One of my favorite parts of my blog and its audience (aka you!) is that I have a wide range of readers. It can be hard to pitch my blog to companies because, while it’s niche, I have readers in middle school and women in their sixties and everything in between! A good portion though has certainly “grown up” with me though and we have been through exciting life milestones like graduating college and first jobs. Anyone in their mid-to-late twenties can probably relate to the excitement of marriage and babies, whether it’s you that’s personally going through it or watching friends experience it. Sometimes I look around at my wonderful friends and think, “When did we become grownups?!”
I was so excited when Courtney emailed me about doing a “1 Girl, 5 Outfits” post focusing on maternity style. And she delivered with photos of the cutest outfits!
Courtney Pelfrey, 26
Lives in Harrisonburg, VA
My name is Courtney Pelfrey and I’m a 26-year-old native Central Floridian, but I currently live in Harrisonburg, Virginia with my husband, our miniature dachshund, and the little girl – Miller Grace – who is growing rapidly inside of me (she’s due August 18)! I work as a Career and Academic Advisor at James Madison University and, when I’m not working, I love to organize, travel, read, and write. I’ve been reading Carly’s blog for a couple of years now and was excited about the opportunity to share a little bit more about my personal “style journey”, especially since I’ve been pregnant.
Over the past 8+ months, I’ve been learning how to transition my wardrobe to include some staple maternity pieces that make me feel self-confident, and also comfortable (this is crucial when you’re gaining more weight than you know what to do with!). I started looking at maternity clothes right away once I knew I was pregnant and knew that I wanted to stick to pieces that were cute and functional as well as comfortable and transitional. I think all of these characteristics can definitely be a “both, and” situation without having to sacrifice style for simplicity or anything like that, but it does take a little bit of a vision.
I’ve been careful not to go overboard in the way of buying new items or buying maternity items exclusively because I know that I won’t wear all of it again. Believe me, the whole “this will transition nicely into nursing and post-maternity life” is not as easy as it sounds and I am already dying to toss some of my well-worn staple pregnancy pieces. I’ve had some great luck finding some gently used maternity clothes on Poshmark, which I highly recommend, as well as Rent the Runway for special events and other budget-friendly stores like Old Navy, Target, Gap, Loft, and J. Crew for daily wear.
Pre-pregnancy, I would describe my style as classic with a preppy twist, and very versatile – I love to buy things that will work for the office, dinner out, and/or heading to the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning. I’m fortunate to work in an office environment that is casual so I can make this work and it allows me to work towards my goal of more minimalist fashion! Most of my closet is filled with staple items and colors (navy, gray, black) so that I can accessorize with statement jewelry or a bold pattern/fun colors here and there! I’ve tried to stick as closely to that as possible throughout my pregnancy, too, but have gravitated towards fun dresses and colorful patterns that make me feel fashionable (maternity clothes are not known for being overly trendy) as my body changes shape. Plus, it’s summer! I also don’t love the idea of spending hundreds of dollars on clothes that I’m not sure I’ll wear again, so I’ve tried to choose pieces that will transition nicely into nursing, maternity leave this fall, and back to work again in the spring. This has mostly consisted of non-maternity items that I’ve sized-up in or that are available in styles that are flowy by design.
Overall, I have really loved being pregnant, which I know isn’t something you hear from everyone. My experience isn’t meant to pass judgment on other pregnant women since each experience is so unique, but it’s important to note that I have felt more myself, more self-confident than I ever imagined over the past 34 weeks. It hasn’t always been easy to get dressed in the morning, knowing that my favorite pieces from yesterday likely won’t fit tomorrow, but I’ve tried to embrace my new shape and the beauty of growing this little girl. Cheers to all of the fashionable moms out there who prove, daily, that you don’t have to sacrifice style for sweet little ones! Who knows, maybe you’ll be reading about Miller’s wardrobe next…
| 30 Weeks | I was so excited to find this J. Crew dress unexpectedly in the spring and I actually bought it long before it fit appropriately (it’s not maternity – I sized up to a large and waited until my bump filled it out!). I love that it’s a fun summer pattern while still being lightweight and comfortable for work or the weekend. Because it laces up at the neckline, I’m hoping that I can get away with wearing it in the fall as I nurse (easier access!) and try to lose the baby weight, too! I usually wear it with a pair of Jack Rogers and some simple, understated gold jewelry because the pattern is busy enough for the whole ensemble.
