So, first off, let’s get the title of this post straight. Of ALL the things to concern yourself with in a pregnancy (health of Baby and Mama, proper maternity care, preparing for Baby, etc.), what you wear along the way really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I think for me, however, what it did really help with was with some of the mental components that can come up with such a big life change. I know that adding “Mom” to my list of roles will be a huge addition (and will certainly have ripple effects into the other categories as well) but it was really important for me to still feel like myself as much a possible throughout pregnancy and that’s where the clothes came in. If you ever want to see me squirm and dance around anxiously, just put in an outfit that is reeeaally not my style and then make me spend time in public wearing it. I feel like my whole body is literally itching to get it off! On the opposite end, wearing clothing that feels like “me” gives me a comfort level that’s hard to match by doing anything else. It’s not that they are expensive items (and they are usually the same pieces over and over again) but I just feel comfortable and confident in certain things way more than others. Those of you who have that side of you too know what I mean.
Anyways, that was kind of a worry for me as my pregnancy progressed. It was not that easy to find maternity clothes that I liked when I looked at the beginning (I’ve always hated ruching as a clothing detail and they use it all over maternity items) so I wanted to come up with a game plan that would allow me to wear mostly “normal” clothing that I already had or could wear after Baby mixed in with a few essentials from maternity lines. Here are the basic categories I stuck with:
white dress (similar) // gingham dress // pink dress (similar)
Flowy Tent Dresses: This one was an easy category for me since I love this shape anyways! Plenty of room for a big or small bump so you can wear them throughout the trimesters. Only potential problem is if you love short ones like I do, a few of them got too short in the front as the belly got bigger near the end!
Pink Jacket (similar) // Black Moto (similar) // (I got my two fave black leather jackets from Mango)
Moto Jackets: Probably the biggest item that makes me feel like me. I didn’t really start wearing moto style jackets until my mid 20’s, but once I got a really good one it was like “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?” Always super cool and a little edgy. I usually buy motos that look best when open in the front anyways so they have been my secret preggo weapon for when I don’t know what to wear out but still want to feel kind of cool. They helped me hide the bump in that awkward in-between phase of early pregnancy and now I just let that big belly out the front! First two coats sold out from Shein // Black Furry coat (similar)
Long Open Jackets: Once winter really kicked in and a moto jacket just wasn’t going to cut it anymore warmth wise, I switched over to long coats (especially furry ones) to keep warm but still feel a bit glamorous. While it’s true that I already felt a bit “fluffier” in general just being pregnant, I still love a big fur coat and the longer open length is more flattering than a textured cropped coat with the belly (believe me!).
Grey Dress (similar) // White Dress (similar) // Pink Dress
Body-Con Dresses: I had a feeling I might be one of those preggos that was really into the body con dress and I was right! I actually find them really comfortable and they’ve all been non maternity ones so far. As long as I have my shapewear on underneath, I’m good to go! Those are a must for body cons weather you’re pregnant or not!
Sweater Dress // Black Dress + Cropped Moto (similar)
Black and White: This is for sure a category that makes me feel like myself! Literally 99% of my days are spent in shades of black, white, and grey so it’s another easy way to feel comfortable in my own skin. When most of what you have are those colors, matching up outfits is wayyyy easier! Also, as you get (and feel!) bigger and bigger each month, wearing all black is a great way to make you feel a bit slimmer.
Maternity Items: The few things that I have bought that are specifically maternity are a pair of leather leggings (love them), a few pairs of black jeans from H&M, and several of these tanks in different colors (so long and stretchy but no ruching!). Those tanks are great options to wear daily with an open flannel or button up shirt overtop. Easy and comfy!
So, again, clothing in general is not the most important thing to concern yourself with in pregnancy, but if you’re like me it can be a good way to feel as comfortable as you can in your own changing skin while everything else in your world seems a bit topsy-turvy. If you’re pregnant and feeling that big change as well, I hope you find whatever it is that makes you feel the most yourself as well!
Those Target maternity tanks are great! I have worn them consistently for nursing over this past 11 months (it’s almost over, nooooooo! ?) because the neckline is stretchy enough to pull open and still retain its shape when I’m done. I layer a button-down or cardigan over top- can’t tell it’s “maternity weat”.
Oh good thought! They would be stretchy enough for that too…thanks Jessie!
And heels too, it appears! Looking amazing, Laura. Very excited for you!
Ha yes for sure! But just when going out and trying to feel cute, otherwise it’s barefoot and sneakers the rest of the time!
