Secondhand Maternity Coat – aka Staypuff Marshmallow Chic

The one thing left to thrift in my fall/winter maternity capsule was a maternity coat. I’m due in December and there is no way I was going to make it through the first part of a New England winter without a proper winter coat that actually zips around my middle. But after several thrift and maternity consignment trips, I had yet to find a coat that fit the bill.

Off to Poshmark, where you can access thousands more listings than any one brick-and-mortar shop can provide – and where you can use specific filters to search for exactly what you want. (eBay is good for this, too. I find ThredUp has too little selection to be worth more than the occasional search.) Plus you can often bargain on the price!

Speaking of price, as I looked at the original retail price on Poshmark vs. the asking price, I quickly discovered that quality maternity coats are expensive. This makes sense insofar as quality non-maternity coats are expensive – if you’re looking for down and good construction, you’re going to pay. Add extra fabric and special features to cater to a burgeoning belly and you’re easily in the $150-$250 range for retail.

Even secondhand you’re looking at paying $65-$100. Maternity coats hold their value well since they tend to be lightly used. After all, most people are only wearing them for a few months…which is also what makes it maddening to pay so much for one. (I will be wearing mine for 1.5 months of my pregnancy, though I plan to stretch it into nursing/baby-carrying territory.)

So I was thrilled to find this Octmami down coat in a Light Summer-friendly gray, retailing for $220, on Poshmark for $50:

God bless you, seller wangdafo, for posting a like-new maternity coat at a very reasonable price.

Octmami is a Chinese brand (“Oct” is short for October, the 10th month, since pregnancy technically lasts 10 months…oy, so long!) and from what I could find online, it’s generally pretty decent quality. I also discovered online that you need to size up in Chinese sizes to approximate US sizes, which meant that the XL sizing on this coat was likely going to fit me fine, especially taking into account some extra wiggle room for the last few weeks of growth.

Another great feature of Poshmark is that you can make an offer and the seller can accept or reject it (your offer is more likely to work if the post has been up for awhile). So I bargained to get to $50 including shipping, the seller accepted, and I crossed my fingers that it would fit and be worth what still felt like a very rich price for my thrift-store blood.

When it arrived…lo and behold, a win!

The fit is good (if roomy); the color is spot-on for Light Summer; and the A-line silhouette, though not in my regular wheelhouse, is very pleasing. I first wore it for a weekend with family in Maine, where cousins were commenting on how chic it looked – rare for a puffer-style coat, period, but even moreso for fluffy maternity wear.

From the side you can see the adjustable zip, meant to provide even greater room/flexibility, and the toggles to tighten up the bottom hem underneath a belly:

My only complaint is that the hood is too big to stay up on its own – it needs a scarf tied around the neck to fix that, but luckily I nabbed a decently coordinated scarf at Restoration Project last week:

The coat also has a sweater-like partial lining secured by buttons, which I removed since it flopped all over the place and was an entirely different color, but I may find it useful for snuggling the babe post-partum.

 

If you live in the cold, what are your tips for finding puffer coats that don’t swallow you whole?

Fall 10×10 Maternity Edition: Part 2


Find Part 1 here.

First up, if you’re on Instagram (or even if you’re not!), take a moment to check out the #10x10representationmatters conversation. There is so much good stuff being shared by people who are often overlooked in the slow/ethical fashion community – people of color, gender-non-conforming people, people of varying body sizes, immigrants, etc. – about their experiences living life on the edges of mainstream culture, about the privilege held by so many of us, and about the fact that ethical fashion can be economically out of reach for many. (That includes thrifting, because while thrifting an entire wardrobe can be very affordable, it takes a lot of another precious resource: time, which you don’t have if you’re working 3 jobs to support your family.)

Over the years I have learned the most about my own privilege and about the experiences of people who don’t have it by listening, reading, and then sitting with my own discomfort and “aha” moments about the gap between the two. This hashtag and the ongoing #ethicalfashionrepresentationmatters conversation are great places to do that if you, like me, enjoy the advantages of being white and/or straight and/or gender-conforming and/or able-bodied and/or a citizen of the US, etc. and want to dig a little deeper about what that means and what you can do to spread those advantages to others.

Alright, on to the clothes.

Here’s the second half of the 2018 Fall 10×10: the outfits I wore and what I thought of them.

Day 5

 

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Fine! Functional! Not going to win any awards or spark a fashion revolution, but entirely serviceable and a good use of a warm layer that doesn’t need to be zipped around my belly. (I “cheated” and brought in my Puma sneakers because I planned to walk a bunch that day.)

