Welcome to my Pregnancy Capsule Wardrobe, featuring almost all non-maternity items. This is the blog post I spend ages searching for when I first discovered I was pregnant but could never find.
Now, first thing’s first. I know I said I wouldn’t be doing too much pregnancy content. And, well, there’s been a lot of pregnancy content. Maybe I was being optimistic before. While I hope W&S is a useful, interesting guide at the end of the day, it also highly reflects my life. And right now, at 31-ish weeks pregnant, getting dressed is at the top of my struggle list.
This was particularly true for the second trimester. I kept flitting between my two small closets (quirky house probs), and nothing seemed to fit. While I was determined to keep specific ‘maternity’ purchases down to a minimum, as I grew and my body shape changed, I found I needed to turn to more maternity-specific pieces than I anticipated. I kept trying to wear my old clothes, but oh boy, did I just look and feel frumpy.
When your body is just so different from before, stress comes not only from what do I wear but how do I get dressed?
Now, at 31 weeks pregnant, I’ve just about gotten to grips with how to get dressed when pregnant. When it comes to maternity outfits, one of the best pieces of advice I’ve read is to have a very-specific ‘Maternity Capsule,’ placed front-and-center in your closet and ignore the rest. To be honest, it’s no different from having a normal capsule wardrobe, where everything you reach for you know will fit, will compliment other items, and will make you feel great. Only this time, your capsule wardrobe is run like a tight ship, streamlined to perfection.
What also separates pregnancy dressing from my usual capsule wardrobe is the fact that I don’t just have specific pieces — I have specific outfit combinations. When your body is just so different from before, stress comes not only from what do I wear but how do I get dressed?
Below are the four outfit combinations that have worked perfectly for me through the past 7-8 months of pregnant life. I hope my maternity capsule wardrobe is a useful guide for you during your journey to inevitable motherhood.
I should point out that I have spent most of my pregnancy in the British or San Francisco summer (i.e. like shoulder season weather). If you’re going to be pregnant in the extreme seasons, just adjust this wardrobe to fit more sweaters / boots or more floaty summer dresses.
OUTFIT ONE // BODY-CON MAXI DRESSES
This is probably the most surprising of the outfits listed, because Non-Pregnant Erin would loathe a body-con dress. I am more middle heavy for my shape and with disproportionately high hips, meaning body-con dresses just made me look all forms of frump. And then, I got pregnant. Now, with my weight shifted forward, a whole new world of dresses opened up to me. I spoke about this love on my Instagram, and to be honest, body-con dresses tend to fit better as your pregnancy progresses.
Because unpredictable British weather, my favourites have been ribbed-knit long-sleeve varietals — always maxi length, because I find maxi to be the most flattering on a pregnant body. (This is true for all dresses. Some women like mini dresses too, to show off a little leg, but my knees haven’t seen city daylight in a long time). This one from & Other Stories* is the one I reach for the most, which also comes in black*, perfect for winter. For a more sustainable option, Baserange* do some of the most interesting fitted knit dresses.
For sleeveless styles, the one I’ve by FAR worn the most is by Know The Origin. Sustainable, ethical, so soft, and at a great affordable price, I have recommended this dress to everyone (and I’ve gotten so many compliments wearing it). Bonus: it’s the lightest, ‘barely touches your bump’ dress out there. Which, let’s be real, is ALL I want these days.
OUTFIT TWO // OVERSIZED SWEATSHIRTS & LEGGINGS
This outfit is what I wear the most during the week, when life just feels too much but I also need to look together enough to grab a coffee. For legging choice, there is only one, and that is the Lululemon Align leggings 25″*. I think every pregnant woman has mentioned these, and I wanted to hate them (because, you know, Lulu). But they are so soft and fit so well. I gave in and now have two pairs, in both Size 6US & Size8US. Bonus is that these will last you beyond pregnancy, being non-maternity leggings. Sometimes, though, you need a little bump comfort, and my favourite maternity leggings are from Storq (for softness)* and H&M (for opaque wear-in-public-ness).
