This year for my 30th birthday, my husband planned a lovely trip to Cape Cod and Boston, Massachusetts. Here’s what we did and what I wore.
Important: This is a style blog and this is a style centered blog post but I just wanted to quickly say: Ya’ll, I’m very pregnant lol. I love clothes and getting dressed up but I think it’s important to be realistic with what style looks like when you’re ready to pop.
I am a Flamboyant Natural type, so centering comfort, ease, and flow is my mandate- but being pregnant takes that to a whole new level. So, these looks are going to be centered on my comfort- which is what I believe every pregnant woman should do. Very soon our bundle of joy will be here- and I will still be prioritizing my comfort for a while after that lol- but when that’s all over, I promise to get back to the full on style looks of all our dreams. 🙂
My husband had to travel for work to the area surrounding Boston the week after my birthday. So, he suggested that instead of him being gone for a two days, why don’t we extend into a week long family trip. I had never been to Boston and it’s a place we’ve spoken about exploring before so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Roping in Provincetown and Plymouth Rock just seemed like a good idea since we would already be in the area and neither of us had been there.
I know you’re here for style so I’ll focus on all the clothes first. If you’re interested in reading about the rest of the trip and all the details of what we did and where we stayed, that will be in second part of the post just after the style section.
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Look 1: Cream Crotchet Dress
Shop this image: Cream dress here.
This beautiful crotchet cream dress is what I wore on my actual birthday. I’m in my third trimester so I’m looking very pregnant these days. My saving grace has been dresses like these that can stretch with me as my baby grows, but will stretch back down when my body readjusts post delivery. This is my second baby, so I have a pretty solid understanding of how my body behaves with baby weight (I think). I’m also a Flamboyant Natural, so remaining fairly lean/ muscular even with weight gain is expected. You can see I’m still frame dominant.
I will say though that I am carrying differently with this baby, maybe I’m just in the throws of it but everything feels bigger. The baby (we don’t know the sex) is definitively bigger, which is apparently the norm. My first baby was tiny to the point of my doctors being concerned enough to monitor her growth religiously.
So, it’s nice to see them so lax about this one who is sitting perfectly average on the growth scale. That said, Mama feels it. I’ve pulled muscles just sitting (?!) and getting up and sitting down seem to be obstacle courses now lol.
Anyway, enough blabbing, let’s talk clothes and where to get them.
Look 2: Violet Stretch Knit Dress
Stretchy sheath dresses for the win once again. I love this dress. I can’t remember exactly where I picked it up but it was done randomly one day while shopping for something else entirely. I wasn’t pregnant at the time and just liked the color (it’s one of my best colors for my color season). I had no idea it would turn into a staple for me during pregnancy. Also, as soon as I wash it shrinks back to size so I know I’ll enjoy it just as much post delivery.
Unfortunately I can’t link to this exact one, but I think this dress from Pink Blush Maternity is a great alternative. Pink Blush Maternity specializes in maternity clothing, so you really can’t go wrong with their stuff. If this isn’t your taste, I’m certain you’ll find something that is. This purple dress is also a great option.
In the image above, I’m pictured with my little munchkin in front of the gorgeous gardens at Versailles, France, in April (about 2 months ago). I’ve stretched a bit more since then, but my dress is still being an ally lol. My poor shoes got destroyed in the rain because I didn’t anticipate the wet weather and they got soaked. Those watermarks were not going to go away, so, I had to say goodbye to them.
I’m not too bummed because honestly it was time. I loved those mules so I was hanging on to them for dear life, but even before the rain fiasco, they were ready to retire. Plus, wanting to replace them gave me something to shop for. I replaced them with this pair from Saks Off 5th that’s much dressier and I love them. I’ll probably still get a classic style that’s closer of a match to the original at some point but, for now, I like what I got.
Look 3: Blue Stretch Dress
Shop this image: Blue dress here.
On our first beach day I wore this lovely dress from Banana Republic. It really showcases my bump in all it’s glory and the fabric is stretchy (I cannot stress the importance of this enough) and cool, which is great for the June/ July heat. I bought this dress because I was pregnant. This is not typically my taste, I think the hemline is too wide for my structure and I prefer a narrower silhouette (like the dress above), so after the baby I don’t think I’ll be reaching for this one too much. However, it has been great for this baby-making season. It’s stretchy, it’s easy on and off, it gives great shape, and it smooths out any bumps.