Day 6

 

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I am a big fan of the chambray + textured sweater look, although you can see in this and in the pink edition that the chambray shirt is too big and doesn’t lay flat underneath the sweater. I will be on the hunt for a chambray base layer to replicate this in non-maternity fashion.

All the “yeses” for the textures at play here:

 

Day 7 

 

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As noted last time, the sweater-over-maxi-dress is not my favorite look, but I am glad I tried out something new. It is eminently comfortable and I think I prefer this version, with the pink popping against the white/gray, to the white version deployed earlier in the challenge.

Day 8

 

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This is not a look I imagined when I pulled these separate pieces into my 10×10, but I decided to be creative and the vest gave me enough warmth to make it work. I love the longer length of the chambray shirt peeking out from under the vest, but again the oversize nature of the top makes it feel a bit sloppy.

Day 9

 

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I really liked this (and so did Instagram) because it let the dress shine more or less on its own. I have shied away from maxi dresses – something about how balloony they look? Or how they hit me oddly in the middle? – but with a pregnant belly those things are actually what make the silhouette work. The longer sleeves and taller boots also change the look – it ends up with more of a Pride and Prejudice feel, almost. (And my expression, I’ve decided, is 100% pure Jill Duggar.)

Day 10

 

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We’re back to “perfectly acceptable” territory, with just enough texture/print to keep it interesting. I’ll definitely be wearing this shirt-plus-sweater-over-skinny-pants combo in different iterations through the end of pregnancy (assuming these sweaters make it, size-wise!).

The skinny cords look black in the photo but the true color is closer to this blue-gray:

Here’s everything, altogether:

 

Thoughts

My goals for this 10×10 were to try out some new-to-me silhouettes and break out some as yet unworn items in my maternity capsule. Done and done! I was tickled to discover legit ways to wear the maxi dress, to take one of my vests for a spin, to use the chambray shirt for unexpected layers – and to get some color into most of the outfits.

I also realized that my snakeprint boots go with eeeeeeverything. They are one of the few retail items in my wardrobe (though they were a gift from my sister) and I am glad to be getting so much wear out of them.

It’s funny – I’m so content with (and also limited in) my maternity capsule wardrobe that I think I could be happy wearing this same group of clothes through the end (or until the weather/my belly necessitates further changes). But coming back to my full wardrobe, I am looking forward to swapping two other sweaters (gray and cropped white) into some of these outfit combos and having a few more dressy options for Sunday mornings.

 

Did you participate in the 10×10? Have you ever had a wardrobe this size, and if so, what did you learn from it?

Thrifted Fall/Winter Maternity Capsule Wardrobe UPDATE

So as soon as I published my thrifted fall/winter maternity capsule wardrobe, the universe delivered a boatload of secondhand maternity clothes from a very lovely and generous parishioner (thanks, N!!). I laughed at the irony of having just publicly declared I didn’t plan to add any more clothes to my closet and then gleefully dug through two bags’ worth of maternity clothes. It was awesome.

Here are the pieces I kept (and with N’s blessing donated the rest):

 
LED; Motherhood; Jessica Simpson; A Pea in the Pod; A Pea in the Pod

(The striped tee is relegated to weekend wear as it is quite pill-y. PS I guess I like blue and stripes?)

Plus these black pieces for Black Fridays:

In the meantime, I nixed these pieces from the original capsule as too tight, not interested, and too big, respectively…

 

…tucked this one that no longer fits away for non-pregnant wear next spring…

…and demoted these to weekend wear:

The jeans are a good casual fit but the band won’t stop folding double in a way that squishes my belly; plus I’m preferring the slimmer legs of my other 2 maternity pants. I LOVE the color and cut of the sweatshirt, but it has a couple stains on it (I think both are my fault, boo) and some pilling that take it out of office-appropriate rotation.

I also added a super snuggly secondhand winter maternity coat, which I’ll post about next week.

If you don’t count the Black Friday pieces, I clock in with the same number of work-appropriate capsule pieces, so I’m calling it a win. :)

PS Here is a great post from Adina J at Blue Collar Red Lipstick featuring $5,000 worth of clothes thrifted for $65 PLUS great tips on thrifting on the regular. Enjoy!

Fall 10×10 – Maternity Edition

Monday was the first day of the Fall 10×10 Challenge. For those unfamiliar, the 10×10 style remix is a wardrobe challenge that uses limitations to spark creativity. Originating with Lee Vosburgh of StyleBee and now cohosted by Caroline of Un-Fancy, a 10×10 remix takes 10 pieces of clothing and makes them into 10 outfits over 10 days.

