When we look better, we feel better and therefore we are better. This is a widely held principle that most of us have experienced firsthand, one that can perpetuate the plaguing cycle of consumerism and that is difficult to understand until you have genuinely felt unlike yourself.

I have heretofore enjoyed the superficial vicissitudes of pregnancy in most of its permutations, from the primordial but diminutive growth phase to the full-fledged basketball-under-sweater stage that I am in now and thus have not really felt unlike myself, save for on two occasions wherein I just wanted to wear clothes that reflected “the real me” (as if the current one is a temporary conduit). The first of the aforementioned clothes included these high-waist jeans, this crisp white T-shirt, shoes like these and a jacket like this one.

The second involved a pair of tailored shorts, knee-high socks, strappy sandals, a button-down shirt and a printed overcoat.

The common denominator among these occasions is that I needed the clothes to act as armor, which would mean that the definition of “the real me” is conflated because armor — a protective shield — can never get at the crux of who I really am, who any of us really are. On the contrary, it further masks our truth. What I wanted in those two settings was to prove a point, to appease my vanity and insecurity, the shouting girl inside of me who, whenever she feels at all unsafe, wants to demonstrate: “This — style — is my great quality. I’m worth something, too.”

Maybe it sounds superficial, but it’s forced me to think more deeply about why I look forward to getting dressed, why some days I care more than others how I present myself and, frankly, why I have come to own so much stuff. Because, you know, I could call the 95% of my wardrobe currently trapped in the ivory tower of pregnancy a byproduct of working in fashion, or I could be honest and call it what it is: an obsession with consumption, addiction to the high that invariably comes with new stuff and its subsequent, shallow promise of a new me.

In November, I challenged myself to take mirror selfies for 30 days, and when I look at them now to determine whether another coming-to moment presented itself similarly to the way it did last year, I am not particularly satisfied by the way I look. Every outfit is effectively the same. There is little color, and they mostly exist as a function of limitations that I have tried to offset with a multitude of accessories and coats and shoes where I can. On most days, I don’t feel like I’m wearing my own clothes or my own style, but I don’t really care. Something far bigger than me and high-rise jeans and waist belts is in progress, and whatever sartorial malaise — the banality, the sameness — that this mass has ignited is helping me to find the energetic special sauce that I’ve previously used to define looking, feeling and therefore being better, elsewhere.

Herein lies the difference between bandages (using clothes to look better) and stitches (solid self-talk to be better), surface-level medicating (a new blazer on a bad day) and cellular-level repair (getting to the heart of what is bothering me). It’s making me ask what I use my clothes to do for me and how I can do that for myself. It is also finally forcing me to live within the capsule wardrobe I have been romanticizing since last year — and to that point, let me tell you, getting dressed is E-Z when you’re rotating between two pairs of pants and a handful of the same shirt.

But I’m not an idiot.

I know myself.

And once this is over, no matter how free I might feel right now, it’s back to the dungeon of maximalism. Maybe I’m a masochist, but man, I love a frivolous skirt.

Feature photo by Edith Young; Fabiana Pigna blouse, The Row pants and Roger Vivier shoes.

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  • 🙂

  • Oana

    Outfit 11 is amazing!!!

  • Ana Lucia

    I NEED YOUR WARDROBE

    • Ana Lucia

      btw you look ravishing

  • Martyna

    Leandra, please not the real fur coat 🙁 You’re so influential and it’s such an unnecessary horrible cruelty. There’s no reason wear fur. If you really love how it looks, there’s so many fake fur options that looks the same. Let’s support the weaker ones.

    • ByeBeckz

      Leandra showcasing her beautiful pregnancy and the most liked comment is about her fur jacket. I’m vegetarian and anti-fur too but no need to shame her post- to each their own.

      • Martyna

        Appreciate your wish to protect Leandra, I’m very happy for her too.
        However, she’s not showcasing pregnany, she’s showcasing pregnancy style, which are two different things.
        Nothing gives a freepass to support animal torture and killing. Not even pregnancy.

    • Christina

      Fur always elicits these kinds of posts, but leather never does

      • 808kate

        I wonder about this too. How is it different? (Genuinely wondering).

        • My uneducated 2¢ – I’d love to actually have a productive chat with anyone who is interested and agrees/disagrees!

          Leather is more commonplace – cutting out fur is easy (and less expensive) but almost all quality shoes, bags, and belts are made of leather, and the alternatives have an association as “cheap” (which may or may not be deserved).

          Leather is a hard-wearing material that can last years of heavy use if taken care of properly. Fur is almost exclusively a luxury item with no real use besides adornment.

