growing a minimalist wardrobe: maternity clothes.

September 26, 2016

growing a minimalist wardrobe: maternity clothes
I wasn’t sure how to categorize this post. It’s about growing a minimalist wardrobe, for sure. But it’s also about getting dressed while growing a baby. And a belly. There’s just a whole lotta growth going on is really what I’m trying to say.

What the heck do you do about maternity wear when your hope is for a long-lasting, beautiful, and sustainable wardrobe?

Writer bares all: During my last pregnancy, somewhere in the middle of my last trimester, I called James crying from my desk at work. I made him meet me at the 34th Street H&M. I pawed at racks of mostly ugly maternity clothes trying to find something that would suit my taste. I felt desperate, but mostly I felt weird. And so, I figured, new clothes would make me feel less weird. I had a need for therapeutic shopping like I’d never really had before. I finished by trying not to feel too terrible about buying three shirts and a pair of pants from their Conscious Collection. Pregnancy is nutty, man. Your body does things it’s never done and looks different than it ever has. Most of the clothes that you deemed “baggy” enough to fit into your final months are laughably tight and in all the wrong places long before you’re anywhere near your due date. And all the while, every other person walking down the street is offering unsolicited commentary on your ever-changing body. “Why no, I didn’t swallow a watermelon. Many thanks for your concern, madam.”

In tackling the conundrum of how to dress myself while pregnant, I’ve largely made an effort to wear my regular clothes for as long as possible and to introduce a few key maternity items to help me feel normal when the regular clothes fail. No doubt, the specifics of what’s worked for me might not work for everyone, but I do think there’s a lot of opportunity to use what you already own while adding only a few maternity specific things to help out along the way.

Here’s what’s worked for me:

Maternity jeans and leggings: I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with maternity jeans. On one hand: Yes! Give me something to wear that makes me feel like myself! On the other hand: I find that no matter the pair there are seams on the hips—between the stretchy elastic parts and the denim parts—that literally rub me the wrong way. Worse, on even the most discreet pair, the elastic “pockets” are still something you’re going to want to at least try to cover up, which can have the maddening effect of actually expanding the need for maternity specific tops to go with the maternity specific bottoms. Foiled! Maternity leggings on the other hand are always such a relief, especially during a long winter pregnancy. Sure, you’re gonna wanna cover your bum while wearing them, but god bless being able get comfy. And the dress that’s gotten a bit too short when draped over a round belly? Wear it with some leggings and call it a tunic.

What’s in my closet: My mom gave me pair of black J. Crew maternity jeans when I was pregnant with Faye. This time around I also found a pair of Made-in-the-USA maternityjeans from Paige Denim. I stretched out my regular denim beyond repair during my last pregnancy by wearing them for too long and I’ve grown faster and larger this time around so I didn’t want to make the same mistake again. (If you’re experiencing sticker shock looking at brand-new items, check out second-hand retailers online or in person. Maternity jeans are regulars in those kinds of places.) The Storq leggings are thick and cozy and the portion that comes up and over the belly can also be folded down. Praise hands.

Maternity dresses and skirts: I’m a super-fan of dresses (and more recently) skirts while pregnant. They tend to be more comfortable than pants on their best day and while your bum and belly are busy settling into their new shape, I also think they’re more forgiving. No one wants to take a microscope to the ways their body is morphing over nine months and for me dresses are the answer.

What’s in my closet: The Storq dress was far and away my favorite purchase of my last pregnancy and this time around I also invested in the Storq skirt. (Yes, I should have just gone for the bundle.) The very best thing about both is that they extend well above my belly and not with the help of an awkward “skin-colored” belly band. This means I can wear a regular shirt pulled up over my stomach and still look cute and there’s no fussing about whether I’m properly covered and no need (at least for a long while) to invest in maternity tops.

Non-maternity maternity wear: Beyond the maternity specific items, there’s the whole range of things that might still be wearable while pregnant—for a while at least. 

What’s in my closet:

Button up shirts: You can leave them unbuttoned over a longer tee, or unbutton just the bottom few buttons over a high-waisted skirt or a dress, or you can get a little wild and tie the two ends below your sternum to make them work over a growing belly.

