Boden polka dot shirt with Enza Costa rib dress

Maternity outfit - 15 weeks

non-maternity maternity outfit: stretch black dress with knotted polka dot shirt

Boden classic shirt in polka dot

Let’s talk about maternity clothes.

I mean, they’re kind of awful, really, aren’t they?

This was another one of the many, many things to take me by surprise about pregnancy. I’m basically just permanently surprised these days, really: let’s just hope my mum wasn’t right about the wind changing and my face staying this way, huh?

So, as I was saying, the sheer ugliness of maternity clothes really took me surprise. I obviously knew that actual pregnant women complained about them all the time, but as a very non-pregnant person, I’d often see them come up in the “New In” section of my favourite websites, and I’d just be all, “Hey! Why’d the preggos get all the cute clothes? NOT FAIR!” Obviously this sounds totally laughable to me NOW, but at the time it basically looked like a sea of Breton stripes and classic basics, and, if I’m totally honest, I thought pregnancy could be a pretty awesome excuse to finally try out one of those capsule wardrobes I’m always banging on about, but never actually managing to stick to. Oh the folly of youth! Or, of, well, last year, really.

Anyway, I thought maternity clothes were going to be pretty easy, really… and then I actually had to buy some, and all of sudden, all of those cute maternity clothes I’d looked at and thought, “I’d totally buy that if I was pregnant. Also, I wonder if they make it in regular sizes?” disappeared off the face of the internet, as if they had never existed. DID they ever exist? Did I imagine them? We may never know. As it is, though, I don’t know if it’s just because it’s getting towards the end of the season now, or what, but I’ve figured out that I can buy pretty much ANYTHING, as long as it’s:

a) Black

and

b) Super-frumpy.

Oh, and as long as it’s a size larger than I’d normally buy, too, because it turns out that most maternity lines don’t actually come in my size. THE HELL?

(I can also have my pick of short, floral print sack dresses, though. So that’s something, at least.)

It’s not all bad, obviously: I have managed to pick up a few things I don’t hate (and I think some of my dislike of the things I’ve tried on and rejected is just down to me still not really recognising my body at the moment, or knowing how to dress it. I’m having to completely redefine what I see as “flattering”, basically, and it’s a bit of an adjustment, but I’ll get there in the end. I hope.), and I’m hoping the autumn/winter stock will be a little more inspiring, but, for now, I’m doing something I told myself I’d never, ever do, which is to just keep on wearing non-maternity clothes, for as long as I can get away with them.

That’s probably not going to be too much longer, though: I’m now down to just a handful of clothes that still fit (on the bottom half, anyway: I can still get into most of my tops and knits, which is a relief…), with this dress being one of them. This isn’t maternity, but it’s super-stretchy, and really, really comfortable (I’m finding dresses a lot more comfortable than skirts or trousers right now, because I hate the feeling of anything around my stomach…): I also have this version, and have my eye on it in blue, too. I bought both of these before I was pregnant, and have been wearing them on repeat, so I just hope I can get a few more weeks out of them before I have to resort to the floral sacks!

And, on that note, I’m off to hit up the ASOS Maternity section again…

maternity outfit at 14/15 weeks

WEARING:

Boden classic shirt in polka dot

Enza Costa ribbed tank dress*

Studio TMLS shoes*

Michael Kors Mercer Mini tote*

24 Comments
  1. I used to work in New Look and was always admiring the maternity lines and thinking I’d totally wear most of it when I got pregnant. And then bam! I was pregnant and everything was hideous… (and I no longer had my staff discount to add insult to injury…)

    Thankfully apart from maternity jeans and leggings I managed in a lot of my normal clothes for a good while. But now at 38 weeks I’m down to the jeans and about five maternity tops. (I do have some dresses and a pair of shorts but I sprained my ankle a few weeks ago and am stuck in walking boots for extra support and they just so don’t go!)

