Maternity Clothing 101, What do I need? What do I want?

maternity, fashion, what do i need, geek chic, fashionably nerdy

Ok, so you are pregnant… or you know someone who is pregnant
The task of getting outfitted for your pregnancy is kinda a daunting task…

When you think about it you have spent most of your adult life compiling your
most complete and perfect wardrobe that fits all your needs and preferences and now
you are forced to toss it aside for 9 months and wear what, mumus?

I am a first time mom, and I am currently at week 34 of this 1st pregnancy
and as someone whose life kinda revolves around fashion I was so freaked
out about what to wear so let me tell you, what you really need and how much
you need….

Pregnancy & Weight Gain – When Do you need to Change Over to Maternity Clothing

I didn’t gain much weight at all in my first trimester – in fact I mostly lost weight because all
I did was not eat and sleep… I was so tired I was sleeping 16-18 hours a day – it sounds crazy,
but it was fact… I never threw up but i was so uninterested in food – I only really wanted
grilled cheese. At the end of my first trimester I went to Japan for 2.5 weeks and I finally started to get some appetite and energy back (thank g*d) but all the exercise I was doing meant I still didn’t gain much weight at all… I wasn’t until the middle of the 2nd trimester that I started to show in and the first things that started to feel snug on my growing belly were leggings, pants, and skirts… (I have large breasts normally – so most of my shirts were size large or extra large). The next pieces I started to have issues with were dresses that zipped, or buttoned, and lastly shirts. My biggest problems with shirts were length (they’d fit in the chest but my belly would hang out the bottom – super unattractive)

Ok, ok then right before my 3rd trimester I gained all the weight… how much weight? like 15-20 lbs… considering how little I gained before – it kinda came outta nowhere – someone took some photos of me at a party and I thought, man this dress is so unflattering I look so round… the next day I got weighed at the doctor’s office and i was up 20 lbs – of course I looked round!

So… every single body and pregnancy is different – I have been carrying in the middle not high, not low… just in the inbetween…

These are the things I have needed the most

Full Belly Pregnancy Leggings
Maternity Tees
Casual Dresses
A Formal Dress
Tanks and Comfy Pajamas
A Pair of Shorts

Why the Full Belly Panel Pants or Leggings?
Because even if the underbelly feel comfortable in the beginning of your pregnancy –
everything is uncomfortable by the 3rd trimester and these are the most comfortable option
I tried maternity jeans and found most to be very expensive and unflattering. I got 2 pairs of black leggings and I got 1 pair of black capri leggings.

Maternity Tees & Shirts
OMG – I live in Maternity Tees and loose fitting tanks. When buying maternity tees and  shirts there are 3 things to consider

Flattering fit for maternity body
Flattering fit for post baby body
Can you nurse in this post baby

I thought the most important thing about maternity tees was to be cute, show off your belly (the only time it’s completely socially acceptable to show all that belly bulge and not care!!!) and to tell people – YES – There is a BABY in this TUMMY! Cute designs with witty phrases or graphics on the belly were important to me… I mean I run a site called, “Fashionably Nerdy” so I wanted cute nerdy tees with ruching on the sides…. but as I get closer to the big day I realize — oh, no — what am I going to do post baby… when all the clothes that fit me — tell the world I am pregnant and fit tight on my belly when I feel gross because I haven’t dropped the baby weight yet… so, perhaps having some maternity shirts that are loose fitting should be a priority too – especially if you start to show before you have announced to the world that you are expecting…

I am a girly girl – I love dresses… I love nerdy dresses… I found that I outgrew most of my non-maternity dresses pretty quickly – most maternity styles you can wear post baby – maternity dresses are longer in the front than your normal dresses to accommodate your growing belly… and if you decide post baby that you are not planning on having anymore babes anytime soon you can always get the front hemmed up and wear them forever… The only dresses that have been amazing during my pregnancy and I’ve been able to wear from my normal pre-pregnant lady wardrobe were my Black Milk Clothing and Gold Bubble Clothing dresses. They have incredible stretch and of course they are nerdy so added bonus! Gold Bubble’s dresses even have moisture wicking and antimicrobial fabric so you feel dry and stay healthy all while being super cute! Otherwise, I prefer maxi dresses over short dresses while pregnant — because truth be told — shaving my legs when I can barely see them is an art form I have yet to perfect… also it’s easier to wear a pair of shorts so your thighs don’t rub the longer the skirt… but I still only own like 2 long maternity dresses… most are short
Oh, and invest in 1 formal dress — because parties, weddings, holidays… you need at least 1 dress even if it’s super plain and black that can be accessorized — you don’t want to be invited and freak out because you have nothing to wear!