Cardigans: Anything that can be left open is a godsend for a pregnant belly. For a winter pregnancy in particular, a roomy cardigan is an easy way to stay warm without either feeling frumpy or stifled. I got this Everlane cardigan when I was pregnant with Faye. No doubt it will keep me cozy this time around, too.

Cropped blouses or shirts: With the right crop, a loose blouse or shirt can be an elegant complement to a high-waisted skirt or a dress. The Georgia Tee from Elizabeth Suzann has been a perfect thing for me to pair with my maternity skirt. Alternately, I like to “crop” slimmer and tighter shirts or sweaters by pulling them above my belly (which stays covered by a skirt or dress.) This is especially easy to do once the belly has actually grown significantly enough that the shirt stays in place above it.

Elastic-waist pants: It sounds like I’m talking about sweatpants (and three cheers for those), but I promise there exist elastic-waist pants that aren’t sweatpants. I’ve been wearing this pair from Steven Alan since the summer and have been relieved by the chance to sling them lower on my hips as my belly grows. They probably won’t work in the third-trimester, but they’ve been super comfy so far and will be forgiving and comfy again post-delivery.

Oversized tees: For a while at least, size up a t-shirt (or borrow from someone in your life who might be a little bigger than you) and you’ve got a shirt that fits over your belly (and covers the elastic on those pregnancy jeans). Tradlands just came out with t-shirts that are super soft and beautifully draped (more on these tomorrow). I sized up and can still wear mine comfortably over my belly.

Overalls and rompers: They might not last through an entire pregnancy—and I know they’re not everyone’s favorite look—but I love a good pair of loose overalls or a romper while pregnant. I wore my Olina Jumpsuit from Elizabeth Suzann to two different weddings this summer and felt so comfortable (and pretty!). My Andie Overalls from Hackwith Design House have been on regular rotation. I’ve had to adjust the straps to fit in comfortably, but they’re still going strong at week 23.

Shift dresses: Depending on the dress and the belly, a roomy shift dress can have an extended life as maternity wear. My Georgia Dress from Elizabeth Suzann has had plenty of growing room for my belly, without yet starting to ride up on my legs. 

Vintage maternity: If you’re feeling brave, a fun and sustainable option is dipping into vintage maternity options. (Though I’m not going to make any claims to them being hugely versatile in the long run.) My mom saved a few of her favorite maternity shirts and dresses from the ’80s in hopes that one of her four daughters would be into the ruffles and plaid. And while I’ll admit it takes some guts to wear a v. roomy high-throated calico print dress with puffed sleeves, it’s still a favorite. (Pictured!)

What about you guys? What’s worked for you? Any tried and true favorite things to wear while pregnant?

More (non-maternity) minimalist wardrobe posts RIGHT HERE

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65 Comments

  • Reply Nath September 26, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Here in Belgium, I found a company from which you could rent organic, sustainable maternity clothes! I picked that option and really appreciate it.
    I’m now 36 weeks prego, I used to wear my regular clothes but from month 6 it was just possible (hey, you want to feel pretty too!).
    It’s called “Tale me” (http://taleme.be/index.php?lang=en).
    Maybe it does exist in the US too?
    Love you blog and posts Erin 🙂

    • Reply Erin Boyle September 26, 2016 at 9:48 am

      Awesome!

    • Reply Alison September 27, 2016 at 10:07 am

      Oh my goodness–THANK YOU for this!! My first two children were born in sunny Los Angeles and I really had no need for maternity clothes (sundresses all year round). Now I live in the UK and at 28 weeks nothing warm fits. I couldn’t figure out how to make it through this winter without buying a new wardrobe!

  • Reply Jennifer September 26, 2016 at 9:46 am

    I’m also pregnant with our 2nd (2 under 2, wish us luck!) and have found that I need maternity clothes much sooner this time around. Probably not your style, but I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of a vintage Mexican dress purchased on Etsy.

    • Reply Erin Boyle September 26, 2016 at 9:48 am

      Agreed! Definitely stopped being able to wear my regular jeans months ago! Love the idea of vintage Mexican dresses! Perfect.

