Monthly Archives: February 2017

dressing the bump / pregnancy / style

maternity style guide

February 23, 2017

tee: Nom Maternity | maternity jeans: Old Navy | booties: Madewell

We’re somehow coming up on the final month of this pregnancy starting in March… WHAT! I’ve been asked by a few people about favorite maternity brands & pregnancy clothing options recently, so I figured I’d put some of my maternity thoughts all in one place.

Be ye warned that I didn’t start wearing any maternity specific clothes until about 20 weeks, which was right at the beginning of cold weather, so consider this a fall/winter wardrobe. Additionally, let’s keep in mind that I consider myself to be the ultimate pear shape, so my sartorial decisions are guided thusly.

Swing tops: These guys are great for my work-from-home days, when I can pair a swing top with leggings. Also great with a pair of skinnies, a top layer, & a heeled boot – The heel being super important because #thighs. Never flats, since the flare at the bottom of the shirt can accentuate my hip/thigh zone. I have about 4-5 of these guys, as they were a pre-pregnancy favorite (from Urban Outfitters & Target).
Turtlenecks: I’ve always known that tight was going to be the right choice for me during pregnancy, & having a staple 3-4 turtlenecks has been crucial for a dressier look, when paired with black denim & a pump or d’orsay flat.
Boat necks: Showing off some collarbone has been a nice way to remind myself that I have bones in my upper body, as things have filled out over the past few months. Nice & tight, these have also paired well with a third piece AND a coat. I have 2 of these in my closet.
Long camis: When all my shirts suddenly started showing off some belly, I came SO close to buying that black maternity cami at Target for $20 out of desperation. But I held off & found myself at H&M, where I got a super long black, grey & white cami for $6 each from their basics line. If you’re wearing a full panel maternity jeans, you can for sure get by without this, but even at that, I don’t love the faux button on the jeans showing & prefer to cover that up. Those three colors have been all I’ve needed.
Sweatshirts: I got a couple of these simple crew neck sweatshirts during my stylist days at Madewell, & I’ve really loved have them as a cropped look during pregnancy. Paired with sneakers & a baseball cap, this is as close as I get to a farmer’s market look.
V-necks: I don’t need to explain this. Paired with boyfriend jeans or skinnies or even a stretchy pencil skirt, these are a staple that I would potentially buy the maternity version of now that the bump is bigger.

Other notes:

  • I’ve made it through this entire pregnancy without purchasing a maternity top. These are all just tops from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe or tops I purchased from favorite shops.
  • However! I wish I would have invested in a white maternity button down early on in bump-dom. My regular button downs didn’t last very long & I’m too close to the finish line now to justify buying one, but I’d like the option to layer with sweaters/sweatshirts this late in pregnancy.
  • I personally have stayed away from sweaters in these later months, since they just come off as bulky & unflattering on me. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to stay away from long turtleneck sweaters and knotted scarves, just due to my personal style preferences.

Long Sweaters: Much like swing tops, I’ve had to be a little careful here, depending on where the sweater length lands on my legs, but paired with a tighter shirt (usually a boatneck) & flat boots, this has been a pretty active go-to look for me. I’ve got about 4 of these in neutral or winter colors in my closet.
Duster: I only have a couple of these, but my dusters are a light knit & have been nice especially in late pregnancy when my internal temperature sits firmly at BURNING HOT every moment of the day. I’m more willing to pair these with looser shirts underneath since the length is more elongating on my legs.
Denim jackets: I have two denim jackets & one denim vest in my closet (again, thank you Madewell days) – One of my jackets is shorter, the other longer with distressing. I’ve found the shorter jean jacket to be my go-to, as it just seems to hit a more flattering spot when paired with dresses or longer shirts/sweaters.

Other notes:

  • I believe with all of my heart that a black leather jacket would have been CRUCIAL for my maternity pregnancy style. Next pregnancy?? Putting it in writing. Ya hear me, universe???
  • Blanket scarves have also been my saving grace, & I DID purchase this grey H&M coat on sale a few sizes up so I could zip up on the coldest & windiest of days. (I’m secretly hoping I can get it tailored for next winter, it’s kinda great.) This winter has been INSANELY mild (it’s 72 degrees today!) so there’s only been a handful of days that it’s been miserable outside.