buy 1 pair of shorts (at least depending on time of year) I suggest biker shorts or pajama shorts – because I wear these under dresses – I hated every pair of jean shorts I tried on – I found them all to be extremely unflattering – and I am someone who normally likes my legs a lot

waist bands, waist bands, waist bands… WAIST BANDS SUCK!!!
Pajamas were one of the last things I outgrew but when I did – I was miserable
I lived in pajama pants around the house… so when choosing pajamas go for the most non-existant waist bands possible. My best friend got me a pair of Lula Roe Tall and Curvy leggings for the holidays because she said that they told her they would fit my pregnant body… and the things are soooooooooooo soft I sleep in them every night

Underwear and Bras
I really resisted getting these in maternity… I got 2 nursing / sleep bras and I got zero pairs of maternity underwear – thinking to myself — my underwear is fine and none of these are cute… I hate myself for that right now – none of my underwear fits and I long for when I get home and get to take them off…I even purchased a few pairs of cheap underwear a size larger than more normal size and I still am in underwear hell. The bras are fine but don’t offer a lot of support like my normal bras do.

What size do I buy? Well, I am normally a Large in clothes—  I’m a size 10/12 (I buy some dresses, and some shirts in Extra Large – because boobs) but typically I am a size large – all of my maternity clothes have pretty much been a size medium (unless some brands run small) – I was a medium in pants, in shorts, in dresses, and in shirts. I was surprised but when I started trying on clothing I realized that maternity clothes run about a size larger than normal and also that while I was pregnant I liked my clothes a little less loose fitting and wanted them to hug my curves. I have stayed a medium despite any of my body changes throughout my pregnancy so you don’t necessarily need different sizes for different trimesters unless you just gain a whole lot of weight (which is totally fine and normal)… I have 6 weeks to go and some of my stuff is just starting to feel a lil snug… but just a lil. However – not sure how much more weight I will gain considering I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and have to cut carbs, sugar, and dairy from my diet which means I may lose weight again while my babe is just getting larger…

For The Hospital
Everyone online these days suggests bringing your own delivery gown that snaps in the back instead of ties — this way you can walk around without your butt hanging out and there are tons of companies making them in cute, stylish, and comfy fabrics so even though you may look like hell in those first photos with your babe your outfit can look super cute. People often say that beautiful robes are helpful as well to slip on look chic and stay warm. Also I read a bunch of suggestions saying nursing pajamas in black, navy, brown, or red are the way to go for the rest of your hospital stay so that if you are bleeding they won’t stain and you’ll stay comfy –  with common other suggestions including fuzzy (non slip) socks and slippers cause the hospital floor is cold and could be gross – some people suggest a pair of disposable flip flops for the hospital shower as well.

I found some beautiful hospital options such as these from My Growing Belly

Brands and Stores
Where to shop? Gosh, this is so hard my favorite pieces have come from everywhere…
Here are just a few posts and reviews of some of the shops I have gotten my wardrobe from….

Fandom Maternity
Kimi + Kai
Fun Wear Studio
Pink Blush Maternity
Kennie Blossoms
Leota Maternity
Sacred Soul Maternity

as well as here is a list of some of my favorite shops and brands for maternity clothes
Tiffany Rose

and some other really good articles we have put up about Maternity brands
Nerdy Maternity Tees
Saying No To Maternity
Staying Chic While Pregnant
Cosplay with a Belly
How to Rock Crop Tops with a Bump

Hopefully you have found this helpful…
If I missed anything or if you have questions or input or just want to tell us what you couldn’t or can’t live without – comment below – we love your feedback!