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maternity style for hot weather

maternity style for hot weather

I'm such a proponent of mindful consumption that it's been hard to admit to myself that I needed a fair amount of new clothes to get me through the last trimester of this pregnancy. However, I often get asked what people should do during body transitions (of any kind) and my answer is always buy clothes that fit!! Your sense of self is changing enough that the last thing you need is to feel uncomfortable and unattractive in clothes that are too small or too big. I needed to take my own advice. 

maternity style for hot weather

Above: sunglasses, dress, shoes* - No. 6 not currently available

During my first pregnancy, I was able to do a lot more layering because I was pregnant during the winter and spring. This time around, since I'm due in late August, and because summers in St. Louis are brutal, I needed more lightweight, stand-alone items. Jeans will not be working for me this summer. 

Here's most of what I've purchased. 

TOP ROW jumpsuit: Asos, jumpsuit: Urban Outfitters, dress: Target via Poshmark*

SECOND ROW kimono dress: Not Perfect Linen* (actually still haven't received since it's made to order), shorts: Asos, dress: Asos

BOTTOM ROW  tee: Asos, striped top: Nordstrom Rack, cargo pants: Liz Lange secondhand* (same)

I tried to find as much as I could secondhand (all of my jeans and leggings have been secondhand) or from ethical retailers (marked with an *), but it's tough for maternity. Storq is one of the only ethical maternity brands I'm aware of, and none of the pieces were right for me (a reader just reminded me of Boob Design, but they're in Australia and shipping and returning is pretty pricy). It's a very weird feeling to buy this many items of clothing so quickly when this is usually about what I'd buy in an entire year, but again, you have to have clothes that fit! I'm hoping this will get me through to the end, but if it doesn't, it doesn't. 

P.S. The comfy bras I'm wearing now that my others don't fit (go here to get 20% off this  - I'll get a credit too) and the affordable maternity swimsuit I'm loving. 

P.P.S. Follow me on Instagram to see my maternity outfits in real time. 

This post contains affiliate links, which may earn a few cents when clicked on. 


first trimester (ethical) maternity style

first trimester (ethical) maternity style

Before it becomes old news, I thought I'd post a few photos from a photo shoot I did with my favorite photographer, Celeste Boyer. This was in the early stages of my pregnancy, and I was enjoying dressing the bump with layers. Of course, now it's boiling hot in St. Louis and I could never get away with any of these things! Enjoy. 

maternity style
ethical maternity style

Tee: secondhand via Goodwill, cardigan: Aritizia (similar), jeans: secondhand via Goodwill (similar), clogs: No. 6 (similar).

first trimester maternity pregnancy style
pregnancy style

Top: Elizabeth Suzann Linn tee, same jeans and clogs as above. 

Everything I'm wearing for these maternity shots is either ethically made or secondhand, which I was able to get away with before the heat wave hit. More about purchases I've had to make for the hot weather in a future post! 

transitional dressing: nursing style

transitional dressing: nursing style

As I've mentioned before, we're all constantly going through transitions with our wardrobe. There are new jobs, different workplaces, new sizes, new lifestyles, new levels of activity, new stages of life and different needs to go with each of them. Until last year, my wardrobe needs had been the same for quite some time: that of a 30-something married lady without kids working full time in a professional environment. In one year, I went to being a self-employed, casual-clothes-wearing, occasional-event-attending, first-pregnant-now-nursing mother.

After Matteo was born, I was so excited to pull out my pre-pregnancy clothes until I realized that shift dresses, fitted peplum tops, and silk blouses were no longer functional in my wardrobe. I was left feeling (once again) that I had nothing to wear. With the exception of the last four weeks or so, dressing for pregnancy was really pretty easy, especially when compared with my new challenge: dressing for easy breastfeeding access and yet another new size. For clothes to be easy to nurse in, there are a few requirements:

  • Must be able to wear a nursing tank or bra underneath - no skinny straps or trendy cutouts
  • Must be able to unbutton, unzip, lift up, pull to the side or pull down
  • Must be easily washable, because you will be constantly covered in milk, spit-up, pee, and/or poo (on special occasions, all at the same time!)
  • Must be affordable enough that you won't mind when it gets permanently stained or worn out from washing. Most of the examples below are from places like Forever 21 and Old Navy.

I've found the nursing tank to be the most valuable player in this new wardrobe. I'm at heart a pretty lazy person, and if I'm at home, I do not want to be fighting with extra layers of clothing. When I do go out, I'd like to only throw one layer on top and be done. The first week we were home from the hospital, I sent my husband out to buy five of these Target nursing tanks. The consensus on the interwebs was that they were the best, and I agree. For the time spent at home, this was my uniform:

When I got "dressed" for the day, I wore jeans instead of yoga pants. I know, fancy, right?

And yes, those are maternity jeans. Not only did I not fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans, (which should be a given, by the way) but I had underestimated how comfortable an elastic waistband could be!