Not to be outdone, baby girl also looked incredibly cute in her orange dress. She is pictured here eyeing the seagulls she’s about to take off chasing.
Look 4: Black Stretch Dress
I won’t say too much about how amazing long stretchy dresses are because surely I’ve made my point already, so I’ll just say that this dress has been one of my favorites as my body has been stretching. This picture was taken a little earlier on in my pregnancy, but the dress continues to hold and caress my growing curves as it does in this picture.
I love the fit so much that I’ve given myself permission to overlook that it’s black, which is not of my most flattering colors. I bought this before I knew my color season and that, as an Autumn, I have a warm and muted coloring so black is generally overpowering on me. I now shop with this knowledge, so I no longer buy black garments, but there are a few I kept because I loved them so much and while they may not be my absolute best color-wise, they fit beautifully and they still work. Like this dress.
Look 5: Short Oversized Romper
I’m not a huge romper person, so post baby this will likely turn into a house outfit, but while pregnant I have really come to appreciate the ease and comfort that rompers offer. I love that with one pull-up I have a complete outfit and pockets. The exact one I have is pictured in the middle, I got it off Amazon for cheap because I was not sold on the idea, so I thought I’d do a reconnaissance buy first.
I am now fully convinced and will be getting the one on the right (which I saw instore in Boston but they just didn’t have my size) very soon. The longer length of this second romper will make it more harmonious with my long vertical line and the overall higher quality of the garment will likely make me reach me for it more than the shorter option.
The quality of the short romper is not bad, I was pleasantly surprised, but it’s not the best either. Feeling the longer romper in store, I was instantly aware of that being a higher quality fabric with better overall construction.
I like to and I advocate for buying the best quality you can afford, so now that I know I like having at least one, ‘upgrading’ my romper selection is a no brainer for me.
Look 6: White T-shirt + Green Palazzo Pants
This look screams Flamboyant Natural and I love it. Both the t shirt and the palazzo pants have the characteristic long, loose lines and flowy excess fabric for an easy fit. I also like the asymmetry created by the cut of the shirt and all these Flamboyant Natural elements make this look just work for me.
Now, ordinarily, I would pair the loose pants with a tighter top for balance, but this loose top is just what I need to accommodate my bump and it doesn’t look too unconstructed because the bump stretches the top to add structure. The fit is loose and relaxed and everything is so comfortable and airy. I love the sharp toe of the shoe to give another touch of structure and pull it all together so the look isn’t too casual.
Look 7: Black Flowy Dress + Long Cardigan
Shop this image: Black dress (right) here.
I know I’ve been waxing poetic about narrow-fit stretch dresses, but I do still love a loose dress, especially in the summer. This one let’s my bump breathe and the fabric is so soft and comfortable. I have had this dress for years and although black is not one of my best colors, this one is quite soft (bordering on dark grey) and the dress just feels so nice that I’ve decided to overlook that fact. I’ve paired it here with a long, flowy cardigan.
I love a good long cardigan. Firstly, I’m always cold so cardigans are my life. Secondly, I love the long vertical line that they instantly add to my outfit, creating great harmony with my lines. This is especially effective and flattering when I’m pairing it with a short item like the black dress in the above look. Both the exact dress and cardigan I have on are no longer available, but I linked to some great alternatives.
Here, I’ve styled this cardigan with a lovely stretchy dress and I love this combination. If it looks familiar, this is the same dress from a few outfits ago.
Complete the look with the accessories (or close matches) I wore with each of the looks:
Where We Stayed
As I mentioned, my husband was working the first two days, so we spent the first two nights at a Courtyard by Marriott near the job site and my daughter and I hung out and enjoyed the amenities.
The room was nice and spacious. We had a king size bed and a separate couch area in front of the tv and work desk station. I appreciated the extra room because with a little one who likes to move, having more spaces to crawl up and down made her stay more fun.
I like the Courtyard by Marriott. It’s always nice and clean and the standard they set is pretty well maintained at every location I’ve stayed at. They had a well stocked gym that I never used, but my husband likes to work out in the mornings so this is something we look for.
This being more of a work location, the hotel didn’t have a pool, which would have helped kill time, but I understand why. This is primarily a work area servicing short stay professionals. They don’t swim much. We did enjoy the outdoor courtyard seating and I walked her around the well kept premises to tire her out.
