For most of my life, my body has existed in a sort of stasis. Up until becoming pregnant in the summer of 2019, I had never gone through any sort of drastic physical change, or even attempted anything that could be described as an athletic feat. Then, over the course of about 15 months, I grew a whole human, gave birth, fed that human with my own body, and somewhat miraculously, was able to wear pants with buttons again a few months later. This kind of physical marathon isn’t easy, and like any challenging sport, I found it required its own special wardrobe.
Luckily, I work at M.M., and the folks here get it—especially the other moms. We have a running list of the M.M. and non-M.M. essentials that got us from that first bout of morning sickness to baby’s first birthday, and we’re regularly Slacking each other with our new favorites, as well as the pieces we wish we had known about when we were pregnant. We thought our list might be helpful to other hopeful or expecting parents out there, so we’re sharing it here with you.
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The Pieces We Loved in Our 1st Trimesters
The first trimester tends to be filled with a dueling sense of excitement and uneasiness. Some women are hit with debilitating morning sickness, others are exhausted, and many women have both those symptoms and more. It’s different for every pregnant person, as illustrated by the diversity of our first trimester picks.
Sarah, M.M.’s founder and CEO, leaned into stretchy pants and flowy but professional tops, as did Katie, our Senior Director of Operations and Sales, though Katie also added the form-skimming Hayden dress. Rachel, M.M.’s Senior Director of Product and Platform Strategy, kept the stretchy pants but went for a sleeker look with the Paige tank or Avery top. I opted for dresses during my first trimester—which may have been a dead giveaway that something was up. See, I hardly ever wear dresses, but wearing something a little more formal, like the slinky Hailey or the effortless Marilyn, kept me upright on those days when early-pregnancy exhaustion had me wanting to crawl under my desk by 2pm.
The Pieces We Loved in Our 2nd Trimesters
Many women report that the second trimester is the best. You’re supposed to have your energy back, the people you’ve shared the news with are checking in and excited for you, and hopefully, food becomes appealing again. I found much of that to be true, but it was actually the most challenging trimester for me in terms of dressing, because while I wasn’t visibly pregnant yet, something about me was…different. To make sense of it all, I started experimenting with belly bands and my trusty Pippa pants, along with the Giulia top, with its longer length, to cover it. On chilly days, I’d pull on the Para sweatshirt. Easy-peasy.
For their second trimesters, Katie and Rachel found a friend in the Harlem skirt. According to Rachel, it’s “a nice long skirt with enough give at the belly to accommodate the first real signs of a bump.” She paired hers with the Chadwick sweater and Gap or Storq maternity leggings. Sarah took a different approach and grabbed the Moreland blazer and her Colby joggers (hello elastic waistband).
The Pieces We Loved in Our 3rd Trimesters
There’s no hiding it now, even if you don’t feel like emphasizing the bump every day. In fact, I didn’t feel like doing much of…anything. By 30 weeks, I had reached the point where I had very few pieces of clothing that still fit and zero interest in investing in anything new. This is where the ride-or-dies came in—the closet staples I could wear more than once a week without a second thought.
For Sarah, her ride-or-die was her belly band and Hockley pants or Colby joggers, depending on the day. Katie defied the odds and somehow enjoyed wearing heels. “I know it’s a strange pick, but wearing heels with maternity pants made me feel more put-together,” she says. “I actually wore heels in the office through most of my third trimester, and the Lana boots are nice and stretchy.”
Rachel embraced variety. Some days, she sunk into the soft cotton of the Nancy sweater; other days, she swaddled herself in curve-hugging Dylan dress; and others, basked in the breezy magic of the “how-am-I-still-able-to-button-this?” Lagarde shirt.
Speaking of magic, the Doris dress was—and always will be—my favorite piece of non-maternity maternity-wear. I wore it all through my pregnancy, but I thought it looked especially cute nine months in, defying the laws of physics as it perfectly enshrined my belly.