My Minimalist Maternity Wardrobe

posted by Andrea | 04/17/2017
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When I was pregnant with Nora, I borrowed a handful of cute maternity clothes from my cousin, from a neighbor, and from a church friend. I honestly don’t think I purchased one single thing… and I was elated to give EVERYTHING back about 2 weeks after Nora was born.

When I was pregnant with Simon, I borrowed a few items from my neighbor again, but my cousin was using her maternity stuff and my friend from church moved to a different state. Thankfully, ThredUP was selling maternity clothing by that point, so I purchased a handful of items from their online “garage sale” and borrowed a winter coat from another friend.

I purchased a few more things when I was pregnant with James — mainly because I had ZERO summer clothes and he was born mid July, but also because my neighbor moved away so I couldn’t borrow from her anymore either.

Now, with baby #4 on the way and no one to borrow maternity things from, I purchased a few more goodies from ThredUp and I feel like I finally have a well-rounded, but fairly minimalistic, maternity wardrobe (at least compared to almost every other mother I know!)

Keep in mind, I’m not necessarily in favor of super minimalistic or “capsule” wardrobes — however, for maternity clothing that I know I’ll only wear for a few months of my life, I tend to lean more towards minimalism when possible.

Here’s what I have in my maternity wardrobe:

PANTS: 

  • 1 pair of skinny jeans (I figure I’ll be wearing shorts and capris soon enough)
  • 1 pair of black skinny jeans
  • 1 pair of black leggings
  • 1 pair of the most comfortable maternity sweatpants ever!

** When I was pregnant with Nora, I tried wearing Bella Bands with my regular pants but that never seemed to work well for me. I prefer the full panel maternity pants over the shorter style waist band or Bella Bands.

CAPRIS / SHORTS / SKIRTS:

  • 1 pair of jean capris
  • 1 pair of white capris
  • 3 pairs of shorts (jean, khaki, corral)
  • 2 skirts (one long, one short)

** I also have a 2 or 3 non-maternity maxi skirts and black “yoga capris” that work well even when I’m VERY pregnant!

(41 weeks pregnant with James)

TOPS:

  • several maternity tank tops (probably 6-8, but I honestly wear most of them year-round — even when I’m not pregnant because they are so nice and long!)
  • 3 short sleeve shirts
  • 3 light-weight sweaters
  • 2 “tunics” — dressier tops

** I can get away with so few tops because my go-to look is a maternity tank top paired with a cardigan and scarf I already own. Plus, I have several “loose” and “flowy” tops that work well until I’m about 7 months along!

EXTRAS:

  • 2 maternity swimsuit tops (I wear regular bottoms)

**I borrowed a maternity coat when I was pregnant with Simon (my only winter baby). I also borrowed a dress for a wedding when I was pregnant with Nora. In general, I always tried to borrow the “extra” items whenever possible because I usually only needed them for special occasions or a very short period of time.

(one of my favorite maternity pictures when I was pregnant with Simon)

I have definitely added to, and purged from, my maternity stash over the last 6 years… but right now, this is what my maternity wardrobe looks like. Less than 30 items of clothing to wear for 9 months of my life… not horrible in my opinion, especially since all of my pregnancies have been in different seasons of the year.

As I mentioned above, I’ve never been a true “minimalist” when it comes to clothing — however, with maternity items, I only keep what I can fit into one small plastic storage bin… which I store on the top shelf of my closet (when I’m not wearing the items).

Since Dave and I share a mostest-size closet, I don’t want to waste tons of closet space storing maternity clothing. I set my limit and stick to it!

(pregnant with James and wearing a borrowed dress — one of my favorites!)

This might seem like a pretty boring wardrobe to wear for 9 whole months, but I do actually feel like I have lots of options (especially in the beginning when I’m not too big yet!)

I’m always ready to pack up my maternity things by the time the baby is born, but for the most part, I rarely tire of wearing the same outfits over and over again.

In fact, every time I’m pregnant, I feel like I should purge 2/3 of my “normal clothing” because of how freeing it feels to have fewer clothing choices for these 9 months.