What you count as an item is up to you (I’m not counting accessories, workout gear, outerwear), and so is the outcome – maybe you want to be satisfied with what you have instead of fighting the urge to shop, maybe you want to find new ways of wearing what you already have, maybe you don’t want to have to stand in front of your closet agonizing over what to wear.

My goals
Since I am already dressing dress from within a maternity capsule wardrobe, my goal this time isn’t to find contentment with fewer pieces of clothing or to curb the urge to thrift; rather it’s to try out some new-to-me combinations. (You may recall from previous 10x10s that I’ve sometimes found myself pigeon-holed by tried-and-true silhouettes that didn’t create many opportunities for unexpected combinations.) I have a few pieces in my maternity capsule that haven’t yet been busted out and are different enough, style-wise, to make for a fun 10×10. (I’m looking at you, long-sleeved maxi dress with a bubble-ish hem!)

My picks
All the pieces are from my maternity capsule wardrobe, which has had a few additions and deletions since I first posted about it. (Update on that soon.) Everything below is thrifted or secondhand except for the ankle boots, which my sister gave me for Christmas lo these many years ago.

Two pairs of pants (turns out maternity pants photograph horribly on the hanger!):

 
Grey corduroy skinnies by Gap + dark denim skinnies by Jessica Simpson

Two shirts:
 
H&M; Motherhood

Two sweaters:

 
Loft; Sonoma

One dress:


By Comfy.

One vest (not sure which color yet):


Gap; Land’s End

Two pairs of shoes:


Target; Lucky Brand (not thrifted)

Plus leggings as a layer under the dress, which I’m not counting.

Here’s how I’ve combined these pieces so far:

Day 1

 

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This felt like a typical day-at-the-office outfit. I liked the subtle combination of stripes and snakeprint, and the fact that this swing-ish non-maternity sweater is still going strong. It has good texture. Not so thrilled with the monochromatic-ness of it all, but we’ll get to the color soon enough!

Day 2:

 

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This is a completely different silhouette for me, as I rarely wear maxi dresses and definitely don’t layer sweaters over them. It has a boho or perhaps even a steampunk vibe that is reined in a bit by the edge of the snakeprint boots:

I like the silhouette from some angles, but from others it looks like a reverse bustle:

 

The comfort and the fun of the stripes save it for me. Ultimately I dig the long sleeves but not the weird bunting-like hem, so I don’t suspect this dress will last past the post-partum stage. But you never know; maybe it’ll grow on me.

 

Day 3

 

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I love the pop of color here as well as the denim-on-denim contrast. I grabbed this raspberry textured sweater off the Goodwill rack last weekend at the tail end of a Halloween costume shopping trip for my kid and eyeballed that it would fit/be in my color palette. Very pleased that it does both and that it’s a dressier version of the pink sweatshirt I had planned to use in its place.

I do wish the collar buttoned so you could see more of the chambray on top, but it’s a small quibble. Here’s a closeup of the texture:

Day 4
I wore the same chambray button-down as yesterday but this time as an open layer over the striped shirt (which you can barely see under the sweater from Day 1):

I hadn’t planned this combo but wanted to wear the striped shirt with something warmer that wasn’t the same as the sweaters from Days 1-3, so I tried it out, and I love it! The stripes + chambray combo is a big win, plus the cords made for a good contrast in texture and color. The boots bring a bit of extra visual interest, print-wise (as do the striped socks, which I wish I had thought to photograph!).

Here’s a closeup of the stripe/chambray combo:

 

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So far I’m enjoying this 10×10 much more than I thought, mostly because I’m having fun trying out new-to-me combinations (which is the point, after all!). A few times I’ve thought “Eh, not sure that’s really me…” and then I’ve gone ahead and worn it just for the novelty and the fun of it, and been pleasantly surprised by how much I like the results. It’s a good reminder that for me, a 10×10 doesn’t work if it’s just swapping out the same ol’ pieces in tried-and-true combinations; rather, choosing pieces I can layer and wear in new ways makes it all tick.

You can follow along with the remainder of my current 10×10 here or check out previous 10x10s here. Get inspired by the entire challenge by searching Instagram for #10x10challenge or #10x10friends. (Whoops, just went down a rabbit hole there…) Many of the people participating have a very minimalist, neutral-heavy aesthetic, which may not align with yours; but with a little searching you can find folks sporting more colors, fabric other than linen, etc. Also check out the #10x10representationmatters hashtag to see people of color and from across the gender ID/sexual orientation spectrums rocking some slow fashion. Then fall down another rabbit hole of reading the comments on those posts, where some really important and powerful conversations are being had.

