Maternity Clothing Staples + Fall Maternity Capsule Wardrobe
As the temperatures are starting to drop (PRAISSSSSSSE THE LORD!) here in Mississippi, I have been starting to reach for fall clothes. I quickly realized though as I was stuffing myself like a sausage into non-maternity casings pieces that I was hoping I’d still be able to use for a while, that just wasn’t going to happen. This is the first fall/early winter I’ve experienced in which I’ll be very pregnant so I started to do some research on staple pieces to carry me through these next few months. I personally hate the idea of buying solely maternity clothes and only wearing them for a season (or even a few) at best. When I buy something, I try to do it with the intention of wearing it for years which is why I love having a capsule wardrobe (here is the post in which I explained how to build your own).
Motherhood is the biggest blessing! Don’t get me wrong. But one thing I’ve learned since getting pregnant, carrying, and experiencing postpartum with my firstborn is that it can be so frustrating to clothe ourselves as our bodies are constantly changing size and we’re having to adapt to nursing, let alone the weather. All of that to say, I’ve learned since having Ellie that it’s best (for me) to try to buy pieces that I can wear while pregnant/not pregnant/nursing/not nursing/etc. It can be really hard to find items that check all of the boxes but I’ve gotten pretty good at it if I do say so myself. There are a few maternity specific staples that I haven’t been able to go without and that’s okay! I’ve worn them dozens and dozens of times, making it worth the purchase.
I also want to add… You can find similar items to the ones I share below at “big name stores”. I’m trying really really hard to find items produced in the US or by small businesses and even better if they align with our family’s values. I realize some of these are none of those. Like I said, I’m trying. If I did find an item checking those boxes it often was OOS so I’m also trying to make sure this is actually accessible (and helpful!) to you!
Let’s first get into the staple pieces. These are things that I’ve bought once and then worn for all of my pregnancies. Once we establish this list, then we’ll build a maternity fall capsule wardrobe.
Basic white tee – A staple in every closet and great base layer! This can be worn every season, multiple different ways. It’s something I have had to buy specifically maternity to stretch over the bump unless I buy an oversized white t-shirt. I prefer though for this to be more fitted because I tend to wear this under something more loose (button down, cardigan, denim jacket, etc.) and it makes me lack any sort of shape if I wear something baggy as the base layer.
Basic tank – Same as above but even more applicable in the summer months!
Fitted dress – Another piece that can be worn every season and as a layer. It can also easily be dressed up or down. In the colder months, pair it with a denim jacket, blazer, or long cardigan.
Flowy dress ideally with smocked bust – This can be dressed up with a pair of heels for a more formal event such as a wedding or church or dressed down with some cute sneakers. For cooler weather, throw a jean jacket over it! I recommend getting a smocked bust so that it’s easy to pull down to nurse once baby comes!
Bao bei band – I’ve worn this band for all of my pregnancies and I consider it a MUST. It’s like a sports bra for the belly. Not only is it supportive and relieves pressure off the pelvic floor but I love how it smooths everything out, especially under tighter tops/dresses. I also wear it at the beginning of pregnancy with non-maternity jeans/bottoms to keep them up along with the hair tie trick!
Biker shorts – I’m team ‘always wear shorts under dresses’ (ESPECIALLY since having kids!). I have these in the leggings version and they’re thick but also buttery soft. They can be worn under a dress but also worn with an oversized t-shirt or to workout in. One of my best friends also recommends THESE, especially under dresses. The quality is great for the price!
Oversized button up – People love this one specifically. I love that it also has matching bottoms to wear as a set. I’m going to budget for one next month! I often wear Stephen’s button up which you could buy for your husband if you want a 2-for-1 gift. 😉
Leggings – THESE ARE WORTH THE MONEY. In my previous pregnancies I wore my Lululemon Aligns the entire pregnancy but so many of my friends recommended these (they all have multiple pairs!) and I mentioned them to my sister-in-law and she ordered me a pair (I don’t deserve her 😭). I put them on immediately after receiving them in the mail and I was blown away at how comfortable and supportive they are. They’re also a bit more robust I’d say than Aligns and they don’t show any lines or make any weird creases (if you know what I mean…). I’m currently wearing them as I write this and probably will find myself getting at least another pair. They are that good.