          Fur comes from small, romanticized, pet-like animals, and requires many many animals deaths for a single garment. Leather comes from large, un-cuddly (although still very cute) common farm animals, who slaughtered and eaten by people worldwide.

          But it is a definitely misconception that the leather industry is tied to the beef industry. Most leather is from animals specifically raised for their skins, or raised as milk cattle and then slaughtered when their production wanes.

          • I would like to note that synthetic leathers are HORRIBLE for the environment and DO NOT hold up as well as real leather does.

          • THIS x100! It drives me insane when vegan alternatives to fur/leather are marketed as “eco-friendly” simply because they are vegan. They are petroleum products (which are technically from dead animals too if you wanna get specific).

            Of course leather puts strain on the environment too – the most truly eco-friendly route would be to explore materials like rubber, cork, and waxed cotton as replacements.

          • Totally agree. Each causes its own strain on the environment, but vegan leather is touted as some cure-all alternative, and it isn’t.

            Sidenote – I hate the term “vegan leather” – it’s PLEATHER. While I respect certain designers for not using fur or leathers, I am infuriated that they still charge anything over $100 for any products (looking at you, Stella McCartney) for petroleum-based, plastic-y, products.

            I do LOVE waxed cotton as an alternative for leather though; it’s durable, wears well, cleans nicely, and isn’t cost prohibitive.

          • belle

            Alternative view: while real fur is a luxury item, having it when you live in Arctic climates is pretty much necessary. Synthetic furs will NEVER perform the same way, and can be as damaging for the environment as “vegan” pleather. I don’t own any fur garments (faux or otherwise) but growing up in a hunting family, we used hides and pelts around the house.

            I won’t argue that the corporate slaughterhouses are a travesty. They are. But personally, I have no problem using real leather, fur, or any other animal product as long as I feel good about how I got it. I would expect that once I’m dead, bacteria and/or animals will eat and use my parts too. That’s just how it goes.

          • doublecurl

            this is so true!! I tried for a long time to make do with synthetic furs around my face on parkas and there really is a massive difference with real fur. no synthetics can ever protect your face from the elements half as well. of course if you’re not in that climate there’s no reason to have the real thing, but in some settings it is crucial.

      • Thamsa

        right?? Or the people who actually make the clothes.

      • Sleepyhead

        Why is that? I’ve always wondered. Is leather somehow more humane?

      • JJ

        Not saying this necessarily makes leather any more acceptable, but it is a by-product of the meat industry. To produce fur, the animals are kept (in horrid, unacceptable conditions) for the sole purpose of one day adorning human bodies.

        I know this subject is uncomfortable for many to face but so important that we educate ourselves on these realities.

        • LF

          Leather is NOT a by-product of the meat industry, that is an extremely common misconception. Plenty of animals are kept and killed only for their skins. For example, there are manufacturers that produce leather out of newborn calves or even fetuses, surely their meat is not being consumed as food. And what about snakes and alligators? Do you know anyone that has them for dinner? And yet they are turned into purses and shoes. Sorry if I’m being harsh, but that’s the actual reality and if these issues are important to you, or anyone for that matter, than I strongly suggest you to read and discover more about this subject. There is no distinction between fur and leather, they are both equally wrong, at least in my eyes.

          • JJ

            Yes of course you are correct about this (although calves and alligators at least are in fact consumed as food), I was referring to leathers most commonly used and not these more exotic skins, I wouldn’t for example call snake or alligator skin simply leather, but perhaps I should have been clear about that. Again, not saying it makes leather any more acceptable either.

            In my eyes, the durability of leather is a factor aswell. It is much more hard wearing and therefore longer lasting than the fake alternatives, whereas fur really offers no benefits whatsoever that would make it a justifiable choice.

        • belle

          Leather is not a byproduct of the meat industry. Even for cattle. Dairy isn’t either.

  • Ana Clara Rodriguez Dovat

    I am truly so happy for you Leandra!

  • Kelsey

    Love them all

  • Stephanie

    I wish I had documented my pregnancy looks in a more official fashion. Now I’m scrolling through old text messages saving photos off so I don’t lose them! This is great!

  • Vicky Heywood

    THANK YOU FOR THIS!!!! I am just over 6 months pregnant and have really struggled with finding my pregnancy style and I’ve been surprised at how this has effected my overall mood –
    These looks are so fabulous and provide so much inspo for me – begone leggings and the same oversized jumper! Thank you!

