Maternity fashion: Staying stylish while round

So here I am again, writing a much overdo post. This time, however, I have an incredibly valid excuse: I had a baby! He's the cutest sweetest little thing in the whole world and I'm totally smitten and in love! However, His Royal Cuteness is a ton of work, so combine loving on preciousness and trying to get back to a regular work schedule, and it hasn't left much time for this post that has been simmering for about three months or so.

It was maybe two weeks before my son was born that one of my friends commented on how cute my maternity clothes were and how I should do a maternity style blog post. I had to laugh at myself because after all, that's exactly what this blog is for! And how could I not have thought of that myself?! So at that point I felt like a beached whale and some of my cute outfits didn't fit anymore, or didn't fit well anymore so I tried to get as many pictures of outfits as I could.

A couple months before I got pregnant, a friend and fellow fashion blogger wrote a fabulous post about her maternity style and she bought clothes and what she bought. It was a huge help to me when it became my turn to buy clothes. (It was the July 30, 2016 post on Now I hope to do the same thing for some other fashionista who is lamenting the loss of her normal, fabulous wardrobe.

I'm a firm proponent that leggings are not pants, however, I didn't have a choice in the matter for the first few months of my pregnancy. None of my pants fit (even with the rubber band around the button trick) after about a month, but I wasn't even anywhere close to fitting into maternity pants. So I went with leggings. I found a brown pair and a gray pair of leggings (that were real fabric, not dignified hose) at T.J.Maxx. My first trimester was spent in Indiana, and most of it was cold. I'm not convinced that Indiana is ever actually warm, but I suppose that's beside the point. So that first trimester, and the first month or so of the second trimester I basically wore leggings and then I bought regular sweaters and long-sleeved t-shirts at Loft that were a size or two bigger than what I normally wore, and paired them together.

The rest of my pregnancy was spent in South Carolina, where I live, and it was anything but cold. Some of the sweaters continued to work through the rest of the "winter" and some ended up being too heavy. However, my tool for survival was maxi dresses and other loose-fitting dresses. I'm slightly obsessed with maxi dresses to begin with (I confess that I own far too many), but this time my obsession paid off. Most maxi dresses stretch in all the right places and are perfect for maternity use without having to buy a maternity dress.

One of my best friends lent me her maternity clothes which consisted of a few dresses, a pair of jeans, and a top or two. And then another friend lent me her maternity shorts. Both were absolute life-savers!! So if you have friends who are about your size and you don't abhor their style, ask to borrow stuff! And if you're the one with the clothes and your friends are pregnant, offer to let them borrow things. It is absurd how much maternity clothes cost just because the retailers know that you have no choice. I think taking such advantage of a hormonal, pregnant woman is just awful: but that's an entirely different conversation.

About the middle of my second trimester I finally broke down and bought some maternity clothes because I needed real pants, and I needed some black outfits to wear when I played for weddings and other gigs (considering that my real life job is as a professional violinist). So off to Pea in a Pod I went. Now I'm all about designer labels, I'll admit, but them wanting $200 for a pair of jeans about killed me! If I didn't pay $200 for regular jeans I wasn't about to pay $200 for jeans that I was only going to wear for four months. Thankfully I found a pair that wasn't quite as awfully priced. So I ended up getting a pair of jeans, two pairs of dress pants, a white lace top, and then I got a black skirt, a black lace top, and a black dress for performing. And that ladies, is all the maternity clothes I bought. Period. And the lace tops and the dress are styled so that I'm still wearing them even though I'm back to a normal size human. And another thing, those "maternity camisoles" that they're going to try and make you buy at the store? Unless you're like six feet tall you don't need those. Your normal camisoles will stretch and be fine and will go back and still fit you correctly post-baby. Promise. Another well-kept secret? Belly bands. They're fabulous elastic bands that can be bought cheaply at Target and they hold up your pants so you can wear your normal pants up to the very last minute, even when they no longer zip. I had a flesh colored one and black one and they enabled me to wear my regular dress pants up until about my early third trimester.

So, if I could give you my must haves for being pregnant, this would be my list.

  • Normal size maxi dresses (the more the better!)
  • Normal size jackets 
  • One or two interesting vests to add flair to t-shirts and dresses 
  • At least two pairs of stretchy waisted real fabric leggings
  • Multiple normal size loose and flowy blouses (crepe, lace, etc) 
  • Maternity jeans
  • Maternity shorts 
  • Maternity dress slacks 
  • Loose fitting normal size interesting t-shirts 
  • Normal size maxi skirts with elastic waists 
  • A couple maternity shirts if needed (I only needed them for formal wear)
  • Two or three maternity dresses (for when nothing else fits) 

So all that to say, besides the maxi dresses (which I didn't get to take pictures of while I was pregnant), here are some of my favorite maternity outfits that I put together. I hope that it helps with your shopping and your style so that you can still feel like yourself even though you're growing another person!

Dress: Gap Maternity 
Vest: Stein Mart 
Shoes: Michael Kors (purchased at Belk) 
Necklace: So Good Jewelry 

Dress: Stein Mart
Shoes: Ivanka Trump (from Nordstrom Rack) 
Earrings: Local Artisan (from Merle Norman)
Watch: Michael Kors
Bracelet: Michael Kors 

Top: Pea in a Pod Maternity
Skirt: Pea in a Pod Maternity 
Shoes: Charles David (from Belk)
Earrings: So Good Jewelry 

Top: Cable and Gauge (from Nordstrom Rack)
Shorts: Old Navy Maternity 
Shoes: Michael Kors (from Belk)
Earrings: Belk
Necklace: So Good Jewelry 

Dress: Motherhood Maternity 
Jacket: Jessica Simpson (from Belk)
Shoes: Michael Kors (from Belk)
Earrings: So Good Jewelry 
Shirt: Calvin Klein (from Nordstrom Rack)
Slacks: Pea in a Pod Maternity 
Jacket: White House Black Market 
Shoes: Steve Madden (from Belk)
Sunglasses: Kate Spade (from Nordstrom Rack) 
Earrings: Saks Off Fifth 
T-Shirt: White House Black Market 
Vest: Stein Mart
Jeans: Pea in a Pod Maternity 
Shoes: Michael Kors (from Belk) 
Earrings: So Good Jewelry
Bracelet: So Good Jewelry
Ring: Local Artisan (from the City Market) 


  1. Very good written article. It will be supportive to anyone who utilizes it, including me. Keep doing what you are doing – can’r wait to read more posts.


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