| 31 Weeks | I’ve always been a Lilly Pulitzer fan, though I don’t keep much of it in my closet at any given time. To me, it’s better for a few, fun statement pieces here and there. I wore this unbelievably lightweight maxi dress to one of my baby showers (it was in Florida so I had to go with Lilly and the Florida necklace, obviously) and felt so comfortable and cool the entire time. This dress isn’t technically maternity, either, I just sized up to a large (in hindsight, I wish I’d worn a medium since the dress was so flowy by design – I ended up pinning it in the back to “lose” some of the material). I wore this dress with one of my favorite pairs of earrings – gold beaded tassels – that really go with anything and everything.
| 32 Weeks | I dreaded buying a bathing suit for this summer because I wasn’t sure how big I’d get, how self-conscious I’d be, and how many opportunities I’d have to wear it at all! I lucked out when I found this one at Target on a random trip (you know the type) and it wasn’t in the maternity section. It’s a size up – large – from my usual, but accommodates the growing belly nicely and allows me to comfortably swim/float, which feels so wonderful! It’s also flattering because it’s solid black and the ruffle around the neckline, shoulders, and low back creates a little bit of intrigue so you don’t just see baby bump. The denim shorts have been a favorite this summer, too, and they’re from Old Navy, which is where I’ve bought the majority of my actual maternity pieces. Old Navy maternity is simple, affordable, and true-to-size (thank goodness, because you can only buy it online!). Side note about the shorts: You can see that they’re a “side panel” style (maternity speak for “only stretchy on the sides”) and this has been my favorite type of shorts/pants. I’ll be able to wear them into the fall as my body figures out what it’s going to look like post-pregnancy!
| 33 Weeks | This dress is probably the most comfortable thing I’ve worn since I’ve been pregnant. It’s actually from a maternity collection and so I’m wearing it in my normal size – a medium. I wore this one to a baby shower in Virginia (this little girl and I have been so spoiled!) and it kept me really comfortable while showing off the bump – give the people what they want, right?! At 33 weeks, it was definitely great that it was so stretchy and flowy, especially in the bust – my stomach is not the only thing that has gotten bigger! Because the pattern was so bold and colorful, I went relatively simple in terms of jewelry – my favorite gold hoops (I wear these at least a couple of times a week) and the necklace I wore in our wedding (that’s right, I wore a fake pearl necklace from Loft with my wedding gown).
| 34 Weeks | On a typical workday, my go-to outfit is a pair of Old Navy’s Maternity Pixie pants (which I bought in 4 colors once I realized how comfortable they were) and a maternity button down or loose-fitting blouse! This look is relaxed, while still professional, and mirrors my pre-pregnancy work style (I did wear more blazers before I was pregnant, but those are a little bit restrictive right now). We do a lot of running around for Orientation in the summer months, so flats would be a necessity even if I weren’t pregnant and I love how comfortable these neutral Tory Burch flats are. My Kate Spade bag was a gift from my sweet husband on our wedding day and I continue to be impressed that he picked out such a versatile bag!
A couple of things that I’ve loved that weren’t pictured or mentioned above (but still crucial):
- I started wearing some nursing bras (this style has been my favorite) as early as the second trimester because, as I got bigger up top, I felt that I needed more comfortable support and coverage! Bonus: I’ll keep wearing ‘em post-baby for their intended purpose! Early on in my pregnancy, when my belly was just starting to grow, I relied on Belly Bands to transition my dress pants, jeans, and chinos into maternity-approved items! You can get these anywhere!
- Invest in comfortable shoes, especially if you do a lot of walking or are on your feet for much of the day. Flat shoes that have been broken in already have been great for me so far, but I’ve also worn my Birkenstocks (these are my favorite style) more than I anticipated because they’ve been so supportive/comfortable. I also found a pair of New Balance sneakers (similar here) that are perfect for running around and traveling!