Second Trimester (Or Not!) Fall Fashion

bcbg-max-azria-tunic.jpgOne thing that's clear about pregnancy is that bodies grow very differently (when in doubt, do not ask!). I "popped" late with Laurel, and it's been similar this go around. At almost 17 weeks, though I'm definitely feeling thicker around the middle, I'm still wearing my regular clothes; as of two weeks ago, I simply looked a little full of korma and last week I started sporting a little bump that's still not evident in regular clothes. Through the second trimester, transition pieces are key, and I'm all about mining one's existing wardrobe, particularly since in the second trimester you may not be ready for full blown maternity clothing. Here are my five favorite regular wardrobe pieces that are serving me immensely well in transition. I've put together a few cute looks based on these pieces and all of these looks are non-maternity wear, so even if you aren't pregnant you can enjoy them. Today I'm focusing on casual clothing and plan on doing a dressy/work roundup soon.
My Five Key Pieces:

(Scroll down to see three looks I have assembled based on these basics.)

1. Leggings. I have to say, the leggings trend (i.e., no snaps, zippers, or buttons) couldn't be more perfect for in-transition pregnant mamas. Early in your pregnancy, your basic leggings probably feel fine (and when they don't, you can get maternity leggings at Old Navy). I'd also like to recommend Yummie Tummie's leggings. I received a pair of Yummie Tummie leggings as a gift for being a presenter at an event at BlogHer and was wow'ed by the construction; they're more expensive than regular leggings but deservedly so -- a worthy investment if you love leggings.

2. Empire and tunic tops. Empire and tunic tops are every woman's friend for obvious reasons. For pregnant women, they are forgiving (e.g., can hide unsnapped pants) and many tunic tops have enough length to accommodate ride up once you start to grow bigger in the horizontal dimension.

3. Knit dresses. I'm a huge fan of dresses in general; they make getting ready so easy. And those with a trim silhouette but no defined waistline are perfect for pregnancy transition. Add a belt at or over the waist depending on how much you want to define your bump. Or simply toss a cardigan or vest over to keep things loose and comfortable but stylish.

4. Elasticized skirts. Again, hooray for no constraining buttons, snaps, or zippers! Just the other day I was wearing and appreciating immensely the one elasticized waistband skirt in my closet.

5. Jeggings. I discovered the magic of jeggings this summer and with the super stretchy factor, they are -- hands down -- the most comfortable of all of my regular jeans to wear. Seriously, I don't even need to unbutton them! In fact, I'm wearing my Gap jeggings right this minute -- fully buttoned -- at almost 17 weeks and they feel fantastic.

Three Cool Looks:

Now, here are some examples of how to use these pieces as the anchors of various casual looks. I'm no Rachel Zoe but I had a super fun time playing stylist on ShopStyle. I hope you like what I've assembled (to learn more about individual pieces, simply click on the item):

Look 1: An elastic waistband skirt with a nice flowing t-shirt will be super comfortable. Add a colorful, snuggly cardigan, pretty necklace, contrast bag, and comfy flats. If you want to amp the look up a bit, you could swap the flats for heeled booties. If it's chilly, add tights or leggings.

Look 2: An easy tank and tunic top over jeggings will be super comfortable. The pretty hoops and bangles, black ankle boot, and contrast clutch complete the look. If you don't like wearing heel, opt for flats.

Look 3: A comfy jersey dress with leggings and a cable knit vest (or you could opt for a cardigan) is uber comfortable for transition. The flower pendant, metallic flats, and patterned tote add color and pop to the look.

What do you think? Do you dig these looks for maternity wear or not? Do you have other transition essentials? Feel free to share in the comments below.