Mother Superior The Tripper jeans (size 29)
Everlane cashmere turtleneck (3-4 years old) | second hand cashmere turtlenecks at the Real Real
Vince Blair Sneakers | Second hand at the Real Real
This is a bit of a holdover post from last week since I had an “announcement” instead. But there is also some new info FYI.
Buying nothing – wearing mostly jumpsuits and sweatpants, but I’m trying a pair of stretchy comfortable jeans today. I’ve had these for a while (purchased them with credits from Shopbop) and was just waiting to wash them and have them hemmed to wear them. They are comfortable to wear right now (but who am I kidding…my jumpsuits and sweatpants are SO MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE!!), and they make me feel a little more like “myself” since I’m wearing jeans again, but I’m so conflicted about keeping them. I don’t know for how long I’ll be able to wear them…I miss my jeans so much.
I saw this new Mimu Maxi shirt dress recently and I love it, especially styled as a skirt!!!!!
I’m reading Melmoth now and LOVE IT. I read the Essex Serpent (her first book) and enjoyed that, so I took a chance on Melmoth. It’s great and I absolutely recommend it.
I mentioned a while ago I read Bird Box when it first came out and thought it was one of the scariest books I’d ever read. Well, Of course I watched the movie recently, and thought it was well done. I was concerned how they would deal with the “thing” that people see, but I found it satisfying, and pretty tense all the way through. Honestly I recommend the book over the movie, but I always love books more than movies…
Up close and Personal with Alpacas – and why Alpaca is better than wool or cashmere for the environment, and for the animals.
Repeat after me: there’s no such thing as perfect, or “the best.” Yet, we are constantly looking for it. I’ve written many a post about this, chronicling my own searches for “the perfect,” or “the best,” happy to be (mostly) beyond that. It’s more marketing than anything (see: Everlane), and ultimately it’s designed to make us feel like we are inadequate UNLESS we have at least some of “the best” things; that way we signal to others that we are “in the know”. I’m late on the game writing about this, but Elaine and Michelle covered their thoughts more thoroughly – from a millennial perspective.
Claire McCardell – I found this profile fascinating, given that I didn’t know who she was before.
Fashion’s biggest fake news – Is fashion the second most polluting industry in the world? Not exactly. Don’t believe everything you see on Instagram!
Working again, after a little break. I’m thinking about the direction Grechen’s Closet will go in 2019. Of course I will still photograph my outfits, and along with all of you I’m interested in seeing how my style will change over the next year.
I’ve already started researching some ethical/independent/sustainable maternity brands, and there aren’t many. I THINK I will be able to get away with non-maternity pieces for a while still, but I’m sure at some point I’ll have to give in? When did you start wearing maternity clothing? Of course I’d like to prioritize secondhand pieces if I can find them, but I’m also really interested in trying new pieces to review for you. It’s just all so confusing.
Speaking of secondhand…if you’re doing a closet clean-out this January, please consider Slowre for your ethical consignment needs! Bonus if you have any maternity items hahahaha!!
This is worth a listen if you haven’t heard it before:
Also, this report is interesting:
I don’t understand why there isn’t more focus on luxury lines and their horrible practices in the textile industry. People have no problem tearing down the Gap, but deny them their Hermes bag….sometimes humans only want to do the right thing when it isn’t in conflict with their wants!
Thanks for link on Claire—interesting read. Have a great weekend!
Interesting articles! I’ll have to read them more when I’m not at work. 😉
As for maternity clothes – no, no you do not have to buy maternity specific clothes. I am a big believer that you can wear what you already have with some minor adjustments. When I was pregnant with my first, I just wore my stretchiest clothing until my belly was too big, and by that point it was regular leggings + oversized shirts and sweaters and cardigans – stuff I already had. It was winter during my biggest point. For my second, it was summer (I delivered 8/1 of last year, ai yi yi) and wore very loose, flowy dresses. The only “maternity” specific clothing I got were nursing bras and some tanks, but even then, you don’t necessarily need nursing clothes – when nursing at home, I mostly wear old, stretched out tanks that pull down easily. If you’re not planning on nursing then you don’t even need to worry about that! Btw I live in DFW so I know the weather here, and now I know how to survive a Texas summer being hugely pregnant. 🙂
I *wish* there was a sustainable maternity brand, or even just some maternity clothing that didn’t look like one specific style (very bright colors, lots of patterns, tons of woven poly fabrics). My style is really minimal and my color palette is shades of gray, so maternity clothing on a whole is just very unappealing to me.