Jean shorts – These aren’t applicable during the colder months of course but if you’re pregnant during the summer months they’re a necessity! I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth out of them.
Maternity jeans – I wear these all of the seasons. I prefer to get a more fitted pair versus a more trendy cut/style so that I can wear them with multiple different shoes and dress them up or down easily… For years! If I could go back and get ONE pair of jeans, it would be THESE since I love their leggings so much.
Workout shorts – I probably have gotten the most use out of these and my joggers. I’ve worn the same ones for years (sized up) but I’m trying not to purchase from Lululemon anymore so I did a bunch of research and found that women love these! As I’m going through my clothes, I’m realizing I only have a couple pairs of workout shorts that I feel comfortable wearing at this point (my days of short shorts are over, that’s for sure!) and so I will most likely get a couple pairs of these soon. Size up one size to be able to wear your entire pregnancy.
Joggers – Again, I want to be transparent and share that I’ve worn this pair through 3 pregnancies now but when I started looking into other options, my best friend was wearing these. They are SO SOFT! I asked her about them and she can’t recommend them enough. She wore them her entire pregnancy and they’re so flattering on her (she also has the shorts which are super cute and comfortable!).
Here’s the thing… You could most likely get through the entire fall season by wearing the maternity staples mentioned above paired with your non-maternity pieces. For example, add in your cardigans, denim jacket, shacket, etc. and you’re set. That’s the beauty in having a solid base (maternity) wardrobe. I do think it’s fun though to add in a couple of pieces to spice things up a bit. The point of a capsule wardrobe is that you can walk into your closet and you 1. love everything in it 2. have a cohesive wardrobe that can (mostly) all work together in multiple ways to get the most use out of your clothes.
Most of the items in this capsule I already owned as non-maternity items but I have gotten a few new dresses that are long enough (the kids often mess with my dress/I’m typically running after them so I prefer longer ones) and can work pregnant/postpartum/nursing that are in my fall capsule this year. I pretty much only wear dresses to church at this point and am finding them convenient to just throw on throughout the week to put myself together.
Navy overall dress – I’ve worn this multiple times since I got it in the mail last week. It’s so flattering and will work with/without the bump. Also great that you can wear a non maternity shirt underneath even if it doesn’t fully cover the belly. 😉 I got a small!
Flowy button down dress – I love the versatility of this dress and that it can be worn with easy access for nursing (but also doesn’t scream, “I nurse a baby in this” you know?). I got a similar one from Neuflora but included this as a similar option since mine was OOS! I got a small.
Flowy green dress with smocked bust – I got this for our fall/winter family photos and church, etc. I love the clipped dot detail. It’s SUPER comfortable and will look great both with and without a bump. It’s also easy to pull down to nurse.
Blouse – Maternity friendly blouses can be a bit tricky and I didn’t find many I love but this one is so flattering and works for both maternity/non maternity! Another one that can be dressed up or down easily.
Overalls – I own the short version of the green overalls and wear them so much (with and without a belly) that I want to get the long version because I know I’ll wear them a ton in the cooler months (again, with our without a bump!).
Shoes – I own all of these except for the flats (have been eying them for a long long time) and sneakers and have worn them for YEARS! I get so. much. use. out of these shoes. Nisolo makes some of my favorite shoes (they’re currently running a 30% off sale with code FALL30). They’re always so classy, versatile, and well made. Tan Chelsea boots | brown heeled Chelsea boots | sneakers | flats | black boots
I hope you find this helpful! Until next time!
I sincerely appreciate you all shopping through my affiliate links like the ones included in this post. I make a small commission when you purchase through these links at no extra cost to you. These funds help support my family and allow for us to produce better content for you all. I can’t thank you enough for supporting all that we do!