I did my work around keeping my daughter entertained. We explored the lobby, gym, and grounds to give her a change of scenery when she was starting to get antsy and display signs of cabin fever.
This was naturally the least exciting part of the trip, but I was glad for the down time to work. I started drafting this blog post for example and I was able to work on a client body type analysis.
We stayed at the Cambria, a boutique hotel in Downtown-South Boston. I loved this hotel, the room was great and the general vibe was very modern and trendy. The floor plan was quite tight, but the use of space was well thought out so it didn’t feel that way. All the doors slide instead of swinging out, for example, and it just felt like someone thought about the placement of everything.
The amenities included a downstairs restaurant, an upstairs rooftop bar, a gym, common area, and the staff was friendly. It was a great place to retire to at the end of a busy day.
What We Did
This was an unexpected highlight of this trip. I had never really heard much about Provincetown until James and I started discussing it on the drive up. I knew it was a Gay Capital of sorts, having the highest concentration of gay men per capita at a point, but nothing could have prepared me for the joy of it.
I don’t wish to condense it down to just one thing but I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight that Provincetown is a joyously flamboyantly gay place. We came at the end of June meaning we just caught the end of Pride and that might have dialed things up a notch, but I don’t think by much if at all. I get the sense that this is just how Provincetown is all the time and it makes me so happy.
I particularly loved seeing the older gay couples. The idea (assumption) of them having found a place to build community and grow old in peace, love, and style made me really happy. It’s a place that’s free and safe and by being that for one group it’s become that for all groups. I got a tangible sense that everyone could really just come as they are and there would be space and acceptance for them. And the looks were serving.
The first settlement of the Pilgrims is not exactly a destination I would have picked by myself if I’m being wholly honest, but when you have a history buff husband who is particularly obsessed with American history, certain things come into your periphery. This stop took us about an hour out of Cape Cod, but it was an easy and beautiful ride that none of us minded.
The actual ‘Plymouth Rock’ which (disputed) legend has it was what the pilgrims first sighted and chose specifically to be where they landed was rather underwhelming. It was so…small. Granted, it has eroded greatly since the 1600s and the consensus is that it was about three times the size when the Pilgrims first saw it, but even at that full size it would still be small.
The Mayflower II, a replica of the ship that carried the pilgrims and a point of pride for all those who can trace their ancestry back to that original voyage, was very cool to see. I thought that was more of a highlight than the rock itself. We spent a total of about 1.5 hours here and most of it was lunch. You don’t need much more than that to see everything. The town itself is very quaint as you’d expect and we quite enjoyed just walking around. We had a very pleasant lunch there before finally setting off to Boston.
Day 1- Museum of Fine Arts
We went to the Museum of Fine Arts and spent a couple of hours enjoying the amazing collections that the establishment has to offer. We visit museums quite a bit and we’ve learned to prioritize what we’d like to see that day. This is especially true with a toddler, we get AT MOST 3 hours (averaging around 2) in any one place and we have to keep moving to keep baby girl somewhat entertained. Did I mention she insists on being carried and we didn’t bring a stroller? It’s not ideal for trying to take in what museums have to offer but the alternative is not to go and we wouldn’t want to do that.
Anyway, this trip we prioritized the painted works of acclaimed artists Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh. It was nice to sit in the presence of such masterful works and simply enjoy them. It blows my mind that many of these works belong to individuals and I’m so grateful they loan them to museums so the rest of us can enjoy them too.
Pictured above, going clockwise, are: Flower Beds at Vétheuil, by Claude Monet, 1881; Enclosed Field with Ploughman, 1889, by Vincent Van Gogh; Ravine, 1889, by Vincent Van Gogh.
We arrived in Boston at around 6pm and had just enough time to check in and get settled. We up to the rooftop bar to get dinner and I was really grateful for that option so we didn’t have to leave the hotel. The food was good and we went back down to our room and enjoyed an early and easy night in.
Day 1- Fenway Stadium, Newbury Shopping Strip, Cheers Restaurant Diner
We spent day 1 exploring downtown Boston and there was so much to see and do there. We got dropped off by Fenway Park and walked around the stadium and surrounding area. Boston has a very cool built up but small city feel, it feels very contained and walkable. I like that a lot because I don’t like large cities that feel overwhelming. Boston is a walking city, especially if you don’t have kids. We valeted our car and Ubered a lot to different locations to make our lives easier- but if it was just James and I, we would have walked most of it.