  • Reply Kim R September 26, 2016 at 10:04 am

    It’s such a relief to hear that you had that frantic H&M moment too. And what worked for me during my pregnancy? I hate to say it, but pretty much nothing. That’s partly because I didn’t feel good in anything and partly because I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on things I would only wear for a short time. If I could do it again (or if I do actually do it again) I’ll try a harder to find things that don’t make me feel like a schlumpy mess.

  • Reply Elena September 26, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Thanks for sharing this great post, I’m also pregnant (due in January) and I’ve been struggling getting simple but beautiful clothes! I found the Summer was easy to manage with dresses but now that we are heading into the Winter there are more limited options, are you planning to pair your Storq skirt with pregnancy tights?

    • Reply Erin Boyle September 26, 2016 at 10:41 am

      Might do! Never bought pregnancy tights last go-round (just wore regular tights scooted low), but we’ll see how it goes!

    • Reply Vicky January 30, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      I have found Old Navy maternity tights to be comfortable and long-lasting. Comfortable like, “why don’t I always wear maternity tights?” comfortable! Tights always seem to dig in so uncomfortably – pregnant or not. 🙂

  • Reply Kaleen September 26, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Hi Erin! I’ve read your blog for a long time now and have really enjoyed following your journey…our daughters are the same age and I’m currently pregnant with baby no. 2 (25 weeks) so it’s helpful to see someone else in these same stages. I’m curious how you wear your leggings? I have to wear compression hose due to a delightful circulation issue…bluh! So I’m struggling to stay true to my style. I typically don’t wear tights/leggings with tunics. Would love to know how your pair them to still feel chic?

    • Reply Erin Boyle September 26, 2016 at 10:41 am

      Hmm…not sure I know how to describe the look more than pairing leggings with a tunic. It’s definitely a relaxed look. Chicness might be debatable, but comfort isn’t!

  • Reply Ros September 26, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Ugh, we do grow bigger faster the second time around, don’t we. I was all like “I started showing at 4.5 months last time! That’ll be late September! TOTALLY don’t need maternity shorts!” Except that then I wound up not being able to button my shorts at 2.5 months, right in the middle of a heat wave. Thank god for dresses, because I refused to buy maternity shorts for a pregnancy that was due in mid-February!!

    Practically speaking: this time AND last time, I basically survived with maternity pants (jeans and leggings both. I found the large-elastic-band ones from Gap were better than the over-belly nonsense, personally), maternity tank tops (also Gap or Old Navy), and then… usual clothing. High-quality blazers, or cardigans, cute booties or riding boots, great scarves, etc.

    And while I’d love to be all ‘sustainable clothing’, I would challenge ANYONE to find size 18 made sustainably. Now add maternity-specific in that size, and it’s basically only an option if you’re commissionning it.

  • Reply Carol September 26, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Being of a bit vintage myself, I lived in a Laura Ashley dress when in public. Enough fabric in it to later make adult skirt and 2 children’s pinafores!

    • Reply Erin Boyle September 26, 2016 at 10:39 am

      😉

  • Reply MissEm September 26, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I went through two pregnancies purchasing cheap stuff bc “it’s such a short time” and I hated my clothes and felt uncomfortable. I’m hoping for one more pregnancy and I wish I had just invested in a few great, comfortable, more ethical pieces from the start! This list is brilliant.

    • Reply MissEm September 26, 2016 at 10:31 am

      Oh, just noticed that storq has a new recycle your old maternity wear program, and of course you can sell old mat clothes

  • Reply Heidi September 26, 2016 at 10:37 am

    How do those Steven Alan pants fit? Do they Stretch out at all? They look like something I’d love to try. thsbks for this post-as always, such great ideas and sources.

    • Reply Erin Boyle September 26, 2016 at 10:39 am

      They have an elastic waist, so yes! The fabric itself isn’t stretchy, but the cut is quite roomy.

    • Reply Micaela October 7, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      This is super late, but I have them in both colors and LOVE.THEM. The blue is a woven cotton and the black is linen. As Erin notes, neither fabric is stretchy per se, but the cut is generous enough to allow for plenty of movement. They’re great pants!