(35 weeks and neither the skirt or the shirt are true “maternity”)

Now, obviously every body type, every schedule, every style, and every pregnancy is different — so there’s a good chance this type of wardrobe won’t work for someone who works outside the home or someone who exercises every day, but since I’m regularly asked to share my maternity wardrobe, I figured this was a good time to do that 🙂

After 4 pregnancies in crazy West Michigan weather (all during different seasons of the years), I’ve found that it has been fairly easy for me to wear a somewhat minimalistic maternity wardrobe… but I’d love to know…

What does/did your maternity wardrobe look like?

(photo from this past weekend — 17-18 weeks with baby #4)

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28 comments

  1. Kylie

    11/08/2017

    Hi Andrea!

    I know you’re not typically brand loyal, but I’m wondering if you liked a certain brand for your maternity pants?

    I’m 12 weeks along now and looking to purchase skinny jeans in black and a dark wash. Thred up doesn’t have too many options right now, and I’m seeing the best prices at target or motherhood maternity. I don’t want to spend a lot but I want them to look cute and fit well.

    Any suggestions appreciated!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Congrats Kylie!
    And you’re right, I’m totally not brand loyal — that said, I have a feeling Motherhood Maternity will be better quality than Target.
    Just buy one pair to start out with (and maybe leave the tags on for a day to see if you like them!)

    Also, it might be worth noting that the styles change SO fast that you might not even be wearing skinny jeans by the time you have your next baby. I had flare jeans with Nora 6 years ago (borrowed from a friend) and with James and Clara, I only had skinny jeans 🙂

    [Reply]

    Kylie Reply:

    Thanks! And I just have to tell you that I scored a pair of med-dark wash skinny jeans today at goodwill – I think gap brand. Super pumped to have a cute pair that I didn’t have to spend a ton on! You make a good point on styles changing which makes me feel even better about my thrifty find!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — way to go! I got ALL my maternity clothes used or borrowed. It’s definitely the way to go — especially since you’ll probably want to burn them once you finally have the baby and can wear normal clothes again 🙂

    [Reply]

  2. Rebecca

    04/24/2017

    Andrea, is this the first time you have announced baby number 4?? I am a daily reader ,but have gine ack and searched for the one i missed and i cant dind it! =) CONGRATULATIONS! So excited for you!

    [Reply]

    Rebecca Reply:

    When will I learn to edit before i push enter? “Gone and looked”

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — well you must not read EVERY day, because I’ve mentioned the pregnancy (and have shown baby bump pictures) at least 4 or 5 times over the past 5 weeks 🙂

    Here’s the post where I first announced it back in March: http://andreadekker.com/our-best-tax-refund-tip/

    [Reply]

  3. Laura

    04/22/2017

    Random comment but when I saw that last photo I immediately thought “That’s a boy bump!” HUGE congrats on your fourth pregnancy. Have been reading since Nora was a baby and am in awe of everything you do.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Laura 🙂

    [Reply]

  4. JJ

    04/18/2017

    Ahhhhhhh! Congratulations!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks 🙂

    [Reply]

  5. Mrs.M in MI

    04/18/2017

    I suppose I’m with the others who have even smaller maternity wardrobes. Pregnancy #1 was in winter and I was working full-time. I bought a maternity lot on eBay so I had a skirt, a pair of pants, three tops, two sweaters, and about five dresses for work, and I wore the tops or sweaters with a pair of maternity jeans for casual events.

    Pregnancy #2 was in the summer and I went to the office 3 days a week. I had a skirt, a pair of shorts, four t-shirts, and four dresses. On the days I was home I usually wore a regular pair of workout shorts and a sports bra because I was so hot!

    One caveat for me, which was that with a long waist, small babies, and little to no weight gain I only had to wear maternity clothes for 4 months or so. I still wanted to burn the lot of it when I was done!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, I have a very long torso too — but I show right away and my belly really seems to stick out (even though I don’t gain tons of weight). I was wearing my maternity jeans by 10 weeks already this time!

    [Reply]

  6. Jenny

    04/17/2017

    Way back when I was pregnant, we were so poor that I had 2 pairs of pants and 3 tops. The idea was to camouflage the belly, so very poufy tops made of cotton. No stretchy elastic back tben! I didn’t work outside the home, luckily! It was kind of pitiful, but I had no choice at the time… Sometimes I wore my husband’s T shirts and boxers at home! I only had a wringer washer, but ironed several times a week. Some things have changed for the better!

