Over year end and new year just passed, we spent a couple of months in Adelaide in approximately one month stretches. My husband was there for work, and I took advantage of my freelancing to accompany him for a change of scenery. It was also around the time I was entering second trimester, so not only would I have the usual carry-on packing conundrum, but I also had to select items that would support my impending change in body shape if I wanted to avoid having to purchase additional items while I was away. Fortunately, I do tend to like drapey things so I had a few good items to go on, and in fact, my existing wardrobe has worked so well that I haven’t needed to purchase any maternity specific clothing other than a belly band which I wore over the top of my regular jeans until I gave up on those. More on that later.
I have been using variations on my European summer carry-on capsule as a foundation since that trip, but Australian summers are a little different, and this trip would not involve as much walking given this was more of a temporary relocation than a holiday.
Aside from the jeans, all the items listed here can be easily hand-washed, though the Evolve top, Chrysalis cardi and blazer may take a little longer to dry. However, not really a problem in Australian summer. This list also works fine whether you’re pregnant or not. You could even bring this into autumn by swapping out a tank for a long-sleeved short or long top, and adding a pair of tights.
- 1 layering loose tunic top in mustard and sleeveless
- 1 layering loose top, MNG in white with 1/2 sleeves (pictured here and here)
- 1 layering draped vest, Saxony in black almost mid-thigh in length and sleeveless
- 1 top, Encircled: Evolve Top in black with adjustable sleeves
- 2 regular tank tops, black and brown
- 1 long tank top, navy almost mid-thigh in length
- 1 dress, Metalicus Storm in black almost knee-length (no longer available, similar from Encircled – Sleeveless Revolve Dress)
The three layering tops were worn over the regular tank tops with jeans or the skirt, and the vest and tunic over the long tank top with leggings. The tunic is quite loose fitting and tapers around the bottom, so I generally wore it unbelted or hitched up shorter. The Metalicus dress (written about here) was purchased in Adelaide because I’d been looking for something like it for a while (and it was on sale). Both it and the Evolve were great over jeans and the skirt, and the dress on its own belted.
All the tops got equal wear throughout the trip, and all but the short layering top kept getting wear after we returned because the length was eventually outgrown by the belly. This could be subbed out with a plain, white, loose-fitting T.
Under normal circumstances I’d have left the Saxony vest at home because it’s a favourite item and don’t want it to wear out too quickly. If I needed to be ruthless, I’d drop one of the short tank tops, and only have two tunic length layering tops.
Also, pardon the terrible resolution of the Saxony outfit, given the brand is now defunct I had trouble locating a picture of the specific item. They also did unisex clothing so the vest that was similar to the top worn by the guy fell to mid-thigh on me. You may be able to find something similar with AllSaints UK.
- 1 pair jeans, Uniqlo blue skinny leg
- 1 leggings, LulaRoe black full-length
- 1 reversible pencil skirt, DIY blue and black
All good and versatile selections. The only difficulty I had was with the jeans at the end of the first stretch when I was finally unable to do them up comfortably. I did use them with a belly band to cover the unbuttoned top with the button cinched with a hair-tie for a little while after, and there definitely was time when a proper button extender may have come in handy, to an extent. Eventually the jeans kept sliding down as I walked, and I’m not sure how effective an actual button extender would have been to assist with that.
The jeans are the only thing I’ve stopped wearing since we returned. But a good pair of maternity jeans would probably do the trick here. I just couldn’t be bothered hunting for a pair when the rest of my existing wardrobe still catered to my needs.
Note: The skirt is still being worn even late in third trimester. However, I am apparently pretty compact, and as this was DIY I can’t confirm if the Encircled one will do the same. You may have to clarify that with them, but if it’s made of 4-way stretch fabric I can’t see why not depending on how big you may get. It’s a good piece to have either way.
- 1 convertible cardigan/scarf, DIY Encircled: Chrysalis Cardi in black (written about here)
- 1 cropped blazer, Cotton On in white with 3/4 sleeves
I whipped up the Chrysalis Cardi right before we left. Infinitely useful as a scarf, dress, cardi or blanket. And a white blazer is also a great travel staple. I’ve had it for a few years and will be very sad when it finally gives up the ghost as I haven’t found a suitable replacement in a cut and fabric that I like.
- 1 week of underwear
- 2 bras
- 4 pairs ankle socks
- 2 pairs footlets
Pretty straight forward. You can run with two pairs of everything, but there was a washing machine in the serviced apartment, so I only hand-washed when necessary.
Also, if you’re wearing the same pairs of shoes frequently without much time to allow them to air out, do yourself a favour and use footlets of some description. They help to soak up sweat and minimise odour issues.
I brought only the first two with me, and sprung for the third because I ordered them from Melbourne while I was there. The Nightingale will likely become my Rudi replacement depending on what is packed, because they’ll go better with dresses or dressier outfits.
All three pairs of shoes support orthotics, but they all come with removable inserts with arch support. The Bared inserts also have a metatarsal dome. Bear in mind that as they’re leather, they may need a little breaking in or softening at your trouble spots before they’ll be suitable for heavy travel use. If your trouble spot is rubbing at the back of the ankles, try a thin heel wedge under the orthotic. Personally, 4-6mm was enough to mitigate most of the problem for me, and was much more effective than heel grips at the back wall of the shoe which either end up pulling down socks, or just falling out.
These aren’t the cheapest brands of shoes, but if you have flat feet, knee or back issues, you’ll know what a good pair of shoes can do for you, and how long they’ll last. I’m quite happy to stump up for good shoes, knowing they’ll last me 5-10 years even with reasonably heavy use. Cheaper shoes only really last 1-2 years tops. If you don’t have foot, knee or back problems, then keep on rolling with your sandals and ballet flats for travel, I envy you.
- 2 belts, black thin and wide
- 1 belly band
Ordinarily, I would have just packed the one wide belt, but the thin belt was for when the belly got too big. The belly band I really only found useful over jeans. If I had multiple pairs of button/zippered pants then it might have gotten more use.
I’m also really not a swimmer and I’m not a beach person, but there was an indoor heated pool at the serviced apartment…
Okay, I fibbed a bit. I pulled the preggers card and actually did check my carry-on sized bag in so that I only had to carry my laptop and day bag on the plane. But otherwise, I would have slipped the day bag in the laptop bag or carry-on, and those would have been my two items. Still completely doable and what I’ve definitely done in the past.
I also use zipped packing cubes for keeping your luggage organised and more compact, and bring a small zippered laundry bag to toss all the smalls in when they go in the machine to avoid the laundry sock monster.