January 20th, 2011 § 77 comments



  • Cape – F21
  • Mustard yellow top – free from swap
  • Jean skirt – Urban Outfitters
  • Striped tights – Anthropologie
  • Boots – Dillards
  • Faux vintage locket – thrifted


First of, thank you all for your many wonderful comments on my last two posts! It’s been so nice to not just get the many maternity style tips from you, but also the candid and thoughtful comments on what it’s been like to balance pregnancy, motherhood, and academia (or a professional life in general) for many of you. I’m really grateful for this space where I can continue to reflect on these topics in the coming months and where I know I can rely on a community of intelligent and strong-minded readers to engage in discussion with me about these things. So thank you!

On to the outfit: I decided to make this jean skirt last a little longer by employing the elastic band trick to loosen the waistline. I tried this trick with jeans but I really don’t like the feeling of my zipper being down. It’s not as bad with this skirt though, since the distance to the next lowest button isn’t too large…

Elastic Trick

And to make sure that I could safely raise my hands while pointing to the overhead screen in class without flashing my students my belly and gaping skirt waist, I layered this longer sweater cape over a long sleeved tee. I then played off the mustard yellow and navy color combo of the tops with the addition of navy and yellow striped tights and gold based jewelry.

Vintage Inspired Locket

We’ll see how much longer I can pull off this skirt this way. I have added a denim pencil skirt to my maternity wish list but am having trouble locating one I like so far. Maybe I can get really crafty, find a regular one at a thrift store, and convert it to a maternity item myself à la this tutorial submitted by reader Sarah. Also note that Sarah used a bella band rather than a t-shirt to make the waist panel on her jeans – what a clever idea!

Please keep sending those maternity clothes DIYs and tutorials my way, I plan on putting them all together into a bibliography to share on the site with you. Thank you! -S.


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§ 77 Responses to (Cape)abilities"

  1. Nadine says:

    Gorgeous! Love the colours.

  2. Clare says:

    Just lovely. That cape is marvelous, and the locket is lovely (question, though, is it faux vintage or faux locket?). :)

    Also, I’m not sure if you’ve already addressed this, but do you plan on buying a lot of maternity wear? I’ve wondered this frequently, as maternity clothes would only really suit someone for a few months (and maybe again at a second pregnancy), but it seems that 9 months of physical changes would be a rough go with an existing wardrobe, built for a different body. Anyway, I was just curious about your plan for that.

    • admin says:

      @Clare – It’s faux vintage but all locket – I even put a picture of my and T. in it, in true 13 year old girl fashion ;)

      As for the maternity clothes, I hope to buy as few as possible but knowing that I will (hopefully!) have more than just this one pregnancy, I know that I will save and rewear what I buy now when I’m pregnant again.

      So far I have only bought my paternity waist pants from an actual maternity store. I’ve thrifted some maternity items and I plan on making my regular clothes go as far as possible. I will probably continue to scour thrift stores for good maternity clothes and will likely ‘splurge’ on a couple of key items like a denim pencil skirt that could be a good staple. -S.

  3. megannielsen says:

    Oh my gosh you look adorable!!! I love that cape. And congrats on your pregnancy!! I think dressing for your baby bump is one of the most fun things ever (even though it’s challenging!) – so I really hope you enjoy it!

  4. Kelly A. says:


    A pea in the pod is a BIG store here in Cali. Here is a link to a denim pencil skirt. Reasonable priced sale, too! :)

  5. Charlotte says:

    I’m sitting here 31+ weeks pregnant in professional stretch trousers from pre-pregnancy days. I’m sick of wearing them, but they do still work so it’s hard to justify buying clothing for the next 8 weeks.

    Nursing-friendly tops though, now that’s a different story and one that I’m starting to be very interested in exploring.

  6. I managed to make the elastic band trick work for my whole pregnancy…bella bands never did though!

    Kudos to you for rocking the cape–it looks lovely! And the tights bring the whole outfit together in a wonderful way. I bought a wool cape that became my favorite maternity jacket–nothing else buttoned right!

  7. HokieKate says:

    I’m looking forward to your list of tutorials! I already purchased a pair of jeans to convert, but I don’t need them quite yet. I’ve found many different ideas online, and I’d love to hear reviews.

  8. Luinae says:

    Capes are such a fashion forward item, but you wear it so well! I really like the color combo of mustard and navy.

  9. You look a fabulous mix of winter and summer here–wonderfully cozy on top and ready for spring and summer with the skirt!

  10. Shea says:

    I love the colors and the laid-back but still professional style of this look!

  11. spacegeek says:

    Q about button fronted skirts in general. I have a shirt dress like this, and I always worry about the buttons gaping in the front, as well as the slit in the front–it feels like it shows an awful lot of thigh when I sit. Have you noticed these issues and what is your solution?

  12. Rachael says:

    I have been looking everywhere for a cape that isn’t too much like a poncho, and this one looks perfect! And at F21 prices, even if it’s not totally long-lasting, it’s worth the investment. Nice!

  13. Suzanne says:

    Hi S., I have a maternity denim pencil skirt saved from when I was pregnant. You are more than welcome to it as a thank you for all the fashion inspiration you have given me. Please send me an email if you are interested.

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  15. Sarah says:

    Congratulations! I’m very excited for you and look forward to seeing your maternity looks! I’m 5 months pregnant and I’ve also been navigating the world of dressing professionally while pregnant (I’m a lawyer). I love your cape and the way you styled it!

    Have you tried a belly band yet? Target sells a version (BeBand) for about $15. It definitely extended the life of my pre-pregnancy clothes. Now I’m pretty much only in maternity clothes (except for the occasional shirt) and I’m embracing accessories and fun makeup :)

    Oh and another thing I’ve learned quickly…get some good supportive shoes, especially if you’re on your feet a lot. Your back and hips will thank you!

  16. Kristen says:

    That is a great outfit. I really like the locket.

  17. Sarah says:

    So glad that the tutorial might be helpful! I tried to use a t-shirt like the tutorial recommended, but found that it just wasn’t snug enough and I was constantly pulling it up. The Bella Band (which I got for $2!) was much more secure and I could wear it pulled all the way up (helpful in really cold weather) or folded over. Thanks for the shout out and be well.

  18. i used the same trick with my pants early on this pregnancy but pretty quickly hated the zipper-down thing myself. love this whole outfit on you!

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  20. Majorina says:

    Veramente interessanti i capi per le donne in dolce attesa… avete suggerimenti per delle gonne a vita bassa? grazie!!

  21. Betty Roule says:

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