3 Pieces to Hack into Maternity Work Clothes

Guess what? I’m having a baby!
I’m seven months pregnant!

I’ve written before on maternity clothes—resources and ways to wear them…I even offered a Chic Mama style package several years ago. (No one booked it, by the way. It turns out the post-baby mamas like to come to me to tweak their style.) Anyway, I’m not negating my previous pre-natal posts; I’m now adding on to give a first-hand perspective.

In talking to lots of mothers, I’ve learned that each pregnancy is different (from when you ‘pop,’ to delivery, to the behaviors of your newborn).

making a snow angel in Plymouth, MI

My playing in the snow activities are now limited to…

This past fall, while working with Saks Fifth Avenue on their fashion marketing, I found myself needing to be in a corporate dress code, daily. When I’m working one-on-one styling women and men, I don’t wear suit separates and pencil skirts; the environment is much more relaxed. I.E. I’m deep in someone’s closet or carrying armfuls of clothes through a store. In order to blend with the rest of the executive team for a few months and look appropriate, I hacked my wardrobe. Please note that I was 4-5 months pregnant and not massively showing. It was an in-between stage where maternity clothes were too big and my regular clothes, a bit tighter. So what did I do?

1. I paired a blazer to cover the fact that my dress pants weren’t able to zip up all the way. (It wasn’t like I was running around with my pants undone! But an inch or so was definitely not zipped.) No one knew.

2. Wrap dresses with knee high boots became my go-to. These dresses are like an elegant version of elastic pants! They will grow with you. And as long as your boobs aren’t spilling out of the V-neckline, you can wear these for quite awhile during your pregnancy. IF, you do start to notice cleavage, simply pair a cami underneath.

3. Speaking of camis, I’m loving the Ingrid and Isabel ones that were gifted to me. They were the first pieces of pregnancy clothes I got and can be worn at any body stage: normal self, all stages of pregnancy self, and I believe post pregnancy as well. (Thanks Kara!)

paisley wrap dress, burgundy wrap dress custom made

The dress on the left has a cinched belt. As pregnancy progresses, move it up to give definition to your body. The wine colored dress on the right is made of structured material with a pre sewn wrap design. This doesn’t allow as much for expansion and therefore you may not be able to wear through all 3 trimesters.

wrap dresses

The sleeveless wrap dress allows you to get creative and have multiple looks. Wear a long or short sleeved shirt underneath or blazer or vest over top. It can be worn year round! All 3 styles shown can be worn through all 4 trimesters as the belt is self adjustable.

* If you are wondering about the “W” and “D” hand stitched inside each dress, that isn’t the designer. For me and her customers, my grandmother would sew one of these letters inside each garment she made so that the wearer would know if it had to be dry cleaned or could be washed. Smart and easy!

The ‘maternity clothes journey’ has been interesting. No other time in your life can you potentially wake up each day and have things fit differently. I also want to talk about forecasting for your future size—my adventures in maternity swimwear—will save that for another post.

If you know of someone that is pregnant and her job requires a business dress code, please share these tips. Knowing ways to extend your wardrobe is always useful!

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2 Responses to 3 Pieces to Hack into Maternity Work Clothes

  1. Kara says:

    Great post, Lena! I am so excited for you and can’t wait to see that cute belly of yours (this is the only time in our friendship it will be acceptable to say this so I must!) soon. And you’re very welcome! xo

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