Maternity Style Guide

With only a few weeks left in my pregnancy I thought it would be a good time to share how I approached my style throughout and what I found to be the best purchases when it came to this growing belly. 

I never wanted to look at pregnancy as a way to just let go and slack in the style department. I mean, c'mon. It's me! Actually I looked at pregnancy style as a way to play and have fun. This is not a time to let go ladies! It's all about embracing and accepting your changing body. A majority of days I just throw on whatever is comfortable (always making sure to still be stylish though), but some days I'm all about playing dress up. As our bodies change (and I say body, because the belly isn't the only things that grows) we have to adapt and figure out new ways to dress. The super skinny jeans, high waisted skirts and shorter dresses just won't cut it anymore. 

I tried to buy as few actual maternity items as possible. I'm all about saving money and wanted to purchase things that would work now and post pregnancy. I couldn't see myself purchasing a whole new "maternity" wardrobe only to wear it for a few months. I got by with my pre pregnancy clothes for the first few months, then came the (very few) maternity items! And again these are just a few items, so I still incorporate regular sized clothing even though I'm nine months pregnant. Now I know every woman is different. My belly is actually pretty small compared to other pregnant bellies. I'm taller and have a long torso, so she had more growing room to begin with. The more petite you are, the more your belly sticks out, which may make it harder to stick to standard sizing. This is just what worked best for me, and I'm sure would work for a majority of women out there as well. You have to be willing to try things on, and think outside of the box. What worked pre pregnancy might now work now, and what didn't work then, may work with that cute round belly. 

Now let's get down to it. What you see above is what I consider to be my maternity essentials. I will specify which ones I specifically bought in maternity sizing, and which ones I didn't need to. These items got me through my whole nine months, and will continue to be worn after I pop this cute little girl out. 

Maternity Leggings // I was totally against purchasing maternity leggings. I'm not quite sure why? Maybe because I'm not the biggest fan of them in the first place. They are NOT PANTS! I thought I could just get away with the ones I already had. Well, my friend made me try some on... And, OMG. So, so, so comfy. I love that they cover the belly and are super lightweight. They don't tug or pull anywhere.  They are so comfy I will definitely continue to wear them after as well. I've made it all the way through with just two pairs. For lounging around the house or for a day where that's all you can manage to put on, these are definitely a necessity. 

Bralettes // Boobs! Mine have grown about 2 cup sizes since finding out I was pregnant. These were the first things to sprout, and I know they aren't going anywhere. I purchased some new bras a few months in, and even those are way too small now. So definitely keep in mind that bras will be something you have to purchase throughout your pregnancy and after once you start (or don't) breastfeed. I did invest in one nursing bra, a regular nude strapless bra (I figured I could make this work while nursing) and a few bralettes. I have been obsessed with the bralettes lately. Any type of underwire just digs in and makes me feel super uncomfortable. If there's a specific shirt or dress where the girls need a little more support I'll stick with a regular bra, but for everyday wear I've been living in the bralettes. I only have two right now, but I will be purchasing a few more!

Basic T-shirts // This may sound boring, but a basic t-shirt can be styled so many ways. It's definitely a pregnancy necessity. I didn't end up having to buy maternity in this department. I wasn't a big fan or the ruching on the sides. Do you know what I'm talking about? It just looks weird to me, and I personally favor a looser fit. A lot of my t-shirts came from Old Navy (again, not maternity), just in the regular women's department. I kept my eye out for the 'boyfriend style' and any fit that had a longer torso. This ensured my belly was always fully covered. Literally a t-shirt can be paired with anything, so make sure you have quite a few to get you through your pregnancy. White, black, gray, STRIPES! All the colors!

Maternity Shorts // This was another thing I did have to purchase from the maternity department. Depending on where you live and the season(s) you will be pregnant, shorts may not be something you have to purchase at all. But I live in Florida and the end of my pregnancy fell in the hottest months of the year. So here I am with three pairs of maternity shorts. I made sure to buy a light wash denim, a dark wash, and a white pair. All three came from the LOFT. If you didn't know they carried maternity clothing, now you do! I really love their fit and the full nude belly band. Plus, I got them on super sale! Winning!

Maternity Jeans // Again, another thing I did have to purchase in the maternity department. Some ladies can get away with the hair tie trick or the tummy sleeve (which I hated BTW, it never stayed down) for their whole pregnancy. I could not. I honestly couldn't even make it through my first few months with my regular jeans. Most were high waisted and became so uncomfortable. I was always un-buttoning them after diner. True life. Ha! Three months in I had to purchase maternity jeans. I ended up buying a pair with a full belly band and a pair with a demi band. What you see above is a demi band. I prefer the full coverage belly band. They are much more comfortable in my opinion, stay up better, and not as tight. Ugh. Anything tight is just the worst when you are already waddling down the sidewalk. With the demi band it always seemed to flip down when I would sit. I was constantly pulling them up or adjusting the band. Needless to say I haven't worn those in a while. They are okay for the very beginning but once your belly starts to get bigger they just don't seem to work anymore. It's all about trial and error. You have to find what works best for you! Be willing to buy and return until you get the right fit.  

Dresses // Oh, dresses. They have saved my life during this pregnancy. They are the easiest thing to throw on while still looking chic. One piece. That's it. Add in a few accessories, and you are good to go! T-shirt dresses, wrap dresses, jersey, swing, tank, the list goes on and on. I preferred to purchase dresses that were not maternity so I can continue to wear them after. That meant either going up a size or making sure the style was loose enough for my belly. I purchased a majority of my dresses from Old Navy. They have a great fit for all sizes and shapes, and great prices. Make sure you have at least a few go-to pieces. I went a little overboard in the dress department. But there's nothing wrong with having options. Dresses will be your favorite clothing item throughout your pregnancy. Trust me!

Slipshorts // No thigh gap here! I wear these under all of my dresses. Even before pregnancy, I wore them. They provide coverage, wick away moisture, and protect those thighs from rubbing together. That is literally the worst feeling. Walking around, wearing a cute dress, and all you can think about is how much it hurts when your thighs touch. I also love that these cover a majority of my belly as well. They are a major necessity for me and for anyone with #nothighgap ;)

Flat Sandals // Although I do love heels and I wore them as long as I could (I still do for date nights or special occasions), they just weren't practical for my everyday lifestyle throughout my pregnancy. I love the slide style sandal. Modern and chic. These were great for everyday wear and the easiest things to put on and take off. I call them my modern day flip flops. Go get you some! 

Slip-on Sneakers // Anything I don't have to bend over for is a win in my book. I can barely even shave my ankles, so the last thing I want to do is struggle to tie my tennis shoes while trying to get out of the door. I LOVE these gold Vans. I wear them very frequently. The gold adds some glam to an otherwise casual look. They are perfect to pair with jeans, shirts, and even dresses for a sporty chic look. They are basically just super cute and comfy. Perfect for pregnant mama's, mama's in general, or for anyone. I wore these before pregnancy too. This is the only pair I have, so I definitely plan on adding more to my closet. 

That's it for now! Please let me know if you have any questions about any of these items. I really hope this helps and gives you a place to start with your pregnancy wardrobe. Remember! Embrace the changes, and have fun! 

What were some of your pregnancy wardrobe must haves? I would love to know!

xo, Mercedes