  • Reply Stacie September 26, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Ah, yes, the panic!! I am due at the end of December, with my first, and really thought I was going to be able to extend the amount of time I could wear my regular clothes. I was wrong (thanks, huge growing boobs!!). I have really been into buying Old Navy dresses, because they are adorable and make me feel good knowing that I don’t have to buy pants/shirts separately, especially since I’m still working through this pregnancy in an office. I wish I could afford these beautiful, sustainable clothes, but that’s just not really an option for us. (Although I love that Storq dress!). And I’ve been getting along pretty well with one pair of H&M black pants. It’s so hard not wanting to spend money on an entire new wardrobe, but also wanting to feel and look good!

  • Reply Kate September 26, 2016 at 10:55 am

    I know you’ve already mentioned Storq ( I have basically lived in their leggings my entire pregnancy!) but their black and white tanks are also amazing. They’re long enough, and hold their shape week enough, that I was able to wear my non-maternity jeans completely unbuttoned for the full forty weeks. The tanks are so long they kept everything covered . 🙂

  • Reply Chelsea September 26, 2016 at 10:59 am

    I just had my first baby 4 weeks ago and I managed to only purchase a couple maternity items over the whole 9 months. I love the brand Black Crane and many of their basic dresses and one romper that I bought pre pregnancy fit me until the 3rd trimester. I also bought 5 pairs of black American apparel leggings and wore those most days and two stretch jersey tank maxi dresses from tjmaxx, one black, one gray. Usually not something I’d go for as they are cheaply made but I ended it up wearing them almost everyday, either alone or with a cropped tshirt or cardigan. Now I’m trying to figure out how to adapt my wardrobe to be nursing friendly, which so far seems Alitalia more challenging then adapting to the belly.

    • Reply Patricia September 26, 2016 at 11:52 am

      I know it’s an autocorrect typo, but – being a regular flier to/from Italy – “Alitalia more challenging” made me laugh, Alitalia *is* the measure of challenging! Thanks and congratulations on your new baby! 🙂

    • Reply Sam September 26, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Totally agreed on a nursing friendly wardrobe being much more challenging than maternity (at least for the first pregnancy?) You kinda slide into maternity but with nursing you need the full wardrobe immediately and I’ll nurse for longer than I was visibly pregnant (if I’m lucky that is.) My girl is 12 weeks now, she’s such an active and messy eater that I go through at least 2 nursing bras a day and need clothes that completely pull away from my boob AND don’t show any of the drooled milk she spits all over me. Thus far all black, all the time – trying to pretend it’s glamorous.

      • Reply Erin Boyle September 26, 2016 at 12:49 pm

        psst: my perspective from the last time around!

    • Reply Micaela October 7, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      This comment gives me so much faith that I’ll be able to adapt my wardrobe eventually … I LOVE Black Crane and have long thought that my many dresses would be able to be worn during pregnancy. And I have long been a devotee of AA’s high-waisted leggings!

  • Reply Lane September 26, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Erin, I adore your maternity style (and approach to clothing purchases in general). Where is your gold cuff from?

    • Reply Erin Boyle September 26, 2016 at 11:01 am

      It’s actually bronze! A gift from my mom, made by a local artist.

  • Reply Kelly September 26, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I had two friends pass off their maternity wear my way (so incredibly thankful) and I bought two pairs of jeans on threadup.com (though it took a few returns to find pairs that fit). I’m REALLY not into buying anything new for maternity – it’s used for such a short time…hard to think of it as a sustainable option.

    • Reply Kelly September 26, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Oops! Meant thredup.com

  • Reply Jessica September 26, 2016 at 11:31 am

    In my first pregnancy, I had twins, and on top of that, I carried them really low (talk about getting the side-eye from people everywhere I went!)

    By the 6th month, I was stuck in my husband’s sweatpants, which was both ridiculous and dangerous, as he’s a foot taller than I am. Early on, though, my mom took my maternity jeans, cut off the maternity band, cut out two inches of jean, and reattached the maternity bit. It was a saving grace for the rubbing in the wrong places.

