maternity wardrobe essentials

The winter/holiday style challenge is just getting started and I’m excited to be back next Wednesday with the usual ladies, and I’m sure a few new faces, sharing our wardrobe additions and first few days of outfits. Today I want to talk about the few items I’ve found to be essential for dressing the bump.

bellyband

The Belly Band. I had no idea such a thing existed until a girlfriend sent me one as a gift in my first trimester. She sent me black and after wearing it for a day I immediately went to Target and picked up white as well. I have been very happy with the Target option, but you can also find the  brand name BellaBand on Amazon.

In the first and early second trimesters I used them almost daily in order to continue wearing my pre-pregnancy clothes. Just unbutton/unzip your pants and secure with the band. Around week twenty when I switched to maternity pants, I wore them to keep pants snug. Everything was a little big at first but the bands are perfect for keeping your pants up where they belong. I’m still using them now in the third trimester, usually on the second day of wearing a pair of jeans or leggings, when they are a little stretched out. I hear they are great postpartum for keeping your maternity pants on and then allowing a little extra room in your normal jeans eventually.

The band looks just like an additional layer and since my style is fairly layered they have fit in really well. It’s difficult to see in the photo on the right, but I’m wearing the black one. I wash them every few weeks. They don’t touch you skin at all, but they do get stretched out and a wash and dry every so often helps with that.

matjeans

Inexpensive Jeans. I wear jeans and sometimes leggings to work every day now. Lucky for me, my client is very casual and I decided not to purchase business casual maternity wear. When it came to buying a few pairs of maternity jeans, I decided to go the cheaper route. There are great designer denim maternity options out there, but I could not justify spending $150+ on a pair of jeans I’m going to wear for six months. Aside from the expense, I wanted more variety.

I ended up purchasing three pairs of maternity jeans from Old Navy as part of the Fall challenge – gray, skinny dark wash, and a more relaxed darker wash. So far I’ve been really happy with them. The maternity jeans from ON don’t come in length options so I did have the gray and skinny ones altered for about $10 each in order to wear with flats. After talking to a few friends about their preferences, I went with full panel for all of my jeans. I’m not sure how the other styles fit. I can usually get two wears out of each wash, but after that they loosen up a bit and I am more comfortable if they are washed at this point.

Originally I wore my normal leggings, but they are not working anymore. As part of shopping for the Winter/Holiday challenge I picked up some inexpensive maternity leggings from Old Navy. They are not great quality, but are good enough and will be perfect for hanging around the house with a newborn in February.

versatiledress

A Versatile Dress. I own one maternity dress and I’ve made it work for every event I’ve encountered so far. By changing the accessories, I wore it to a summer wedding, work on a very cold day, and last week for Thanksgiving in Palm Springs. I’ll probably end up wearing it to my shower next month as well.

The key is that I picked something I loved so I haven’t gotten sick of it. I don’t think it’s possible for me to get sick of black and white stripes and there are countless ways to style them. It’s also really comfortable and has fit well in all stages of pregnancy.

layers

Lots of Layers. This is a two-fold one. First, by wearing lots of layers I can mix and match pieces more and in the end I think I actually buy fewer items. Second, for the first time in my life, I’ve been the hot person in meetings. However, it’s barely been out of the 30s the last month in Seattle outside. Layers have been key to me being somewhat comfortable throughout the day.

On any given day I tend to wear socks and boots (either ankle or tall), jeans or leggings, a tank top or belly band, a shirt, a cardigan, a scarf, and a necklace. I occasionally swap in other pieces like a puffer vest. The scarves and cardigans are easy to take on and off during the day as I am warm or cold. Adding a necklace means I still have something of interest on once I’ve stripped down to the basics. On a side note, scarves are a great way to inexpensively dress up your wardrobe and/or bring in some seasonal/trendy elements.

The Winter/Holiday challenge will be the last style challenge for women until April 2015, when it’s time for spring. There’s still time to get your shopping list and shop your closet or stores this weekend before the first outfit is sent out on Sunday night.

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