    H&M so nice maternity stuff (but are crap for not stocking it in stores in major cities…)

  2. During my first pregnancy I was excited about maternity clothes…. And then felt totally underwhelmed and couldn’t justify the cost. (Because the pretty lines are ridiculously expensive!) During my second pregnancy I just made do with ordinary clothes, with the exceptions of a maternity skirt and a pair of maternity jeans…

      1. Ah, that’s because many times I go for the “flowy” (or “baggy” 😉) look… that kind of outfit works with or without a belly!

  3. I was just (half) joking to my friend the other day that I should buy a cute leopard print dress I saw in *PETITE* maternity in case I ever did get pregnant one day because what if I never found anything like that again… She, rightly, told me I was being insane and would basically guarantee fertility problems should I ever try if I did that… but I wonder if I’m going to look back and think she was the insane one for deterring me 😉 (I kid! Mostly ;D)

    1. I often found myself thinking that before I was pregnant, but actually, now that I’ve bought some of the stuff, I think it probably could work pre-pregnancy too: not jeans etc, obviously, which have huge panels on the front that go up to your boobs (🤢), but the pencil dresses I have just have some ruching around the waist which would probably have worked for my pre-pregnancy food baby, too 😉

  4. The secret to maternity clothing is to find one good pair of jeans (because you WILL only find one), one good pair of black work pants, and a good pair of maternity leggings, and then a set of basic ruched-side T-shirts and then you wear the hell out of it because that’s it, that’s all you got.

    Oh, and maxi skirts. I managed to get myself into summer pregnancies both times, and I found that maxi skirts saved me. They look cute, they’re not hot in the summer heat, and you can wear your rotation of four decent maternity T-shirts endlessly – or tank tops!

    It’s also worth the investment to purchase one really good maternity dress. I spent $65 on the one I picked, because they’re NEVER on a good sale unless they are the aforementioned ugly sack dresses, but I wore it ALL. THE. TIME. I wore it out to the Farmer’s Market with sandals and with (kitten) heels to my sister-in-law’s wedding and then when I was done, I gifted it to my sister who had just gotten pregnant herself and SHE wore it nonstop.

    Target’s maternity line will have the best thing pop up – basic T-shirts that look great for maternity but AREN’T ruched. I’ve seen them in white, black, and a lavender color. They’re hard to get though because pregnant women tend to buy ANYTHING that looks good in bulk, since it’s so few and far between!

    1. I’ve actually managed to find a couple of dresses that aren’t too bad (maxi skirts just aren’t me, unfortunately!), but jeans are an absolute nightmare – I actually just ended up ordering about 5 pairs online, knowing that I’ll be lucky if even one of them fits: I curse my short legs every day!

      1. I have short legs too and someone recommended the ASOS Ridley ones which was spot on!

        Definitely order multiple kinds online and wear them around the house for a bit because they stretch! I ended up buying a size smaller than I thought I would need because everything in my ordinary size fell down once I’d worn them for 15 minutes or so.

        1. I was looking at the Ridleys, but even the petite ones seem to have turn ups, and look too long even for the model, so I was put off – I might just have to order a pair and see for myself, though: I was so confused that they were sold as petite, but look so long! I do have a pair from Topshop which are the right length, but way too big in the waist: the problem I’m having is that most maternity lines don’t seem to come in my size, so I’m having to size up in the first place, then they also seem to run large, so I have to pull them up every few minutes: so annoying!

  5. Maternity clothing sucks and its damned expensive. The bras are not great either and also ludicrously expensive. Empire waisted stretchy shirts, tunics, leggings, stretchy pencil skirts, and stretchy dresses helps. I didn’t gain a whole lot though, only 25 lbs so I was able to do pretty well without killing my budget. The jeans are a special challenge and sometimes that stretchy material connected to the jeans sucks. I was not really all that happy to wear them.