  • Such great maternity style. You look amazing x

  • Kelly O’Connor

    I wish I had dressed better while pregnant (I kind of wish I dressed better now) but jeans and a checked shirt are my comfort and I was lucky to stick with that through pregnancy as I had what was called a ‘tidy bump’. My penchant for baggy tops meant some people didn’t realise I was pregnant and therefore were incredibly shocked when I turned up with a pram. But, I do wish I had embraced a few of those outfits that showcase a baby bump. I have only one full length photo from pregnancy and I wish I could tell my pregnant self to accept it and appreciate the awesomeness that is a full uterus. Leandra you look amazing, and the wording about your hoohaa made me laugh aloud. Bikini line maintenance with limited (no) visibility is a dangerous game!

  • I would wear most of these looks, sans pregnancy-belly. You and your flocculent hoo-ha know how to dress dat bump.

  • tmm16

    THE COAT IN LEWK 3 I CANT BREATHE (I wish it was faux tho). Also Look 6 is what I call #CreamDream. Also the Walk of Shame dress… swoon. I wouldn’t be walking with any shame in that. Okay, I’m done now, but I could continue.

  • Lizzie

    Oh please wear that Rixo outfit somewhere fancy, it’s bloody GORGEOUS! I’ve put on a little bit of belly weight recently after moving from Spain to the US (my baby is just made of brunch foods) and have also fallen into the depressing leggings-and-oversized-sweater route. This is so so inspiring!

  • I am not sure if it’s just the new clothes and style. I saw a big shift in your pictures lately on Instagram. They might call it the glow! But, seriously you look so fresh and healthy. Also, I love the long hair!

  • vss

    I love seeing so much style packed into one post. That Rixo dress looked great on you.

  • Carla

    Trust me there’s no pregnancy style whatsoever!! Cute in the first trimester and then it’s whatever we have in the closet that fits and doesn’t make you feel like your style is fading as your belly is growing! Thank God this only lasts 9 months! So glad we’re not like elephants 2 years of pregnancy 🤰 and I’m sure the human kind would be extinct! But then when the baby arrives it’s a blessing and at the same time terrifying!! And we balance between joy and terror the rest of our lives! I have two kids sooo must be more joy otherwise I’m stupid for having the second round 😉. Love xxx Carla 2leave.com

  • Margaux Anbouba

    not pregnant, would wear most of these outfits

  • Charlotte Yorkenblatt

    Leandra, loving a frivolous skirt does not make you a masochist. Flipping through pictures of someone wearing incredible dresses and $3000 Chanel jackets that I’ll probably never even touch the likes of in real life– THAT makes one a masochist (me!).

  • Basil

    I hear what you mean about feeling like a woman. When I was pregnant, it was the first time since probably being a preteen that I was comfortable in my body and confident. My stomach stuck out, but so what? That’s what it was meant to do. I also found that having a limited wardrobe seriously improved how I dressed, as I actually had to think about it. For the second pregnancy it raised my accessorising game (apart from shoes. By the 5th month you could barely get me out of trainers)

    • Jessica

      I agree with you! I’m only 11 weeks, but my belly is already starting to jut out, very buddha-like. I’ve heard friends complain about this stage b/c they would say you couldn’t really tell they were pregnant, they just looked like they were putting on belly weight. I don’t get that. Even if other people just think its belly weight, I know its not, and it brings me so much joy to see and feel my little blooming paunch. I’m just so proud of what my body is doing, I see no downside.

    • Basil

      Oh and … wait til the baby arrives. Then you seriously start to feel like “I am woman; HEAR ME ROAR”. You go through so much (childbirth, massive sleep deprivation, keeping a tiny completely dependant person alive), particularly at the beginning that you feel invincible and seriously badass

  • Diane Vera

    Loved every outfit and I want it all!!! You look amazing!

  • Christina

    LIVING for 16/36-in all aspects, you look stunning MAMA!!! Btw your bump is just the cuestest.. I’m 35 weeks, starting to feel like a fire breathing dragon and looking like I have a perfectly round basketball up under my tummy. Xoxo

    • Christina

      On that note, being 35 weeks, slapping on leggings and my baby’s fathers t-shirts have been all the rage. I just about out-grew all long sleeve blouses and dresses pre-pregnancy. I get my style kicks organizing my baby-to-be’s wardrobe!

  • ziggyplayguitar hero

    Are you the coolest person alive?
    Quite possibly so

  • Ina Raykova

    Dear ManRepeller blog,
    Yours is the only instagram account that can get me to go all the way to the bio and click the damn link. And so far I’ve never been disappointed in doing so.

  • Hannah

    Just wanted to leave a little <3 re: day 21 caption

  • FP

    Oh my god Leandra! You look so incredible in that blouse!!

