Moms out there might know my dear friend Alex, who chronicles her adventures with mini-me daughter Reese on the blog MommyBeta. Throughout our many years of friendship, I’ve put my style stamp on everything from date-night accessories to her wedding shoes. So, no surprise, when Alex told me baby no. 2 was on the way and she was feeling frumpy, I was more than happy to help her feel haute again.
Alex’s daily uniform consisted of yoga pants and a t-shirt or sweatshirt. She wanted and needed that comfort to keep up with Reese, but also wanted to look and feel put together. The plan was for me to come over during naptime, do a maternity closet audit and hit the shops for the pieces that would build a stylish pregnancy wardrobe another day. But, as Alex pulled maternity clothes from her closet and the pile on the bed grew and grew, I quickly realized shopping wasn’t necessary. Like so many women, pregnant or not, Alex had everything she needed to look chic, but lacked inspiration for how to pull the pieces together.
In the span of just 2 hours, we turned that pile of maternity clothes into a full mom-to-be wardrobe and Alex into a case study on the value of a stylist! Instead of spending hundreds on a few outfits, we created more than a dozen looks and IDed a few key accessories she can pick up to create even more.
Here’s a quick guide to her smart style choices and the tips I shared to make her a haute mama-to-be. Even if you aren’t pregnant, read closely, the first three apply to all!
Invest in basics
Alex was smart during her first pregnancy and invested in basics like dark jeans and layering tanks that maintained their looks. So now, ready for baby no. 2, she has trusted favorites to slip into and fewer items to buy. The lesson here transcends the bump, it’s worth spending a little more on items you will wear and wear because they’ll last and be a great base for mixing and matching for a long time.
Simple tanks and Ts like this one will be workhorses in a maternity wardrobe. Pay a little more and make sure the fabric has some weight, stretch and durability. I recommend buying black and white and adding 1-2 others in a fun color like red or a bright blue as a good base. V-necks are the most universally flattering neckline and will help you create looks that elongate your frame.
A simple black shift dress like this Nicole Miller design will go from day to night. Layer with a colorful blazer or cardigan and look sharp at the office. Add some sparkle with accessories and you’ll be ready to hit the town.
I love a dark wash jean! These from Paige Denim maternity are comfy for running around and transition seamlessly to those “jeans and a cute top” nights. A really dark wash and a straight or slight bootcut make for the most flattering look because they’ll make your legs look long and lean. At the start of your pregnancy, use a belly band and wear your favorite non-maternity pair.
Don’t Pay A Lot for Trends
Trends are trends for a reason, they come and go and, especially when you’re body is in transition the way it is during a pregnancy, not worth spending a ton of money on. Look to moderately priced stores with dedicated maternity lines like Forever 21, where Alex scored this great plaid shirt in on-trend cobalt, and Target for one-season pieces that make your basics current.
Transform Your Basics with Shoes and Accessories
Your body’s changing, but chances are you can still wear your shoes and accessories. Every girl knows dark jeans and a black tank with ballet flats and pearls is 180-degrees different than the same outfit with statement heels and a blingy clutch. Play with accessories to make your basics pull double and triple duty.
In these looks, we made sure Alex stayed comfortable from day to night by swapping layering pieces, necklaces and shoes to make a basic tank and pair of jeans easily transition from the park, to lunch with the girls, to a night out.
Tip: Just like trend pieces, there’s no need to spend a lot on new shoes for feet swollen by pregnancy. Look to affordably priced chains with great designers like Christian Siriano for Payless or Marshalls if you need temporary footwear.
Dress for your Bump Type
Everyone carries baby differently—some high, some low, some suffer all-over swelling and some lucky ladies are small everywhere but the bump. As with any other styling scenario, it’s important to keep your pregnancy body type in mind and choose pieces that flatter your frame and match the needs of your lifestyle. Aim to bring balance to your top and bottom halves, accentuate your glowing face and show off your bump! If you get stuck, I can help!