When I found out I was pregnant, my mind immediately went to, “What am I going to wear?” Let’s be honest, while people call pregnancy “a delicate state”, it’s really anything but that. Your body is changing day by day and not in a graceful way. I had it in my head that I was going to have to purchase an entire new wardrobe to fit these changes and that the majority of the items would come from the maternity section.
And then I took an actual trip to the maternity section- and walked away nearly in tears. I talked a lot about the loss of identity during pregnancy in a previous post and I felt as though that shopping trip was the first moment that I felt the weight of the phenomenon. Everything I tried was frumpy and drapey. Structure was a thing of the past and was exchanged for a lycra, spandex, cotton blend.
I’m not sure when it became common to give up your style for pregnancy, but that certainly seems to be the opinion of maternity designers. It’s all about not worrying about style but rather comfort. If you can wear sweatpants- do it! When in reality, dressing like a frump just amplifies the glum feelings of losing control over your body. You might be comfy, but cop a glance at yourself as you pass by a mirror and you’ll be reminded of how you really feel. Like Regina George when she’s helplessly gaining weight because of all the Kalteen bars and has to admit to her friends, “Sweatpants are all that fit me right now” and is then banned from sitting at the table with the rest of the pretty girls.
Fast forward a bit. I made it through the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy with my regular clothes. They needed some adjusting and creative DIYs to keep things working, but for the most part, I was finding my clothes were adapting to my body. Which convinced me of this truth: you do not need a closet full of maternity clothes. This is a fact, ladies so take it in.
Enter: Madewell. If you follow me here or on any form of social media, you know that Madewell has been my go to for years. The styles are easy going, slightly androgynous and timeless. If I’m buying a trendy piece, it’s from Madewell. Because they not only hit the trends but they are careful to craft their design to be something classic that will stand the test of time after the trend passes.
I noticed that Madewell had started making maternity jeans and my poor stretched belly spoke to me saying, “It’s time!” Honestly, maternity jeans have been such a bummer, I wasn’t sure if I was going to feel any differently about a Madewell pair even if it was designed by my favorite brand.
Turns out, I did. Everyone- Ladies, hello! Stick with me here. I’m about to make a bold statement. I love these jeans just as much as my favorite daily skinnies I’ve had for the past three years.
They are so soft but still have enough structure to give my legs some definition and the waist panel has just enough stretch to keep things comfortable. I love the faux button and zipper because it allows the fabric to lay flat across my belly rather than adding bulk to an already sensitive area. I also really appreciate how the jeans have an ending point right where my normal jeans would rest rather than coming up all the way to my bustline with material that would just end up stretched out and slouchy by the end of the day. Best part- no butt sag. If you’ve had to purchase maternity jeans before, you know what I mean. They have SO much stretch in them that by the end of the day, you’re left with sags everywhere is is anything but flattering. These stay fitted all day while still offering the stretch you need when you bend over or sit down.
I honestly can’t say enough about them. My only problem is deciding what other wash I’m going to order to get me through the rest of the pregnancy.
One more thing- the sizing is spot on. If you knew your size before pregnancy, you know your size in maternity jeans. No strange sizing, no “1’s, 2’s, 3’s” to make you feel better about yourself for a minute but inevitably confuse you. Order the size you wear all the time. Done.
When it comes to tops, here’s what I’ve found. If you’re on track for the amount of weight you should be gaining during pregnancy, you don’t need to buy maternity specific shirts. If you’re smart about the style and fabrics, you can pick up a few things that work for your body now that will also transition back into your wardrobe after pregnancy. This was really important to me. My head was spinning thinking about how much it was going to cost to fill my closet with maternity clothes that I would only need for a few months. It seemed pointless to me.
So when I’m looking for shirts, I look for a few things. I look for soft fabrics that have a bit of stretch for t-shirts and tanks that I can layer under other pieces or pair with a cardigan. That way my bump can show off but doesn’t ruin the shape of the top. I also look for styles that will drape well over my belly. So in the top above, I really liked how flowy it was on the bottom while keeping structure on top. I also liked the pleating detail on the front that is sweet on a flat stomach and practical on a stretched canvas. As a general rule of thumb, I look for tops in my regular size or one size up and if they don’t work within those parameters, I don’t pick it up. The main question is, “Will this be useful to me again after I deliver this baby?”
Since I’m carrying during the winter, I have a few favorite coats that have been seeing me through the cold weather. Again, structure is key! This City Grid is one of my favorites because it has swing when I walk but also hugs me in all the right places reminding people, “Hey! There’s a person under here!” rather than tenting me.
Keeping things basic is key. I can’t be bothered with lots of layers and fluff when I’m getting ready. So pretty blouses paired with jeans that can be gussied up with some great boots and a bag are my jam. That’s all I need to get me through the day.
So if you’re in the market for some maternity clothes, try and shift your focus from what you’ve always been told. Remember that your style is a part of you that you don’t need to throw away for the sake of comfort. For goodness sake, being a mom does NOT equal butt sag. Just saying.
Until next time!
All photos courtesy of Autumn Kern Photo. “Wait, isn’t she your boss lady?” That’s right. We friends too. If you’d like to book her (or well, me for that matter!) for a wedding or engagement, check out the contact form here. Or if you’re like me and nearly 7 months pregnant needing to feel a little fabulous, drop her a line too.
*Madewell has kindly partnered with me on this post by providing the items worn in this outfit. All opinions and accolades are from my own heart and mind. For more information, visit my disclaimer page.*