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Fashion, Pregnancy

the comprehensive guide to maternity fashion

April 26, 2017

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I had the best intentions of sharing more maternity fashion posts this pregnancy, but that just didn’t happen. Truth be told, while I feel great this pregnancy, I feel anything but glamorous and stepping in front of the camera regularly to take photos of my outfits was just. not. happening. Ha!

That said, I have made an effort to try and dress normally and in a way that was put-together most of this pregnancy. And I have a lot of thoughts about clothes the second time around.

In short, maternity clothes stink. It’s hard to find good options that are comfortable and flattering throughout all stages of pregnancy. The clothes that do fit and wear well are almost always insanely expensive, and even when you do splurge on good quality, it’s not always a guarantee that your clothes will retain their shape and be worth the money you invested. Plus, aside from maternity-specific stores, finding brands that actually stock maternity clothes in their stores is practically impossible. I’ve purchased and returned so many clothes this pregnancy it’s comical.

So, after a nearly full-term pregnancy, what has made the cut, what brands have I loved, and what items have been worn time and time again? Let’s dive in!

My Most-Loved Items 
These are the pieces that I’ve found myself reaching for time and time again, the best of the best, if you will. It’s hard to know ahead of time what those items will be, but after 37+ weeks, it’s become clear that these are the winners. 

  1. Hatch Collection Bateau Top $158
    I know that some of you are going to say I’m crazy for recommending a top that costs this much, but it’s been a lifesaver. I’ve worn it time and time again, and have enjoyed the way it fit in the first trimester as much as the third. It’s designed to be able to be worn post-pregnancy, too, so I’m hopeful I’ll continue to get use out of it! It was the only Hatch piece I ended up keeping and I wish I would have purchased more.
  2. GAP Maternity Jeans $52
    I don’t have a specific link to the jeans I’m wearing since I bought them for Ainsley’s pregnancy, but the look similar to these jeans. They are comfortable, they hold their shape (!!!) and have worked well throughout pregnancy.
  3. GAP Rib-Knit Mockneck Dress $43
    I’ll go as far as to say this dress is a must-have item! I LOVE wearing it and feel like it’s very flattering throughout many stages of pregnancy.
  4. Liz Lange for Target Tee Dress $24
    I have the long-sleeved version of this dress, but I linked to the short sleeve version since summer is coming. I avoided all body-conscious dresses last pregnancy, but have really enjoyed this dress with the second go around.
  5. TK

Favorite Stores for Maternity Clothes

  1. Hatch Collection 
    Expensive clothing but from the one piece I kept and the others that I tried on, they are worth the clothes are worth the price! The only thing I really didn’t like were their jeans.
  2. Old Navy Maternity
    These pieces don’t fall into the “quality” category, but I do have a number of items from Old Navy that have worn fairly well during this pregnancy.
  3. Gap Maternity
    I’ve really loved almost everything I purchased from Gap this pregnancy. In fact, most of the items I’ve worn regularly have been Gap Maternity, so I guess that says something. Great for basics, including jeans, t-shirts and casual dresses.
  4. Pink Blush Maternity 
    This is a hit-or-miss recommendation. Some of their clothes have been really cute and fit well, others have been a total disaster. The dress I’m wearing in the photo above has been a favorite of mine as well as their robes (for labor/delivery/postpartum) and some of their tops. Proceed with caution and expect to return about as much as you buy.
  5. Stitch Fix Maternity 
    I got a couple maternity fixes, once during Ainsley’s pregnancy and once during this pregnancy. The two pair of leggings that I LIVED in with both pregnancies were both from maternity-focused fixes. I know Stitch Fix can be hit or miss, but I really appreciated that they had some different brands than what I would have found in stores or online.

