Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Anne's 6 Tips to Maternity Wear

At the end of my third pregnancy, I feel like I finally know what to wear during gestation that helps me feel cute and doesn't break the bank. So I thought it would be fun to share some of my tips for maternity wear.

Tip #1: It's all about the cardigan
If you have some long, stretchy tees and lots of cardigans in your closet, you can outfit yourself nearly every day without ever stepping foot into a maternity store. I love these 'boyfriend' cardigans for winter, and 3/4 sleeve cardis are great even in warm weather.

Tip #2: Channel you inner Johnny Cash
In other words, black is the best! It's slimming, it hides all those layers of camis, etc., and it looks great on everyone.When I need to dress up for an event I wear my black cardi and black maternity slacks and then finish off the outfit with red shoes and big earrings. Makes me feel like a million bucks.

Tip #3: Take advantage of great maternity lines

In the last few years, lots of major retailers have introduced maternity lines. I like what Target has to offer, and it's usually inexpensive enough that you don't mind if it only lasts one pregnancy. Old Navy and Forever 21 both have maternity lines as well. My personal favorite is Gap Maternity. I snagged these 2 gray tops on clearance a few months ago and have been thrilled with them. Gap Maternity seems to have nailed the tailoring for pregnant bods.

Tip #4: Invest in one good pair of maternity jeans
This is the one I'm most passionate about. I bought these maternity pencil jeans at Gap and I absolutely love them. I literally wear them EVERY SINGLE DAY (I have to wear sweats on laundry day!) and they are worth every penny spent.

Tip #5: Accessorize, accessorize


No matter how enchanting pregnant bellies can be, sometimes we just want to draw people's attention somewhere else! Be bold--shake up a simple outfit with bright shoes, a big scarf, or some snazzy jewelry. (clockwise from top: Allora Handmade necklace, GAP scarf, J. Crew flats (bought for a song at DownEast), Tribal Jewelry earrings, Darlybird earrings)

Tip #6: Share the love
The way I see it, my maternity clothes don't belong in a box or a closet--just waiting for my next pregnancy. A whole wardrobe of maternity wear ought to circulate through a family of sisters or group of friends. This pregnancy I was gifted a huge box by my friend, Debbie, and it has totally saved me (and my pregnant s-i-l, Melissa)! And last summer I sent my cousin, Joan, home to AZ with my maternity jeans, which she mailed back to me when her baby was born. Now I'm ready to pass them off to the next in line. It's brilliant. It's like the sisterhood of the traveling panel pants.

Special thanks to my friend, Stacey, for photographing me and my swollen self. If you are in the Southern Oregon area and looking for a photog, drop her a line. She is wonderful to work with. Also, thanks to Jessie, the baby wrangler!


EmmaJ said...

Amen to Gap Maternity! I also would be lost without my Layers/ModBod shirts. I are long enough to cover my belly, layer great, and can be worn after the baby comes too.

liz said...

I was kind of rolling my eyes at you (I'm allowed to do that because Anne's my sister) because no one looks this good when they're pregnant and if I was pregnant right now I would hate your cute guts, but then I got to the sisterhood of the traveling panel pants and laughed out loud. That should be a new catch phrase or something. So funny. Love you.

Marlo said...

Anne - you look amazing! Wow. I am looking down at my mom maternity jeans and feeling a little sheepish. I have a question do you keep your jeans up so late in pregnancy? I have jeans with the demi band, but this late in the game, they are always sliding down. Either the panel folds over because my belly is so big or they just slide down because my hips have disappeared. Any tips? My only salvation is the giant over the belly panel. We all love to make fun of it, but when I am pregnant it is my best friend.

Oh also, I live and die by maternity camis. Target has a black and white 2 pack I am digging this time, but my favorite is the maternity cami from H&M mama, which you should be able to order online later this year!! I wear a cami EVERYDAY, especially when maternity clothes can no longer quite cover the last inch of my belly. I know how much strangers love that. I must be a sight to see with my pants sagging low and my belly hanging out chasing 2 wild girls! Love your tips and good luck with #3.

Christina said...

Loved this post for so many reasons. 1. You look fabulous. 2. I feel like I was on the right track with some of these tips for my 3rd pregnancy. Now I'm thinking about a 4th and hope I can look that fantastic when I go down that road.
3. Gap maternity is the best. 4. The traveling pants is definitely true. Every time my best friend is pregnant I give her all my maternity clothes, knowing that I'll update a few pieces next time and it's ok if something gets a little extra worn, because who knows if there will really be a next time.

Keep up the great work here at Bloom. It's one of my must reads.

Alicia said...

Anne, remember when we were at Home Depot when you were pregnant with Blaine and the older man came up to you and told you that beside his wife and daughters you were the cutest pregnant lady he had ever seen? (Sorry for that huge, confusing sentence.) That was so true then, but you've only gotten way cuter! I agree with him whole heartedly-you are the cutest pregnant person I've ever seen! Can't wait to see pictures of the cuttie!

Anonymous said...

You are so beautiful, Anne! I'm currently 6 months pregnant with our first baby and look NOTHING like you, but that's okay -- I love this post anyway. :) Thanks for the tips!

Sarah said...

Oh Anne, I have to agree with Liz. I'm hating you just a little bit right now! It's alright, I'll look cute again one day! I'm pretty sure I couldn't get your pencil jeans around my ankles, let alone my legs!! Good luck with everything, you look amazing!

Emily said...

Those jeans are great! My problem with maternity clothes is that they are so comfotable I want to keep wearing them long after my baby is born.

