Maternity Style

A saleslady told me yesterday that I looked like I “stepped out of a J.Crew magazine.” I’m pretty sure that she a.) meant ‘catalog’ and b.) was trying to upsell me on some scented plastic* kids’ kitty shoes, but I’ll take it. The compliment and the shoes.

* Are plastic shoes a bad choice for daily wear? I usually only keep two pairs of shoes that fit each kid in rotation, and now those kitty shoes are one of them for E. Maybe I’m channeling my mother’s distaste for those jelly shoes I loved way back when, so serves me right I guess.

Anyway. I unpacked all of my maternity clothes a few weeks ago. I’m pretty sure normal people can wait until they’re a little further along, but with baby number three my body was all, “oh, pregnancy? I remember that!” And I puffed up so nicely that I looked about the same weeks 5-12, the bloating diminishing and subsiding just in time for the beginnings of a real baby bump. Since my clothes were getting too tight, I thought that maybe revisiting all of my old maternity options might be fun — like getting a whole new insta-wardrobe! There were a few pieces that I was happy to see again (long tanks, a couple of long-sleeve tees, a pair of stretchy skinny jeans, and a dress or two), but a lot of the clothes aren’t going to work this time around. Much of it is too big or for the wrong seasons, so I started pulling together a few things I might like to add to my wardrobe over on The Prowl. There’s an interesting crowdsource angle to it where you can ask or answer people’s style questions, or use it to create style boards like the one I made for maternity clothes.

Here are a few things I’ve had my eye on.

Maternity Style #TheProwl #makingitlovely

  1. Striped Raglan Sweater and Skinny Mini Khakis
    This look is really all about the scarf, isn’t it? Note to self: scarves are your friend when working with a limited wardrobe.

  2. The Bateau Top
    I love stripes on a round belly, and this top would get a lot of use by me.

  3. The Jumper
    I chose this with a “why not?” attitude, and was quickly reminded of how often pregnant women need to use the bathroom. That’s probably the reason not, but it’s still pretty adorable.

  4. Beach Mixed Stripe Maxi Dress
    I’m too busty for something with spaghetti straps, but I’m awfully fond of the neckline on this maxi dress. The colorblocked stripes are nice, too.

  5. Attesa Empire Kimono Dress
    It’s nice to have one gorgeous maternity dress for dates and special occasions.

  6. MAMA V-neck Blouse
    A pretty peachy color, sweet detail on the hem, and a flattering neckline and sleeve length. Perfect.

  7. The Pixie Maternity Ankle Pants
    These are the best pants! Cheap, cute, and comfortable, and in a trendy ankle length.

  8. 3/4-Sleeve Top
    I can’t get enough of simple, silky shirts these days, and this green is a great color.

  9. 3/4-Sleeve Shift Dress
    More casual than the other dress, this is a cute everyday option (especially over leggings and with a statement necklace).

  10. The Pixie Maternity Printed Skinny Ankle Pants
    The same as the black pants, but a slightly skinnier cut, and in a great pattern. I have both pants, but these are the ones I’m wearing more often.

  11. Bombshell Maternity T Shirt
    I love this cheeky shirt, but I think the medium wouldn’t fit for too much longer (larger sizes are sold out). Bummer.

I show early and my first two babies were both big, so I’m always a little jealous of the ladies who can get away with wearing their normal clothes, just a little lower or unbuttoned. I have a lot of what I need already, but I was glad to pick up those two pants, and I’ll probably grab a couple of those shirts above and maybe the shift dress too. What about you? Do you stretch (literally) what you’ve got for as long as you can, go out and buy a whole new maternity wardrobe, or somewhere in between?

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  • Jo
    March 31, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    I’m tall, so I didn’t show too much until late in the game – so I wore my normal clothes for longer than most, probably. Then I lived in leggings, some great stretch stripe long shirts, overalls!, and a few dresses. I didn’t buy too much & I even found a couple pieces at a thrift store.

  • Jo
    March 31, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    And plastic shoes are just fine for little feet! Those are really cute too.