Places/Items I DON’T Recommend

  1. H&M Maternity
    I didn’t have any success, despite trying a lot of items from their maternity collection. Everything ran super small and shrank in the wash. I would recommend just shopping their regular items and sizing up, which I did with some success in the sweater department.
  2. AG Maternity Jeans
    I’m so sad about this. I spent a ridiculous amount on a pair of AG maternity skinny jeans, and while they are certainly the most comfortable things on the face of the earth when you first put them on, they are a total nightmare as you wear them. I’ve never owned a pair of jeans that have bagged out this bad. I can’t wear them for more than a couple hours without needing to wash/dry them again.
  3. ASOS Maternity
    Maybe it was just me, or the fact that my style and preferences have changed since my last pregnancy, but I didn’t find ASOS Maternity to be a good fit this time. The clothes were all ill-fitting and the few items I kept ended up shrinking terribly even after following the wash/care instructions.

Madison

Family, Fashion, Pregnancy

March Mom Edit :: What I’m Loving Now

March 29, 2017

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At nearly 34 weeks pregnant, is it safe to say that I’m in the home stretch? I’m certainly embracing that mentality, and the products I’m sharing about below have been making my life a little more glamorous and bearable during the last month and a half of pregnancy. Here’s what I’ve been loving lately…

I took a break from regular fixes for a while, but scheduling a maternity Stitch Fix at 30 weeks was a fantastic way to get excited about getting dressed while super pregnant.

I recently ordered these bottles for baby and I’m intrigued.

Someday I’ll get my eyebrows micro-bladed, but until then this has been doing the trick.

Yesterday I ordered a custom name sign for baby girl from House of Belonging. Can’t wait to show you!

I’m combating stretch marks with this and this and so far so good.

It’s official, this is the most perfect diaper bag around.

The hair care system that’s been transforming my tresses over the last two months.

A podcast for moms that’s encouraging me on work from home days.

We finally settled on this double jogging stroller.

Madison 

Fashion, Pregnancy

Maternity Capsule Wardrobe

January 27, 2017

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During Ainsley’s pregnancy I sincerely wish someone had sat me down and told me this piece of advice: When it comes to shopping for maternity clothes, buy high quality, classic pieces that you love and that make you feel great. Invest in a capsule wardrobe now and you won’t regret it.

You see, I got trapped into the idea that pregnancy is only nine months. Why spend money on clothes you will only wear for a short period of time, right? Wrong. If you hate what you wear during those nine months, if your clothes aren’t cut well and don’t make you feel and look good, it will feel like nine years. Truth.

If you plan to have more than one kiddo, I promise you won’t regret it. I didn’t do this and I sincerely wish I would have. I’m convinced that while some of the items listed below are pretty expensive, I would have actually spent less in the long term by really curating a capsule wardrobe for pregnancy. Since we hope to have one or two more kiddos down the line, I’m thinking of doing this for the remainder of this pregnancy in hopes that I’ll get plenty of use out of my clothes down the road.

When selecting the items listed below I picked quite a few pieces that were designed to be worn during and after pregnancy, hence the large number of Hatch pieces that I’ve suggested. I have a few friends who own clothing from them and they have said that their Hatch items have gotten wear long after baby has arrived, which I love!

I also avoided most tops with any obvious rouching on the sides, as that just screams “maternity!” and you will never wear those items after you have baby, even if you do have a bump after delivery.

Oh, and on the subject of seasonality, I tried to keep that in mind as well. By selecting slightly lighter weight dresses and tops you should be able to get wear out of them in any season. Pair your tops with an open cardigan or utility jacket in the winter and wear them alone in the warmer months. Chances are if you’re pregnant during the winter you will run a little warmer, anyway. The same holds true for dresses! You will, of course, need to invest in some seasonal items – a maternity winter coat, perhaps, or an extra maxi dress or swimsuit, but I tried to just cover the basics here.