    • Leandra Medine

      You are so incredible for making it FABIANA PIGNA

      • FP

        You are way too kind! thank you so much for wearing it, brings me so much joy <3 xx

  • Emily M

    Oh, you are the cutest pregnant lady ever. The fact that there are twins in there makes me (as a twin myself) so dang happy. And even though it is the simplest, my favorite look is picture #21 because of your BUMP and because of the “feigning it with pillows” blurb. Who knew I could be so happy for a stranger?!

  • NikNak

    I see you mention you wear an outfit up to 3 times a week sometimes .. is this a pregnancy thing or do you typically do this anyway? I’m always curious how often people wear things, especially if it is a particularly loud piece in front of the same crowd.

    • Leandra Medine

      I do this a lot! I have A TON of clothes — too many, which sometimes make me feel super guilty because a) no one needs so many clothes, b) I basically wear an iteration of the same thing more or less everyday (this is particularly true in the winter). So interested in learning more about the mechanics of your curiosity — general interest or is there a partic reason you think about it?
      Also! I wrote this a couple years ago, which is semi-related: https://www.manrepeller.com/2016/03/in-defense-of-the-statement-coat.html

  • sontstyle

    Love this Congrats!MR

  • zivaramrami

    i love so many of these looks and your brave attitude when it comes to dressing during pregnancy. i wish i enjoyed it more, i spent most days in leggings and my husbands shirts. side note: fur is really messed up, i imagine you may feel differently about it when you have your kids. knowingly supporting cruelty of this magnitude, wearing it on your body and close to your heart, is pretty awful. we vote with our dollars and it does matter.

    • Pudenda Shenanigans

      The gorgeous coat is shearling. It’s made from sheep and people eat sheep.

      • zivaramrami

        it may be of value to learn about fox fur and how they obtain it. i was not speaking of the shearling coat, sheep are sheared for their wool every year to keep them cool.

  • Liz

    I haven’t even looked at the outfits yet (I will because I’m sure they’re treasures), but this piece is incredibly written

  • Thamsa

    I love all of these outfits and I especially love the repeat wears. TBF Leandra does this a lot, I see pieces being worn multiple times and I love it. Also, I am not pregnant and would wear most of these xx

  • Sleepyhead

    Good looks! I plan on attempting to recreate a few of them and I’m not even pregnant. You really got your money’s worth from those The Row pants! I love something that can be worn over and over. Hoping to achieve a capsule wardrobe one day, but still have a lot of work ahead of me.

  • www.walkthestyle.com

    Leandra,
    You have always inspired me with your sense of humor and easy writing style! As always, loved this article and one thing that you have not touched upon but makes me think is that the styles that you have showcased as “pregnancy style” can very well help people who have a slightly unflattering waistline. The tops that you have chosen (with a less restricting silhouette) camouflage a broad waistline very efficiently. Also, the jackets that you have chosen help to hide the flab around the waist very well.

    So, I feel that this article is not only helpful for the lucky pregnant lot, but, also the others who are suffering from the “broad waist syndrome” !

    I had written an article about this on my blog a few months before and I am happy to see that your pregnancy style resonates with my article on “Coolest ways to “edit” a broad waistline!”

  • Allyson Shap

    The Rixo Wrap Dress is amazing! you have to wear it out!

  • Nico

    Leandra! First of all, congrats! Truly happy for you.
    Secondly, a word of warning that wearing pants you LOVE (like The Row ones – which look great on you btw) too much while pregnant because their stretch could potentially make them unwearable post-pregnancy. I had a pair of leather ones that had some give during my pregnancy, but when I went to wear them a couple months postpartum, I found they had stretched in places that made them look a little bulky and not v flattering anymore. Was a bummer.
    Maybe you’re not worried about it but just a word of warning since those are some fancy pantalones. 💛

  • kforkarli

    You look so gorgeous, Leandra. You’ve made me want the Addidas sneakers because they just look so comfy. The ‘feigned a bump’ comment made me more emotional than I thought. It just reminded me last year, listening to Monocycle while I walked the Camino de Santiago and you just sounded so defeated and sad. I’m just so happy for you!

  • Judy

    That huge neck noodle pillow in the back thou… : D Is it Abie‘s or yours?

  • Roos .

    I wish I had your hairline and your eyebrows.

  • Pandora Sykes

    Wait till you hit 7 months and then NO trousers fit – however enormous, scuba and stretchy – except maternity.

  • curious

    How rich are you?

  • KILLLLIN’ ITTTTTT!!! you look so cozy on day 6 i would like to give you a hug. ugh i need more coats.

