How maternity fashion is keeping me sane

Updated Oct 12 2015
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Maternity remix: week 28
Tally on this outft: one maternity item. The rest is stretchy non-maternity stuff.
Have y'all heard of Wardrobe Remix? It's this Flickr group where people post photos of their real, everyday outfits.

For me, daily fashion isn't about buying new outfits all the time — it's about figuring out different ways to shuffle around the clothes you've got to create something new. I'm less interested in OMG I MUST HAVE EXACTLY THAT THING, and more interested in getting inspiration from others to help me build my own ideas and fashion courage.

Anyway, I used to submit Wardrobe Remix photos religiously a few years ago (here's a link to my photos, although you'll only be able to see 'em if you join the group), but it took time that I prioritized in other directions after a while.

Now that I'm pregnant, remixing my wardrobe has become oddly sanity saving for me…

There aren't a lot of indie designers cranking out affordable maternity designs, and it's hard to justify spending big money on clothes you can only wear for 9 months. When I tried to go the easy route and go to Old Slavey, I found a tiny picked over maternity section with about three tshirts and four tank tops. Maybe I hit them on a bad day, but it felt like the fashion gods were conspiring to keep me away from mainstream clothing options. Back to Etsy for me!

Maternity remix: week 27
It's still me because I can still wear my elfin hoodies!
Sadly, I did buy a few swanky maternity clothes from Isabella Oliver. Oddly, I don't wear them all that often because as styley as they are … they just don't feel quite like MY style. Most days, I do my best with the non-maternity clothes that better match my personal look, which I guess could be described as "comfy colorful layered love"? I don't know — I suck at naming styles.

It's easy to get in a rut with maternity clothes, especially as options diminish. Other than some maternity hand-me-downs I've gotten, I'm down to about 3 pairs of comfortable pants, two skirts, and a handful of shirts. It's hard to justify getting anything new since I'm looking at less than three months of maternity left.

That's why doing Wardrobe Remix photos through these last few months is helping me stay sane. When I really start to mix and match and remix and shuffle things around (…Can this skirt be worn as a strapless dress layer stretched over the belly? Can I use a scarf to cover the fact that this tank top is 2 sizes too small for my ridonkulously enormous preggo boobs?) I realize that oh hey! I've still got some fun shit to wear that lets me feel like ME.

Maternity Remix: week 27
This dress used to fit QUITE differently.
It's also keeping me from feeling like I'm losing myself completely as I watch the body I've known since puberty disappear into a blooming belly and swelling butt. I look at my newly-dark nipples when I get out of the shower and think "Who the hell's boobs are these?" But when I wrap them up in my lettuce-edged elf hoody, I remember "Oh right: they're still my boobs. Just different."

Finding ways to remix the existing clothes I've got instead of going on shopping trips for clothes that I won't be able to wear next year, also makes me feel good about my budget.

This is all to say that while yes, I'm doing all sorts of more meaningful things to stay sane through this pregnancy (things like dance, yoga, acupuncture) sometimes it's the silly superficial shit that helps me feel like I'm maintaining a core of ME-ness through the disorientating process of becoming mother-ness.

Oh and by the way: Please please pleeeeease share YOUR inspiration! I would loooove to see your maternity remix shots in the Offbeat Mama pool so that we can feature them here on the site. Add your styley-ass belly shots and tag em maternityremix and let's see whatcha got!

Photo taken with a Canon Digital Rebel from http://amazon.com

  1. I've already decided that with baby #2, I'm going to live in maternity yoga pants and my birks. I'm not a clothes-horse by any means, and most of the maternity stuff I wore when I was pregnant with Alice, I hated and got rid of as soon as I fit back into my regular clothes. The name of the game the second time around is comfort and I've decided to call it schlubby-chic. 😀

  2. Thank you, Ariel! This is one aspect of you that I totally wanted to see overlap the pregnancy. I knew you'd find a way to pull off some major maternity style.

  3. With my first pregnancy I went out and bought a bunch of clothes that weren't really me and I ended up giving most away by my second pregnancy. The only thing I kept are two incredible adjustable waist jeans (and I haven't found anymore since). This time around I bought a few tops I really liked (and were on sale too). For pants, my mom had gastric bypass surgery two years ago and had a ton of large-sized elastic waist pants and shorts in black and grey that were really comfy. The only big purchase was a swimsuit because this time around was a summer pregnancy and I ended up spending a lot of it the pool with my daughter.

  4. I made the mistake of buying a maternity tankini for the summer and now I know better! Unless you want your swimsuit floating up and exposing your belly for the world to see, a tankini is not a good option!

  5. I love all of your wardrobe remixes! I too ended up wearing a lot of my regular clothes, just layered. Sweater dresses were my freinds last winter. I did buy 2 pairs of maternity jeans (and I still wear them since they're comfy and I can't fit my post baby butt in my old pairs, haha).

  6. love the remix!

    16months after giving birth its the weirdest feeling not knowing who's belly button is on your body

  7. I've inherited my sister's maternity clothes. It's awesome b/c we're the same size and she spent a lot on them. The downside is she shops at the Gap (as in several shirts, same style, different colour). Ren and I have this ongoing joke about what I should dress as today: yuppy or… yuppy? I am eternally grateful for the clothes tho, I couldn't afford them, and now I can feel like a yuppy for 9 months, woo!!

  8. This is my first pregnancy and I feel like I've been really lucky. I got a lot of cool clothes from my girlfriends nearby and across the country who recently had babies and we were the same size. Also, I managed to buy cool clothes from cheap places (including Old Navy and Target).

    These clothes were great for work, but for weekends I live in yoga pants, tanks, and t-shirts. Some of my non-maternity clothes are working too, so that mixes things up 🙂

  9. While I loooove being comfortable lounging around the house, none of my lounging clothes are… appropriate when out of the house. And when I am out I want to look FABULOUS! That's why when I found out us.topshop.com (anyone know of this site?) has a maternity section with sizes galore I flipped and blew a paycheck. Ooops. Plus if you shop the sales, you can find some good bargains. Anyone else have some fabulous yet affordable clothing. And I don't mean from Motherhood.

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