I hear a lot of good things about ES as maternity-friendly due to the oversized-ness of the styles, and I also feel like Black Crane would be a good option too as far as things being not-maternity-wear-but-could-work-for-maternity-wear… I’m not pregnant (but thinking about trying!) but I think I’d go the oversized route/items with a sash to wrap/adjust as needed so that the items could work for most of the pregnancy and post-partum… and second-hand of course!
I got lucky with maternity clothes and got a lot from a friend and my sister-in-law. My best investment (11.5 years ago) was a pair of maternity jeans from Target (not recommending Target but that one pair of jeans saw me through several months pre- and postpartum).
My biggest challenging was having to continually buy new bras as my size kept changing weekly. If you can get away with tanks that’s probably a better option. I was working in an office and didn’t feel like that was always an option for me.
I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
Lisa Schmeiser says
First — amazing news and I wish you a very boring pregnancy (those are the best types).
Second — I managed to make it through my pregnancy (at 38, so I also had the Elderly Primagravida label on my charts) and I found that buying some secondhand Eileen Fisher one or two sizes up was just fine for skirts and dresses. All you need then are leggings or pants you can wear slung under the belly and a few shirts with a generous trapeze cut.
And a good pregnancy consignment store will have a bra and nursing camisole inventory, so you’ll be set for underthings both during pregnancy and afterward.
I swam, so I can’t speak to activewear, but I hope another commenter has advice on how to handle that while during barre with a belly.
So I have a pair of the Girlfriend Collective original compression leggings in black – I got them during their $20 leggings launch, and I wore those suckers my entire pregnancy. Even when I was super big at the end, they still stretched enough to be comfortable. The high waist was very helpful in supporting my belly.
Ok, I just had an “AHA moment.” It’s this: “ultimately it’s designed to make us feel like we are inadequate UNLESS we have at least some of ‘the best’ things; that way we signal to others that we are ‘in the know’.”
I know, I know, you’re probably scratching your head going, “How the hell can she be 58-yrs old and not know this?” It’s like you can know something in your head and hear it a million times but then one day it’s like a light bulb goes off in your head (or a Molotov Cocktail 😉 ). I feel like I’m always on that treadmill, seeking my “perfect” self – the one that will miraculously make life easier, and me beautiful, thin and successful. Thank you for that moment of insight. Looks like I’ve got some more work to do with my therapist!
As for maternity clothes, I really wish I hadn’t wasted my money on so many maternity-specific garments. I truly believe some of the most stylish women don’t wear maternity clothes at all, but adapt their regular wardrobe. Of course, I’d recommend a good bra and go for the granny panties! Haha!
Or their income level! Great point, Debi!
I was last pregnant 20+ yrs ago, but my style then was similar to now. I had an oversized tee-dress from Benetton that I wore throughout my entire pregnancy with the sash tied under my bump! It got a lot of attention! Haha!
Keri Isaac says
I was able to wear mostly my regular clothes while pregnant last year. I bought jeans (H&M) and a couple of Gap shirts and leggings. Black Crane, EF, and Everlane saw me through. As for bras – I’m on the small side and didn’t grow much so I wore (and still were) the nighttime style nursing bras. Super comfortable! Oh, and compression socks were essential for me. I bought the sockwell brand at REI. Has anyone mentioned feet? Mine widened quite a bit, so much that I can barely wear my No. 6 clog boots and I can’t wear the regular clogs at all! I lived in Danskos, but you’ve got that covered. Those and Birks were the only shoes I could wear! Someone mentioned swimming – it really saved me, I felt awful doing anything else. It was a wonderful opportunity to turn off my thoughts, be comfortable, and to feel graceful.
