Monday Outfit: Back to Basics for Spring

Mar 28, 2022

Trying to find maternity wear has me floundering a bit.  What fits?  What flatters?  What will work in a week?  In a month?

There’s only one solution.  I have to go back to basics.

This outfit was inspired by Lilly Demello.  Lilly was discussing what she wants to wear in late March (the pictured outfit) vs. what she ends up wearing (an equally adorable sweater outfit).  I really like Lilly’s content, and this look inspired me to start thinking about my maternity attire in a different way.  I’m now thinking I may just need a capsule wardrobe of some kind to get me through the next few months.

Dress. At the start of COVID, I lost my fitted, black jersey dress in a washing machine accident.  I recommend this Marine Layer short-sleeve scoop neck dress or this Michael Stars dress for something under-$125.  With both of these dresses, size for fit based on your comfort level.  In your regular size, it will fit in a body-con style.  One size up, it’ll be fitted, but slightly loose.

In the image above, I put this great dress from Another Tomorrow that runs just over $150.  I like the side vents for keeping it cool in the summer months.  Need something under-$50?  Try this short sleeve dress from Cotton On or this Daily Ritual dress with a swingier shape.

Plus-size?  Amazon has a similar dress that runs up to 4X.  Maternity?  This Target dress form Hatch’s diffusion line, and this Old Navy dress are both worth a look.  (I haven’t branched into more expensive maternity wear yet, but if I do, I’ll be hitting Poshmark more than the stores.)

Jacket. This LL Bean utility jacket is one of my Top 10 all-time purchases.  I hesitated to post it, because so many of you have already bought one…or three, but if you’ve been on the fence, this is the time.  The Utility jacket also comes in petite and plus, and costs just under-$100.  Also, this jacket wears like iron.  Mine is almost seven years old, and it still looks new.

Purse. Gigi New York makes high quality bags with utility in mind.  This currently sale-priced crossbody bag is no exception. For something under-$150, this Marc Jacobs bag has an equestrian style and lots of utility.

Shoes. These Veja Esplars are still going strong four years after they were the must-have sneaker.  But snap them up for a deal on Gilt.  I also recommend giving the tongue some time to break in, or wearing no-show socks for a bit.

Accessories.  I finished this look with a pair of cool, knotted studs.  I can’t believe these earrings look this good for under-$20.  And, of course, my favorite Ray-Ban aviators.

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  1. Naomi says:

    I love the simplicity of this look. After a long, black and navy filled winter, I personally need more color right now, but that will be in the rotation this summer!

    As for maternity wear, I couldn’t help but share this-

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B078ST3VZS/ref=ox_sc_act_image_3?smid=A1IOEYGJXVUA2A&psc=1&th=1

    Hear me out; this $35 Amazon dress is a god send. The high waist line and flowy shape makes it extremely accommodations for a growing baby bump. But the top is extremely flattering. And…pockets!

  2. Leigh says:

    Highly recommend the capsule wardrobe approach for pregnancy. It saves you money and there is no judgement on repeating because you are literally having a baby. Consider your shoes, though. Stretch from swelling is real so having a few pairs that you are okay parting with at the end of pregnancy might help. Also try to put your feet up on a printer paper box under your desk. #momlawyer tips.

    • AJT says:

      Yes! I bought a cheap footrest from Amazon during pregnancy to help with swelling feet and lower back pain – worth it.

  3. Janine says:

    For maternity work wear, I relied on blazers as I could wear them before, during, and after pregnancy. I paired them with black pants and scoopneck maternity tees from Old Navy and Target. The bonus has been being able to continue to wear the blazers now, especially as I’m only in-office two days a week now. I always look put together. The ruching on the tees accommodated my bump as it grew and I never had to rebuy anything.

    I did invest in one black sleeveless tshirt dress from Target (the Isabel & Ingrid brand), which worked well for times I needed to dress up just a bit more.

  4. Michelle says:

    Maternity wear has always been a pain point for me. Especially in my first pregnancy, when I was clerking in a very conservative environment, and now when I’m in court several days a week. It’s difficult to find formal maternity wear without breaking the bank. I’ve had great luck on ThreadUp and other secondhand sites!

  5. Cait says:

    Just wanted to give an additional shoutout that the LLBean utility jacket is machine washable. Mine has been a staple for many backyard firepit gatherings this fall and winter (I live where a utility jacket is warm enough for an outdoor winter gathering) since you can easily throw it in the wash and get the smoke smell out afterwards. Hands down the absolute best thing I’ve bought in a very long time!

  6. Ginny says:

    During my maternity months, I found Amazon to have a lot of great tops that fit the growing bump, were surprisingly good quality, and were an amazing price. I live in Canada, so we don’t have all of the same selection, but the brand Small Show was great for long sleeve tops. In particular, I loved these ones: https://www.amazon.ca/Smallshow-Womens-Maternity-Pregnancy-Clothes/dp/B07ZK3BV19/ref=sr_1_7?crid=2LGU4UBMJFBPK&keywords=maternity+tops&qid=1648656677&sprefix=maternity+tops+%2Caps%2C126&sr=8-7

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