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Bumpy Shopping: Part two. Favourite things for a fashionable maternity

August 26, 2010

If you recall yesterday’s post, Jo was telling us about how it’s not easy to be  fashionable, or professionally dressed, when you’re pregnant. So she came up with three rules: 1. find cuts and styles that work with your body and will grow with your body (jersey and ruching are her favourites); 2. When you do start shopping in the maternity section, remember rule number 1; and 3. Don’t go overboard – stick to wardrobe building basics. Today, Jo tells us about the basics that fit her belly and her life (which means she still looks good and like she belongs in her office).


My biggest splurge was designer maternity jeans. At first glance, this is brilliant makes no sense – spending all that money on jeans you wear for 9 months, maybe more, depending on how long it takes to lose the dreaded baby weight. A friend of mine recommended this approach saying, “Trust me. When you are feeling huge and un-sexy and frustrated because nothing fits – now and after baby is born – you will be SO glad that you have at least one fabulous pair of jeans that make you feel amazing.”

SOLD! (Like I need convincing). Let’s call it an investment in my mental health, shall we?

Plus, I think the comfy panel will come in handy long afterwards. I have had many “Joey moments”, when I wish I had a nice stretchy panel to expand with my turkey dinner-filled belly.

I opted for these lovely Citizens from Foreign Affair (sadly, the only maternity anything FA sells, is these jeans):


It’s all in the details: look for ruched tanks and wrap tops

I found Isabella Oliver in a maternity magazine, and it was love at first sight. Based in England, these gals know how to dress a bump. Most of their clothes are ruched or wrapped for a great fit that works at every stage – even not pregnant, I’m sure! I wear them with everything, and mix and match with many other things in the closet. Apparently Angelina Jolie and Gwen Stefani wore IO when they were pregnant. So when I where one of these, I almost feel as though I will soon be trotting off with my seven thousand kids to my chateau in France, or getting ready for a red carpet, somewhere. But I digress …

I splurged on an IO order (they cover your duty, ship quickly, and sometimes have sales!) including these tops, plus a tank in black and the pants below…and, um, a “few” other things…  Some items are a bit pricey (but not outrageous), but others are totally reasonable, and all are totally worth it.

Dress pants

Since it’s summer, one pair for work will do nicely. Like these, from IO:

Casual pants

Found these goodies at Old Navy and also a great pair of black cargo capris from H&M


Empire waist dresses already found in closet, plus a few new additions. Nothing that I won’t wear after pregnancy. For work, I toss on a suit jacket (unbuttoned, obviously). I want to look like this:

um, can we talk about how Ali Larter is really rocking this whole maternity thing?? Disgusting...

But in reality, I look a little more like this:

L-A: ummm...I think Jo in reality looks awesome!

Stretchy skirts

Wrap sweater

I almost can’t wait for fall so I can wear this beauty from lululemon more:

Cute flats

It’s always fun to expand the shoe collection, especially with these Michael Kors and Fergie’s from John David:

There’s no question, it’s tough. You do actually have more important things to think about and spend money on than clothes you will only wear for a “blip” in your life. But that’s life. Find a balance, and make smart choices. Many of these pieces will work well for me after baby, as I work to get back into my regular clothes. Some I can imagine I will wear even then and they will become regular items in the closet. And others I will probably pack away. But you can bet that I will hang onto at least one pair of pants with a panel, for turkey dinners.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah M permalink
    August 26, 2010 8:22 am

    Great choices. I really found that I was able to make it almost all the way with a few basic maternity pieces (Zara jean skirt, Isabella Olivier skirt, shirt and pants, and one pair of black dress pants) and then expanded my wardrobe with Empire waisted and AA jersey. My favorite work dress was a non-maternity Zara dress.

    What I find not as easy?

    Dressing for stay-at-home-momhood!

    • August 26, 2010 11:43 am

      Thanks Sarah! Sounds like you had the rules nailed before I figured anything out! I don’t know you, but it looks like we have very similar taste. I think you should pitch a post to FPQT about the stay-at-home momhood fashion! I bet you have a few tricks up your sleeve that we could all learn from, even non-moms! It’s that balance of being casual, smart but not look like you’re always running to or from yoga…

      • Sarah M permalink
        August 29, 2010 4:23 pm

        Ha…good idea. Basically – wear good denim and accesories to hide the baby spit up. Are you interested Ally?

  2. August 26, 2010 9:24 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Love the blog and was going to suggest doing a ‘bump’ themed post or two. This is great!

    Love the lulu wrap sweater – is it from this season?
    And cute hat in that outfit – from where?

    I had stumbled onto IO in the past as well and have a question…if you could suggest a “few” key pieces from her line, what would they be? Maybe things that would transition well for during and after.

    • August 26, 2010 12:01 pm


      The lulu wrap is from spring – back when my husband thought that one sweater, one shirt and a Bella Band were going to solve all of my problems for 9+ months…But I have seen a similar version in-store recently. It is fantastic – very comfortable and versatile. Can dress up or down, and you don’t have to be pregnant for it to look amazing!

      The hat I got in the Pearson airport in Toronto, of all places. I was trying to hide hideous hair on a trip back to Halifax. But it is “Deluxe” (sp), a line I’ve seen at both Biscuit and Lady Luck here in Halifax.

      And…my favourite IO pieces…I had a really hard time narrowing it down myself, but my favourites are the ones pictured:

      – the ruched tank (one in black and one in white) – you can wear these with everything, under jackets and sweaters, on their own

      – the cap wraparound top. You literally wrap this completely around yourself, so you get a perfect fit no matter what size you are. I always get lots of compliments on my red one.

      – the hister A-line skirt – it’s a jersey-type fabric, but really nice fabric. It’s a nice sharp black and hangs really well, so it looks nice and dressy for work.

      – the tailored trouser – hang nicely and way dressier than anything I found locally. I haven’t worn them much this summer, but I still have a couple of months to go

      I was tempted to get a dress, but I found a beautiful wrap dress on sale at Joe Fresh for $9.94, so I couldn’t justify spending $159 on theirs!

      These are the staples of my work wardrobe, and lots of people ask me where I got them…for themselves! There is nothing about them that screams “maternity” (except the panel in the pants), so I imagine I will wear them long after. Which makes the splurge make sense.

      Good luck!

  3. August 26, 2010 10:51 am

    Just had my 2nd baby, and found that low rise jeans were great! At worst, I would do the elastic trick (only in the last 2 months), but I did buy a pair of “Umame” jeans at Mills and loved them…though,I did tear out the elastic and wore them as low rise jeans. Also, I wore lots of black stretchy shirts from regular Gap and Old Navy; they were my life savers! Another hit with me, my 2 toed Nike Air Rift sneakers..great for those days when your feet mysteriously swell up.

    • August 26, 2010 12:05 pm

      I heard about the elastic trick! I got a Bella Band and that worked for some things for a while, but then I was jsut too uncomfortable. Gotta love stretchy basics, and Gap and Old Navy! I love finding something great I can wear now that I won’t have to pack away. Got a great stretchy sundress on sale a Gap a few weeks ago!

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