    My kids are 17 months now and I still shudder at the thought of maternity clothes, but if we’re going to do this rodeo again (which we are), I have get over it eventually! 😉

  • Reply Patricia September 26, 2016 at 11:58 am

    The best pre/during/post pregnancy pieces I had were definitely a couple of COS dresses and sweater – because the cut was so *intentionally* tent like, it didn’t feel like a commentary on my growing size. Cheap jersey maxi dresses were ace during summer, too. And I bought some jersey Isabella Oliver dresses and tanks during my first still-a-lawyer pregnancy that really were very good quality – used through my second pregnancy and by both of my sisters during theirs.

    • Reply Nicole September 28, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      Oh, yes–Isabella Oliver was my go to for work appropriate yet not hideously uncomfortable clothes! I’m quite tall, and IO was the only brand that didn’t make me feel like I was about to pop out of the tanks. They still looked new for my second pregnancy, and have been passed on to others….

  • Reply Audrey September 26, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Your bump looks so cute! Oh yes, I also lived in my Storq dress and Paige jeans when I was pregnant… and for several months postpartum too, if we’re being honest…

  • Reply Claire September 26, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    I had that same freak out, call husband, run to H&M moment!!

  • Reply Em September 26, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    What a lovely dress your mom saved! Must feel really good to wear in your pregnancy what she wore carrying you. 🙂 I purchased three items during my pregnancy that were office worthy (and stole a few sweaters from my husband for the rest of the time): two COS knee-length dresses, one black, one navy, that I paired with various coloured scarves and boots; one pair of really cute elastic waist black pants that I wore under the belly and paired with silk shirts tucked in plus a blazer, or a long silk tank top under a cropped long sleeved top. These three basic outfits were the entirety of my “in public” wardrobe the last four months. I actually felt more beautiful while pregnant than I normally do, maybe because I wasn’t walking around sucking in my stomach all the time.

  • Reply Katharine September 26, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Just made it through my first pregnancy, and while I know bodies do different things the second (third, fourth) time around, I had really good luck with dresses too. I bought three from a consignment shop: one sundress with a tied empire waist and an a-line skirt, one body conscious with ruching, and one a tank dress with lots of stretch. None of them were maternity, which made them cheaper, and all of them were a size too big for my non-pregnant self. I was able to wear all three until the very end, so it’s a strategy I definitely recommend!

  • Reply Kim September 26, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Erin! I feel compelled to share with you something that might work for you in terms of COATS-WHILE pregnant! My daughter was born in January 2015 which was smack dab in the middle of the worst winter in a decade here in Canada. I didn’t want to buy a maternity winter coat because: ugly, waste of money, etc. After a search and a half I found this solution http://makemybellyfit.com. It worked great with my regular coat and after my daughter Lou was born I was able to wear her in a wrap inside my coat when would go outside instead of having to buy a mini snow suit that she would grow out of in a month.. or week. Bonus: It fit into my husbands coat also! I’ve lent it to friends since who also loved it.
    Congrats on baby number two! Wishing you a super comfortable rest of your pregnancy!

    • Reply Aya September 30, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Great idea–thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Roselyne September 30, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      Seconding this!! I just bought one from a local Quebec company called kokoala – much more affordable than a separate winter coat, and I need something that will keep me warm in -20…

      The first time around, I had my mother’s wool cape. Fantastic, super glam, totally worn, but let the wind in…. still, the glam factor ALMOST made it worth the cold.

  • Reply EMac September 26, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Me and my close girlfriends have a box of maternity cloths that go around. Much like the travelling pants, the clothes have managed to fit all 6 of us (and 2 others) of all shapes and sizes. Magic, I suppose. Sadly, the box is just collecting dust in the attic right now… I keep hoping that I will have reason to open it once again… *Sad Sigh*

  • Reply Guro September 26, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    This third time around I was insipred by your Storq-ad-look (but because I’m over seas and used to differend size-system, I went for the H&M solution): Black maternity pencil skirt, denim shirt unbuttoned, one pair of black pregnancy-pants and two dresses similar to the one in the ad (one with stripes, medium and one large, black), and a couple of materinity/nursing tops from Boob. I found that keeping it simple was the way to go. My baby arrived Jan 2nd, 11 days past due date which ment I had to celebrate Christmas and New Year whith what in the end felt like a ridiculous body shape (More of a pilates ball than melon…). LOL.

