How to Dress For the Bump & Beyond

I’m so excited to introduce this trendy mama to you. Just like I was inspired to create my Expecting MORE¬†pre & postnatal workout programs,¬†after becoming pregnant and needing a fitness program to meet my needs, Maegan Watson of the blog My Dear Watson, a wardrobe desinger, was inspired to help mamas after struggling with what to wear through her pregnancy and postnatal recovery. If you’ve ever been pregnant or had a baby, I’m sure her story will resonate with you. ¬†Big thanks to Maegan for sharing her tips for dressing the bump and beyond . . ¬†.

Dressing the bump . . .

By the time I got pregnant, I had been dressing amazing women for almost a decade. However, it wasn’t until I got pregnant, and my own body changed in ways I never thought possible, that I truly understood what it’s like to be completely overwhelmed by not knowing how to dress. I had a great wardrobe for my non-pregnant body, but the day my jeans stopped buttoning and my dresses stopped zipping I went into panic mode.¬†

I eventually took my pregnancy wardrobe by the reigns and created something I loved.  I was also fortunate enough to put what I had learned into practice as some clients and friends became pregnant.  I created a shoppable pregnancy capsule (complete with a video of maternity wardrobe tips) to take the guesswork out of dressing your baby bump.  

Dressing my new bumpless body .  .  .

The ‘fourth trimester’ was really difficult for me.¬† Not only because my hormones were shifting like crazy and I was sleep deprived but because once again, I had no idea what to wear to make myself feel comfortable. Every time my baby, Kohen, spit up on me I would think, “What the heck am I going to put on this time?”¬† I had just given birth to a beautiful and healthy baby and YES, I was still stressing about what to wear. ¬†I knew I should be so grateful for this new baby and that these discomforts shouldn’t have mattered as much as they did, but that was my reality. ¬†During the ‘brand new mom stage’ it truthfully wasn’t so much about what I looked like but it had more to do with how uncomfortable I was in EVERYTHING I put on.¬† I still had a baby belly but my maternity clothing was not conducive for nursing, my bra size increased from a 32C to a 36DD, and I felt completely overwhelmed in my own skin. Sound familiar?

I went back to work when Kohen was about 4 weeks old, so I needed to have clothing that fit my new post-pregnancy body.  Just like I do for my clients, I created a small capsule wardrobe in which everything matched so it was super easy to pick out what to wear every day.  

5 Tips for Dressing your Pre & Postnatal Body:

Here a few tips to provide you with some guidance so getting dressed during these stages of motherhood is a little bit easier. It doesn’t matter what we are wearing but it DOES matter how we feel.¬† We shouldn‚Äôt spend our energy stressing about what to wear; our energy should be saved for family, fulfilling work, and an endless supply of cuddles :).

TIP 1: Keep getting dressed.¬† During the duration of pregnancy (and motherhood), you may feel confident at times and less than confident at others.¬† No matter how you feel, keep taking care of yourself.¬† Take a bath, throw on some blush and a cute outfit whether you’re going to treat yourself to lunch or snuggle up on the couch with a cup of tea.¬† Attending to how you look is scientifically proven to improve how you feel.¬† Pick your outfit out the night before – ALWAYS.¬† Mornings¬†are going to be rough for a while.

TIP 2: Sometime during your first trimester, make a list of all the events you are going to have throughout your pregnancy.¬† When you start shopping for maternity clothes, start by buying specific outfits for these events and then utilize these pieces throughout your pregnancy.¬† This will keep you from scrambling when the event draws close and also help you get the most out of your maternity pieces.¬† There is one caveat to shopping early in your pregnancy- in the beginning, it’s hard to imagine just how huge your belly is going to get.¬† It will get BIG so if you have an event that’s in the latter part of your third trimester I suggest waiting until a little closer to that date to shop.¬† Items that fit well in the second trimester make great postpartum ‘event’ outfits.¬† ¬†

TIP 3: Buy non-maternity items for different stages of your pregnancy.¬†There are so many regular clothing items, especially tops and dresses, that will fit a baby bump.¬† As your belly grows, buy something non maternity that fits your bump, and that¬†you will be excited to wear when you are no longer pregnant; especially in the postpartum stage.¬† Use the rule – if you wouldn’t wear the style not pregnant, don’t buy it¬†when you are.

¬†TIP 4: Invest in quality pieces; especially if it’s your first pregnancy.¬†¬† If you’re going to do the work to build a cohesive wardrobe for your pregnancy, do you yourself a favor and make sure it’s going to be in good shape the next time you get pregnant.¬† When I say quality I don‚Äôt¬†mean that your items need to be designer or super expensive. Some of the items in the capsules you have access to are from Target.¬† We tend to destroy our wardrobes (pregnant or not) when we buy a new item and wear it over and over until it wears out or we grow tired of it.¬† This is why I recommend building a capsule wardrobe for pregnancy and for life.

¬†TIP 5: Cute workout clothing is a lifesaver.¬† Throw together some cute outfits that utilize workout clothing so you can hop on your mat whenver the moment presents itself. ¬†My baby Kohen started to love this as I would kiss his forward as I went from plank to downward dog.¬† This was not about an intense workout for me; it was about connecting with a piece of my pre-baby life that made me feel at peace. When I was done, I’d throw on a sweater and cute pair of boots and be dressed for the day.

The next time you’re standing in your closet trying to figure out what to wear, sensing the seconds tick by and hearing the baby cry I want you to think of me and here is what I would say to you: “It’s ok. This is stressful.¬† It‚Äôs not really about the clothes.¬† It’s more than that.¬† You’re tired and your body doesn‚Äôt feel like you.¬† Just pull out something that fits.¬† Don’t think too much about it.¬† If it fits, and makes you feel comfortable, you will look great.¬† You will look great because when you’re comfortable, you are yourself. ¬†It’s OK that you are struggling with this.” ¬†¬†

To take a peek at over 40 of Maegan’s go-to pieces for pregnancy and beyond; just click HERE.¬†


Maegan Watson is the founder and wardrobe designer at My Dear Watson, an online wardrobe building service for women who want a closet full of good-to-go outfits for an on-the-go life.  Maegan is a work from home mama and lives in Chicago with her husband, 9 month old son, and chocolate lab.

Maegan had been professionally dressing women for almost a decade before becoming a mom and it revolutionized her work in the best way possible.  She now creates brilliant wardrobes that practically hand moms their outfit every morning.  My Dear Watson delivers custom wardrobes right to your doorstep so your energy is reserved for family, fulfilling work, and fun! MaeganWatsonheadshot

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