How I’m Channeling My Love Of Fashion Into My Maternity-Wear
Creating A Closet That Supports Your Pregnancy Journey
Saying “I have nothing to wear” while standing in front of my closet has never been more relevant. As I’ve watched my body change throughout pregnancy, I’ve had to set aside clothing I once knew and loved. (This Instagram Reel sums up the experience perfectly.)
Just a few weeks ago, I tried to put on my favorite pair of vintage Levis—I thought maybe, just maybe, they would still fit. I stood in front of the mirror, in my sports bra and my swollen belly, wiggling to pull my once beloved jeans over my hips. To my dismay, the buttons were so far apart there was no way they’d fit me. I couldn’t help but burst into laughter at the sight of me standing in the mirror with unbuttoned pants. I called my husband into the room to see. We both laughed, agreeing it was time to make some wardrobe changes.
Fashion has always been important to me for creative expression, and that hasn’t changed during my pregnancy. In fact, my new body has inspired a different wardrobe altogether. Once I shifted my mindset from nothing fits to I get to choose what to wear, I was able to redefine my style while creating a supportive maternity closet. Here’s how you can, too:
1. Go Through Your Current Closet
Instead of becoming overwhelmed and discouraged by my clothes fitting differently, I decided to sort through my closet. I spent a few hours trying on and separating my clothes into two piles—clothes that fit and clothes that didn’t—and I then packed away what I could no longer wear. Oversized dresses, larger blouses, and cotton jumpsuits got to stay, while high-waisted pants, jeans, and crop tops were placed into a storage box for a different season in life. By taking inventory of what I already have (and what I’ll need), I was able to regain a sense of control and plan my next steps.
Now, when I go to my closet to get dressed, I’m met with pieces that fit, are comfortable, and keep me feeling fashionable.
2. Start With Staples & Basics
The first few items I added to my maternity closet included staples and basics. I switched out my bras, opting for more comfortable and supportive bras that will continue to fit as my breasts grow (like this organic cotton maternity bra from Pact).
I also bought maternity leggings to replace my high-waisted pants and bike shorts to wear throughout the summer. I’ve loved wearing the maternity bike shorts from Girlfriend Collective for outdoor activities; I feel super cute while wearing them!
These staple pieces have helped me feel supported by my wardrobe, and I’ve liked using them as building blocks to explore layering with my non-maternity-specific clothes. For example, I’ll layer a blazer or an oversized blouse over a cute top and maternity leggings (inspo here).
3. Find Inspiration
Speaking of inspiration, it’s so helpful when creating a new wardrobe, and I’ve been turning to social media to see how other pregnant people are styling their clothes. Everyday Pursuits has a great Pinterest video for how to accessorize pregnancy outfits. Likewise, Instagram is the perfect place for finding both bloggers and brands highlighting maternity fashion. For example, Storq uses its feed to highlight real mamas wearing their basics and offers styling tips.
I’ve also followed the fashion blogger @marylawlesslee for years and have turned to her page for maternity inspiration. And @ariellecharnas is my go-to resource for making pregnancy outfits more fun—I adore her use of color, prints, and silhouettes!
Finally, I use mood boards to create my own personal aesthetic and to help me discover new possibilities with maternity fashion. Since becoming pregnant, I notice I gravitate towards softer silhouettes and color palettes rather than the moody tones I once loved. I’ve been creating more sophisticated-yet-relaxed looks that reflect the woman and mother I’m becoming. Having a mood board helps me see how my style is evolving and plan out new outfits.
4. Prioritize Sustainability & Affordability
I’ve long been a fan of secondhand shopping for unique and vintage pieces, and that hasn’t changed in pregnancy. Thrifting is an easy, affordable, and sustainable way to bring pieces into my closet that express my style. My favorite dress that I’ve worn throughout maternity is a pink linen baby doll dress from the ‘90s. It was just $10.
Secondhand shopping is also helpful for finding affordable basics, comfortable shoes, and maternity-specific leggings and jeans. You can visit your local thrift store, shop secondhand online (try thredUP’s maternity clothes), or even host a community clothing swap for parents in your community.
5. Don’t Forget The Power Of Accessories
For me, accessories have always been an important part of making an outfit feel complete. And this hasn’t changed in pregnancy. Belts are still my go-to, but instead of accentuating my waist, I’m accentuating my bump when wearing an oversized dress—I love showing it off.
For shoes, I’ve always embraced a little heel. Yet, in pregnancy, easy slip-on sandals have been my focus. Especially as I move further along in my pregnancy, bending down to buckle a shoe or tie a sneaker has become more challenging, so my favorite pairs are the ones I can slip right on without adjusting them to my feet.
My purse has also changed. Typically, I opt for smaller styles that hold only the essentials. In pregnancy, however, my essentials include snacks and a water bottle, so I opt for something larger. This will no doubt change again once the baby comes and my essentials list grows!
If you can, try to enjoy the journey of creating a pregnancy wardrobe and focus on building a closet that works for you. I’d encourage us all to avoid comparison and seek out creative inspiration instead. Laugh in the moments when something doesn’t fit and move on to what does. Remember: Comfort and support are key, but so is feeling like yourself. You can still look and feel fashionable while pregnant!
How did your wardrobe change during pregnancy? I’d love to hear your tips or advice in the comments below!
Courtney Jay is a writer at The Good Trade. She is also a yoga instructor, health enthusiast, and sustainable fashion advocate. You can find more of her writing and take one of her online yoga classes on her website Coincide.