But as the weeks passed by and my stomach grew rounder and more basketball-like, the #1 question I’ve thought every morning is: What am I going to wear?
Since this is my second pregnancy, I figured dressing the bump would be a breeze. But oddly, it’s been more difficult. During my my first pregnancy, I was all belly, so other than one maternity dress and a pair of leggings, I got away with wearing oversized shirts already in my closet. This time around, however, I’ve gained more weight in my thighs, butt, hips and arms, and soon struggled to squeeze into my regular stretch-friendly clothes.
But even after realizing I needed pregnancy-friendly clothes, I couldn’t bring myself to buy any. Every time my computer curser hovered over the “add to bag” button, a siren would go off in my mind yelling, “This is so wasteful! Wasting is bad!” Growing up with immigrant grandparents, I was taught to make do with what I have. So, the idea of spending money on clothes that I would wear for only a couple of months felt frivolous.
Then, one evening in my second trimester, after spending a day in a faded T-shirt that felt tight across my chest and pants that cut into my hips, I slipped on maternity pajamas. And, reader, sweet relief flooded through my body.
In that moment, I realized two things:
1) If I spent another day of this pregnancy waddling around in restricting clothes, I would break down and sob.
2) My comfort is worth investing in.
Now, after adding a few cute pieces to my wardrobe, I’m happy to say that getting dressed is fun again. Here are the six styles I’ve been wearing non-stop…
Stretchy tank and long cardigan. I picked up this green tank while packing for a trip to New York, and it’s one of my best last-minute purchases. The soft knit is super cozy, and the length stretches enough to cover my entire stomach without losing shape. Another maternity must-have? A long cardigan. It’s warm, easy to move in, and covers any underwear lines that show through my leggings. I love the oversized pockets of this one.
Stretchy dress. A stretchy dress is a pregnant woman’s best friend since it highlights your belly and endears you to everyone you come across. Within minutes of pulling on this Storq number, I fell head over heels — I felt so glamorous! The ribbed jersey material makes me feel supported, without any awkward bunching or stiffness. You can also dress it up or down — I’ve worn it with sneakers to a toddler birthday party, and plan on pairing it with heeled boots for a date night with my husband.
Denim overalls. Of all my pieces, I reach for these overalls the most. They’re straight-leg, roomy, and go with everything. Turtlenecks, puffy blouses, crop tops, fisherman sweaters, you name it. The feel of denim is also a nice break after months of cotton leggings. To switch up the style, I’ll sometimes buckle just one strap, which gives a flirty, effortless vibe.
Cropped cardigan. Even though I love a good pregnant crop-top moment (hello, Rihanna!), I don’t have it in me to bear my belly to the world. But one cropped piece I feel good in? A knit cardigan, which highlights my bump without looking frumpy like other knits can. I bought this piece at GU’s retail store, but this cropped sweater also looks chic (and how pretty is that blue?). On days when I want to look put together, I button the sweater over maternity leggings and swipe on some lipstick. Done and done!
Cocktail dress. When I first held up this silk dress, I was skeptical because the silhouette looked shapeless. But once I slipped it on, I discovered that the pregnancy gods have blessed us with a dress that feels elegant and sexy. The color is rich, the silk feels amazing on my skin, and every inch drapes beautifully. It’s even giving 1998 Gwyneth Paltrow. I wore it to a work party and plan on wearing it to my baby shower this weekend (eeeek!). Bonus: it’s washable!
Boxy jacket. The final piece in my capsule wardrobe is this wool-blend jacket. During my first pregnancy, I wore a belted camel coat on chilly nights but the thick fabric felt bulky. This jacket’s boxy cut adds structure to my new shape and is large enough to zip up over my stomach when the temperature drops.
Leggings: I wear Motherhood leggings almost every day; they have a soft belly band and lots of stretch. On cooler days, when I’m in the mood for thicker leggings, I pull on Blanquis. They’re more of a splurge but hold up really well, even after many washes. My pair is a hand-me-down and it still has no pills or tears.
Long-sleeved shirts: I like to wear long-sleeve shirts when knocking around or running errands. The jersey material feels silky and thin, so it’s easy to layer under sweaters and jackets.
Loungewear: For days padding around at home, I wear this tank and leggings set. It feels like I’m wrapped in a plush blanket. They’re also surprisingly sexy! Every time I wear this combo, my husband Max pulls me in for a kiss.
What about you? What maternity pieces do (or did) you find yourself reaching for? Any recommendations?
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