When to Start Transitioning to a Maternity Wardrobe (and the Story of My 1st Trimester!)

My Sandra Dee costume

My Sandra Dee costume

The night I found out I was pregnant was the same night I dressed up as Sandra Dee for a friend’s Halloween party. I had absolutely no suspicion except for some tenderness in my chest I’d felt for several days in a row the week prior. When we got home from the party, Nick crashed on the bed and I grabbed a pregnancy test. What? Positive, really?? I wasn’t sure what to think. It was after midnight and I was preoccupied with thoughts of work while in the middle of a big launch for my online style course. I laid awake for a few minutes in bed but soon fell asleep.

The next day it started to sink in. Nick was so surprised he went to buy two more pregnancy tests from the store! We lined up all three and stared at each other in disbelief. We felt so fortunate to get pregnant SO soon after discontinuing our use of birth control the previous May. It was now October, and as we enjoyed dinner together that evening, we felt more and more excited as we thought about our new life together as parents.


Sandi Mele 10-week ultrasound - Style Shop Denver

The next few months included a wide range of emotion. There was fear of a miscarriage. An understanding that once we became parents, there was no going back. A grieving that our life as just the two of us would end and our new life would challenge us in big ways. Questions about finances. Questions about my business. AAAALL the things.

It wasn’t until we saw our baby for the first time during our 10-week appointment and first heard its quick heartbeat that we felt the excitement return, in a big way. The baby was safe and healthy and the chances of a miscarriage small! Christmas was just a few weeks away and we started making plans to announce the news to our families over the holidays.

Some family was shocked and some family suspected the news. Between a miniature stocking, a personalized printed onesie, wine bottles with custom labels, and custom ornaments with pictures of the ultrasound, we shared our news and savored the time we had to celebrate with family!

Baby announcement - Denver personal stylist
Miniature stocking announcement - Denver personal stylist
Wine bottle announcement - Denver personal stylist

The second trimester began right around the start of the New Year. I was incredibly relieved to move past the nausea and exhaustion from the first trimester. Thankfully, I was able to manage the nausea with a sleeve of saltines by my bed every morning and loved the excuse to consume carbs to cut down on the queasiness. During my first 10 weeks, I didn’t have much energy to exercise and walked or ran a short distance around my neighborhood before resuming classes at the gym in December. I was so grateful for a normal and fairly “easy" pregnancy!


So how did my WARDROBE change during the first trimester?


I wore my regular jeans right up until the New Year and the beginning of my second trimester. After that, they became extremely uncomfortable after eating a meal, so I started wearing my leggings and a single pair of ankle pants exclusively. It wasn’t long before the ankle pants (a low rise style) became uncomfortable at the waist and my leggings were the only style I felt comfortable in. At least with this pair of leggings (I own the same style in black and grey), the style finally fit me around the waist! They were previously a little big at the waist but always fit my legs perfectly (check out THIS blog for the exact style I’ve been wearing!).

Mele Pregnancy Announcement - The Style Shop by Sandi Mele

How did my BODY change during the first trimester?


Here’s TWO things to consider when anticipating physical changes during your pregnancy:

  1. The timeline for when you’ll start to show has a lot to do with your body type and whether you have a short or long torso (I’m just NOW showing at week 18 due to my long torso!). How can you tell whether you have a short or long torso? If a mid-rise pant sits high on your waist and feels more like a high-rise, you have a short torso. If a high-rise pant sits a good distance below your chest, you have a long torso.


  2. How does body type affect your pregnancy? If you’re someone who easily puts on weight in your mid-section, you’ll likely show sooner than someone who doesn’t easily put on weight in their middle. I’ve always put on weight in my legs rather than my tummy, so it’s taking longer for my pregnancy to show!

Week 15 - Sandi Mele pregnancy
Week 16 - Sandi Mele pregnancy
Week 17 - Sandi Mele pregnancy

How soon should you revamp your wardrobe and buy maternity wear?

  • This is different for everyone! For the pant styles that felt uncomfortable right away, I made a choice whether to keep or donate them based on their condition. Before finding out I was pregnant I was ready to do a wardrobe revamp, so I felt VERY ready to get rid of pieces with the knowledge I would buy new styles after returning to my regular weight.

  • For denim, I kept my Madewell jeans and a few other high-rise styles that are still in good shape. I’ve held onto most of my tops and dresses with the exception of a few pieces that were no longer my style or in good condition.

  • You may find that buying maternity wear will happen sooner for you than it did for me. My good friend was showing WEEKS before me (even though she’s a week behind me in her pregnancy!) and found that many of her blousy tops made her feel bulky around her mid-section. Because those blouses aren’t designed to show her bump, she quickly discovered a maternity top made her feel MUCH better about her weight gain by emphasizing her bump in a flattering way.

At the time of writing this blog, I’m in the middle of week 18 with plans to buy maternity pieces this week!

A picture of my bestie and I during HER baby shower at week 17! Here I’m wearing the grey tee, legging, and a long teal cardigan.

A picture of my bestie and I during HER baby shower at week 17! Here I’m wearing the grey tee, legging, and a long teal cardigan.

I’m currently alternating between:

-2 leggings

-1 jogger pant with a tie waist

-3 sweaters

-1 grey tee shirt 

-2 long cardigans

-1 long denim shirt


Now that I have a LITTLE bump, I feel ready to try on maternity pieces with an understanding of how I’ll grow into them. I’ll keep you posted on the pieces I buy in the next installment of this blog series all about my pregnancy! If you have any questions, feel free to post them below and I’ll do my best to give you a helpful answer!