See you next week for a recap of the rest of my 10×10 outfits!

September Outfit Roundup: What Worked, What Didn’t

I post my outfits on Instagram for two main reasons: 1) the creative challenge of putting together an outfit I like and capturing it half-way decently on camera; and 2) to keep a visual record of what I wear – the successes, the failures, and the patterns.

It’s a nice (and weird?) bonus that 500 people follow along – but they rarely comment, so there’s not much feeling of community. (That’s what this space is for – thank you!) It’s mostly me, my outfits, and the reality-serving lens of the selfie setting on my camera.

Which makes my IG feed a great place to look back over my outfits to see what worked and what didn’t – especially since it’s sometimes hard to tell which is which until you look in a full-length mirror (which we don’t have) or take a full-length photo.

So here are some hits and misses in my maternity wardrobe from the last month.

First up: made-for-pregnancy tops with ruching in the side seams to accommodate a growing belly. These are super comfortable and practical – no worries about whether the belly is poking out – but I’m not in love with the silhouette they create:

 

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It’s funny, because I love snugly-clothed bellies on other pregnant people…but seeing it on myself makes me realize I prefer skimming silhouettes, not tight ones. (If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you will not be surprised by this revelation.)

Which brings us to some of my favorite looks from this past month.

The silhouette here is great – not clinging, but not a shapeless blob, either:

 

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I dig the contrast in colors: a kind of glowing medium blue – thank you, Light Summer – with very, very light grey makes for some visual interest, as does the juxtaposition of bigger-on-top, slimmer-on-bottom. The on-trend thin-white-stripe-on-blue look made this a “fan favorite” as well, receiving the most likes in the past month.

Anything with this wider-striped, non-maternity top was a win for me:

 

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It’s my ideal stripe ratio, skims instead of clings, and provides great visual contrast for solid-colored blazers:

 

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I’ll have to get a shot of the back because it has buttons running down the middle, making for an interesting touch of detail.

Contrast that with this blazer look, which chopped me off right at the middle:

 

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I should know by now that the length of this blazer makes it prone to creating this effect, but it’s so snug on cool days and it’s made out of such lovely fabric that I consistently reach for it and don’t realize the problem until I take a photo and can’t be bothered to change. (That hard break across the middle may also be why I’m not loving the ruched maternity tops – they tend to create a strong horizontal line at the hem.)

Returning to the success of skimming silhouettes: I love the way this swing sweater from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe looks over ma belly – it has interesting shape without clinging too much, and the scallop overlap at the sideseam breaks up the line of the hem. I layered a blue maternity tee underneath for warmth & coverage:

 

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It was super comfortable and fit right in with my Light Summer palette. And since most of my fall sweaters from last year are packed away, I was thrilled to get to wear a favorite.

This made me realize that I could probably pull out a few other favorites from last year and layer them over maternity tops, so I’ve put them through the wash to clean off the dust and they’re in my sweater drawer, ready to rock and roll. We’ll see how it goes as the weather gets chillier and I layer more!

Throwing back to warmer days at the beginning of the month, I finally figured out how to do a maxi dress – with a slit! Good for ventilation, ease of movement, and some visual interest:

 

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^^This one will be great for nursing as it has a snap-button wrap v-neck.

I’m hopeful these will both be stars of my summer wardrobe next year, though I don’t really know yet how they’ll look without a belly:

 

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A couple of reminders that non-maternity sweaters make you look like you’re about to erupt:

 

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But I do like how the stripes look underneath the solid here – adds a bit of Venetian (or otherwise Italian) menswear flair:

 

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And last but not least, a non-maternity favorite that somehow looked even more fetching, pregnant:

 

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I’d keep wearing it all fall with layers, except I’m not sure how much stretching it will take before it no longer wants to return to its original shape.

What were your favorites in my wardrobe over the last month? (Visit www.instagram.com/thriftshopchic to see everything.) What styles did or would you wear, pregnant? Any tips for stylish dressing while growing a human?

Thrifted Maternity Capsule for Fall/Winter

Hey all! I’m past the 6 month mark over here, so as the warm weather transitions into fall, it’s time for some legit maternity clothes. Let’s take a look at what’s in my cold weather closet (even as I’m still wearing some warm-weather stuff on Instagram); talk about how it got there; and discuss capsule strategy.