    YOU look beautiful!!!

  • Reply Amanda September 26, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    I bought the storq bundle and did not need anything else. The mix-and-match possibilities are seemingly endless, and I’m still wearing the dress and skirt postpartum (I actually wore the dress home from the hospital).

    • Reply Erin Boyle September 26, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      I wore my dress home from the hospital, too!

  • Reply Tamara September 26, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    My last pregnancy was almost a decade ago (yikes!) and we’re definitely done now, but sometimes I wish I could be pregnant now. I feel like maternity fashion has come so far even in the last five years. I don’t know if storq was around back then but I didn’t know about it. I basically felt like a mess both times. Throw in hyperemesis gravitas and you have a recipe for not chic pregnancies, in the least. That Kaftan from Storq is soon gorgeous! I’d splurge on that if I were you.

    • Reply Erin Boyle September 26, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      Oh man! The caftan is indeed wonderful! The team at Storq sent it along to me earlier this summer and it’s soft and lovely!

  • Reply Sophie September 26, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    I’m 35 weeks pregnant with my first and you’re about as big as I am now! Because the only maternity clothes I’ve got are one pair of really awesome jeans and two tops, I do have a slightly smaller wardrobe to draw on now that some items are too tight/short but I’ve learnt a few things along the way: accessories make everything work, dresses are my friend, and actually no one really cares if you wear the same thing a few days in a row! I’m still looking for good options for my nursing wardrobe though, and I think I’ll have to buy a lot of that soon.

    • Reply Erin Boyle September 26, 2016 at 7:46 pm

      Oh! Well, I guess that’s why it’s a little hard to give universal advice about what might fit who when carrying a baby around! I didn’t have too much trouble making my wardrobe work for nursing, but there were definitely a few things that had to go to the back of the drawer for awhile!

  • Reply H September 27, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    As a newly pregnant mother, I had hoped you would post about a simple maternity closet. A sincere thank you for a great post.

    I hope that you will perhaps consider a similar post in the future for simple baby arrival preparation and wardrobe. I have seen earlier posts, perhaps you learned new things preparing for the second child’s arrival. I am starting from scratch, so any help is greatly appreciated.

  • Reply Kelly September 28, 2016 at 2:20 am

    If you want a more tapered leg, I’m a superfan of these denim joggers from grana. I also have a pair of their white silk pants, for days I want to feel dressy but also like I’m wearing pajamas. https://www.grana.com/women-s-denim-ankle-pants.html?size=268&color=274

  • Reply Sara E. September 30, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    This post was very timely for me. Thank you.

  • Reply Kristina October 7, 2016 at 5:38 am

    I recently delivered my twins and I second the Storq skirt and dress! I wore them both multiple times a week as they were the most comfortable items in my tiny maternity closet. I carried really low and found maternity pants to be really uncomfortable. I wear the skirt almost every day now postpartum because it doesn’t rub against my c-section wound (ouch!). I would highly recommend! I found shopping for clothes so difficult and really rotated between my regular wardrobe and two H&M tanks plus the skirt and dress. Keep it simple : )

  • Reply Ruth October 9, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Can any of you ladies give insight on Storq sizing? I’m 14 weeks for my first, but am not sure which size to buy… I’m 5’3″, 118 lbs, pre preg measurements 32, 26, 36 — according to their size chart my measurements could be a P, 1, or 2. So frustrating! Do they run big or small?

    • Reply Erin Boyle October 9, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Ruth, I feel like they run pretty true to size, but you can definitely reach out to them directly for help with sizing!

  • Reply Boston Gemmie October 11, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Congratulations on the new baby! I guess I have been gone a long time from your page 🙂 such a blessing

  • Reply Audrey October 17, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    I’ve been eyeing the Storq dress and I noticed several commenters say that they wore the dresses after the baby arrived. Does the stomach area not get stretched out really bad? Do you think you could wear this years after giving birth, or is it more of an acceptable option for the first couple of months after? This will be my third (and most likely final) pregnancy, so I’m hesitant to splurge on something that will only last 6 months.

