maternity clothes - what i've been wearing I

This is what I’m wearing while pregnant!! And let’s preface it by saying that I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

Normally, I’d never do a post like this. I have pretty much zero sense of style. Don’t know anything about fashion – or about what goes together. I get overwhelmed easily and don’t have an eye for things that look good. It’s just not my thing. I almost considered hiring a stylist before having to do a bunch of these book events, but stuff got crazy at the last minute and that didn’t happen.

So if I didn’t have actual commitments and events to do this fall, I’d probably continue to live in my leggings and tanks and would have bought maybe a pair of black pants, jeans, and a dress or two. I doubt I would have went anywhere other than Target, except maybe Destination Maternity for a dress if I had a wedding or wanted to go all fancy. BUT. I have these book things. Along with that has come some TV and print events where they practically shout no patterns! No neon! No black! No white! No strips! No florals! No layers! And on and on and on.

Uh, worst thing ever because you know my life is pretty much neon and blacks. The other issue is that I wanted to feel comfortable and good in my own skin – I knew lots of picture taking would be happening and jazz like that. I knew I’d be traveling alone, would be tired, and it sounds so trivial but sometimes dressing up just makes me FEEL better. Do you get it? So I purposely didn’t buy any maternity clothing (okay, besides like a tank or two at Target) until the end of August because I knew I would need to “invest” (my favorite word) in some nicer things for the book tour. And oh boy – invest I did. Why is maternity stuff so expensive? Because it’s smaller market and they KNOW you need it? Not fair.

Stuff I learned:

**I do NOT care for the maternity tops that I think look so obviously “maternity” – you know the ones that tie underneath the chest and flare out? I haven’t found any that I like. I find them to be a bit matronly and they just don’t look great on me compared to tops that do not tie. My mom didn’t believe me and thought I was being picky until we spent six hours shopping one day and I tried on multiples that she brought to the dressing room. She then agreed and I haven’t ended up buying one top or dress that ties under the chest.

**Shockingly, things that are more form fitting have been a bit more flattering than things that are not. When tops or dresses are loose, it looks like I’m wearing a tent and I just look frumpy all over.  If I have on a skinnier pant or jeans, a looser top looks okay – but definitely not in photos or on film. (oh god I realize how snotty that sounds.)

**Over the last few weeks I’ve determined that I do not love the pants with the bands that go waaay up to your chest and cover the belly. I prefer the ones that are lower and elastic so the belly is freeeee.

**Items that I don’t think are worth purchasing in maternity wear (unless they are super cute/fairly priced/can be worn forever when not pregnant): denim jackets or vests, shorter jackets and blazers, blazers in general, maxi skirts and dresses (not wearing any of these now mostly due to weather). Obviously in months eight and nine I may look ridiculous in my regular denim jacket, but it’s like 45 or 60 days – I just would rather not wear it than buy a maternity option for something I have so many of to begin with.

**Target has been SUCH a disappointment for me when it comes to maternity clothing. Yes, I have found some basics there that I love. I have a pair of the be maternity leggings (though they have stretched and are definitely too sheer) along with the Ingrid and isabel stretchy tanks in black and white. I have a short sleeve Liz Lange black fitted tee along with two Liz Lange maternity tanks. I love these basics, but they definitely were not nice enough for me to wear to events. I’ve lived in them otherwise though. When it comes to Target, however, I have found that the maternity clothing just doesn’t FIT. At least not on me – properly. It doesn’t hang right, it almost all has seemed too big or just overly frumpy looking. Plus, my Targets do not have huge selections. You know what a Target freak I am and how often I find regular clothing there, so this was a bummer. Again though – dressier items were what I was going for. If I had to dress everyday for work, I think I could find enough there.