It may seem contrary to ethical fashion to mention a fast-fashion leader here, but it turns out that the H*&*M “Conscious” line is heavy on maternity wear (“MAMA” ) that may be very useful for a couple of basics. I remember you writing about their ethical fashion efforts (maybe a subject to revisit a few years later?). But you may need these only by the very end of your pregnancy (and right after!).
Congratulations, Grechen! I understand you completely regarding he jeans. I love wearing jeans and the best decision I made while being pregnant was buying a pair of Citizens of Humanity maternity jeans. I wore them tons during my pregnancy and after, then they went to another preggo mommy through Poshmark. If you feel strongly about jeans, do buy a great pair without feeling guilty! I agree with the rest of the commenters about other items – regular oversized clothing will do.
A Harper Dress would be great for pregnancy wear…and you’d get that great pocket!!
I’ve never been pregnant, but my sister and most of my friends have kids, and I’m a self-styled “bra docent,” 🙂 So I’ve researched and gotten feedback on bras for people whp are pregnant and/or nursing .
I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Un-Bra from Decent Exposures, a company that makes organic cotton bras (and leggings, camis, nursing pads, etc.) in Seattle, paying its employees a living wage and offering good benefits.
The Un-Bra is apparently made to order: You have your choice of fabrics (the lightest is organic cotton eyelet); strap length; band width; front or back Velcro closures; nursing flaps, etc., etc., etc. Alterations are free for the first 60 days after you receive the order, with a nominal fee after that.
A mama posted on the blog Hourglassy about her positive experience with Decent Exposures. Lots of details!
And if you still have questions, I understand that the company is great about getting back to you.
Depending on how you end up carrying, you can probably get away with non maternity clothes until the third trimester. As someone that is 6 ft tall, maternity pants were impossible to find so I used pants extenders (they are amazing) and long shirts for most of my pregnancy. I think I bought 2-3 high quality dresses for times I needed to dress up towards the end.
Also, not to freak you out, but pregnancy totally reshaped my bottom half, so none of my pre-pregnancy pants fit the right way afterwards. ?
Grechen Reiter says
ugh. don’t tempt me!!!! 😉
Grechen Reiter says
i’m already looking at some maternity jeans LOL – i’m just so confused by them haha. i can’t even imagine how they work? so silly, i know.
i think i’ll be okay with out jeans if i can just make it through the next two very cold months. in warmer weather i prefer skirts and dresses anyway, and i think most of my JP dresses will fit?
Grechen Reiter says
not contrary at all! thanks for the suggestion! i’m not opposed to H&M for certain things – every once in a while – and for a GIGANTIC company, they’re at least making strides towards being more sustainable/ethical.
Grechen Reiter says
ugh. i’ve heard that about feet, and the body changing in general. i don’t even want to think about not being able to wear my shoes! But yes, i can see how the dansko clogs will feel good, and i’ve got birkenstocks covered. now if only it would just be summer already 😉
i am so small (up top) i’m thinking i can also get away with very simple, stretchy bras. i mean…i try not to wear one if i don’t have to even, so as long as i can get away with that i will!!
thank you so much for your input!
Grechen Reiter says
WHAT!? how did they stretch so much?? i love my girlfriend leggings, so i’m totally going to test this out LOL
It might be because of the size…I got a large, but probably could have fit into a medium if I wanted more compression. I got the large to fit my butt/hips, so there is a *tiny* bit more room in other areas. If your pair is really compressive all over, it might not stretch to like 9 months pregnant, but I think they should still stretch out pretty well. Also if you have to just sling them under the belly, I think the fabric is still supportive enough to do that.
During my first pregnancy (“elderly” ha ha) I didn’t wear maternity clothes until quite late, well past 6 months and I was really happy about getting special clothes: I wore Japanese Weekend (not a lot of items though) and then probably Target. Thereafter, after a very late miscarriage, my second post 24 week miscarriage, I had twins at 42 (definitely “elderly” ha ha ha) and showed much sooner and wore maternity clothes very early on and sort of outgrew those anyway and went full-term with those babes. And after that first pregnancy, pretty much gave away all my shoes….. up a half size…..
All the best to you; life and its funny turns, right? You just never know! Have fun dressing however makes you comfortable in all the meanings of that word!