After reflecting on my first year of having a capsule wardrobe, I’ve realized I’ve done a little too well with living minimally and it’s time for a change. Dressing in essentially the same outfit everyday for the past year has gotten me antsy to branch out and try something new. With the inevitable changes my body is about to go through, I figured a maternity wardrobe is a great place to experiment with different styles without committing to any long term items.
The only thing is, good maternity clothes are hard to find.
First of all, there’s not a ton of designated maternity clothes that are my style (or any style).
Most are designed around the belly that will fill them. While that’s nice and all, I’d still like to dress for me. Not just my stomach.
Second, there are so many stages you have to prepare for.
There’s the tiny belly that’s just big enough to not fit comfortably in any of your pants, but not quite big enough to fill out maternity pants. Then, you have the giant belly that you gradually need more and more fabric to cover. Finally, you have the after math. The first few months (or year or so) after the baby is born where you can’t fit in your old clothes but you also can’t fit in (and are really tired of wearing) your maternity clothes.
Third, we don’t all have endless amounts of money to spend on all of these stages.
It’s just not realistic to make a huge budget for clothes you can only wear for a short period of time. Sure, somethings may carry over from or to your normal wardrobe, but it’s hard to know what will make the cut when it’s all said and done.
These were all things I didn’t anticipate my first time around but have been thinking about before I was even pregnant for the second time. When you’re a person that likes to put effort into their style, it’s really easy to feel lost when you’re constantly growing and relearning how to dress yourself.
My first pregnancy was filled with days of insecurities.
I had many mindless purchases made out of desperation for something that would fit my belly and also not make me feel like a whale. T-shirts and a pair of leggings that I accidentally bought in the wrong length was all I wore at the end because it was really all I had.
Since I didn’t plan ahead, I didn’t round out my wardrobe with proper pieces. I just bought what I thought I needed in the moment which left me with a lot of the same stuff, just in slightly different sizes. Mostly, a lot of the same stuff that didn’t make me feel happy with myself or my body most of the time.
PREPARING YOUR WARDROBE
Of course your wardrobe shouldn’t be the only thing you focus on. You’re having a baby! That is a very exciting time and it’s worth celebrating every second. For me though, I celebrate by planning and since I can’t really do much for the baby right now besides let it cook for a little bit, I’m going to focus this time on planning for me. For keeping myself sane and confident through all the changes I’m about to endure. And here’s how I’m going to do it:
Think about how big you’ll be and when
The awesome thing about being pregnant these days is the convenience of pregnancy trackers. They’ll tell you how pregnant you’ll be and when. Then, you can do a search (or go off of experience) to get an idea of how big you’ll be at that stage in pregnancy.
Of course, you can’t see into the future. You don’t really know how much you’ll grow throughout your pregnancy. You don’t know if you’ll grow quickly or slowly. There are some women that never show at all. So setting unknowns aside, it’s good to try and make a guess on which season you’ll be at your biggest so you can know what kind of weather to prepare for.
Make a Pinterest board
Always. Of course Pinterest is always part of the planning process. It’s just a great way to not only know what’s out there, but to also get an idea of what you’re drawn to. You can add and take away pins to make a cohesive board full of things that inspire you.
For a maternity board, you’ll be tempted to fill your search with only maternity outfits, which is a great start. But don’t be afraid to pin outfits and items that aren’t necessarily made for maternity wear. You can always get a bigger size for regular clothes which gives you so many options to choose from.
Establish the pieces you need
I think this may have been my biggest set back when buying clothes for my belly. It’s one thing to understand that you like an outfit. It’s another to understand the elements that create that outfit. What are the patterns? The fits? The shapes? Are there accessories? Does it need layers?
It may seem obvious, but the pieces are the foundation of putting outfits together so having an idea of the individual pieces is an important part of planning your wardrobe.
Look at what you already have
It may sound silly to look at your current wardrobe for big belly pieces, but you’d be surprised what a stretchy or loose shirt can do.
A lot of money can be saved and inspiration can be found in what you already have. I wore some stretchy shirts to show off the belly and loose shirts when I wanted to feel a little more relaxed and they still function as regular clothes after the wear and tear of a baby belly.
Set a budget
Having a clear idea of how much you can/want to spend will help a lot. It will determine where you can go for items, which items to put more money into and which items to spend less on. You’ll get a better understanding of what your priorities are and need to be when you know up front how much money can go into this wardrobe. Plus, it’ll save you from spending more or buying more than you really need.
Take it slow
While it may seem like 9 months is no time, and the 3-6 months it takes to start showing is even less, it’s not as quick as you think. You have time to get one thing at a time. If there’s something you’d love but you can’t find the right one, just wait. While there are somethings you’ll need to get before others (like a new bra or maternity pants), you’re not going to need everything all at once.
It’s not too much work to get yourself set up in the early stages of pregnancy, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run.
When you’re belly is big and you body is different, confidence can become a bit dicey. That, along side changing hormones and preparing to bring a new life to the world, can bring a lot of moments of feeling down about yourself. Which is not really a good time to be shopping for clothes.
Getting a solid wardrobe planned and ready ahead of time is a great way to help yourself feel like the magical life creator you are, even when you just feel like a giant pumpkin.
MY MATERNITY WARDROBE PLAN
Here is a list of what I’m planning for this next pregnancy. I’ll be my biggest in winter, but I’ve already got a little bump, so layers and fall/winter colors are my focus. That, and still allowing myself to be feminine and sexy, even on the days when I just don’t feel it.
Obviously giant, cozy sweaters are a must. Plus they’re great with jeans or leggings.
This olive green jacket is calling me.
A few simple graphic tees for those lazy days.
But then chunky cardigans to pull the outfit together.
I’m pretty sure a simple maxi dress is mandatory for a maternity wardrobe.
You can never go wrong with stripes and jeans.
A button up denim dress with some tights and boots all the way.
How do you guys feel about a baby doll shirt over a big baby belly? Cute or no?
I would say I’m going to keep it fairly simple. Of course light greys, oranges, and forest/olive greens are making a big appearance in my fall focused wardrobe. I think the key this time around is to put more focus on the elements and pieces that are forming the outfit. To pay attention to the details and not rely on the pieces themselves to stand out.