    • Making it Lovely
      April 1, 2014 at 9:06 am

      E is in love with them. I said she could have them before I asked how much they were (rookie mistake).

  • Abby
    March 31, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I’m pregnant for the first time and so glad to be pregnant at the same time you are so I can utilize your style tips! I generally love what you put together and it’s often things I wouldn’t think of on my own. Score for me!

    • Elizabeth Williams
      March 31, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      I am in the boat– pregnant and looking for style tips! I am showing early but more in the “You look like you skipped the gym for the last six months” and not in the “Glowing miracle of life” kind of way. I am ready for a real belly.

  • Sarah F.
    March 31, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I was lucky and had a cute round belly so I didn’t look pregnant from behind until towards the end. I also have a large bust, so I could get away with regular shirts until they started riding up the bump. I used regular pants with a stretch extender or belly band into the second trimester, and then I got lots of cute maternity hand-me-downs from a friend. My favorite was a pair of skinny jeans. I definitely need a non-maternity pair now!

  • Nicole
    March 31, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I’m 33 weeks with #2 and while I don’t think I showed quicker this time around (I was super sick for the first 16 weeks so that’s probably why), lately I have been getting a lot of rude comments of the “wow, big baby” or “are you sure it’s not twins?” variety. FYI: Pregnant or not, it is not okay to comment on a woman’s body like that!

    • Marcee ... ILLINOIS
      March 31, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Folks can be so mean. Why? I have zero idea. We live in a very rude society. A real and terrible shame. You’ll be fine Nicole. Do not pay any attention to snarky comments. A baby has to grow the way it must. Amen.

    • Making it Lovely
      April 1, 2014 at 9:14 am

      Yep, that happened to me with both babies from about week 30 on. “You must be ready to pop!” is another favorite. I think people have good intentions so it doesn’t bother me, but it’s not so fun to have to say “no, __ more weeks to go” all the time.

  • Kate
    March 31, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I tried to stretch my ‘normal’ clothes out for as long as I could, but once I put on my first pair of maternity pants it was just such a relief! They are so much more comfy!!

  • erin
    March 31, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    I’ve just had my third baby a few weeks ago. My oldest just turned three in February, so my littles are really close in age. It’s nice because my first pregnancy and this one were the same time of year, and since I just got them a couple of years ago, they’re still mostly in style. ;) So this time around I didn’t add to it much. I did get two more pairs of jeans (Old Navy) since my previous ones had kind of deteriorated after already doing duty for two pregnancies. I also got a maternity popover shirt from GAP that I practically lived in this time around. Other than that I just stretched what I already had and what I could make work of my regular clothes.

    Also, for anyone who is interested, White Stag has a shirt very similar to the Bateau Top. It’s not maternity, but I wore it up until the day I gave birth.

  • Marcee ... ILLINOIS
    March 31, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    So enjoy reading all the conversations! Nicole, you are loving #3 bebe pregnancy! Really wonderful to have positive thoughts. High spirits. Will rub off on E & A. Oh yeah. Adorable (?plastic w/fragrance?) shoes! Love them a lot. Color variety is great. White is my choice. My (very) little Nava is still a tad young, being 5 (gorgeous!) months old. Her mama would not be happy if I spent $50 smackers on those shoes. I think a toddler size is best to get more use out of them. Most likely shoes will not be reduced. Summer is around the corner. All my Crocs are ready to go! I cannot live without them.

    • Making it Lovely
      April 1, 2014 at 9:16 am

      I’m sure Eleanor will wear hers from now through the fall (she seems to need new shoes ever six months or so), but it was still crazy to buy such silly expensive shoes!

  • Lauren
    March 31, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I was able to wear my normal pants with a belly band until the third trimester. Then I went to just maternity pants. I had a tiny maternity wardrobe as I couldn’t really find anything I liked. In the last month I grew a ton and couldn’t fit into anything by the last weeks!

  • emma
    March 31, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    22 weeks with #2 right now, and embracing the maternity wear a lot more AND earlier than last time around. even the ruching, which i previously detested – it’s worth it to get the coverage/lack of ‘tenting’! i am loving these pants as a comfy spring item – super affordable too!

