Myth: Once you’ve purchased maternity clothes, just start wearing them.
Truth: You need a plan here too.
You’ve weeded out your wardrobe and set aside larger (but still good) items for pregnancy. You’ve shopped for the basic maternity items I suggested. Now you think you can just start wearing them. Well… no. There’s still more to go.
From me, you get the truth.
Since you’ll only be wearing maternity clothes for a few months, you don’t want to spend a fortune and buy a huge maternity wardrobe. It’s best to buy only a few basic items based on your lifestyle and what you need. That means you’ll be wearing the same things over and over and over again. By the time you get close to your due date you’ll be sick and tired of maternity clothes. This is why you must not start wearing your maternity items until you absolutely need them.
However, since you’ve just weeded and shopped, you must still work with them. How? By organizing them and putting outfits together. If you’re a girlie girl, you’ll probably enjoy this part. If you’re not a girlie girl or just not into clothes, you may not enjoy this part so much. But you still must do it.
You need to try on the new items along with old items and come up with outfit ideas. Try that navy skirt with the black jacket or the gray skirt with the brown button-down. Mix and coordinate. The items do have to go together, but they don’t have to match. It is best when the outfit has the same color or the same value (lightness or darkness) from top to bottom. As always, this gives you a long line that will elongate your body and keep you looking healthy. Remember that classic neutrals go with every other color, including each other, so don’t be afraid to put them together in the same outfit.
Once you have a good overall base, try different accessories. Scarves and jewelry in great colors can make one base outfit look like many more. That navy skirt and black jacket look all business with your floral print scarf and then look dressier with a bib necklace. That gray skirt and brown button-down can look casual one day with hoop earrings and dressy another day with chandeliers. Accessories are generally inexpensive and they’ll fit you all the time, so you can wear them before, during, and after your pregnancy and they’ll be 100 percent worth it.
When you have a great outfit (base + accessories), take a photo of it. If you can’t do that for whatever reason, write down the outfit components on index cards. If you think an outfit would work best in certain contexts, write that down too. Set your photos and cards aside for a “look book.” Once you have your look book, you can look through it anytime you’re not sure what to wear and see what you have.
Once you’ve put together a bunch of outfits for every context, you need to put away the clothes. Remember to store your clothes as separates and not as outfits. Since you have your look book, you’ll know what works with what and you’ll always be able to mix and coordinate. Storing clothing as outfits only locks you into that mode. Even if you do plan to mix and coordinate, storing clothing as outfits means that you’ll have to go back every week to switch things around. I can’t stand potchkying no matter what, but when you’re pregnant you really need to keep the fuss to a minimum.
Now that everything is organized and you have your outfits ready, you’ll be able to start wearing them as soon as you need them. And you’ll go into it knowing that you look great.
To be continued…