Maternity Wardrobe Capsule Strategy

This “capsule” wardrobe – which I define as an edited collection of clothes I don’t plan on adding to over the next 3 months – is bigger than I would like, numbers-wise. That’s due to a little bit of self-imposed minimalist judgment (“You can’t say it’s a capsule wardrobe with this many pieces in it!” says the little voice in my head) but mostly due to the uncertainty of a growing belly. With my previous pregnancy I wasn’t anywhere near this pregnant during anything near as cold as a New England winter, so in many ways I am guesstimating what I’ll need over the last trimester. Plus, as I feel more than satisfied with the options available to me in this wardrobe and would love not to have to go shopping again, I’m hanging on to a couple of impulse purchases (and a few too many gray dresses) in case I outgrow one or more of my planned items or find them too hard to layer.

I went for a limited color palette to help everything go together: mostly Light Summer solids with some stripes and leopard print thrown in. (There are a few pieces that fall outside my season which I’m hoping will work for my expanding mid-section, so they stay.) I’m aiming for two main outfit combos: a lot of dresses over leggings, and sweaters or long-sleeved tees over maternity pants. I’m relying on blazers, open cardigans, and vests for added warmth without worrying about whether they close. We’ll see how it all shakes out!

Where I Got My Clothes

As described at the end of this post, I went with a combination of thrifted clothes I already had that feature stretch fabrics or loose waistlines; thrifted finds from the non-maternity section; and maternity consignment pieces. Every piece here is secondhand – thrifted, consigned, plus a few Poshmark items.  I’ll note what were actually “maternity” pieces with an asterisk as I go.

The Clothes

Dresses
Dresses are theeee most comfortable thing in my wardrobe right now.

    

Lands End; Old Navy; Liz Lange Maternity*; Merona; J. Jill; Comfy; Gap Maternity*; Merona. The first, second, and last dresses are from my regular wardrobe; the third dress is from my last pregnancy.

Sweaters and Shirts

             

Carol & Chris; some sports brand; Express men’s merino sweater; Xhiliration; Old Navy*; Old Navy; H&M Maternity*; Gap; Old Navy; J. Jill; maternity tee*; GapPure; Loft; Old Navy. The purple sweater and the white sweater are from my regular wardrobe. The empire waist leopard tunic, the popover navy blue tunic, and the blue/purple GapPure sweater are from my last pregnancy.

Top Layers
No buttoning needed!

      

Gap; no label but from the Gap family of companies; Metaphor; Lands End; H&M; Madison & Mercer; Banana Republic; Loft. I thrifted the two vests specifically for this pregnancy; everything else I already had.

Pants and Leggings
I went with one pair of blue jeans; one pair of light jeans; and a pair of corduroys (because we all know I can’t make it through winter without corduroys). I also have white, blue, and grey leggings already in my wardrobe, which I wear under dresses for cooler weather; I find tights too restrictive in the middle even when I’m not pregnant!

  

Liz Lange*; Gap (surprisingly not maternity; it’s called their “legging pant”); Gap*

As I noted previously, this feels like a lot of clothes! Should be interesting to see what actually stays and what goes over the next 3 months. If you’re interested in seeing how someone did a very streamlined version, check out The Daily Connoisseur’s maternity wardrobe or postpartum wardrobe videos.

For those of you in the northern hemisphere, what’s happening with your transition to fall right now? Have you swapped over to fall clothes or not yet?

Check out a few swaps on my capsule wardrobe update post here.

Thrifted Maternity Capsule Wardrobe for Summer

Today I’m sharing what I’ve been wearing this summer as I work on my second trimester. With the exception of a pair of sandals I bought retail last summer, everything here is thrifted – and 98% of it is stuff I already owned that I’m making work for my changing body. (Turns out it pays to like looser silhouettes on top and shorts with a little stretch!) That won’t last forever, however, so I’m trying to enjoy living off of what I have before I get into full-blown maternity clothes.

Without further ado, my current wardrobe!

Dresses

 
Talbots (with J. Crew denim jacket); S Wear; Who What Wear; Old Navy; Old Navy

Tops + Shorts

These are the two pairs of shorts that fit – and apparently that’s all I need! The blue tie-dye-ish top is the only shirt I’ve thrifted specifically for my pregnancy (so far). It’s just an oversized tee that feels like pajamas but looks semi-presentable for dropping the kid off at school or lazing around the house on the weekend.

