Somewhere in the second trimester of pregnancy, a mom usually finds that she’s outgrown her wardrobe. We start making those cautious trips to maternity stores or carefully shopping online to find the right mix of cute, functional and the third elusive variable—affordable.
Many of us have to choose carefully what we purchase for pregnancy since those clothes tend to have a brief shelf life. Sure, we can get an extra couple months out of a stretchy pair of pants postpartum, but I have yet to see a mom who can pull off shirts and dresses with the telltale ruched stitching after baby has entered the world.
Like most facets of motherhood, dressing for it can be a challenge. Luckily, some basic pieces can transition not only between outfits but also between phases of motherhood. One such garment is the Bun Maternity and Nursing Tank. Made of super-soft cotton and plenty stretchy, they accommodate a pregnant belly before taking their true place in the spotlight as a nursing workhorse. At $45, they’re a reasonable price for a top that does double-duty, especially since you can expect to pay the same price for a quality shirt that only does one or the other.
With this tank as a focal point in two colors—black and white—I ventured to create five looks using pieces a lot of first-time and veteran moms already have in their closets.
A stretchy, printed skirt is a reliable go-to for a day at the office. Add a denim jacket with the sleeves just barely rolled up and a pair of well-loved flats, and you’ve got an ensemble that’s appropriate but won’t have you crying for your sweatpants midway through the work day. The jacket could also be easily swapped out for a cardigan or even a flattering blazer.
One of the best things about these tanks—in addition to their softness and versatility—is the wide straps. They’re just thick enough to cover the ugly bra straps that seem to become a necessary evil for a mama’s expanding bust. The top half of the shirt is also double-layered for the nursing function, so a dark or printed bra also doesn’t show through. Because of this, it’s a great shirt to wear all by itself on a warm Saturday. Add stretchy pants and supportive sandals, and you’re ready for whatever the day may hold. For me personally, this has become a late summer favorite.
“Day to Night”
Let’s be honest. It’s hard enough to pick out one outfit for the day, let alone two, and that rings true even when we’re NOT pregnant. Luckily, an ensemble based in black makes this tank can go from a day at the office to dinner with friends, no problem. Throw on a tasteful cardigan for day, and wear the tank solo when it’s time to unwind. Even with minimal accessories, the world’s most chic monotone has a way of looking just dressed up enough.
Ah, how lucky we are to live in the age of athleisure, a time when you can spend the entire day looking sporty and comfortable even if the gym is the last thing on your mind. I’ve enjoyed pairing these supernaturally soft tanks with fun, printed leggings and a cozy hoodie for a prenatal yoga session or an afternoon of errands. Waddling from the bank to the grocery to Baskin-Robbins, (guilty!) is much easier in a streamlined outfit and supportive sneakers.
The truth is, there are few accessories quite as universally flattering as a baby bump. No statement necklace or designer bag can even get close the empowering quality of carrying your little one, so don’t be afraid to show it off while you can. As a mom due in November, I’m more than happy to spend the first gorgeous weeks of fall and the last slow weeks of my pregnancy letting this baby pop out from a casual button-down shirt.
Regardless of your personal style, remember that your beautiful belly takes center stage no matter the outfit. Strangers and loved ones alike will probably notice your bump before anything else, so savor these precious months while your body performs its greatest feat, and invest in clothes that stand the test of time.