  • Cristina

    Leandra, you are so beyond fab I might cry haha! I am loving your pregnancy style (has it been a struggle to work with the new pregnancy boobs?!) and I love the comfy but fashionable aspect. Like.. it’s giving me ideas as a regular, non-pregnant person. Also, heyyyy lipstick at the Lincoln Center- gorg!

  • I love all the outfits here except the coat with fox fur trimmed. 😟

  • Leandra!
    I am so so so happy for you, its been quite the journey. AND I do just love (I am 37 weeks pregnant) all of the awesome pregnancy content that is hitting Manrepeller.
    BUT — can we see some content by some bustier or slightly bigger sized pregnant women? I loved this journal, it was awesome to see you “do you” and embracing (so stylishly) this exciting chapter in your life … but the reality is that even my size 2 /4 self, could only wear non-maternity clothes upped a few sizes until about the 5th month … then I wasn’t so fortunate and had to get creative in different ways.
    I’d love to see how other women manage. It can be so completely frustrating, and the only thing that really saves your sanity is reminding yourself that 1. this is super temporary (!!!) and 2. that the end result, albeit a less stylish journey … is a beautiful healthy baby.
    So in short, please keep these stories coming, but if you could offer a bit more diversity to the women profiled, that would be AMAZING!

    • BTW .. reading these comments … the coat was my FAVORITE part, to each their own. You’re fucking fabulous.

  • ashley

    11 11 11 11 yess. i hope for another pregnancy to give I️t a whirl

  • Keisha

    Love the Rixo dress on you!

  • Chaya Aizenman Wilmowsky

    Love that frilled-sleeed dress you wore after the boring weekend!

    <3 thanks for this meaningful, art-filled post! 🙂

  • rachelattack

    Yes I love the Isabel Marant sleeves fluttering out from under the trenchcoat!

  • Kelly Joyce

    Love this post! I’m 35 weeks with twins and dressing has been pretty simple for me as I own a wellness business, so lots of outdoor voices leggings! The last couple months get much harder, at least for me, especially with the insane swelling in my feet that no amount of elevation helps. I’d love to know how your experience has been with being a naturally thin person pregnant with twins… I’ve had so many people say to me “you look too small for twins” over the past few months. I know that most are trying to be kind, but it can be a bit unnerving and make you worry that everything is okay! Luckily us twin moms have so many ob appts that I have known all along that the babies and I have been growing right on track and healthy throughout. I have gained 60lbs and have over 10lbs of baby in me at this point and I still get told I look too small! I’m so curious if you’ve had to deal with this at all. You look PERFECT by the way and more importantly I hope you feel great. So so happy for you and your husband xxxx

  • Pudenda Shenanigans

    Leandra, your wardrobe, pregnant or not, gives me life!

  • Raphaëlle Yokota

    I was sooo waiting for such a piece 😍This is gonna be so exciting when you get back to the maximalistic game, I’m sure you will enjoy the trip back!

  • miyuki

    i just find out you are pregger! with twins!! just wanted to say congratulations! and look forward to your post after giving birth, and raising your twins! I have been lost for almost 4 years…(mine is a boy…)
    I want to dress a lot more, but just lost man…i just wear 5 to 6 pants, every day for 4years, realized how actually last all the garments lol…. i keep looking into you! and do share and inspire us!

  • chescadanthony

    omg! Congratulations😊

  • Aida Schooler

    this is the first time i have seen the word ‘flocculated’ used outside of a pottery studio. i am impressed.

  • Josefin

    Jaaaa Leandra congratulation on you guys’ pregnancy, how amazing! I don’t know you, but I have your book and by chance I heard your podcast right after feeling very down about not being able to get pregnantz I am so happy for you two 🙂

  • Josefin

    nice outfits too ✌️

  • Stephanie Landry

    31/36 is just amazing. Such a cool pregnancy or not look. Also are you wearning NON maternity jeans? HOW. I’m 22 weeks and my mid-section is so round hahaha.

  • You just single handedly raised the what to wear while pregnant bar, congratulations!!!!

  • Natalie Redman

    Love these choices! Gorgeous.

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Alyssa Renteria

    hey Leandra, where did you get your mirror from??

  • LeeAnne Shaffer Osborn

    Leandra, I know I’m late to the party here and arguably off-topic but I’ve been wondering since you posted this: what kind of body pillow is that lounging on your bed? Do you recommend it? I’ve been trying to locate a body pillow covered in 100% cotton (or even better for that glossy pregnancy hair: silk!), but alas, the internet giveth only cotton/polyester snoogles and snoogle knock-offs.