    • Reply Erin Boyle October 18, 2016 at 9:29 am

      Definitely a personal call in terms of how you want the dress to fit postpartum! I didn’t find that my dress stretched irretreivably, per se, just that as I resumed a non-pregnant shape that it became slightly less flattering. For me, I wore the dress around the house especially in the months after I gave birth to Faye because it was so comfy and stretchy enough to breastfeed in.

      • Reply Audrey October 18, 2016 at 11:45 am

        Thanks so much! That’s really helpful.

  • Reply Jeanne October 22, 2016 at 1:02 am

    I am six months pregnant with my first baby. Your posting inspired me to go through and rethink everything in my closet…. I now look forward to fall and winter so I can LAYER items I already have.

    I have to recommend CUDDLE DUDS. I have a pair of their black stretch pants that I’m fairly certain were marketed as long johns when my mom bought them for me two years ago. They’re thin but warm and they’re insanely cozy and comfy. They probably could be worn as leggings as well but I try to stay away from the leggings look because I feel frumpy.

    Thanks for a great blog. It’s so nice.

  • Reply Hannah November 1, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    I feel like I’m going against the grain here, but I’ve found it worth it to spend money on new maternity clothes when you’re pregnant. For my first pregnancy, I had two pairs of maternity yoga pants and a few shirts I bought new, and they lasted me two winter pregnancies, and then I cut the pants and hemmed them into shorts for my third pregnancy, which was a summer baby. Those two pairs of pants were the only ones I wore through all three pregnancies, and I finally had to get rid of them because the holes I’d mended were reopening. They were $30 each at Kohl’s I think, and they were worth it to me. The shirts wore out around the same time. Now I’m eight months pregnant with my fourth boy, and I’ve bought two pairs of $15 maternity leggings, and I’ve been wearing my dresses as shirts, so it’s super comfy. I don’t start showing in any of my pregnancies until around six or seven months, I guess because I’m a big person (I’m 5’6″, and my pre-pregnancy weight is 168), so this probably contributes to my maternity clothes lasting so long. I do wear those same clothes for months after I’ve had my babies while I’m getting back down to my normal weight, though. I’ve been pregnant and/or nursing for almost six years NON-STOP now. 😐 BUT this is my view; just wanted to put it out there that maternity clothes bought new can be worth the investment.

    • Reply Erin Boyle November 2, 2016 at 7:24 am

      Not at all! I definitely found it useful/necessary to buy several maternity-specific items! You’re not alone!

  • Reply Cece June 24, 2017 at 2:03 am

    I know this is an old post, but I’m 17 weeks pregnant and searching for locally/ethically made maternity wear and always love your suggestions. FYI, it unfortunately looks like Storq has moved at least some of it’s manufacturing to China — it says so in its FAQ, and Storq’s individual product pages no longer specify where each item is made 🙁 I hate when companies bait and switch by starting out all made ethically in USA, change to a lower cost location, and keep the original high prices!

    I’d love any other suggestions for good maternity basics.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE June 25, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      Hi there! True: Storq has started to have some of their products produced overseas! Full disclosure of course, they’re both sponsors of this site and personal friends of mine, but I know that decisions like these aren’t taken lightly and are informed by a range of factors including quality control and cost for consumer. I don’t know of another great basics maternity line myself, but I’d love to hear if you find any great ones on your search!

  • Reply Kirsten June 23, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    I bought the Storq leggings at your recommendation and am so sad to see that they are see-through when I move or bend in any way! I could see clear through to my undies when I bent at the waist (in the way those old Lululemon pants used to be). I’m so disappointed since I don’t see anyone online mentioning this and you can’t leave reviews on their site. Otherwise, they were super soft and comfy feeling, but I’ll have to return them.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE June 25, 2018 at 9:22 am

      Oh, darn it! I didn’t have that experience. Sorry they didn’t work out for you!

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