FM said...

I agree that sharing maternity clothes helps out a lot! I am in a book club and we each have a tote that we pass along to the next one with a baby on the way. We just have to make sure we keep our babies spaced out a little... ;)

Lisa said...

Anne gave me all these tips last year when I got pregnant and I was so glad. They're perfect - you probably look cuter than you would in "maternity wear" and it's a way more affordable way to go. Plus, I felt totally validated in wearing the same jeans everyday since Anne said told me to. :)

The Parkers said...

Thanks for sharing this post! As I'm hoping to get pregnant soon I have maternity wear on the brain and really want to invest in a few key pieces with this next pregnancy (since I didn't last time round). I love all these tips! And yes, Anne, I have to agree with everyone on how amazing you look and so super stylish! Such a beautiful pregnant lady you are.

Another maternity line I recently learned of from the famous blog Stephmodo is the ASOS line with reasonably priced super cute stuff. It is a UK based company but offers free international shipping! I love all of their stuff. Here is their link:

Thanks again Anne. You are just glowing!

Mrs. Cropper said...

Liz, Sarah, and anyone else who was thinking it but didn't write it because they aren't blood relatives--

I knew I would get some eye rolls. Anytime you post a dozen wanna-be glamour shots of yourself you have to expect that. Let me just note to everyone that I have spent plenty of time during this pregnancy in big, sloppy, elastic ankled sweatpants.

I have to say though, that for the last little while, I've tried to get dressed and ready every day (even if I'm just staying home), and it really makes a difference in my productivity and happiness levels. (Imagine that!)


Mrs. Cropper said...


As for the panel dilemma--

The demi panel has worked for me (I wear it completely under my belly, but then again, I carry really high), but I definitely tug them up a zillion times a day. I can't stand the big panel; it just feels uncomfy to me, but I'm glad that works for you. So I guess that's my only trick--yanking my pants up constantly!

Good luck chasing girls and gestating!!

I totally remember that cute man at Home Depot!

Lesley said...

Beautiful pictures and great tips!

jeanine said...

Anne you look amazing! These are some great tips... I always pick up a few new pieces with every pregnancy and was just thinking about starting to shop around so these were great tips!

@Marlo... I use the belle band (you can find them at Target)... It helps my pants stay up when I'm in that awful inbetween stage (where my "before" pants are too small and my maternity pants are still a little too big) and it helps a ton at the end! I carry my babies so low that I can't keep my pants up and the band really helps!

Melissa said...

Oh to be that cute while pregnant. Didn't happen to this girl. ;)

Carissa Rasmussen said...

Loved the tips; however, I'd love to see tips on dressing for 100 degree weather. Being pregnant makes it seem like 50 degrees hotter and I would die in cardis and jeans

Danielle said...

You look beautiful and its great to have some lovely pregnancy photos of yourself.

I think we (I) need a "tips for looking cute postpartum" post because big pregnant belly = cute, but flabby postpartum belly + huge lactating boobs = not a prayer for looking cute.

Rae. said...

Wow Anne, you make pregnancy look awesome. If only Gap manufactured some sort of accessory to cover my nose: which grows a full three sizes while pregnant. No joke.

You look darling!

Good luck with everything.

A Bride In Boots said...

SUCH a great post - and very well-timed for me. I stepped into my first maternity boutique two days ago and nearly broke out in a sweat. You look phenomenal, and I'm so glad to have recommendations on a pair of skinny jeans and to know who all carries maternity lines. Forever 21? Who knew!

Alison said...

Anne, Where did you get that boyfriend cardigan? I love it! This is the perfect post - I'm just learning these little details and am no where near the big belly yet but you have made pregnancy so stylish! I think I'll end up much larger than you once I'm farther. A lot of maternity clothes are hideous, frumpy, or overly frilly. Your style is exactly what I would do!

Mrs. Cropper said...


First, thank you for the nice compliments.

The boyfriend cardigan is from American Eagle. It doesn't look like they have those exact ones anymore, but here's a link for a similar one that looks darling:

Best wishes!

jeanine said...

I was going to ask about some tips for dresses. I have the hardest time finding something cute to wear to church when I'm pregnant!

Mrs. Cropper said...


I do have one cute dress from Target maternity. Mostly I wear a black, knee-length, elastic waist skirt from GAP almost every Sunday. I just wear it under my belly. I think elastic waists are the hot ticket for church wear!

good luck!

Joan said...

FABULOUS POST! Couldn't agree more with all you had to say. Died laughing at the "Sisterhood of the traveling panel pants" line. I love you...AND your baby is DUE TODAY!?!?! AAAANNNND MY baby is SIX?!

Chip & Laura said...

Beautiful photos of a beautiful woman. Thinking of you this week.

Pregnancy Miracle said...

The tips for the dresses of the maternity are very nice such that they can be wearing by women which are pregnant. And can look fabulous and more comfortable n that dress.

Deana Pearse said...

That's right! Cardigan goes perfect with almost anything! And black can really slim down the body, so it's good to invest in black colored cover-ups and tops. I also like your maternity jeans; that pair looks comfy and proves sophisticated as you can wear any shoes with it.

chandra said...

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Maternity Clothing Retailer said...

Those outfits are just stunning! And cheers for pointing out that pregnant women should invest in maternity outfits! Oh, the accessories are must-haves indeed since they can add colour even to plus size maternity clothes!

Melissa Merrill said...

I love to wear maxi skirts to church, because they can fit over my pregnant belly if they are to long and they're really comfortable.

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