We walked over to the famous Newbury Street to see all the fancy boutiques and do some shopping. I like the mix of stores, it’s famous for all the high end shopping, but there really is something for everyone. We both discovered some new brands that we didn’t know about that we both love. My husband found State & Liberty and I found UpWest and Veronica Beard, whose window display featured a blazer I’m still thinking about.
It took a while to walk down the street because we were popping in to whatever stores called to us and fitting some things, all while keeping baby girl entertained. We didn’t even explore the other side streets, the shopping district is more than just one street, but we stayed on Newbury and didn’t even make it all the way through because it was Sunday and most of the stores closed by 6.
So after shopping, we walked over to the famous Cheers Bar and had dinner. It was cute, the food was normal bar food and the vibe was relaxed and fun- you could tell it’s a tourist spot and every one was excited to be there for the novelty of it. Baby girl got noodles and butter and she HOUSED them. I think we have a new winning food group. Then we called it a night.
Day 2- Museum of Science + Paul Review House + Sam Adams Brewery + Park
On day 2 we continued with our exploration. We started our day early at the Museum of Science which is a wonderful place for kids of all ages. Our daughter is two and half and the place held her attention. She was so happy to be there, she could barely contain herself. She played the games, wanted to touch everything, and generally interacted well with all the exhibits.
We then went to The Paul Revere House Museum, which was a very quick tour, before walking around the North End. We got pastries before making our way to Sam Adams Brewery so my husband could rest from carrying baby girl most of the way and because he loves Sam Adams beer. By the end of his flight it was nap time for baby girl and we retired to our hotel.
When she woke up we went back out to do a little more shopping on Newbury and to see the stores we missed the day before. After that we went to the park and the little one was obsessed with the ducks. I really had such a great time just watching her run around and wave to all the birds, squirrels, and ducks. The park is beautiful, well manicured, and so clean. We could have spent more time there.
Finally, we took a ride to Beacon Hill to have a fancy dinner to celebrate our last night in Boston. More on that later.
Day 3- Harvard
On the last day before heading out we went to explore the Harvard campus grounds. Considering that the Harvard campus grounds basically make up the whole of Cambridge, we barely scratched the surface.
The weather was not great, it was drizzling on and off and threatening to turn to full on rain at any moment. So, we mostly had an indoor day.
We visited the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology and spent about an hour and a half before Liyana started crawling under the tables to indicate she was done. We took the hint and walked the grounds for a change of scenery, then had lunch before getting on the road to go back home.
Harvard is a world all onto itself and you can definitely make a trip of just exploring the museums and the campuses. We just wanted to see it, so I’m quite happy with our quick in-and-out stop.
Food, Oh Glorious Food
I know this is not exactly what this blog is about, but please allow me to share some of the deliciousness highlights we enjoyed on this trip.
Il Nido in Marlboro, New Jersey
This is what I ate on my actual birthday, the Saturday before before we took the trip- but it definitely still counts. This is from a wonderful Italian restaurant called Il Nido in Marlboro, New Jersey. We love this place and it never disappoints. Everything was spectacular. We did get over zealous and over order, especially considering we got pasta mains, so we had a lot of left overs that were devoured the following day. No regrets.
75 Chestnut in Beacon Hill, Boston
In Boston, we had a great dinner at 75 Chestnut in Beacon Hill. We each got our seafood fix and baby girl doubled down on her newfound love affair with pasta and butter. She made sure to let the fries know they were still important too and honestly we were amazed at her appetite that night.
She almost got adopted (a thing that happens quite a lot) by a fellow diner who ‘fell in love in with her’ and by the end of the night our daughter had abandoned us for her new friend. She was sitting comfortably on her lap acting like we didn’t exist lol.
But, back to the dining experience: the food was great, the service was amazing, and the ambiance was perfect. We obviously had a lot of meals in Boston, but this was the fanciest and it didn’t disappoint.
We had an great trip to Cape Cod and Boston and we got to see and do so much in a short space of time. If you’re considering a visit I hope this post offers some useful information and or some inspiration and of course, I hope you liked the outfits.
Thanks for sharing my birthday with me.