Me wearing the Storq Double Scoop Tank Dress at 35 weeks.
Photo: Lauren Ro
When I was pregnant with my first child, who is now 3 years old, I was determined to spend as little money as possible on maternity clothes. As a result, I was often uncomfortable and didn’t look very cute. During the warmer months, I was able to browse my collection of oversized (pre-pregnancy) dresses, but I was due to give birth at the end of February, which meant I spent the colder parts of winter, when I was the biggest, in bad maternity jeans and whatever. tops would be fine. The outerwear situation was its own challenge and I was still cold.
Now that I’m a few weeks away from having my second baby, I think I’ve finally figured out what works – and what absolutely doesn’t – in terms of maternity (and bump-friendly) clothes that are actually comfortable. and beautiful. Here’s everything I wore and loved, from underwear to sweaters to dresses, which I plan to wear after giving birth too. And no, you won’t find a single maternity jean here, because two pregnancies later, I’ve come to the conclusion that these really are the worst.
During my first pregnancy, I bought a pack of maternity underwear on Amazon and called it a day. They were fine and actually held up over the years (I kept them as a backup), but I wanted an upgrade this time. I bought a few from Old Navy and loved them so much I ordered more (I also have them in beige and white). They’re incredibly soft and shapely, provide great coverage without feeling like grandma’s underwear, and fit perfectly under a growing belly.
This bra sure looks a little frumpy, but you don’t even notice you’re wearing a bra when you’re wearing it, so it doesn’t even matter. I wore this and another style (since discontinued) during my first pregnancy and then it became my favorite WFH bra during the pandemic. It’s lightweight but still provides enough support and, because it’s soft and flexible, conforms to your growing breasts throughout the nine months. It’s also super durable and looks basically new after more than three years of constant wear. The only caveat is that, as the neckline is quite high, it doesn’t work well with buttons or v-necks.
When I wanted to feel cute, I put on my Skims. Whatever you think of Kim Kardashian, she does some damn good lingerie. These aren’t as comfortable as the Uniqlo bra, as the chest band is tight and on the narrow side, but they are well made, have a really nice feel to the touch, support and are sexy enough to be minimal . pattern. I took size for pregnancy.
I bought these footless tights to wear under a wrap dress for my cousin’s wedding in January, and although it was a special occasion purchase, I’ve been wearing them consistently ever since. As I wrote at the time, I was back and forth about what size to get, but I stuck with my usual pre-pregnancy size (S/M) and was glad I did. They look tiny, like something for a kid, and you seriously doubt they’ll fit, but trust me, they will. The legs are super tight and you have to pull them up, which is tricky when you have a bulging stomach, but once they’re in place they’re amazing. They provide smoothing and compression in the legs, a slight lift in the butt, and really nice tummy coverage and support (they don’t feel tight at all). A silicone belt prevents them from slipping. I wear them under dresses when the tights are too hot or formal.
I’ve been layering Uniqlo Heattech tops for years and was thrilled to learn that they also work amazingly well during pregnancy. They’re comfy, warm, last forever, and super stretchy. I wore them under my Babaà sweaters (see below) all winter long.
They really are the alpha and omega of pregnancy leggings. These aren’t maternity leggings, but they’re superior to any pregnancy leggings I’ve tried. I wore the same pair through my first pregnancy, the pandemic, and now, and they miraculously held their shape and stretch no matter how big my belly was. I admit they are extremely fluffy, but I don’t mind that as I wear them mostly at home. There’s not a single hole or snag after more than three years of wear, and aside from the inevitable pilling, they don’t look worn at all. As Strategist editor Jessica Silvester wrote, “They’re designed to look like leggings but aren’t tight.” They are super soft and supple and make my legs and butt look fabulous. They never slipping and not feeling constricted on my stomach. I hate that they cost $100, but they are worth it. I tried a cheaper dupe available on Amazon, but unfortunately they don’t compare. Don’t hesitate, get them. These are the real deal. I bought another pair early in this pregnancy (in navy), which I’m saving for when I go out.
If work or some other situation requires you to wear real pants, here’s your solution. With Augie, I wore a pair of Madewell maternity skinny jeans on my stomach that I came to despise. For this pregnancy, I thought under-the-bum maternity jeans with a looser leg would be more comfortable, and it was, for a minute, that these Old Navy straight-leg jeans did the trick. But in the third trimester, I concluded that I never wanted to put on another pair of maternity jeans again because they felt so constricting and awful. (Don’t get me started on maternity overalls, which I think are a cruel joke the Big Mama industry has pulled on pregnant women.) As one new mom told me, the faux belt is so shame, and that’s true. But these formal pants – which also have stretch fake belt – are really comfortable. (They’re from a brand that makes this Pleats Please–esque jumpsuit that I first read about strategist and would have totally ordered, if I was one to wear a jumpsuit, which I don’t unfortunately I’m not.) The pants are lightweight and stretchy, but still look like nice tailored pants that you might wear in a more formal setting like a corporate office or an event. And you can’t beat the price.
I succumbed to the cult of Babaà and bought this cardigan a few years ago on sale, then another sweater (now discontinued) last year – also on sale – and turned them daily (cool ) throughout this pregnancy. (Strategist editor Simone Kitchens also owns the cardigan.) They’re oversized and roomy and fit over a gigantic bump while still managing to stay stylish. I’ve worn them with my Aligns, with jeans (when they were still tolerable in early trimesters), over dresses, and on hikes. They’re super comfortable, look more expensive than they are, and are surprisingly sturdy. I will say they are on the rough side, being made with 100% ‘eco’ Spanish wool, but it’s the chunky, chunky, textured knit that makes them so appealing. (Wise man: Babaà has frequent sales and ships for free to the US from Europe.)
Editor’s note: Babaà lists all prices in euros, so the price shown above is an approximate conversion to US dollars.
This shirt (in white) was given to me by the brand when I was pregnant with Augie. This is an oversized button down shirt made from the softest modal blend that’s simply easy to wear (and just as easy to care for), as the name suggests. It doesn’t wrinkle and you can slip it on and feel instantly put together. You can wear it in several ways: as a shirt over pants or a skirt, or, as I often do, as an open jacket over a dress. Storq was kind enough to send me the striped for this pregnancy, but even if it wasn’t, I would have bought it myself in a heartbeat.
I bought this dress myself, on Poshmark, when it sold out on the site. Having tried Storq clothing before, I knew the quality would be excellent even second-hand. Made with a silky, stretchy modal spandex, it’s so form-fitting and smooth on the body. It hugs my bump and curves in all the right places and makes me feel really cute. I love the flattering crew neck and the thick but not too thick straps, and plan to wear it postpartum too.
I think of this as the tank top version of the dress above. It’s by maternity brand Hatch, who were kind enough to send it to me as a gift, and it’s as close to the perfect maternity tank as you can get. It’s thick, ribbed, tight and doesn’t look like maternity clothes at all, which is why I was skeptical when I first saw it. But then I put it on, and it felt like a hug. It comes with a shelf bra which I was surprised to find comfortable and supportive. The tank itself is stretchy and fits nicely around the stomach, and the straps and scoop neckline, like the Storq dress above, are flattering and even sexy.
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