8 Wardrobe Staples That Got Me Through 3 Pregnancies
Capsule wardrobe takes on a whole new meaning when you're expecting. Whether you want a pared-down closet or not, it's just the reality of maternity wear that you won't have as much to choose from. That's why it's so important to be smart about what you spend your money on and make sure you get the most out of each piece.
Over three pregnancies, I've made a few maternity wardrobe missteps (not sure what I was thinking when I picked up that silk shirt I thought would "grow with me"), but I've also zeroed in on what works — and what I keep going back to each time. These eight staples are the things that I reached for again and again as my bump(s) grew.
Isabella Oliver Tank Dress
I was gifted this Isabella Oliver tank dress after my sister-in-law wore it over two pregnancies, and I've put plenty of miles on it during my three — and it still looks and feels like I just bought it! The cotton is thick enough to hold its shape (and keep slightly jigglier parts in) but also stretchy enough to see you from the early months to the very end of your pregnancy.
Even if you can't spring for this exact style, a simple black maternity dress is a staple every pregnant mama should have. Dress it up with heels (ha!) or keep it casual with flats in the Summer or ankle boots and an open sweater in the Winter.
Premium Maternity Jeans
If jeans are a wardrobe staple in your regular life, you'll want to invest in a high-quality pair for your pregnancy. While premium maternity denim can be pricey, by the time you're done with them, the cost per wear will be so low you'll have no problem justifying the splurge — and you'll be glad you did when they still work for your second or third time dressing the bump.
Much like it does when you don't have a bump, a chambray shirt pulls double (or triple) duty during pregnancy. I wear mine as a shirt on its own until it doesn't button over my belly, then I use it as a light jacket or even tie it above my bump over a dress to change up my look.
I sized up on this regular nonmaternity style from J.Crew when I was pregnant with my first and have been able to wear it to conceal my jiggly postpartum tummy and for easy nursing access after my children arrived.
J.Crew Always Chambray Shirt ($60, originally $78)
Slouchy Stripe Tee
In a sea of maternity basics, it's nice to have a piece that keeps your look interesting. A slouchy striped tee is the perfect style to amp up your solids and see you through multiple months. Unlike maternity tees with ruched sides, sizing up in a looser, nonmaternity boyfriend fit top will be stylish when you look like you've just had a big lunch and when people start asking when you're due.
Bonus: you'll need oversize tops like this to accommodate your inflated belly and engorged breasts after the baby is born, too — and trust me, you won't want to be anywhere near a top with ruching at that point.
Shorts are a must for a Summer pregnancy, but an over-the-belly panel isn't the breeziest in high temperatures. Find a nonmaternity pair with a relaxed fit (since your backside will inevitably expand along with your belly) and a generous elastic waist. As your bump gets bigger, wear them lower on your hips. Try folding the front of the waistband down under your stomach to get a few more wears out of them if they start to get snug.
Side Shirred Tank
This stretchy white tank has been my maternity wardrobe workhorse. Buy two (or three!) and plan to layer them under sheer tees, shirts that don't quite cover your whole belly, and open sweaters and cardigans in cooler weather.
Seamless Maternity Leggings
Your regular black leggings will only last so long before they start cutting into your abdomen, which is why you'll want to pick up a maternity pair. They'll take you from the gym and lounging at home to the final weeks of your pregnancy when you can't be bothered to wear anything that isn't stretchy.
Maternity Scoop-Neck Tee
I've turned to this Old Navy staple during each of my pregnancies and the easy style (and price!) doesn't disappoint. You'll want a few since they'll become your go-to when your nonmaternity tops stop covering your belly button.