This is so great. So many of my friends have gone through “who am I” phases as they’ve gone through their pregnancies and I’ve seen that on days when they’re wearing their “old clothes” they just seem so much more comfortable than when they’re wearing, you know, the typical maternaty tops and things.
One friend of mine wore the same maxi skirt through her whole pregnancy! It just kept getting shorter and shorter in the front. 😀
The misspelling of “maternity” in my comment is… horrifying me. I just want everyone to know that I see it. Haha!
It’s true! Depending on the person, clothes help so much! And yes, I know the struggle of everything being too short! Haha!
I’ve been loving seeing how you stay true to your style throughout your pregnancy. It gives me much hope for when I get pregnant that I can also look cute and styling throughout. I definitely am the type that relates to outfits affecting confidence and moods so I get it!
Totally agree with this! Especially the itchy feeling in a “wrong” outfit. Some people just don’t get that, haha!
Yay for wearing things you love and letting your bump be out!
I still wear my target maternity tanks (the same ones!), mostly around the house or for working out, because they’re so soft and don’t look like maternity clothes. And my babe is two years old. Whoooops.
Oh yeah, definitely still wearing those for a while! They are great!!
I never really thought of it that way, but I suppose I went through the same mental and emotional process. Thank you for expressing or giving a name to what all soon-to-be-mommies and mommies have gone through. Myself and my husband are both musicians and not wearing my leather skinny would have been out of the question.
If I may, the biggest change (mental and/or emotional) WILL take place after the baby is born. Changing from rock wife to rock mommy was hard because what you wore then is not necessarily what you are or appropriate anymore (maintaining your own identity without embarrassing your little ones). Especially if your battling postpartum depression on top of all that.
Well, I’ll definitely have to find things that are able to be nursing friendly as well as something that feels like me. I know it just gets harder to keep that self identity, but I’ll certainly try my best!
This is sooo helpful. What size did you order in the body con dresses? And was it the same as your pre-pregnancy size? That’s the only thing I’m struggling with in buying non-maternity clothes!
Yes, it’s usually been my pre-preggo size that works best for body cons, but it may depend a bit on how stretchy the fabric is and you may need to size up if you’re getting one near the end 🙂
I’ve read a beautifulmess for years and have always loved your crafts and style! Let’s be friends:) Im not an instagram sharing person, but wanted to share my experience with babies and their positions. I know you do yoga so chances are you’ve tried this, but just in case….. My baby flipped herself from breech after a nice long bridge pose (with props). I would totally recommend trying this (with the help of your yoga teacher). Thinking baby moving thoughts for you! There is still time for baby acrobatics:).
Thank you!! Yes, I’m basically just trying everything so I hope one of them works!!
I’m not pregnant, not about to be either, and none of my friends has had babies so far. But you are definitely a model in terms of how you make it work and have your pregnancy adapt to your life rather than reverse – after all, having a baby means adding to a family, not completely changing it (at least that’s how I see it)! So kudos to you.
I can only recommend you this BBC (I think) documentary about being pregnant at different ages and what “being ready” can mean, I really loved it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1mOtNAETRc
Also, I have to say that I like you even more for hating ruching. I find it so unflattering (and pregnancy-like, ha!)!!
All the best and good luck for what’s to come! Lisa
Aw, thank you! And I’ll check that out!
My struggle with clothing identity came after my babe came. I breastfed and suddenly found my go to dresses were no longer usable (you can’t really pull the dress up over your breasts in public. ☹️). I ended up going with skirts when wanting to look cutesy and got super into blouses. I’m excited to see your solution for this!
Yeah, I’m not sure what to do on that front yet! I’ll let you know once I figure it out!
You look soo beautiful 🙂 Love your style!
I really struggled to find clothes that I liked and that felt like “me” when I was pregnant, so I couldn’t relate more to this post! I wore a lot of bodycon dresses in the beginning but towards the end I totally lost my confidence and ended up living in black (leather look) leggings and oversized sweaters. Will def. check out shape wear for next time! I also love how you’ve incorporated so much non-maternity stuff here! So much of what I ended up buying was stuff you really didn’t want to wear once the baby is out, so I only ended up wearing it for a couple of months.
I also naively thought that once the baby was out I could go back to wearing my old dresses and whatnot, and completely forgot to factor in breastfeeding. Those draped wrap-style blouses and my black moto jacket ended up being my saviors!
Thanks for posting, I will definitely be referring back to this next time I’m pregnant!