   
Yellow shorts = Forever21 (pants DIYed into shorts); white shorts = American Eagle. Shirts: Old Navy; Banana Republic; Loft; no tag; Old Navy; Ralph Lauren; H&M; Zara

Sandals

 
Clarks & Saltwaters (retail)

That’s it! Short and simple. It’s been lovely to have in rotation a handful of things that fit and make me feel good, all in my closet at a glance.

Are you capsule-ing it this summer?

PS To see how I’m styling these, head over to my Instagram account.

Maternity Wardrobe without Breaking the Bank, Part 1

Hey all! So, I’m pregnant, due in December with Mini Thrifter #2:

We’re really excited, especially Mini Thrifter #1 who will get to be a big sister:

Thrifted shirt, natch.

When we started trying to conceive, I admit I was super psyched about the idea of thrifting a maternity wardrobe. It seemed like a great excuse to go thrift a whole bunch of clothes without having to think about whether I really needed them.

And then a funny thing happened – I suddenly had no desire to thrift. I mean, if a friend had suggested we hit up a Goodwill, I would not have said no – but I didn’t feel the need to initiate anything myself, and even inside a store, didn’t feel much desire to buy. Proof: the last time I went thrifting, all I grabbed was pants for my kid because I had neglected to bring anything but shorts for her on a trip to Maine. (Note: even if it’s the middle of summer, Maine always requires pants. And a sweatshirt. Always.)

In other words, I suddenly felt content with my closet. Hormones?

In part I just couldn’t be bothered, so I started looking for ways my current wardrobe could stretch (pun intended) to cover at least part of my maternity wardrobe. I already favor looser, fall-from-the-shoulders type silhouettes, so tops were pretty easy to find in my closet. And thanks to growing up in the 90s and feeling like waistbands anywhere near my actual waist are anathema, my shorts all button closer to the hips and a few are still doing maternity duty:

Pants only made it the first couple months; I am now done with them until the cold weather comes back. Dresses have picked up the slack and are doing a great job of keeping me cool on hot days:

I have one new (to me) piece which is not actually maternity but regular Uniqlo – a skirt with a nice wide elastic waistband, on hand for days when the shorts are too casual or don’t want to button:

And I have one new (to me) dress waiting in the wings for August-September when things start to get a little bigger around here:


Pockets! Thrifted J. Jill, found in the regular dress section.

I have no doubt I’ll need to thrift more for colder weather; I don’t have any pants left over from last time and the few maternity sweaters I needed in Atlanta are in eye-burning color combos like electric purple and chartreuse (what was I thinking??). I’ll keep you all up to date!

 

Tips for building a maternity wardrobe

Thrifting (or shopping secondhand in other ways) is a great way to save money on a wardrobe you won’t need forever. Here are some strategies to help you thrift maternity clothes:

  • Shop your closet – don’t assume all your current clothes won’t work, particularly if you favor roomier styles.
    • Pull out the pants/skirts/shorts that have always seemed a little loose or needed a belt – they’re your friend when your waistline starts to expand!
    • Dresses with any kind of stretch in the fabric are your friend – they can bridge from pre-pregnant through your first few months and give you time to scope out maternity clothes for when things really start popping.
    • Use the rubberband trick to keep regular pants in rotation longer.
  • Hit up maternity consignment stores. This is what I’ll do for my winter clothes because they have the advantage of a) a lot more selection in one place and b) more modern, up-to-date styles. If you don’t want to abandon skinny-cut jeans, for example, go consignment. All I ever see in thrift stores are bootcut styles. Pro tip: many children’s consignment stores have a maternity section that’s worth checking out.
  • Shop secondhand online. Same as consignment, you get a wealth of current style options. Downside: you can’t try on for size and often can’t return, so look for pieces like dresses and stretchy tees that can afford to give a little either way.
  • Look beyond the maternity rack at your local thrift store. You can easily find pregnancy-friendly tunic tops/dresses and skirts/pants with elasticated waistbands in the regular racks; empire waists are also great at adapting to pregnancy. Look in the PJ section for cute shorts for sleep or play, or fashionably oversized pj tops. Size up for regular shirts/sweaters, or snap up one of those normally frustrating pairs of jeans that leaves you swimming in the waist but fits everywhere else. Shoes that are wider than your normal size (particularly sandals, mules, clogs) are a cheap thrift score to give those expanding feet more room.

If you’ve thrifted for a maternity wardrobe, what are your strategies and tips?  Or any specific season in your life – when you’ll need clothes for a certain purpose but you know you won’t keep them forever?