**I can still wear my regular jeans with a belly band. I have had NO luck finding maternity jeans I like, but this is not a surprise because it takes me eons to find regular jeans. They don’t fit my thighs or waist, they are always too long, even when they are labeled “short.” They look terrible and fake when altered, some of them stretch too much, etc. I’ve written for a while now in my favorites how my favorite jeans are the american eagle jeggings, and they still are! I have tried on $200 jeans and don’t love them like these. In terms of maternity jeans, I tried Joe’s jeans, Jessica Simpson jeans, a pair from Target (terrible idea), AG jeans and seven’s. No love. Returned them all.

[now please excuse these truly awful hotel-lit mirror pictures that i attempted to take on my travels. THIS is exactly why i can’t do makeup pics because i totally suck at it. also, apparently my iphone camera is blurry sooo.. i should probably get the iphone 6? yes?]

maternity clothes - what i've been wearing I

I did find this pair of wendy belissima black jeans that work. When it comes to other pants, I found a pair of black pants (not leggings, they are very thick and stretchy) from a pea in the pod brand that I ADORE. They do not have a name on the pants, unfortunately and I’m not sure if they still have them in Destination Maternity. These two pairs coupled with my jeans that I still wear are definitely enough when it comes to pant choices…. buuuuut. I got sold on some of those jogger pants. You know the ones??

I found these pants and LOVED them the minute I tried them on. I liked having a pattern on the bottom as opposed to the top – and I have SO much black that I can wear that these have already been worn a lot. I ended up finding two other pairs of pants like these on a macy’s clearance rack – a black pair and a super crazy neon pair (I KNOW), neither of which have links probably because they are old. They were not maternity and both pairs were only in size large, so I ended up getting both for around $17 a piece and love love love. I really like wearing these with heels. I might look ridiculous though, let’s put that out there.

One more pair of pants that I must mention… but that are insane: these splendid ones. OMG. I’ve always loved all things splendid. They are the softest, silkiest, most ridiculously priced things I have ever bought. But they can definitely be worn when I’m not pregnant and I’m pretty sure I will certainly live in them after the baby is born in those yucky winter months. Justification much? I couldn’t say no. So far, I’ve dressed them up with heels and down with my tieks. Only have worn black on top at this point.

Other workout/casual pants that I have been loving: you might remember me mentioning these workout crops from target. I am still wearing them and they are okay, but since determining that I don’t love that high panel, I don’t always reach for them. Honestly, my go-to’s for comfort when it coms to exercise and running around have been my lululemon wunder under crops that are three and four years old. They are just so stretchy and comfortable. Thankfully I have about eight pairs, so I certainly don’t need more.

I do have these metro leggings from athleta that I LOVE. They are also very stretchy (not quite as stretchy as my wunder unders, but I’m sure that’s due to age) and I find that they are low enough for the belly to sit comfortably over top. You might want to try them on and see for yourself though.

Athleta has a been a savior because many of the things STRETCH!! I never wanted to spend a ton on maternity clothing for the short period I would wear it. I’m glad that I’ve found some items there that I can wear long after pregnancy, like the metro pants, these breath tanks (all-time favorite), this tunic, etc. These are obviously more casual items, things I have been wearing around the house, to shop, on casual evenings (or every evening…), when I travel, to explore cities, etc. I love them because they look good with either leggings or jeans. I have found that half the time I get my normal pre-pregnancy size and the other half I will get a size up. Especially in the tanks, because I like them to be long.

(I wish I could buy the entire athleta store. Especially this leather jacket. OMG.)

I’ve mentioned this hinge denim shirt ten million times since April, but it has been a never ending staple. I wear it every week, multiple times a week.

maternity clothes - what i've been wearing I

Now onto “real” clothes as I like to call it… more like outfits that are sooo comfortable but nice enough to wear out, dressier, etc. Some of these items are pricier, but as a beggar I couldn’t be a chooser. There are also TONS of coupons for these maternity places.

As a note, here are the stores I have tried for these things:

Topshop maternity. Nordstrom has SOME of their options but not all of them. I ordered online and it took forever since it was from the UK. I sent everything back as nothing fit comfortably. It didn’t feel too big or small – it just wasn’t overly comfortable? I know the sizing can be a bit different. Since shipping took so long, I didn’t order again.

