Trying to curate a wardrobe for everyday life is hard enough, never mind trying to find clothes for an ever changing pregnancy body. Nevertheless, 5 months ago I found out that I had to figure out a way to do just that.
Even before finding out we were going to have a mini me, I was never impressed with maternity clothes. They either seem to design pieces for a specific style personality or , if they do have different shapes or styles, they are extremely overpriced. I was determined not to get caught in either of these categories. Instead, I applied my Image Consulting rules to my new purchases and made sure that every piece I purchased was one I would be happy to wear everyday if I had to. When your body is in constant flux it is even more important than ever to make sure that you are wearing clothes that make you look and feel good.
So, without further ado, here is my advice for all the mommies with growing tummies:
1. WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL STYLE?
If you didn’t wear floral feminine dresses before you got pregnant, why are you buying them now? Find styles that you are comfortable in that reflect your ideal style. Not sure what that style is? Take a look through a magazine or start a Pinterest board for style inspiration. Don’t worry about the women in the pictures being pregnant, just concentrate on their overall style.
2. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE OUTFIT BEFORE YOU WERE PREGNANT?
I am a “classic elegant” kind of gal, so I lived in my skinnies, flats and tees. My main emphasis has always been on my accessories. I would rather have 10 necklaces and 3 great tops, rather than the other way around. So, when my body started to change I bought variations of those outfits.
3. WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET FOR YOUR PREGNANCY WARDROBE?
Mine was low. I wanted to buy maternity pants as much as I wanted to buy white socks. However that doesn’t mean that I was willing to sacrifice style. I created a list (see below) and started to scan flash sales, Amazon and Ebay. My morning ritual of checking these sites only lasted about 10mins, but it resulted in some great finds. This is my daily ritual:
Zulily - Do not get distracted by baby stuff! You can check on on that at another point during your day if you have time
Gilt – Do not distracted my all the gorgeous post pregnancy clothes that exist on this website! You can treat yourself once your little one is out
Hautelook – Love their kids clothes! But you are here to buy maternity clothes, so concentrate.
MyHabit – One of the best resources for pregnancy clothes
Amazon – I know that I should look at the .ca website, but the .com is sooo much better.
Ebay – Great resource as long as you know what you are looking for
If you want to buy retail, I would check out LOFT, GAP, ASOS, or H&M
4.WHAT DOES A NORMAL WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
If you are working 40 hour weeks in an office, your wardrobe priorities are going to be drastically different than if you work from home or are a stay at home mom. Please take note of all the different hats you wear throughout the week to make sure you have the appropriate clothing for all occasions. If you are wearing business casual everyday, try to pick up 3 tops for every pair of pants. Make sure you are buying within your colours so all the pieces mix and match effortlessly.
5. WHAT BASIC PIECES DO YOU NEED TO BUILD A YEAR LONG WARDROBE?
The first thing I did was look for pieces in my closet that I could still wear. Cardigans, longer tees, sweaters…I also took a pair of old jeans in to have an elastic waist put in. If you are handy, you can also do this yourself. Now, look at what you still need. For me pants were key. I am fairly petite and with all the A line and flowy shirts that are out right now, I preferred “regular” shirts over maternity. I also had a wedding that I knew I was going to have to attend, so I had to have a great dress for that. After looking at my normal week, this is the list I came up with (feel free to change, delete or add):
1.JEANS – casual and dressy ( I wear them almost everyday). I bought a pair off Zulily and another off of Amazon. If you arent sure about ordering online, try them on in store first.
2.MAXI SKIRT – or short if you prefer! I gravitate towards neutral skirts, rather than dresses, for the summer since I can make them look different depending on how I wear them. Ann Taylor had great ones. I got my black Splendid one on sale at a flash sale.
3.6 shirts – these are all maternity approved tops. I mixed in some of my tees that I wore before, but I wanted something that I didn’t have to worry about rolling up. The style of the shirts will depend on your life and how casual or dressy your daily life is. Zara is one of my favourite places to pick up “maternity type” tops.
4.BLACK SKINNYS – or a trouser fit if you want to camouflage your booty or thighs. If you are wearing dress pants everyday you may want to pick up 3 pairs of all season ones. TopShop and H&M have cheap options. I have also had clients wear the stretchy Reitmans pants for the first few months as well.
5.A NEW NECKLACE – or scarf or both! I just wanted something new and shiny. Stella & Dot are my favourite.
6.FLAT AND COMFY SHOES – if you don’t wear flats look for a wedge or a thicker heel. The main thing is that they are comfortable and cute. I picked a pair of Hush Puppies on Amazon and Fryes on sale at the Bay.
7. SPRING/FALL COAT – even if you hate your outfit, you can always throw a fabulous coat over top and feel instantly put together. In Canada a great coat is a must. ASOS does a great job at creating coats that are stylish and inexpensive.
8.WRAP CARDIGAN – or 2 depending on how many of your cardigans still work.Something without buttons that you can wrap around and throw on a scarf and walk out the door.
9.BELT – whether you want to wear it above your belly with a dress or below your belly with jeans, a belt that can accommodate a growing belly is a cute accessory.
10.DRESS – preferably one you can wear to your shower and any impromptu events you are invited to. Definitely keep your eye out on the Flash Sites for this one. Once you find one you like Google it to make sure you are happy with the reviews.
Let me know how it goes! If you have any questions feel free to post them on my FB at www.facebook.com/yourshopgirl
Your Style Queen,