This blog has been neglected for a while, but I haven’t just been sitting around! I am 34 weeks pregnant, and it’s been a very busy summer. Highlights included a trip to London for work (and visiting my mom’s side of the family in the U.K.), two gorgeous weddings in California (picture below is from Santa Barbara), and Paco’s and my last childfree vacation (for a while at least) to San Francisco.
When I first found out I was pregnant, I did a ton of internet searches on what types of maternity clothes are useful. There are tons of recommendations out there, some which worked for me and some that didn’t, so I thought that I would put my two cents out there. A few things to note–I live in L.A. and it’s been warm (uh, HOT) for most of my pregnancy, and I work in a casual environment (jeans are okay, no need for maternity suits, etc.).
- Belly bands – I bought both the Bella Band from Nordstrom and Be Band from Target. Although they’re both made by the same company, the Bella Band worked better for me; it’s longer, a little bit more snug, and has rubber lining on the bottom hem which keeps it from riding up. These allowed me to wear non-maternity pants for an extra month or two.
- Versatile maternity jeans – I tried on a bunch at all price points, and chose a pair of Paige skinny jeans. I can wear jeans to work so these were worth the price for me, but if you don’t wear jeans as often or are looking at a lower price point, Gap’s skinny jeans were the runner up and were about $60.
- Long, stretchy tank tops – I bought a few maternity tank tops from Old Navy early on for $6 or $8 each. Other than the side ruching, they pretty much look like regular tank tops, and you can wear them when not pregnant. I still wear regular tank tops as well, but it’s nice to have extra long ones that you know won’t ride up.
- Blousy, stretchy, long, non-maternity shirts – I bought/borrowed a few blousy shirts to wear to work, but didn’t buy any maternity tops outside of the tank tops mentioned above.
- New bras – I definitely needed new bras by 20 weeks. I have read “minimalist” recommendations that you wait until your 8th month to buy new bras, but that definitely would NOT have worked for me. Go to TJ Maxx/Target/Ross and pick up a few cheap ones. . .I changed size multiple times so I would not recommend investing in nice ones until after the baby arrives.
- Thick leggings or yoga pants with a fold-over waist – I bought regular Victoria’s Secret black yoga pants in my normal size and one size up for further along. Honestly, I haven’t gotten to the point where I wear these outside the house beyond dog-walking, but I think these will come in very handy during maternity leave, paired with a long sweater (assuming that it cools off!).
- Stretchy dresses, empire waisted or able to be belted above the waist – I had a ton of summer dresses that I thought I would be able to wear while pregnant. However, I did not realize how short everything gets (if your clothes tend to be shorter). So I did end up buying a few stretchy dresses to wear to work and on the weekends. Both regular dresses (sized up if necessary) and maternity dresses (which can be worn after the baby comes if they’re just the stretchy type) will work.
- Long cardigans and light jackets – Some I bought while pregnant, some are from before, but all can be worn after the baby comes. These really helped to round out my wardrobe and make clothes evening or office appropriate. This light sweater jacket from Nordstrom is perfect for L.A nights and will remain a staple all winter.
- Comfortable shoes, flats or wedges – Try to find something with arch support. These Born Julianne flats (which I purchased before being for traipsing around a hot city) are a little boring but they are super comfortable and go with almost everything. A pair of Nine West gladiator sandals that I picked up at the Nine West outlet were also a lifesaver and are actually more comfortable than flip-flops.
Everyone says it, but my main suggestion is to not overbuy early on. . .your body changes in pretty surprising ways, and what looks good on others won’t always translate to your body. Also, be open to veering from your normal style. I love fitted clothing normally, and I thought I would be able to get into the maternity “body-con” style, but after trying on a few dresses I realize I feel much more comfortable in a flowy empire waist or something a little less form fitting. Be open minded!