeans just isn't cutting it anymore! Also, I wore mine several months postpartum while I waited for my old jeans to fit again.
Ditch the belly string - There are a ton of cute tops that come along with a string that you are supposed to tie above your belly (like the denim top above). I don't know what it is, but I'm not a fan of this look at all. If you remove the string, the top still looks great and shows off your baby bump, but can also be worn well after pregnancy too.
Borrow - Odds are you have a few friends who have some maternity clothes you can borrow. If they aren't currently pregnant or newly postpartum, ask to borrow! Maternity clothes can be so expensive depending on where you shop, so I'm sure any mama would be happy to see them go to use.
Mama's - is there anything you'd add to my list of must-haves or tips? I'd love to hear how you make your clothes last through different seasons!