Note: Below is a summary of the video above for those of you that don’t have the ability to view/access the video or would just prefer to read.
When I found out I was pregnant, one of the things I thought was, “How much longer can I fit into my current clothes?” But, I really didn’t think much of it at the time because I assumed that if my closet go-tos failed, I would just switch to maternity wear. I was wrong.
Instead, I found myself in an odd styling phase were I didn’t fully fit into my current wardrobe, but also didn’t fit into maternity wear. I had no idea what to do. Getting dressed everyday became a constant game of trial and error.
After a few weeks, I had no choice but to embrace it. So I decided to turn this annoying game into a challenge.
Below is an overview on what I found in my wardrobe to wear during this styling phase that I call “Pre-Maternity Maternity Wear”.
If I were to group the clothing in my closet, they’d fall into 4 high-level categories:
- Work Wear
- Casual Wear
- Evening Wear
- Workout Wear
When selecting clothing that I could wear from these categories, the two main questions I asked myself were: 1) is it stretchy and 2) does it have room to grow?
Category 1: Work Wear
For those of you who work in a corporate environment, you might wear a lot of business casual clothing and/or suits. You can certainly continue wearing these items, but I would stay away from 2 things:
- Waist-length blouses – One of the major places for growth during pregnancy is around your waist, so blouses like these are bound to get snug quickly (unless they’re drapey)
- Bottoms without elasticity – Pants or skirts without elasticity around the waist, butt and thighs will just get uncomfortable as your body changes
Pieces that work include:
1. Dresses: A-Line and Sheath Dresses – Both options drape away from your body and generally have room for you to grow. In warm weather they can be paired with flats or heels, and in the cold they can be worn with tights and/or boots.
2. Trousers with elastic bands – These trousers may have originally been worn over your belly button or at your waist. But now, they can be pulled down a bit in the front so that they’re not so snug around your waist, and can be worn with a long blouse or button down to hide the the band.
3. Midi and Pencil Skirts that fit over your bump – This might seem odd at first, but both options are comfortable and still look good. When worn this way, they’re best paired with tops that fit just over the skirt band as anything longer might look frumpy.
If required, all above options can be paired with a blazer (depending on the length).
Category 2: Casual Wear
This might seem like an easy category, but it always seemed harder on days when I specifically want to look good. My go-to options became:
1. Leggings: I think leggings are one of the best pieces of clothing ever created. Might as well continue to embrace them when you’re pregnant!
2. Dresses: Sweater, shirt, fitted, tunics, caftans, etc. – there are so many options. I would just be cognizant of dresses that have a defined waistline. Dresses with an empire-waist can work, but I would avoid dresses with a waistline that hits your waist/bump or below.
3. Crop Tops! This may seem odd, but now’s a great time to pull your crop tops out of hibernation or to try them for the first time by layering them over blouses and button-downs.
4. Jumpsuits and Overalls: They worked before pregnancy but look cuter with a bump underneath. As a side note, these are less flowy than dresses so will become tighter sooner than the other options.
Category 3: Evening Wear
Anything that matches the silhouettes mentioned above will work here. However, I might switch out the casual dresses for a velvet or silk dress, or try that pencil skirt that you thought was too sultry for work.
Category 4: Workout Wear
This last category is the easiest, but there were some brands that I noticed worked for me more than others.
The two brands that worked for me were:
- Lululemon – The best ones were the pants that have ruching, but even their normal ones stretch well
- Brands from Bandier – Bandier is a store that carries several different sportswear brands, but I was happy to find that everything I had bought from them stretched with me as well
And that’s it! I hope that those of you who are going through this right now or will be at some point, find this useful! After all, there’s enough to worry about with all the potential pregnancy craziness.