My Summer Maternity Must-Haves (and New Favorite Dress!)

You've missed my outfit posts, right??? I knew you had. =)

I've always been a bit of a shopaholic (understatement? perhaps) but my shopping tendencies have dropped waaay off during pregnancy because dressing a pregnant body is quite different than dressing a non-pregnant body (shock!)... during the first trimester I didn't feel like buying anything because I felt horrible all the time and by the time that passed I was slowly outgrowing stuff and while maternity clothes were HUGE, buying a size up in regular clothes wasn't working either so the majority of the time I would just put things back on the rack with a sigh and wait for my belly to grow enough that I could reasonably wear maternity clothes. (What a life!) I never understood people who said, "Just go up a size!" because for most things that just doesn't work... especially in tops, the fit will be off in the arms, chest, shoulders, etc. and just look awful. And when you're not quite showing or barely showing, the last thing you want is a big billowy top with no definition making you feel even bigger.

Now that I'm quite large (although larger days are coming soon...ha!) and wearing mostly maternity clothes, it's been life-saving to have found some pieces that work for me, make me feel reasonably good about myself, and don't take a ton of effort to put on. I've never been an outfit repeater but that's gone out the window for SURE in the past few months. My maternity wardrobe isn't huge but I like it and it's all comfortable... what more could I want?

When I was in Georgia, I tried on this dress and (stupidly) passed it up even though it was on sale for $12. Then I searched for it at the Old Navy stores here and couldn't find it in my size anywhere, so I began waiting for a sale online even though paying for shipping absolutely pains me. Finally it was marked down a couple weeks ago and I anticipated its arrival... and it did not disappoint. I thought that this shape would make me look bigger (and it did when I first tried it on, but now my stomach is so big that it hangs better if that makes sense. (Minus the bump I would probably belt it and will in the future.)

Anyway, it's SO comfortable, the fabric feels so good, I love the color, it will work for pretty much every season, and any time I can wear something that feels like pajamas I call that a win. (When it's marked down again I'll be very tempted to buy it in another color.) Oh, and I ordered it in a tall size for the extra length.

It's not quite as bright as it is in this picture... more of a violet-y than cobalt. And in hindsight it occurred to me that the color kind of invited whale-type jokes but I didn't even care.  (Although, a pregnant friend and I were just discussing that for some reason people find pregnancy a license to comment on someone's weight/size when they wouldn't dream of doing so otherwise. Very strange.)

There's no zit on my chin... just weird lighting in this picture. 

If I had to make a list of must-haves for my pregnancy style (at least in this heat!) it would be these (ideally I'd be wearing them all at once, but I'm not very forward-thinking and did not plan such an ideal outfit. Oops!)

-tshirt dress: Something like this one is perfect but my more fitted ones have been nice too. Sometimes the idea of putting on a whole outfit, even if it's just shorts and a shirt, seems exhausting and being able to throw on one piece and go is marvelous. (You know your life is too easy when you're exhausted by the idea of putting on two pieces of clothing instead of one. Ha!)

Options: Old NavyTargetJ.Crew Factory (on major clearance!)

-maternity shorts: a partial band that just goes under the belly is SO much more comfortable than a full panel! Plus- real talk- sometimes you just don't want your legs touching, right??

Options: Walmart (a great deal!), Gap (mine are rolled down =), Old Navy

-cute sneakers: I have 3-4 pairs that have been in heavy rotation- my feet aren't swollen yet but dealing with sandal straps is uncomfortable because it requires bending and my bending days are over. Ha! Slip-on sneakers are much easier for me and give more support.

Options: Target (love the polka dots!), Target (such a versatile print), and Sperrys- I linked to Belk but you can buy them several places. I know they're expensive but one style or another is always on clearance and they last such a long time that it's worth it to pay a little more.

-light cardigan: It seems counter-intuitive to mention a cardigan along with the summer heat BUT every restaurant and store in this state cranks their AC up- or is it down?- to subzero temperatures and while a denim or utility jacket is little too heavy, having a light layer like a thin sweater really helps keep me from freezing. Last summer I bought a cardigan from Ann Taylor in a bright greenish-chartreuse color and I've worn it so much I just bought a similar one for when the first wears out. The color is summery and tends to go with almost everything, but something in a neutral would be great to have for any season.

Options: J.Crew FactoryTargetOld Navy

-simple jewelry: If I leave the house, I'm wearing my watch and probably a necklace. Even just the watch makes me feel more put together, but a simple necklace helps a lot too. I've got quite the collection of statement necklaces and I still love them, but for running to Target (or wherever) most of the time I'm more comfortable with one of my 4-5 gold pendant type necklaces. I have a couple of different "A" necklaces, a little feather pendant, and my gold bar necklace with my name engraved. I also bought a little jeweled pendant from Loft a few months ago and it has just enough color (two little splashes of orange and neon green/yellow) to add a little brightness to something simple like a gray dress or tshirt. None of these are heavy or hot to wear but they make me look like I put in a little effort, you know?

Options: there are so many that I couldn't narrow it down, but Forever 21 and Charming Charlie always have a million little necklaces like this, and GroopDealz has lots of customizable pieces available every other week or so.

-stretchy pencil skirts: These were awesome even pre-pregnancy... I love something as stretchy and comfortable as shorts but that looks a lot nicer (and can be dressed up or down... I don't think you can really dress shorts up). All of mine (and I have at least four) are from Old Navy. I usually size up because the stretch also means they are quite, ahem, form-fitting. But I love the look and polish of a pencil skirt without the stiffness. Best of both worlds!

Options: Old Navy- all you need!

I haven't bought very many maternity shirts and have gotten by with mostly my non-maternity stuff... the only problem is usually the length. Especially at this point, I need stuff to be long enough in the front and much of it is not, but fortunately I've always preferred long tops so many of mine work. My Merona tank tops have really come in handy since they don't need anything underneath and lay nice and smooth. And I rely on my ever-growing collection of hats (baseball hats, mostly)... I know not everyone likes hats (and I don't know how well I pull them off myself) but they're really helpful when the humidity has destroyed my hair. (I just found one at Old Navy the other day for 68 cents- WOW!)

Shorts, tshirt dress, hat, stretchy skirt/tank top... no tennis shoes or cardigans but they're useful, I promise! The white dress isn't really any of these things I just like it. =) Also, I'm fully aware that my hair is out of control- a cut is coming soon! (Nothing drastic... calm down, Gigi.) 

So, if you're pregnant maybe you'll get a little help from some of these ideas... Although honestly all of these were favorites of mine before pregnancy too! And even though August ushers in the roaring of "I want fall!" across the internet, let's be honest- lots of us are still looking at a good two months of warm (or in my case, blazing) temperatures so it's still tanks and short sleeves for a while. (Boo!) 

I've shared my tips for dressing pregnant- now if you can teach me how to magically fall asleep and STAY asleep all night I will love you forever. 


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