When we had visitors, I'd throw a lightweight drapey cardigan or kimono over my nursing tank and, along with my jeans, had an actual outfit!

Click image for sources

Click image for sources

After a few weeks, we were getting out in public a bit and I started to want to make a little more effort. Button downs and tops that can easily be pulled up were what worked best, along with a few pairs of new pants in a larger size. Although I do have a couple of nursing bras, I usually still keep that same base layer of nursing tank+jeans. Another benefit of wearing a tank is that when you pull up your top layer to nurse, you're not revealing your post-partum belly to the world.

Click image for sources

Click image for sources

I love all the flowy, bohemian white tops that are in stores this summer, and they're great for nursing.

Click image for sources

Click image for sources

Since I miss dresses so much, I had to figure out which ones were possibilities. Of course, shirtdresses work, as do styles with wraps or zippers. Here are a few:

Click image for sources

Click image for sources

(Don't you love that Target shirtdress on the top left?!)

After finding a few new pieces that fit these requirements, I felt like I could re-enter the world without having lost my personal style. Anyone else have any tips to offer?

stripes forever

stripes forever

I wrote this post before the baby arrived. See end of post for the dress worn post-pregnancy!

The internet was responsible for my buying this dress. Via Mary's post (see below), I saw it on another blogger, and promptly went out to buy it. I really love having a casual summer dress that can be dressed up or down, and I'd worn out all of my previous striped ones, so there was a hole to be filled in my wardrobe. I can't quite believe it, but it's not a maternity dress! Fingers crossed it works post-bump.

A few links to check out:

My friend and client wrote a post about our work together on her business website, St. Louis Birth Rhythms. She specializes in music therapy for pregnancy and birth to relax couples and create positive birth experiences.

I loved Mary's take on dressing for the various stages of pregnancy (including stripes!).

Usually these articles in magazine are all fluff, but this is really great advice on analyzing your wardrobe from Real Simple.


And the dress a few weeks ago on mr. mindful closet and my first hour out
alone - for sushi, of course...

mindful closet st. louis personal stylist

my best maternity shopping advice...

my best maternity shopping advice...

...don't buy too much in advance. I'm the kind of person who likes to prepare for everything. I do research, I think too much, I plan ahead. Guess what? That does not work for pregnancy (and I'm guessing child-rearing, too!). Despite my best efforts to buy/save things that work in late pregnancy (thankfully, mostly thrifted or resale), I found myself with a bunch of things that didn't work and nothing that fit. Despite my determination not to, I ate my words and went out and bought a bunch of new things. I had some rewards points from using my Gap credit card, so I headed to the Old Navy in Ladue, which carries maternity wear in the store. Here's what I bought:

Click image for sources

Click image for sources

A note about the jeans: everyone has different preferences on low or full panel waistbands, and up until the last few weeks, I was all about the full panel. Unfortunately, at a certain point, the full panel no longer covered my entire stomach and now I prefer the low panel. Again, no way to know until I got there. My friend Annemieke did warn me I'd have to buy new jeans in the last month...

I love the olive green dress. It's so soft and comfy, and as I've mentioned before, I feel (whether it's true or not) that more fitted things are more flattering on me right now. Ironically, I would never wear something this body-conscious without being pregnant, but the belly just takes attention away from any other spots I might not normally want to highlight. (worn with BaubleBar necklace and very old Urban Outfitters grecian sandals).


Last weekend, we met up with some friends in Tower Grove park, and for once, got a photo of me AND my husband, Dave.


Just last night, I wore the dress again to a dressier event, the Rebecca Minkoff show for Saint Louis Fashion Week. (with flea market necklace, thrifted clutch, and old Nine West sandals)


All in all, I'm very happy with my purchases and don't feel like they were frivolous or unnecessary. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do (more on this soon...)

three for one

three for one

I'm pretty backed up on my outfit posts, so I figured I'd throw three outfits into this one!

Up first - I thrifted this dress a year ago (worn with thrifted flats - hey, 100% thrifted!). When I first wore it, I felt as though people would think I was pregnant, even though I wasn't at the time. Therefore, I was sure it would be great when I really was pregnant.

The photo below was my Pinterest inspiration. Unfortunately, it didn't look so great on me with Converse, hence the flats, and I still feel like the dress doesn't work so well. I'm leaning towards more fitted clothes this late in the game, otherwise I feel like I'm taking up a lot of space!

This next outfit is my usual casual uniform: striped tee, jeans, Converse.

mindful closet st louis personal stylist

And lastly, another uniform - this one has been dependable all winter and it resurfaced when we had another cold spell.


This H&M non-maternity top has been such a super-star, I've worn it constantly (also wearing super-star Old Navy maternity leggings and Steve Madden Intyce boots). We wanted to take a quick babymoon, and this was the only time my husband had off, but at 36.5 weeks, I didn't feel comfortable traveling too far. We went to Overlook Farm in Clarksville, MO, where this photo was taken. It was an...interesting...experience. Email me if you're thinking of going! :)