photo by Hatch, graphics by me
Last August, I attended an awesome intensive workshop dreamed up by my friend, Amber Housley. At the oodles-of-fun and fabulous rooftop cocktail party, I was chatting with one of the speakers, Jess Lively (You should definitely be following her – she’s super talented, smart and amazingly sweet. She also has a great story and knows what she is talking about.) It was my first time to leave our second baby since having him in February. Needless to say I was probably talking about him way too much. Sorry about that, fellow attendees. Anyhoodle, Jess and I started talking about maternity and postpartum fashion and frankly how terrible it is. I understand it is miles ahead of where it was when my mother was pregnant with me, but let’s get real – there aren’t a lot of affordable options for stylish mommas-to-be.
Jess admitted she didn’t want to give up her style whilst pregnant or once the drooling pile of cuddles was here. I totally get that because I felt the same way and I’m sure we aren’t alone. I also didn’t want to break the bank when purchasing maternity clothes and to do both can sometimes be a challenge. The standard maternity stores (you know who you are…) have some pretty blah looking options with a pretty steep price tag. And the designer maternity fashions are not something everyone can afford.
So here are my tips for staying stylish during pregnancy and after…
- Wear your pre-pregnancy clothes as long as you can…until your pants are uncomfortable. Then get some pants with panels and you will thank me later. I ran out the second I got what I thought was a belly…oh, I had no idea…I was so proud and excited to show it off, which come to find out, I had plenty of time to do.
- Shop trendy, colorful items at bargain stores like Target and Old Navy. H&M and Asos have maternity wear also. I picked up some go-to tees and blazers at Marshall’s and TJ Maxx in a size up which lasted me through the entire pregnancy as well as postpartum, which leads me to….
- If you have a favorite brand of shirt/pant/legging/sock/sweater, consider ordering it in a size larger for your growing belly (slash booty, cankles and feet.)
- Splurge on items like designer jeans, dresses or winter coats. These are items you will wear a lot and need to hold up really well.
- And don’t be afraid of maternity shape wear. I had to attend a lot of events while pregnant and I’m so glad I had some. They aren’t easy to get on toward the end, but it’s kind of nice that late in the game to have something that holds it AAAAALLLLLL in.
- If you find a maternity style you love, buy it in a couple of different colors. You’ll be happy you did. For instance, I bought some skinny jeans from Asos Maternity in a couple of different colors because they fit well and were cheap! Throw on one of said TJ Maxx tees and wah-la, instant outfit.
- For postpartum, if you are nursing, splurge on the nursing bras and resist the urge to buy industry-standard nursing tops. Everyone knows it’s a nursing top and none of them are flattering. V-neck tees, button downs, nursing tanks and big scarves can go a long way for your wardrobe (and sanity) during this time.
- If you have some go-to, comfortable outfits at the ready it’s just as easy to put those on as it is sweat pants and a college t-shirt. You won’t only look better, but you’ll feel better too. And when you’re sleep-deprived and trying to tame a wild baby, feeling better about yourself is key. I’m all for those days when you just aren’t up for it. I do it more than I should probably admit. Just don’t feel like its inevitable you have to sacrifice your style after you have kids. Now, if your style IS sweatpants and college t-shirts, then by all means keep rocking ‘em!
- (this is more like 8a.) Of course there are stages when your baby spits up a lot, so silk or expensive clothing may not be the best option. And when they are little and love to pull on shiny, long earrings. Save those things for days or nights out during those stages.
I would love to hear how y’all rocked your style with maternity and postpartum fashion or how you plan on doing it!