    [Reply]

  7. Alicia

    04/17/2017

    Honestly that’s way more materbity clothes than I own!! I must have a VERY minimalistic maternity wardrobe! But honestly, I hate spending money on maternity stuff.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    what! 38 items is “way more” than you have? I don’t believe it!
    Seriously, almost everyone I know has bins and bins of maternity items… I just have a fairly small box that sits on the top shelf of my closet. Well.. good for you!

    [Reply]

    Alicia Reply:

    Lol!! No I don’t have much at all…in all honesty I probably need more, especially since I’m still working!

    [Reply]

    Tina Reply:

    Lol-I was gonna say, I literally have 2 maternity jeans, 2 maternity “at home” pants, and 3 tops.

    I just found out we’re pregnant with number 3. Even though this will be our last, I’m going to buy some more for variety since our finances are a bit better this time around.

    Plus I wear the maternity clothes way after the baby’s born unfortunately, so it needs to last almost 18 months.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    How can you get by with 3 shirts? I’m all for minimalism, but don’t you get SO tired of wearing only 3 things? And wouldn’t they all be in the wash at the same time?
    I’ve gotten most of my maternity clothing for free (from friends) for $1 or $2 from thrift stores, or at bargain prices from ThredUP. I don’t think I’ve purchased anything new and hardly spent any money to have 30+ items and a fairly large variety.
    If you’re going for most versatile, I’d highly recommend buying 3 or 4 different color maternity tank tops. They work for spring and summer, but also fall or winter with a cardigan and scarf. That’s what I wear most of the time (and, as I mentioned in the post, I wear most of these tanks year-round because they are nice and long)

    [Reply]

  8. Hannah Beth Reid

    04/17/2017

    I just had baby #4 a week ago, so my maternity wardrobe is very fresh in my mind!
    I also follow the rule of only keeping as many items as I can fit in a plastic bin. Each pregnancy I have added a few items and realized a few items just don’t work, so it has balanced out. Things that required ironing were ok for my first pregnancy, but didn’t get worn with baby #2. 🙂 Having a minimal wardrobe for nearly a year (counting some postpartum time) did encourage me to minimize my “regular” wardrobe a bit each time.
    Thank you for this thought provoking post!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    congrats! how exciting!
    I try not to purge my “normal” clothing while I’m still pregnant — but I’ve already gotten rid of a handful of items I don’t think will fit me right again after the baby is born… and I’m sure I’ll be purging more as the months go on 🙂

    [Reply]

  9. Michelle

    04/17/2017

    Please don’t think I’m a weirdo, but you have the cutest most perfect feet I’ve ever seen!

    Speaking of maternity wardrobe, shoes were something I had a hard time with. My feet changed with the rest of my body. When I could, I lived in flip flops. My feet widened out and have never been their pre-pregnancy size.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I’ll take that compliment, especially since I feel like my feet are kind of gross! my sisters always bug me that I should paint my nails, but I don’t like to draw attention to my feet 🙂

    [Reply]

  10. Pamela

    04/17/2017

    I LOVED my maternity wardrobe!! I had a pair of jeans and a pair of black courderoy pants that went over the belly, plus a denim skirt. I also had a couple of dresses in solid colors (black, navy, and grey). For tops, I had some t shirts and a couple of dressy blouses – one in white, one in a sapphire blue. I also had a couple of sweaters. Oh, and I had a couple of maternity tank tops. I was pregnant through the fall and winter. I did “splurge” on some maternity tights that had some support in them for the belly and that felt SO good. I work outside the home and honestly felt more put-together while I was pregnant than I do in my “regular” life! And getting dressed was SO easy!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    i know the feeling — I don’t have to get dressed up every day, but it’s so much easier to pick out my clothing with a more limited selection. I should just pair down my “normal” wardrobe even more, but it is nice to have a little variety 🙂

    [Reply]

  11. Stacie

    04/17/2017

    Love the wardrobe! So excited for you and your family!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Stacie 🙂

    [Reply]

  12. Mara

    04/17/2017

    Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]