Because Apple & Pear works with lots of stay-at-home and work-from-home moms, we’ve become experts in helping women transition from maternity clothes to regular wardrobes. While most women are happy to once again have a million options, we hear over and over, “I really loved my maternity wardrobe!”. I encourage women to figure out what they loved about their pregnancy style, and a few common themes have surfaced. Here are 5 reasons you loved your maternity wardrobe--and 5 ways to love your forever clothes just as much!
You Had What You Needed
Remember when you were pregnant and none of your pants fit anymore? Sure, you could get away with the rubber band trick for a bit, but there came a day when you just needed to go buy pants, or you’d literally have nothing to wear- and running around town bottomless is a) not a good look and b) probably illegal. You didn’t hem and haw and think “Well, if I cut down on the donut cravings, maybe I could be back in these skinny jeans in 2 weeks”. No, you just went and bought pants like a sane person.
The same applies to non-maternity wardrobes. Often, we go to our closets and think “I have nothing to wear”. Sometimes that means we don’t have anything we want to wear today, and sometimes it means you actually don’t have the pieces you need to get dressed easily. If the second scenario is where you’re at, make a list of the pieces that would solve your wardrobe problems, and then go buy them. It’s easy to look at a closet full of clothes and think because there’s so much in it, you’re crazy for thinking you need to buy more…but a good wardrobe isn’t just full of clothes, it’s full of the right clothes.
You Only Bought What Worked Now
One of the worst pieces of maternity advice I got was to go buy clearance maternity clothes in your first trimester, because they’re what you need in your last trimester. It made sense—with Big Intern I got pregnant in September, I was due in June, and all the clearance clothes were summer things. I picked up some shorts for $1.97 each, thinking if I started out wearing a Large, surely I would end my pregnancy in an XL. Nope, not even close. I’m glad I only wasted $8 on that little experiment!
Luckily, most pregnant women are smart enough to buy exactly what they need for the body they have right now, which is how we all should be shopping. Trends change, bodies change, tastes change, and most of the time buying ahead just doesn’t pay off. If it doesn’t fit and flatter you now, don’t buy it.
In case you’re wondering, the absolute worst piece of advice I got while pregnant was to drink a Heineken every day, because it would “clean the baby”. Yep, you read that right.
You Could Only Shop a Few Places
One of the easiest things about maternity clothes shopping is that there are only, like, 4 places to look. If they don’t have it, you’re out of luck!
I’m not saying you should restrict yourself to just 4 stores, but for many women, there are a few stores that fit their body, style, and lifestyle perfectly. Find those places and build your wardrobe from there. Discount stores like T.J. Maxx can be a fun treasure hunt, but often they’re a huge waste of time. Also, they mostly lead to a top-heavy wardrobe that isn’t cohesive or functional.
Fewer Choices Made it Easier to Get Dressed
I’ll be the first to admit, I have a big closet. I also don’t have to share it with Mr. Apple & Pear, which I think is a key ingredient to our happy marriage. However, when I was pregnant, I used one small hanging section, and two shelves for maternity clothes….and it was glorious! I didn't have to choose which black pants, I was going to wear, because I only had one. Which warm sweater to wear? Oh, I know...my only warm sweater!
Paring down your wardrobe to the pieces you truly love and actually wear makes it so much easier to get dressed. I preach this concept in my Capsule Wardrobe Workshops, but even if you’re not living a capsule lifestyle, getting rid of the closet clutter is still a good idea. Knowing you only have 3 pants, 6 tops, and 1 dress that work for you is better than having 30 pants, 60 tops and 10 dresses hanging there, serving no purpose. Which brings me to the last reason your maternity wardrobe rocked….
You Got Rid of It When You Were Done
Occasionally, I’ll run into a client who has worked a maternity item into her regular wardrobe, but mostly, the full-panel pants and tie-back tops are gone when the maternity phase of life is over.
I said it before: tastes change, bodies change, trends change…and lifestyles change. If you’re still hanging on to clothes from a phase of life that’s over, it’s time to let go! Do what we do when we’re done having babies…find a sister, friend, co-worker, or stranger who IS in that phase of life, and pass on your unneeded clothes. If your corporate phase is over, let go of the suits. If your “going out every weekend” phase is over, pass along your backless tops and slinky dresses. They served you well, and now they can serve someone else.
I had a client a couple of years ago whose closet I absolutely decimated. She had been hanging on to clothes from 15+ years go from a different time, a different job, and a different body. When she saw what was left after we got rid of every piece that didn’t fit her body or lifestyle, there was almost nothing left, and she was overwhelmed by how few clothes she had. I said to her, “You don’t have any less to wear than you did when I got here tonight”. For months she had been struggling to get dressed, and when we were done she could see why—she literally had nothing to wear, but she couldn’t see it until the “noise” had been taken away.
Whether you loved your maternity wardrobe, or couldn’t wait to be done with stretchy pants (does this person exist?), these 5 tips will help you build a wardrobe that takes the stress out of getting dressed, and doesn’t end with months of sleepless nights, and spit-up covered yoga pants! Cheers to the mamas who are still in that phase, and cheers to those who lived to tell about it!
Now, tell us—did you love your maternity wardrobe? If you loved it for a different reason, share it with us!