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Maternity Style Part Two: What I'm Wearing!

Taylor Hengen Newman

Thanks for commenting on last week’s post and pointing me in the right direction so as to avoid a maternity style rut this pregnancy! Amanda’s comment, in particular, sparked the realization that, unlike my last pregnancy, this one will be enjoyed/endured in heat and more heat -- Texas summers are no joke -- so my maxi dress obsession may just carry me through to delivery day. For the sake of variety and the love of a challenge, however, I decided – in addition to stockpiling a cute new maxi dress collection (fun!) – to also branch out into the world of bona fide maternity wear, and to figure out how to make that work for me so I don’t feel frumpy and stylistically frustrated when this belly gets really large. (It’s well on its way. Holy wow.) I’m not finished assembling my pregnancy wardrobe, but I’ve gotten a good start, as least for this stage in the game. As my belly keeps growing and the thermometer climbs, I’ll keep you availed of new purchases – I’ve never bought a swimsuit while pregnant before! -- and improvisations. For now, let’s take it from the top.

My first stop on this journey was the internet, since Kaspar was home on spring break last week and there was no way he’d be into shopping with me beyond our usual grocery store trips and the like. Luckily, maternity-wear isn’t too fit-specific, and the web is full of opportunities for seeking – and finding – great deals. I ‘liked’ Mama Bargains on Facebook, un-spam-blocked my daily Zulily emails, and signed up with (Melanie R. tipped me off to a great maternity dress sale they had going. Thanks Mel!) Gilt was sold out of the two dresses I really loved, but that was okay; now that I’m looking at web-deals on the daily, I don’t feel rushed to purchase. When I see an item that really speaks to me, I’ll buy. Having these sites feed me a steady stream of options makes the chances of that happening far more likely than in a physical store, where I’d be unlikely to return each week to scope their new selections. I just don’t have the inclination or the time.

There are a few stores that will be worth visiting in person. I’ve asked around and have a few consignment shops that cater to hip-type mamas on my short list. Discount stores like Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx and fancy-brand outlets (there’s a whole complex of them about 20 minutes away) will get a visit from me – and an also-pregnant buddy – in the next week, as well. In the meantime, I happened to walk right by an Urban Outfitters on my way to a work meeting last Tuesday, and bought this shirt, on sale:

Ganesha Baby

Not technically a maternity shirt, I bought this one size larger than usual, which worked out because the sleeves are just the right length, as is, and the shirt itself fully covers my belly (plus the rubber band I used to fasten my regular skinny jeans). No preggo midriffs this time, y'all! It probably will not fit for my entire pregnancy, but right now makes for an easy, comfy item that I can throw on over pretty much anything. I love the Ganesha design, too; Ganesha is the Hindu lord of beginnings, and a remover of obstacles. Perfect for a new pregnancy and the kind of delivery I hope to have --  natural and complication-free. 

I usually don’t buy a lot of clothes for myself at Urban Outfitters because they’re overpriced and cheaply made (and, for what it’s worth, the company supports political agendas I don’t). This was indeed the case with their maxi dresses this season. So when I got home, I hit up These next two items, and the skirt shown in that image at top (my new favorite piece of clothing, and not maternity-specific!), came from there:

maxi dress

A maxi dress! My guaranteed-winner pregnancy pick. This one is oh-so-soft and comfortable, and gives me lots of room to grow in. I just need a few more -- perhaps a floral print and a couple of solids -- and my maxi dress stash will be complete. (I'm keeping an eye on Gilt for a more dressy-dress that I can wear for a few upcoming work functions and summer date nights.) By the way, do you love the choice garage-door background on our family-style photoshoot? It was rather impromtu...

ombre shirt

There are my jeans again, paired with a REAL maternity shirt. I conceded to its cinched sides because it's ombre... So it's at least neutral on the cool-factor scale. I actually love its 'cool' color tones, as well, and that it's nice and lightweight, doesn't squish my boobs, and will accommodate my growing belly for a good while yet. (Which my go-to GAP Body tank at top surely won't.)

I’ve spent $150 so far and feel I have a solid wardrobe foundation and am quickly developing a style I love for this pregnancy. Comfortable, colorful, cute and cool. (Cool as in nice airflow and as in fashionable… we’ll see how the swimsuit shopping goes.) I may need to get some real maternity pants or shorts – although I kind of hope I won’t – and I will certainly need another few dresses, skirts and t-shirts, since I’ll be rotating through these items, and these items alone, for the next five months. I still have my yoga pants on standby (and, at the moment, on my body) for lounging and working in at home. Yesterday I actually wore a pair to yoga class, which felt pretty fantastic. In fact, I’m feeling pretty glowy and happy and fabulous overall – thanks to the second trimester's balanced-hormone perks and to a new, growing batch of pretty clothes to put on.

How do you like my purchases thus far? How many staple items do you recommend (i.e. four skirts, three dresses, etc.)? Have you bought/worn a maternity swimsuit? Pointers on that? What are you wearing today, mamas?