Beth Rodden’s Top Picks For Clothes To Last Through Pregnancy

By Beth Rodden, 11 February 2014

  • DATE

    11 February 2014


    Beth Rodden


    Rock Climbing

I'm not a super girly girl. I've worn makeup fewer than five times in my life, and the only clothes that I've purchased in the past decade are underwear and cotton socks. Shopping in a mall is more exhausting to me than climbing El Cap in a day.

When I was 8 years old, I was going to spend a weekend with my grandparents in the Bay Area. My grandparents were incredible with the fact that they watched each of their 9 grandkids several times each year to give our parents a break. This visit just happened to coincide with a Christmas party that my grandfather was attending.

I was the ultimate tomboy, often getting weird looks in the girls' bathroom in restaurants or airports. I had short hair, dressed exactly like my brother, and played with GI Joes way more often than any pink Barbie doll. As I got into the my grandfather's car, wearing a pair of pants and a sweater, he asked if that was all I had for dress up clothing. Bewildered, I replied yes, as I thought I looked perfectly fine. As he turned the car into the Macy's parking lot, it was clear that he thought otherwise.

He took me directly to the girls' dress section. I should also mention that I despised dresses. I likened them to Brussell's sprouts, cleaning the toilet, or anything else that 8 year olds hate. But I hated dresses with all my little heart. He picked out a handful and sent me into the dressing room to try them on and pick one out. As I got into the dressing room I was in tears. Why the heck would he force to wear something that he knew I hated? There was no way in hell I was going to wear a dress.

I sneaked out of the dressing room and into the lobby of Macy's to find a pay phone. I called my mom crying, basically accusing him of child abuse. She then called my grandmother who got a hold of my grandfather, and sternly shouted, "Russel, you know Beth does NOT wear dresses. Bring her to the house now." And so I got out of yet another evening wearing a dress.

Looking back at this from my 30s, I completely understand that my grandfather just wanted to show off his granddaughter and dress her up. However, I was as stubborn as a nail as a child, and that still shows through today, resulting in me going to great extremes to avoid dresses.

When I found out I was pregnant, one of the things that I dreaded most was shopping for maternity clothes. I basically live in my climbing clothing, with a few "normal" clothes that I have gotten for gifts over the years. I wear basically the same outfit everyday, no matter where or what the weather. I was not looking forward to heading into a mall or clothing store to try on clothes. Little has changed since that fateful day at Macy's.

Luckily, some of my Outdoor Research staples have lasted me well into my fifth month, and I would recommend them for any expecting mom out there who wants to have some outdoor apparel that will be good in pregnancy and out of pregnancy.

First, the Offline Pants. Unless it's actively raining or snowing out, you can always find me in these pants.

Second, the Acetylene Jacket. I love this jacket. I love love love it. It's not only a wonderful climbing jacket, but also perfect for a growing belly. Comfy and warm, it's a perfect piece.

Next, the Halogen Hoody. This is a great layer if I want something a bit warmer than the Acetylene, and it's done an amazing job allowing me to grow.

Lastly, my trademark downie, the Virtuoso Jacket. Even in July, this thing will be in my pack, just in case that freak snow storm comes in. I think I'll be able to wear this piece well into my sixth month, unless I gain a ton of weight between now and then. It's a great layer.

For more info, follow along on Beth Rodden's blog.

Beth Rodden

Berkeley, CA

Beth Rodden started climbing at the age of 14 when her dad took her to the local climbing gym. She immediately became entranced in the vertical world, traveling the country and the world for climbing competitions.As her love of plastic climbing faded and her love of the mountains grew, she started living on the road, traveling from climbing area to climbing area. With a few years of dedicated sport climbing under her belt, she became interested in bigger walls and trad climbing. For the past decade, she’s been obsessed with climbing in Yosemite. Whether it’s free climbing El Cap, single pitches or wrestling boulders, she’s become a permanent fixture on the Sierra granite.