Of all the maternity clothing challenges I’ve encountered, figuring out what to wear to work every day has been one of the toughest. If you’re lucky enough to work in a casual environment, or from home, or not at all, then you can probably skip this post (and I’m super jealous of you). But if, like me, you’re expected to look presentable in a denim-less outfit on a daily basis, then this one’s for you.
Maternity Style Tip #3: Establish a Work Uniform
1. Shrunken blazer. It may seem counter-intuitive to put something “shrunken” on your decidedly “enlarged” frame, but a feminine, tailored shape will do your figure more favors than something on the baggier side. Remember those basics we talked about in my last post on this subject? Well, throw a blazer on top of the camisole, black skinny pants, or dress and you’ve got yourself a smart, stylish work outfit. And no need to buy a maternity blazer, if such a thing even exists. Hopefully you already have a couple of these in your closet, but if not I’d recommend starting with a black and navy version—you’ll get use out of them well beyond your pregnancy. My favorite version is the Aqua Girlfriend Blazer from Bloomingdales.
2. Pencil skirt. Initially you can use your belly band to make any skirt with a zipper work, but eventually you’ll be happy to graduate to a maternity version. A black or gray pencil skirt is a great choice because it’s versatile, flattering, and readily available from various maternity collections (I bought and liked this Gap one). You can get away with wearing the same skirt at least twice in one week if you switch up what’s on top—this is where your long, fitted, stretchy (LFS) basics come into play. I like it with a simple v-neck t-shirt, pearls, and chic flats – which brings us to . . .
3. Chic flats. It’s entirely possible you’re the type of pregnant lady who can teeter through all nine months on heels, and if so my hat is off to you! I’m all for trying to keep things as normal (and cute) as possible throughout this experience. As for me, I switched over to flats at about 5 or 6 months and never looked back. Pre-pregnancy the only flat shoes you’d catch me in were flip-flops and sneakers (not because I’m so fancy, but rather because I’m 5’2"), but now I’m not sure how I’ll ever go back. Start with a stylish-but-comfortable black pair, then work your way up to something fun. These red J.Crew ballet flats are possibly my favorite thing I’ve bought since I got pregnant.
4. Cardigan. Yet another thing you can pull from your existing closet. I bought one maternity cardigan and could never figure out what made it different from my non-maternity versions, so learn from my mistake and stick to cardies you can wear after the big event. Of course, from six months onward you probably won’t be able to button them up—just layer them over your LFS tops or maternity camisoles.
As for type of cardigan, it really depends on your own style. I find that the further I get into pregnancy, the more I depend on my longer versions (no exercise + daily pie binge = interesting results on your backside). This is also probably the one place that I break my “no oversized clothing” rule—as long as everything else (i.e. bottoms, shirt) is fitted to balance it out.
And that’s it! Well, pretty much it. This is definitely not intended to be an exhaustive list, but rather a few staples that can be rotated and mixed/matched with your basics to get you through pregnancy in style—without buying a ton of maternity clothes.
What are the clothing items you can’t or couldn’t live without during pregnancy?