Thursday, 7 March 2013

Pregnancy Style Diary: A retrospective

Hello everyone! What was your signature style when you were expecting?

Storing my maternity clothing last weekend has made me look back at my style choices while pregnant (in case you missed it, here is the complete "What I wore through my pregnancy" series of posts).

There are women such as Ferebee Taube who lived in Rick Owens separates and The Row stretch denim leggings. I have resembled more women like Rachelle Hruska though, who only bought three pregnancy items (a black dress, yoga pants, and J Brand maternity jeans), and for the rest relied on regular clothes that she either bought big, or transformed. For me, this meant especially knits and sweater dresses from Club Monaco and Zara.

If you live in the US, stylish maternity clothing may be more accessible to you than here in Montreal (I am looking at you Ann Taylor Loft Maternity). As maternity knits of good quality are the most difficult to find, if you are expecting in the summer you may sail through your pregnancy more easily than I did. Nonetheless, I hope that what I learnt in the past nine months will help you!

* With the exception of underwear and jeans, do not invest in maternity clothing too early. Pregnancy-related weight gain can be incredibly unpredictable, and you may be forced to discontinue new items just a few weeks after you took them home from the store (as it has been the case for me in this pregnancy, but not in my first one).

* When jeans are concerned, it is generally cheaper to have your own jeans converted into maternity style than buying maternity jeans right from the beginning of the pregnancy. Remember the unpredictability of pregnancy-related weight gain: those 200$ designer maternity jeans may not fit you anymore by the time you reach 24 weeks. Just saying.

* Dresses are a pregnant woman's best friend, no matter in what trimester but especially at the end (and right now you can even buy "that" Issa dress in its maternity version!)

* It is true that there is maternity clothing that can be good for after a pregnancy as well. From my own experience, however, as you start losing the baby weight the last thing you'll want to wear is maternity clothing (the main exception here being Hatch, as Joanna Goddard brilliantly demonstrates in a recent post). This is why I would recommend trying to stick to regular clothing for as long as possible -- also because regular clothing is returnable, and maternity clothing is not.

* But: beware of buying regular clothing a couple of sizes bigger, because the fit (especially around the shoulders for tops and jackets) can be awkward.

* Remember that buying a lot of cheap crap because is cheap maybe tempting, but what you end up with is just a bunch of cheap crap (I am looking at you, GAP maternity's clearance rack).

* Do not underestimate the usefulness of your husband's clothing. The two sweaters I have been wearing the most until the end of my pregnancy (and even now) are those I stole from my husband's closet at 20 weeks.

* Do not feel guilty to splurge a bit towards the end of your pregnancy, even though the lifetime of whatever you buy then can be quite short. Consider the psychological benefits.

Photos (from top): Pregnancy Style Diary week 11week 17, week 22.6week 29, week 33.

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