TOPS 

1. Classic Striped Top :: Hatch The Bateau Striped Top 
2. Basic White Dress Shirt :: Hatch The Classic White
3. Chambray Shirt or Tunic :: Old Navy Maternity Chambray Pullover 
4. Tunic-Length Top (either sweater weight for winter or lighter weight for summer)
2. Well-Cut Basic Top :: Hatch The Everyday Top

JACKETS & CARDIGANS
1. Basic Layering Cardigan :: Liz Lange Maternity Open Layering Cardigan
2. Military/Cargo Jacket :: Gap Maternity Utility Jacket 

DRESSES
1. Dressy Day-To-Night Style :: Hatch The Tulip Dress 
2. Casual Everyday Style Dress :: Hatch The Shirt Dress or The Afternoon Dress

JEANS 
1. Skinny Jeans You Absolutely Love :: AG Stella Maternity Skinny Jeans

BASICS
1. Basic Layering Tanks in Black, White and Grey :: Liz Lange Maternity Tanks
2. Basic Maternity Leggings in Black and/or Grey :: Gap Maternity Pure Body Low Rise Leggings
3. Basic Layering T’s and Shirts :: Liz Lange Maternity V-Neck Tee or Long Sleeve Shirt

Fashion

Dressing the Bump // 23 Weeks Comfy Casual

January 16, 2017

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                                Jeans {AG Skinny Maternity Jeans} // Top {TJ Maxx} // Booties {Nordstrom Rack – Similar Here}

When it comes to maternity fashion, I’ve never been a huge fan of the obviously “maternity” pieces of clothing. Empire waist tops and dresses and ruched tops work for some (many?) people but they’ve never felt like they fit my style. A lot of the tops and dresses I wear when I’m not pregnant are looser and a little oversized, so I tend to keep with that style while pregnant, too. Although I had to say goodbye to my beloved high-waisted jeans and the half-tucked shirts two months ago!

I’ve been wearing a mix of maternity and non-maternity tops and solidly wearing maternity pans and jeans for about a month now. The non-maternity tops I’ve been wearing, like this one, I usually just buy a very loose-fitting cut or size up one size which seems to work well for now. I’m pretty sure that toward the end of my pregnancy I’m going to have to be solidly in maternity clothes, but it’s nice to have some non-maternity pieces that can work for the postpartum period as well.

Madison

Fashion

Postpartum Hair (again)

January 10, 2017

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If you’re anything like my husband, then you’re probably bored with hearing me talk about my hair woes over the last (nearly) two years. It’s been a constant battle for me, and it seems almost comical that my baby is going to be two next month and I’m still talking about “postpartum hair” as if it just happened six months ago.

I’ve been troubled by postpartum hair loss and subsequent re-growth since Ainsley was four months old and the hair loss started. I look back with envy at my hair while pregnant with Ainsley – thick, full and very healthy – as it’s a start contrast with what I’m dealing with today. I experienced two “waves” of hair loss, one around 4 months when I stopped breastfeeding and another about a year after having Ainsley. My scalp was itchy, my hair felt thin and lifeless and I was distressed to say the least.

Thankfully my hair has been growing back in the areas where I experienced the most hair loss, mainly my temples and the back of my head, but I have various lengths of short and medium-length re-growth everywhere. And while I’ve found ways to hide it well, as evidenced in the photo above, it’s still been a constant source of frustration.

So what’s a girl to do? Well, I’m not entirely sure. I’ve debated chopping it off to even out all the length differences I have going on, but I’m undecided if I really want to give up the length I have in favor of a shorter cut. But I really have a hard time committing to a cut, especially while pregnant since I find longer hair much easier and more flattering on me.

Where does that leave me? Well, I think I’ve settled on giving Monat a try first. I posted about the hair struggles I’ve been having and got a ton of recommendations regarding Monat’s hair care systems. I’ve never heard of the products before, but after doing a little research I figured it was worth a shot before doing anything more permanent. I’ll be sure to report back on whether the products actually live up to the hype and the price point!

I’ve also heard great things about supplemental collagen, so I ordered this brand from Amazon. After doing a bit more research the safety of taking collagen while pregnant seems uncertain so I’ll be waiting until after the baby is born to start taking it, but I’m hopeful that adding this into my diet helps with hair health and re-growth. I’m planning on incorporating it into my diet in daily smoothies.

So now I’m turning it over to you! Do any of you moms have advice or suggestions on easing this transition and hopefully lessening the hair loss the second time around? I’m all ears!