Improving the Suit: Maternity Style

I have received several Ask Southern questions about Maternity Wear in a Professional setting and post-baby clothing.

First, congratulations for all of you moms to be.  I loved being pregnant, but I also remember the tearful mornings of your pants not fitting and it is still the first trimester.  Yes, you are going to have to invest in some clothes.  However, I am going to talk you through both pre and post clothing and try to help you get good pieces that will get you through both and more than one baby.  Also, I have posted some of my favorites on my Pinterest site.

  • Bottoms – Can I wear my existing pants/skirt?
    1. Yes, if they will accommodate your widening hips. My pants that had some lycra in them worked, but they then became part of my maternity wardrobe and I had to retire them after I rediscovered my post baby hips. (My NYDJ black ponte pant was a favorite both pre and post baby)
    2. To keep wearing them invest in a belly band (They sell them at Target) or my favorite the Blanqi maternity tank (both allow you to wear your bottoms unfastened).  Yes, this means untucked tops
    3. I would still invest in at least two good pairs of pants in the next size up
      1. This will be your post-baby go to. And you will celebrate the day that they were too big.  (I had a pair of black and white check wide leg White House Black Market side zip pants that were designed to be a little loose and they were my favorite – They were comfortable and dressy)
      2. Budget Saver: Go to a consignment store to get great deals on nice clothes or shop ThredUp
    4. G yourself at least two pair of maternity pants.
  •  Blazers
    1. Wear them unbuttoned while pregnant – I did not see the use in buying a stretchy tent like jacket
    2. My favorite outfit was my NYDJ ponte knit pants with a black v neck ruched top and my cropped black and white blazer with colored heels and a great statement necklace
  • Tops
    1. What about my dress shirts?
      1. Let it Go (Save them for post baby and if breast-feeding – post that)
    2. What can I wear
      1. Knit Tops – but know that you are going to stretch them out. I like a cowl neck top that can go in the wash while pregnant and post baby and doesn’t need to be tucked in.  Look for ruched pieces as well to use early in pregnancy and post baby.  Again, go up a size in regular tops.  I found they fit better than maternity and give you post-baby options.
      2. Maternity Tops – Go for flattering empire waist tops. I liked things I could add a belt to.
  • Dresses
    1. Dresses are your new BFF (at least they were mine) – Look for empire waist pieces to use early on and post baby. Wrap Dresses can get you through all stages if you go up a size (I bought a black Old Navy wrap dress one size up).  I bought a black and white print empire waist dress at Kohl’s one size up in a stretchy fabric (I used a black cardigan belt over the elastic empire waist to dress it up and would pair with a long colored Ann Taylor cardigan to give it some interest and a pearl statement necklace)
    2. I did buy Maternity Dresses – Gap had and empire waist shirt dress that was a favorite, I bought a black knit dress
  • Post Baby Needs
    1. Belly Bandit (I wore this after both religiously for six weeks and only took it off to shower) – I got my hips back
    2. SPANX – or whatever similar brand you like – to help fit back in your clothes. I wore 2 at a time, because I always wear one
    3. If breast-feeding
      1. Pack a towel in your pump bag to avoid mess
      2. Pack wipes for cleaning up
    4. Keep a change of bra and top (in case a meeting happens)
    5. Scarves are your friends – they hide a multitude of sins
    6. All new moms – keep a spare outfit at work, I have found myself with snot of my sleeve or a yogurt handprint on my pants and Tide To Go is also a good thing to keep
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