Black skinnies: Madewell announced their maternity denim line LITERALLY four days after I found out I was pregnant, & you bet I hopped on board that train. I went with their black frost skinny jeans since these are some of my favorites for normal wear, but they now also have a really cute demi-boot cut available. I do advise getting these pretty early on so that the denim can grow with you as you fill out, & also going ahead & ordering your regular size & one size up. (Online returns are easiest to do in-store.) I’m right between two sizes in Madewell jeans, & since I ordered a little late (20 weeks) & after a 1st trimester of craving carbs, the larger size ended up being right for me.
Distressed blue skinnies: I found a pair of these on sale at H&M & it’s been a really nice fit in my wardrobe. The style I got from H&M is really soft & pretty broken in, so these have been great for a casual look, with some distressing to help me feel mildly edgy… An important thing at 8 months pregnant 😉 I also have a 2nd pair of distressed denim in black from H&M that I got on sale for $20.
Grey skinnies: As seen in the first photo of this post! Okay, to be completely honest, my grey skinnies are from Old Navy & I sorta loathe them. I can’t wear Old Navy jeans when I’m not pregnant, which is probably a pretty good indicator that they won’t be a good maternity fit. They’re way too stretchy, & even wearing as small as a size 2, they require a belt & don’t feel like they hold my leg shape very well. (I got them on sale, so I don’t lose sleep over this.) But! I get THE MOST compliments & “where did you get those??” about these grey jeans, so the color, not the brand, made the list!
Black leggings: I’ve never identified as a leggings girl nor did I think so much of my maternity style would be defined by them, buuuuuut c’est la vie. Unless I’m leaving the apartment, I’m wearing leggings. I ordered a pair of Blanqi leggings pretty early on & snagged a second pair during an amazing Black Friday sale. I’ve really loved these leggings, as they don’t collect lint & have a silky enough texture that they dress up really well. The belly coverage is seamless, which is great compared to my Target maternity leggings that have weird ribbing on either side of my belly. Combined with my two Target maternity leggings, I have 4 pairs of black leggings in my closet & it gets me through the week!

Other notes:

  • So you may have noticed that pants are where I’ve invested with my maternity wardrobe. They’re also the only articles of clothing that I’ve found I needed to purchase actual maternity items. You just can’t fake pants fitting. In all, I own four pairs of denim, four pairs of leggings.
  • When you’re shopping maternity denim, you’re going to pick between full panel & side panel jeans. I have two pairs of each, & I definitely prefer the side panel. I haven’t had any issues with the full panel fabric falling down or anything (both from H&M), but it just feels bulky & unnecessary when I’ve got a long cami option to go under my shirts. The LAST thing I want is to feel bulkier than I already do. Side panels have been the way to go for me, though I do recommend not being tempted to use belt loops as handles. Cough.
  • Doing it again, I’ll invest in a pair of maternity boyfriend jeans. I just never found a pair that I liked in stores, & honestly, ordering multiple sizes online from some place like ASOS just seemed so dramatic. Next time around, I’ll have a good base with my current options that I’ll have some energy to invest in shopping for boyjeans.

Midi dresses: THIS was unexpected, since pre-pregnancy, I always felt like midi just weirdly emphasized my calves & hips. But! Midi dresses have been my go-to dress length during this pregnancy, since the midi length paired with a heeled boot has somehow been the most flattering semi-dressy silhouette for me. Forever21 has been a GREAT option for some cheaaap jersey dresses that don’t need to last more than a couple months… Which is what Forever21 does best right? This is what you’ll find me in on most of these abnormally warm days between now & D-day.
T-shirt dresses: These guys got me through those awkward is-she-or-isn’t-she pregnancy months leading up to a fully obvious bump. I wore a lot of these to my old part-time job, so I had a healthy stash from Old Navy, Gap, J. Crew & Madewell. They’re a little awkward now with a bigger bump, since they pull tight across my back/butt.
Fit & flare dresses: I’ve worn these more often than I thought I would, especially when paired with leggings? Like, what? But for event days with Tart or a midwife appointment, this has been a pretty big staple for me. On warmish days, I’ll opt for tights over leggings, & the real trick is a waistline that can sit over the bump without getting too short in the front. Not the edgiest of looks, but a staple nonetheless.