    • Making it Lovely
      April 1, 2014 at 9:36 am

      My legs are the skinniest thing about me when I’m pregnant. I’m afraid of what I would look like in harem pants!

  • judy
    March 31, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Ha! This is an interesting subject to me because with my baby turning fifty this year-I am happy for all of the changes in dealing with having children and everything that follows. You wouldn’t believe how different it all is -in a totally good way. We are the age of your grandparents so lots of changes.

  • Bethe @ Texas Lovely
    March 31, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I had my first baby last summer, and swore by flowy maxi dresses and skinny jeans. I loved dresses because I got tired of having things tight around my waist (wherever that new, pregnant waist ended up), and I felt like skinny jeans were a nice way to balance a big, flowy tunic. And scarves… I wore lots of scarves because it was an easy way to change up a basic black tank and cardigan, and I knew I could wear the scarf long after I had to put the maternity clothes away. It helped me to stretch my wardrobe.

  • Lisa
    March 31, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    I am 23 wks with #3, and I showed much earlier, and grew everywhere quickly. My first 2 were big, and I just hope this lil guy isn’t a 10 pounder! I love dresses during pregnancy, because I find maternity jeans and waistbands uncomfy. So, I’m thankful to be due late July.

    • Making it Lovely
      April 1, 2014 at 9:38 am

      Eleanor was just shy of 9 pounds and August was over 10, so I’m hoping the trend does not continue with #3 for me!

  • Jenna
    March 31, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    With my first I couldn’t WAIT to wear maternity clothes! I was also teeny tiny, so I outgrew my “normal” clothes very quickly. This time around {baby #4} I guess just the way I am carrying, I was able to stretch my normal wardrobe for quite awhile {a lot longer than I expected} and I’m glad I could because my maternity clothes are so …ugh… at this point. I did buy a pair of skinny jeans this time around and they are my go to! Love the way they balance out the big belly. :)

  • Debby
    March 31, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    With five kids in 9 years, I’ve figured out a few things about maternity clothes. I try to reuse as much as possible, toss what I’m really never going to wear, pick up a few cheap fun tops, and invest in good quality staples that I can build from and will always love.

  • Kat S
    March 31, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    maybe you can help me out – I just hit 9 months pregnant and I’ve got a long torso and low baby, can’t find any shirts that cover my belly completely! I don’t wanna spend a ton since I’m almost done, but I could use a couple!

    • Making it Lovely
      April 1, 2014 at 9:40 am

      I had that problem at the end too and relied on pants with a full panel instead of a low-cut version.

  • Dalia
    April 1, 2014 at 1:28 am

    Plus sized dresses are really favorable. I am really looking forward for maternity style and waiting though! ;)

  • Brie
    April 1, 2014 at 4:08 am

    Cute ideas! I’m 12 weeks along with my first, so I’m still able to wear my looser regular clothing, but I love these ideas for later on!

  • Anna
    April 1, 2014 at 8:45 am

    My staples were maternity jeans and leggings from the Gap, with extra long tees/tanks and flowy cardigans. Plus lots of scarves and jewelry! H&M has some great maternity stuff – esp skinny jeans. I liked the stretchy waistband jeans (not the full panel) for early on in my pregnancies and them after I had given birth but before I was ready for regular pants again!

  • Alana
    April 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    You’ll be absolutely adorable and as stylish as always. Cutest pregnant woman EVAH.

  • Natalie
    April 3, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I’m pregnant with #2, the kids will be 1 year apart, and I’m definitely showing much earlier than #1. I was in such good shape before #1, and this time I hadn’t lost all my weight from before, so it’s not quite the same. I stretched my regular clothes as loooong as I could and bought the bear minimum last time, and now I’m fully embracing the comfort of maternity pants, early and often. I swear by dresses from Old Navy, a few skinny pants from Gap and then scarves and jewelry to liven up the plain, plain, plain top options out there. Can’t wait to get back to my regular wardrobe after two years without it. Asos and Zulily are nice to peruse for slightly different options too.