Destination Maternity. This is a combo of Motherhood and A Pea in the Pod. Frankly, I’ve found almost all of my options here and in the Pea in the Pod section – which is more expensive of course. It’s a pain, but it’s the truth.

Motherhood. I have not had a lot of luck here at all. You will see two tops I found below, but for the most part, the options here were not what I was looking for. Which sucks, because it was closer to me.

Hatch. Initially I died over these clothes. They look awesome online but are reeeeeeally expensive. I ordered a few things and almost all of it was very oversized, leading me to frump town. I did keep this striped dress which I really like. But otherwise, these things weren’t practical for what I needed and I’m also no where NEAR fashionable enough to wear them.

Macy’s. They have a lot of the same options as Destination Maternity – I thought I was being all sneaky there and would be able to use coupons but NO! You can’t use them on maternity. I did find a few things here.

Gap/Old Navy/H&M/Loft. I never ended up buying anything here, but there were a few options I liked. However – they were more casual and my very similar non-maternity things still fit. Also, most of it was online and I started getting spoiled going to Destination Maternity and trying things on. These places along with Target would be my go-to if I didn’t have the book events.

I absolutely fell in love with this luxe essentials dress. Stripes are not in my comfort zone but this is insanely comfortable and I felt like it covered me up enough. Plus, the strips were teeny tiny.

Second love, but only because it’s a bit dressier, is this dress from ASOS. I had never purchased anything from ASOS and was wary, but holy crap I love this so much. Again, super comfortable. Easy to move in. (As a note, I also bought this dress and was super disappointed – it was one of those things that looked really matronly and way too dressy for anything I needed. It probably would look awesome on someone taller than me though!) ASOS has soooo many maternity options when it comes to dresses.

Another dress I found and loved was this wendy belissima dress. I can throw anything over it – denim shirt, blazer, etc and it just works. And this Jessica Simpson dress – which is quite dressier than it looks in the picture – is also very comfortable and nice. I like how the sleeves are cut in a bit more. Can wear lots of things over it too!

For tops – I knew I needed some basics/solid colors based on some of those guidelines I was given but I also wanted options! I adore these long sleeve maternity tops – they are ridiculously soft and stretchy. A few of you asked about a top on instagram – I bought two of these lace shouldered ones that are stretchy and comfortable too. I’ve found a few non maternity tops that work as well, such as this Rachel roy one (that I LOVE for fall – I just got it in a large and it still works and covers for now) and this alfani one. All of my denin jackets still work and I’m wearing them like crazy. All of my blazers still work, and I’m wearing them a lot too. I really like this black loose blazer I got at anthro last year. I have two of these Bar III blazers (from years past) that are a bit more structured but still soft. It might sound crazy but I like the look of a blazer right now because my belly pops out – ha! I also love this vince camuto vest thing. And this rachel roy jacket.

Shoe choices: if you’ve been reading you know I’m a heel freak. I’ve still been wearing heels, with my number one choice being the nine west love fury pumps (I can find these at the outlet for $59). I find these VERY comfortable and that I can walk around in them for a few hours. Earlier in the week I alluded to being nervous about swelling, so I have packed my tieks in my purse and I always change into them if I’m walking distance or getting in the car, etc. I’m sure any comfy flats will work but my tieks are SO worn in and I can’t help but profess my love for them once again. Plus they fold right up! I can walk in these for 8 or 10 hours and still feel good. And now… I’m so excited for boots.

I realize that this post is ALL over the place and totally jumbled. You can get a few more glimpses in this post and this post from book events I documented. Also, this is so NOT MY REAL LIFE! In real life I would be living in my athleta stuff and workout pants. In this mini season of life I needed many more options, and that’s why I wanted to share. I feel like I got a good number of options to mix and match and pair with different jewelry, scarves and jackets as it gets cooled since I still have about 6 more weeks of traveling to do.

[as a note, none of these are affiliated links, nothing was sent to me (oh my wallet – wah), none of this was sponsored – just wanted to tell you what has been working!]