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Maternity Clothing Guide Part 1: Make Your Closet Work for You

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Sure, it’s shallow and insignificant as compared with the magical miracle bomb that’s exploding inside of you, but I still say maternity style is kind of a big deal. For one thing, if you’re not careful you could end up spending a fortune on clothes you’ll only wear for thirty seconds. And on the days when you’re feeling particularly barfy/gassy/incontinent, you’re at least going to want to feel good about how you look.


So I’ve decided to collect my thoughts on the subject of maternity style, in the event that it might be helpful to any pregnant people reading this. And for posterity (always for posterity).


Maternity Style #1: Make Your Closet Work for You


I’ve said it before, and I have yet to be proven wrong—maternity clothing, for the most part, sucks. The selection is extremely limited, the fabrics are often cheap, and the styles tend to be outdated and/or make you look like you’re turning into a baby (rather than having one). Stylish, high quality maternity clothes do exist, but they can be hard to track down and expensive as all get-out—although I will share some tips in a future post. That being said, the cornerstone of my maternity style strategy has been to try to make my own clothes work for as long as possible.


Here’s how you can make the most of your closet:


1. Buy a belly band. I used the Bellaband, but there are a lot of similar products to choose from out there. It basically acts as a giant belt that allows you to wear your pants unbuttoned. Since it peeks out from underneath your shirts (like a camisole), it’s nice to have a couple in different but basic colors (e.g. black and white). You simply can’t invest in one of these too early in your pregnancy.


2. Edit your closet at least once per trimester. I would recommend doing this at the end of the first and second trimesters, and maybe once more about halfway through #3. The idea is that you don’t want to have to sift through all the untouchables to get at your actual clothing options each day. When editing your closet, try things on. Anything that has become too tight, too short, too uncomfortable, and is not fixable with a bellyband, pack it away in a big plastic bin (or hang in an auxiliary closet, depending on your available space).


3. Follow the LFS rule—shirts, short dresses and pullover sweaters should be LONG, FITTED, and STRETCHY. Flowy peasant tops might seem like the ideal pregnancy clothing, but for most women they are not. Early on they tend to make you look “big” instead of “pregnant”, while later they invite the “are you sure you aren’t having twins?” comments. Fitted styles, on the other hand, make it clear that you are with child, with the added bonus of making all your other parts appear slender in comparison. So work that bump, girlfriend.


4. Put your accessories front and center. Since you’re effectively reducing your available clothing selection, you’re going to end up repeating a few outfits over and over – adding accessories is one way to keep things interesting. I unloaded my jewelry box and hung all the necklaces and earrings on a pretty hook next to my closet, so it would be easy to pick something when selecting an outfit each day. Scarves are another key piece (and play an important role later on when you can’t button your coats anymore). 

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