  6. Maternity clothes shopping was basically lots of horrible polyester. I had to buy clothes for the office the first time around and basically hated everything. I was at home for my second pregnancy so it was much easier. I just wore my maternity jeans to death and empire waist dresses. Have you tried Isabella Oliver? Likely – but I remember liking so much of it but with the exchange and shipping it was way too expensive. Madewell has maternity jeans now. Also GAP finally has maternity in Canada. I remember finding some stuff I liked at H&M too. I sized up and chose the tall length in Tops to get me through, but usually that isn’t the best by the very end when everything except maternity is too short. Hope you have better luck soon!

    1. I do like some Isabella Oliver stuff, but it does seem a bit pricey given that I’ll only be wearing it for a few months: I was hoping to be able to stick to the likes of ASOS and H&M, but I may well succumb if I don’t see anything else I like!

  7. Well, you know MY thoughts on this (and I have a blog post drafted about it, too – gaaaaaaah, now I look like I’m copying you!), but you’re absolutely right: when I was expecting Matilda, the choice was limited but not-too-ugly; this time around, it’s just… awful. Horrible fabrics, horrible prints, impractical cuts. What happened?!?! But, yes, I’m hoping it’s just because it’s summer and the designers think everything has to expose as much flesh as possible – surely they can’t go TOO far wrong with autumn and winter wear… can they?!

  8. You look beautiful!
    And you’re so right… before my pregnancy I was finding oh so many lovely pregnancy clothes and then I got pregnant and all of a sudden they disappeared! 😅
    By the end I just bought a couple of preggy sweaters at h&m (winter pregnancy), some leggings/pants with a stretchy waist, a couple of xxl tights (the preggy ones are really expensive and the cost is not justified to me!) And then I just did the whole pregnancy with what I had, sweater dresses and so on, winter clothes help by the end. And then I had to get a formal dress… and Blam! I found Tiffany Rose, which has the most beautiful pregnancy dresses ever! ❤
    When I was at 8th month I was so sick of wearing over and over the same stuff that I got me a lovely dress from Dorothy Perkins pregnancy sale. Of course I just wore it a few times, but it was a nice change after a whole winter in same clothes! 😀

  9. My sisters wore a lot of blazers or cardigans when they were pregnant. They had/got some different colour and style blazers and cardigans which they wore with cheap, stretchy basic tops/dresses etc (non maternity ones) from H&M/Primark/New Look. This can then be dressed up if required with a little belt etc. Also a website which may be useful is seraphine.com. Sorry don’t know if that helps…. Keep up the great work 🙂

  10. Maternity clothes are so depressing. Splurge to get one really good pair of maternity jeans at least (I was pregnant this past winter so only wore pants because it was below zero all the time here). However…. maybe wait a week or two before you do that. I found out that things really do fit really differently after 25 weeks verus 20 or 22 weeks. I also lived in and for oversized sweaters, but not sure that is your style (or weather!)

  11. So as someone who has had three kids, here’s my two cents, for what it’s worth…splurge a little so that you have three outfits that you feel really pretty in – a casual jeans outfit (i agree about finding one pair of really good jeans – but buy two pairs!), a casual dress outfit, and a something a little dressier. That way, if you’re having a day when you feel really big and ungainly, you can put on your outfit that you LOVE and it will be worth every penny! I know you’ll only be wearing them for few months but you can consign them after and get at least some of that money back – the really good maternity clothes usually resell for decent money because there are so few of them to be found! And feeling pretty when your belly is out to there?? PRICELESS!

  12. Maternity clothes are just awful! I mainly ended up buying stretchy regular clothes 1-2 sizes bigger until at the end the tents (um, maternity clothes) were the only thing that fit. I felt a bit guilty for spending money on clothes that I grew out of during pregnancy, but whaddya know, those clothes were really useful on the other side of pregnancy as well when I mysteriously didn’t ping back into my old shape like a photoshopped pop star. I found it was really important to me to wear nice clothes so that I felt good about myself.
    You look gorgeous. Really nice outfit. Best of luck with hunting down the non-ugly maternity clothing! 🙂

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