i know i’m backtracking a little bit on this one, but i am so excited to finally share this little project that i started working on shortly before edith was born. being pregnant for the second time around, i had a lot more confidence than my first. when i was pregnant with adam, i was a lot more insecure about losing my personal style (and my identity, for that matter), so i basically tried really hard to dress exactly the same as i did before i was pregnant. which totally works for the first several months of pregnancy, especially if you don’t tend to start showing until pretty late in the game. but once you hit that third trimester, things get rough, and it’s good to have a realistic game plan for how you want to dress. i mean, yeah, lots of sweatpants are involved, but if you’re like me, then you probably still want to look pulled together no matter how huge and uncomfortable you might be.
so while getting dressed this time around, i made note of what my “essential” maternity wardrobe looked like. the tried-and-true pieces that got me all the way through until 39 weeks. and yes, all of these looks were shot in that last week of pregnancy, so these were all outfits that worked when i was full term. because like i said, it’s really that third trimester (and even the fourth) where getting dressed is the biggest challenge and most likely to alter your usual sense of style. so here it is…
what to wear when you’re expecting
the caftan – or pretty much anything from maternity-wear brand fillyboo, including this dress. i often refer to the third trimester as the caftan phase. you’re gonna be feeling huge and uncomfortable, and there’s just something about wearing a cool, floaty dress while pregnant. i thought it was too cliche to dress-up like this during my first pregnancy, but now i don’t know how i ever managed! a huge pregnant belly is just screaming to be swathed in a luxurious caftan. it just feels so right. this one is especially awesome because it’s actually a duster. you can completely unbutton the front and throw it on over pretty much anything. above, wearing the fillyboo “bojangles” button-through maternity duster, avenue boutique espanola hat, and swedish hasbeens pearl high clog sandals.
the jumpsuit – when i was pregnant the first time around, i was terribly afraid of wearing jumpsuits or overalls. in hindsight, i have absolutely no idea why. these days, i can’t seem to get enough of them. they look great on pretty much everyone, and i always seemed to get a lot of compliments when i wore this one from hatch collection. my only word of caution is that this might not be for you if you’re suffering from incontinence because it will take a bit of effort to get off in a bathroom emergency. otherwise, jumpsuits are a really nice alternative to just wearing dresses, and give you just as many styling options. bonus because the button-front means you can wear it while breastfeeding after baby is born, too. here, i’m wearing the hatch twighlight jumpsuit with a brookes boswell cortland straw hat, and sandgrens morocco clogs.
the jersey dress – this versatile storq modal jersey midi dress by also comes in a storq bundle paired with a tank top, pencil skirt, and high rise leggings. for the purpose of this post, i’m just talking about the dress, but i can tell you right now that the entire bundle came in handy throughout my pregnancy and especially after the baby was born. the dress is perfect because it is incredibly soft and stretchy, while also being thick and comfortable. you can wear it alone on a hot day, or paired with any number of different tops, jackets, and accessories during the spring, summer, and fall. i wore this to the hospital the day edith was born, and threw it back on for my first walk around the maternity ward. worn here paired with an elizabeth suzann linn tee in cotton twill, born stephane sandals, clare v. petite kenya handbag, and avenue boutique espanola hat.
maternity jeans – ok, i’m kinda cheating because these are vintage levis that i found at the thrift store and converted to maternity jeans using a belly band. i didn’t put together a diy for them, but a quick google search comes up with tons of tutorials. you basically cut off the top part of the pants and sew on some stretchy spandex. pants are the most challenging thing to wear during pregnancy (unless we’re talking sweatpants or leggings), so it was especially nice for me to be able to pull on a pair of jeans toward the end when all i wanted to do was feel normal. if you don’t want to diy a pair like i did, you can buy any pair of bootcut maternity jeans and just cut the hems to get a similar look. seen here wearing a vintage men’s button-up, vintage levi’s that i converted to maternity jeans, marais usa jardin heels, clare v messenger, and brookes boswell cortland straw hat.
and a few extras:
socks and low heels – you already know about my obsession with clogs. i find that they’re a really practical choice during pregnancy if you get them with a low heel. a very low 1-2″ heel helps to alleviate some of the lower back pain that you’ll experience from carrying all that weight in the front. i know it sounds counterproductive, but it actually helps to balance out the weight a little better.
cake maternity black rock candy bra – i am speaking for the very full-busted among us, so you can disregard this if you can fit into traditional a-d cup sizes. but as someone who typically wears a 32ddd and up to a 32i during pregnancy and nursing, i have had a lot of challenges when it comes to finding a bra that will fit and be comfortable. after the first trimester, it becomes incredibly painful for me to wear an underwire because it starts to put pressure on the top of my belly and restricts my airflow. this bra, while not as supportive as a traditional underwire, will help you to breathe a little better and actually comes in larger cup sizes. it will also come in handy right after the baby is born.
granny panties – much like a bra, this really does come down to personal preference, but don’t shy away from granny panties if that’s what is most comfortable for you! i found that super high rise granny panties and shorts were the most comfortable for me. regular underwear would roll down off my belly, so i’d be awkwardly pulling them up all day long.
belly bandit upsie belly – at some point in the second or third trimester, you will start to feel the pain of that heavy belly pulling you down. this simple back brace made a huge difference for me. i didn’t wear it all day long, but i definitely threw it on if i knew i was going to be on my feet for a long time.
maternity pillow – this might seem silly, but wait until you get into the third trimester. even if it seems pricey, the leachco snoogle was totally worth the 80 bucks. i didn’t get one when i was pregnant with adam, but i really wish i had. in the third trimester, it become a painful undertaking to just turn from one side to the other. you will appreciate this pillow. trust me.
self care – i’m talking luxurious lotions, scrubs and face masks, bath soaks, scented candles, and massages. whatever your budget, i highly recommend you do anything you can to pamper yourself at least every now and then. there is no reason to suffer through pain when something as simple as a soak in the tub can help! when i was pregnant the first time around, i really didn’t take care of myself as well as i should have, and i think i suffered for it. i know not everyone can afford a spa day, but hopefully you can find some time to at least chill out and take care of yourself. you’re making a baby, you deserve it!!
want more maternity-wear ideas? click-through my maternity archive for a few more of the looks i’ve worn throughout my pregnancy.