In terms of oversized sweatshirts, any will do. But my favourite is Arket’s striped number*, because somehow stripes while pregnant makes anything look more polished rather than sloppy.
OUTFIT THREE // MATERNITY JEANS &
OVERSIZED SWEATER OR OVERSIZED TOP
If I’m honest, this has been the outfit combo I’ve struggled with the most. Namely because finding the maternity jeans that are ‘right for you’ is SO HARD. As of now, I have yet to find that elusive perfect pair. When it comes to maternity jeans, you will quickly figure out whether you are a ‘below the belly,’ ‘over the belly,’ or ‘something in the middle’ kind of pregnant person. The closest I’ve found to perfection is the Paige Cindy Maternity Jeans*. With a 9.5″ rise, they fit more like a normal pair of jeans for me but with elasticated sides for expanding belly. They are also bloody expensive.
For a little less money (and more sustainability), Isabella Oliver do a really good skinny jean and boyfriend style. I found they fell down on me a lot, but if you’re bottom is, ahem, more voluptuous than mine, they’d probably be perfect.
Tops have also proved a bit of a problem. But I’ve found that straight-cut sweaters (like this one from Rodebjer*), boho-style blouses (like this from Maje* or any from Doen), or an oversized button shirt (like this one from Sezane*), work best. For one who only ever felt fully dressed with a ‘french tuck’ getting used to loose tops over jeans has been difficult. But these styles actually look best untucked, making them ideal for covering maternity bands on jeans.
OUTFIT FOUR // THE FLOATY DRESS
With a few heatwaves (and pregnancy-induced hot flashes), what would I have done without the floaty summer dress? The merits of this humble outfit far exceed just keeping you cool. Firstly, a throw-on-and-go floaty dress is the closest thing to being naked (i.e. nothing touching the belly) that you can get; they look dressy in a pinch and casual throughout; many do not require bras to be worn; and did I mention barely grazing your skin? While pregnant, opt for maxi-length to look both polished and to fit your bump the best.
If I’m being completely honest, I have a few more in rotation than what’s listed here. This is because of how useful I have found them. My absolute favourite by far has been this tiered dress by Matteau*, which I managed to find in the sales. For something a little cheaper (and on sale!), this one by Hush* is dressy and yet so, so comfy. I tend to wear black dresses, namely because I find them easiest. And no one ever makes neutral dresses that aren’t ‘black’ or white.’ But have fun with color if that’s your vibe, and relish that summertime is much easier to dress for when pregnant than winter!
And one final note: my shoe of choice for all of the above outfits has been the Birkenstock Evas*. They fit swollen feet like a dream. Rain be gone with these waterproof babies. They are incredibly lightweight for walks. And they look so cool with any outfit. I wear them almost every day.
SHOP THE ENTIRE PREGNANCY CAPSULE WARDROBE BELOW
CARDIGAN // NU-IN* (SUSTAINABLE)
LEGGINGS // LULULEMON ALIGN 25″*
MATERNITY LEGGINGS // STORQ*
MATERNITY JEANS // PAIGE STRAIGHT MATERNITY*, J BRAND MATERNITY SKINNY*, ISABELLA OLIVER BLACK SKINNY MATERNITY (SUSTAINABLE)
BOHO BLOUSE // MAJE*
OVERSIZED BLAZER // ISABEL MARANT ETOILE*
BROWN CROSSBODY BAG // A.P.C.*
WHITE TRAINERS // VEJA* (SUSTAINABLE)
CHUNKY SANDALS // BIRKENSTOCK EVA* (SUSTAINABLE)
MATERNITY BRAS // H&M (I HAVE THESE ONES AND THEY’RE GREAT)
LONG-SLEEVE FITTED KNIT DRESS // & OTHER STORIES*
TOTE BAG // CHLOE*
*Links indicate affiliate links. This means, if you choose to purchase the product linked here, I will make a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you. Considering this post took me close to 14 hours to put together, it is very, very appreciated. Thank you for supporting sustainable brands, and thank you for supporting this blog!
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