Monday, July 16, 2012

belly style

Okay lets talk maternity clothes.  I remember when I first found out I was pregnant I dreaded the thought of having to wear maternity clothes.  Why you ask?  For as long as I can remember fashion has been a huge part of my life.  In my mind maternity clothes were unflattering and not fashionable.  I was hoping to not have to buy ANY maternity clothes, haha what a joke.  When my pants all stopped fitting around 3 months I knew it was time to do some research.  I refused to spend a lot of money on maternity clothes but was determined to find stylish, trendy clothing.  I wanted clothing that still represented me and were true to my style.  I went on pinterest and searched both the web and blogs for inspiring maternity style.  If you want to take a look at my belly style board on pinterest, you can do so here.  Next, I went through my closet and organized it based on what clothing still fit or would fit as my stomach expanded.  I put all those pieces front and center in my closet and sent the rest of my clothing on a nice long vacation.  I was surprised at how many pieces I was able to work with.  Unfortunately, as the belly grew that section of my closet shrunk, sigh.  At about 20 weeks my belly really popped and only about 1/3 of my closet was wearable.  Today I thought I would share some of the stores where I was most successful finding affordable, stylish maternity clothes as well as what I felt was flattering and unflattering.

Hopefully you will find some of my tips helpful either now or in the future.

When shopping for maternity clothes the most important things to me were:  Comfort and Versatility.  I obviously wanted clothing that would be comfortable to be in all day, but I also wanted pieces that could be styled in a variety of ways so it did not look like I was constantly wearing the same thing over and over again.

Stores I recommend:
- Target (great dresses)
- Gap (great pants/shorts)
- Old Navy (great tanks/shorts)
- Destination Maternity - Motherhood section (great everything)

These are the stores where I was most successful finding stylish maternity clothes at a reasonable price.  I also purchased a lot of non maternity clothing (in a larger size) at H&M and Forever21.

Other stores that have super cute maternity style are ASOS and Topshop.  I was nervous to purchase from either of these stores solely because they were online and I do not know how there sizes run.  I did not want to deal with the hassle of having to mail back any clothing that did not fit.  Although I saw some pieces I absolutely loved on both these sights.  

By the time I had to start wearing maternity clothes, it was well into the Spring.  Therefore, my wardrobe consisted of mostly dresses and skirts.  One thing you need to know about me is that if I could wear a dress everyday I would be a happy girl.  Many people do not feel the same!  Once the summer hit, I started to wear a lot of shorts and tanks as well as continuing to wear tons of dresses.  I did not wear pants often throughout my pregnancy because most of the ones I found were not my style so I just opted not to wear them.  I do feel it is essential to invest in at least one pair of jeans.  If you are a pants person I strongly recommend the Gap.

Key pieces:
(if your pregnant around the same time I was)
- maxi dresses/flowy dresses
- maxi skirts with elastic waists
- blazers 
- tanks
- vests
- flats/sandals

Maxi dresses were definitely my go to item because of there flowiness, which is ideal for growing with your belly.  Oh and did I mention they are extremely comfortable.  I added a blazer when it was cool out, wore a top over my dresses to transform them into a skirt (for a different look), layered with vests, or added a belt to cinch the waist (even though my waist slowly started to disappear).  If you can no longer use the holes on your belt (yes this happened to me), making a fun knot is always an option.  You can find some great examples of different knots here.  As far as cinching your waist with a belt, if it is early in your pregnancy and you are still trying to hide the fact that you are preggos, I do not suggest this.  Cinching your waist will excentuate your bump!  For me layering was a must.  I felt that many tops and dresses were more flattering after adding a vest or blazer.  This way I was able to hide any flaws that were visible especially when wearing a tighter top.  I found the baggier the top the worse  I looked, so I did opt for more form fitting clothes.  I've noticed that a lot of maternity tops are tight at the bust and flare out at the waist, which in my opinion can make you look much larger than you actually are.  I always felt more comfortable in clothing that clearly showed I was pregnant (no matter how big my belly looked) rather than pieces that just made it look like I was gaining weight.  Show that belly off, don't try and hide it!  Embrace your bump!  If you are purchasing pants, I found the full panel to be much more comfortable than the low rise panel.  Many women love the belly band, which can be worn with non maternity pants.  Honestly, I just felt awkward having my fly wide open even if a band was covering it but to each their own.  I had every intention on continuing to wear my heels throughout my pregnancy; then the back pain kicked in!  Invest in comfortable flats!  Oh and make sure they have some room for your foot to expand because swelling is definitely a possibility especially in the summer.

My pregnancy style:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15

Notice all the layering!  To be honest with you most of the clothing in theses pictures are not maternity, but that's not to say I haven't gained much weight during my pregnancy.  I have gained 32 lbs so far and still have 6 weeks to go!  I was just determined to still love what I was wearing everyday.  I actually had some fun dressing up my baby bump.  It was a challenge at times but I am happy to say I did not give up on my clothes while being pregnant.  I speak as though my clothing has feelings, haha! 

It is not necessary to throw hundreds and hundreds of dollars away on maternity clothes.  And this is coming from a person who rarely ever wears the same thing twice and is a very impulsive buyer.  You are only going to wear these clothes for a few months, so don't put yourself in debt buying tons of maternity clothes.  Now if you do have the money to throw away then definitely check out A Pea in the Pod and Hatch collection.

Where did all you fabulous mama's shop for your maternity clothes?  Any tips you want to share?

Wishing ya'll a great start to the week!



Stephanie said...

Ahhhhh!!! You look fabulous in all the pictures. When i end up pregnant in the far future, i'll come back to this post :)

xo Stephanie

Mrs. Mama said...

What great pointers in this post! I am a huge fan of dresses while pregnant. Especially in the summer! You are stunning pregnant... and 6 weeks?! AH! So close!

Will be sending you an email shortly, be on the lookout :)

Dearest Lou said...

I love all of your looks Erin!

Dearest Lou


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