March 15th 2018
Being pregnant comes with a few style challenges, especially for those who prefer a lasting and slightly minimalist wardrobe.
Whilst pregnant with Lou I came across two types of stores, and types of clothing. Stores and brands selling maternity clothes only and global chain stores selling not-so-fair and cheaply made items. Options I checked out nonetheless. But Lord have mercy, did I run away fast. Those stores and brands who focused on maternity clothes, were soooo incredibly ‘maternity’. All tops had those horrible side ruches and dresses were body tight with confusing prints. All featured bows between boobs and belly and made a girl look like a psychedelic easter egg. Let’s just say, it’s a style that does not add to me feeling beautiful or comfortable in any shape or form.
The big chain stores had slightly better options, style wise, but all carried cheap and poorly made items, crafted in not so great circumstances, by underpaid workers in faraway countries. I didn’t feel comfortable buying from either.
So I started my search for a sustainable maternity wardrobe, made fairly from natural fabrics. Items that were not only beautiful to wear during pregnancy but also kept their charm after. A collection of simple and pure garments that combine well, keep well, look well and feel great.
Below you’ll find my tips for creating such a wardrobe, and I’ll throw in some of my favourite (non maternity yet maternity friendly) brands too! Hope it helps you dress like YOU and therefore adds to your personal joy and the magic of this amazing proces of becoming a mama,
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MY MATERNITY CAPSULE WARDROBE
My maternity wardrobe doesn’t look much different from the way I dress when not with child. I own items that work well both prenatal, postnatal and non-natal. I opted to compliment my existing wardrobe with 3 ‘maternity friendly’ pieces, to combine and create various different looks that suit me and my personality.
Japanese style sleeveless shirt by JUX (longlength, one size up*)
Organic cotton camel shortsleeve shirt by BASERANGE (bodytight)
Ecru coloured wool t-shirt by LIVINGCRAFTS (one size up*)
Second-hand faded blush silk t-shirt by COS (one size up*)
Organic cotton grey longsleeve by BASERANGE (longlength, bodytight)
Mustard coloured linen top by FRIDAYSPROJECT (slightly a-line)
SWEATERS & JACKETS:
Knitted grey sweater by DIARTE
Wool linen kimono jacket by NOTPERFECTLINEN
Organic cotton denim jumpsuit by MONKI
Hand-made camel coloured shoes by PETRUCHA
Blush moccasins by BETON
Black mens shoes by DR.MARTENS
Outdoor boots by BLUNDSTONE
Powder pink clutch by LUMI
Moss green purse by OMYBAG
Beige backpack by FJALLRAVEN
Bamboo black body by BASERANGE (one size up*)
Organic cotton camel coloured body by BASERANGE (bodytight)
Thick wintery wool silk tights by LIVING CRAFTS
Wool o-shaped winter coat by WUNDERWERK
Organic spring parka by MONKI
*I generally prefer to buy part of my tops one size up [one size larger] so they don’t cling but drape. This comes in handy when pregnant.
(On top of the pieces mentioned I also own some items that I can’t wear any longer but will be able to wear again after giving birth. Think hight waisted mom jeans, my wool lantern pants and some knitted sweaters that are a bit too oversized to look good when also sporting a big belly.)
The only 3 items I bought to compliment:
Second-hand (yet unworn: with labels still attached) antracit coloured maternity skinny jeans by H&M
Shirt dress by POUDRE
Jumpsuit by KORINNE VADER
How I wear these pieces:
I tend to combine fitted with oversized. For example: tights and the pretty tunic (dress) by POUDRE or my ‘skinny’ jeans with a clingy top by BASERANGE and a slightly oversized kimono by NOTPERFECTLINEN. The tunic dress can also be worn over jeans and, when weather permits, bare legs and sandals. The only ‘real’ maternity piece I bought are the antracit coloured skinny jeans. They have one of those stretchy cotton bellybands, which makes it ultra comfortable to wear. I bought them second-hand but unworn, with the labels still attached and from experience know I will wear these out com-ple-tely, until it falls apart and has to be thrown out after giving birth. The jumpsuit by KORINNE VADER had a slightly elevated waistline and is naturally oversized so perfect to wear throughout my pregnancy and beyond. It can be worn casual with rolled up pantlegs and sneakers or sandals, or dressy with cute ecru silk socks and my beautiful camel coloured and handmade shoes by PETRUCHA. It’s made from linen thus easy to wear throughout the seasons.
I have found I can diversify and increase my ‘looks’ by a ton simply by using accessories, shoes and bags in a throughtful manner. A simple sock, it’s colour and texture and the choice of shoe, purse and jewellery can change a look, instantly. I’ve noticed I reach for a handbag and clutch, like this beautiful one by LUMI, whenever possible -even more so when pregnant- because it feels more dressed and considered than the obvious more practical ‘moms’ choice of a backpack. Also consider hairstyles. I alternate between long and loose tresses, a top bun with bangs or a braided updo. Hairstyles can add to, and change, your look so much without costing a dime.
Before I bought complimentary pieces I thought about the seasons I was going to experience during my second and third trimester, when the belly is at its largest. Doing this prevents you from buying items you do not need. The last months of this particular pregnancy will be during (late) springtime in The Netherlands. I already own a few airy summer dresses and ankle long skirts with elastic waistband (super handy detail for those who want to buy non-maternity but maternity friendly!) so I definately need not need to buy any ‘warm weather appropriate’ items. Luckily, there was also no need to buy a new wintercoat as my 0-shaped wool one by WUNDERWERK fitted perfectly throughout the second trimester. When pregnant with our first, Lou, I owned a second-hand wool (thick) cape which kept me warm all the way ’till birth! O-shaped coats and capes are perfect non-maternity yet maternity friendly winter items.
MY 4 FAVOURITE ‘NON-MATERNITY YET MATERNITY FRIENDLY’ SHOPS & MAKERS:
1.Go through your closet to see which pieces you own, love and could wear throughout your pregnancy.
2.Buy a select (!!!) amount of new items to complement your existing wardrobe. I only had to buy 3.
3.Buy items you would also buy and wear when not pregnant and you will actually continue wearing as soon as baby has arrived.
4.Buy colours (and, if you so desire, prints) that are YOU, suit the rest of your wardrobe, and you feel happy and comfortable with.
5.Buy from your favourite (or some newly discovered!) fair brands, small sustainable shops and makers.
6.Look for waistlines that are a bit higher than usual.
7.Buy non-maternity t-shirts slightly oversized, in drapey materials such as silk and tencel.
8.Buy t-shirts and tops that are longer than the regular shirt length. Your growing belly will need that bit extra.
9.Look for (highwaisted) pants and skirts with elastic waistbands. These are perfect non-maternity yet maternity friendly pieces!
10.You don’t HAVE to buy anything. Ask a friend if you can borrow that one (non-maternity but maternity friendly) item they own and you love, just for those few months you will ‘need’ it.
*The clutch is a sponsored piece that I was fortunate to pick out and be gifted by inspiring sustainable Finnish company LUMI.
All images, except those featuring Kyra, by Kyra. at Kyra’s Kitchen. Copyright. Photos of Kyra by Eveline Vroonland at Stof en Ruis.