Other notes:

  • While I’ve been able to make it through with my pre-pregnancy dress options, it was pretty crucial to have my black jumpsuit from Hatch throughout the winter & its more formal events. From networking events to Christmas Eve to a funeral, my jumpsuit got way more use than I anticipated it would. I received it as part of Hatch’s ambassador program, which was the only way it found its way into my closet, but if you are expecting a fall/winter pregnancy, I highly recommend investing in a jumpsuit!
  • I am wearing a maternity dress from ASOS for our baby shower this weekend – SO affordable & SUCH pretty options, if you’re in the market for actual maternity dresses.

Phew! That took way longer than I thought it would, but of course it did. Hopefully this is helpful information! The end of pregnancy is getting so close for me that I’ve already moved on to nursing tops & belly bands, but there is certainly still more growing ahead of me in the next few weeks. Will the leggings be upped to 6? Honestly, it’s likely. Happy baby growing, mamas!

Maternity shops to check out:
(& don’t forget to keep an eye on the sale sections!)
ASOS Maternity
Old Navy Maternity
H&M Maternity
Madewell Maternity Denim
Hatch*
Pink Blush*
Nom Maternity*
Bae the Label
Legoe
Amore & Grace
Ripe Maternity
A Pea in the Pod
*indicates companies I’ve partnered with, but honestly are really great

DC / out & about

OUT & ABOUT: the national museum of african american history & culture

February 11, 2017

FINALLY made it to the National Museum of African American History & Culture! (Quite a mouthful.) This museum has been in the works on the Mall since we moved to the District (if not before?), & it’s been on our must see list since it opened last year. Getting into a new Smithsonian is no easy task, since the tickets sell out QUICK & are quiiiite the process to get. So, when my friend Brooke texted me on Tuesday morning saying she’d scored tickets & could I join her & her little girl that afternoon, I moved my Tart schedule around & made it happen. This museum is seriously SO well done, telling such an incredibly important part of history in a hugely impactful way. Brooke & I agreed that it’s the most breathtaking Smithsonian to date, in heartbreaking & meaningful ways. While it’s no simple task to get in, you must go see this museum… Especially in this country’s current climate.

Other life updates… Jared gets back tonight from his second to last business trip before baby arrives, & I couldn’t be more ready to have him home. My right rib cage seems to take the brunt of little babe’s growth spurts, & neither heat nor pillows nor stretching help, but baby daddy’s back rubs seem to work miracles. Funny how that works…

Starting this Out & About series in hopes that it does, indeed, get us out & about. Now that I’m working full-time from home, it’s easy to look up from my computer & realize that not only is it already 7pm, but it’s also already Thursday (*insert whatever day of the week*) & what have I even accomplished? Walking to the grocery store becomes my Vitamin D intake for the day & I start talking to the plants & my unborn child more often than another adult. We live in a city full of too many wonderful things to not venture out & experience. & we want to share them with y-o-u. Neighborhood guides are HAPPENING, I promise. But this is a start.

Speaking of Vitamin D, we’re going into a 60 degree weekend here in the District, so here’s to maybe never having winter weather? Would I be mad? Nope. Not at all.

xx

baby / pregnancy

maternity photos with annamarie akins photography

February 2, 2017


Photos by Annamarie Akins Photography
Blue dress: H&M | Taupe Dress c/o Pink Blush: Mocha Draped 3/4 Sleeve Maternity Maxi Dress

I wasn’t sure I wanted maternity photos, to be completely honest. I wasn’t sure if they could be done without being cheesy. The maternity photo shoots I have seen & loved seemed to capture a glow & beauty that I wasn’t sure I’d exude. Jared helped me realize that I would regret it so much if we didn’t do what we could to capture this short chapter in our parenting adventure… & he was so right. All it took was finding the perfect person to do the job, & we were so blessed to for schedules & weather & everything to align with having the amazing Annamarie Akins Photography take these precious photos for us.

I’ve had the privilege of working with Annamarie in various capacities via Tart over the last couple years, & she has become such a dear friend. There is no one else that could have photographed this bump with such grace & delicateness. We are overwhelmed with so much love for this baby, & Annamarie knew exactly how to capture our current state of love, anticipation, & joy. Although, let’s be honest, it’s not hard to get Jared smiling these days. Already such a good (& dapper) papa.

With maternity photos checked off the pre-baby to do list, we are just one step closer to holding this little one in our arms. Even though I’m already more excited for photos with baby in them instead of a bump, w e will absolutely treasure these photos for the rest of our lives. Thank-you, Annamarie! Go check out this lovely lady’s work & for heaven’s sake, locals, have her take your photos!

xx