There’s a terrible myth out there that says you have to spend a fortune on maternity clothes in order to not look frump-tastic throughout your pregnancy.
But that’s the thing… is that that is a myth. That was a huge goal of mine when I found out I was pregnant. The goal being: don’t spend a fortune on maternity clothes, invest in good, key pieces that will last throughout all nine months, and consider pieces that would work during AND after pregnancy (or even for future pregnancies down the road).
I did make a few mistakes along the way when it came to buying maternity stuff… so let me get those out of the way first:
Maternity Clothing Mistakes
- Buying crappy, consigned maternity jeans: there are a TON of fabulous consignment stores out there that sell cheap, previously worn maternity clothing. Well, I made the mistake of going and buying a couple of pairs of cheap maternity jeans when my regular jeans no longer fit. I spent $5 on each pair. And that $10 total that I spent was not worth it at all. They were HORRIBLY uncomfortable (they were demi-panel jeans) and I hated every minute I wore them.
- Buying a piece of maternity clothing because it was on sale: So when I first started actually wearing maternity clothing, I saw a couple rando pieces of maternity clothes on sale at places like Target or Gap… and I bought them… without really thinking. And I got them home and realized I really didn’t actually like them. That was silly of me.
- Not trying it on before I left the store: NOTE: Maternity clothing sizes often fit VERY differently than your normal clothing size. Just because you’re usually a size Medium or a size 8 in normal clothes DOES NOT mean you will be in maternity clothing. TRY IT ON before you leave the store. If you order ANY maternity clothing off the interwebs, make sure they have a good and/or easy return policy.
Okay, on to the essentials. And by essentials, I really do mean pieces that will last you throughout the WHOLE pregnancy… not just part of it.
Maternity Clothing Essentials
1. Get a GOOD pair of maternity jeans (or two). Remember how I just said how I bought crappy maternity jeans? Yeah, that was awful. Go to a maternity clothing store and get fitted. You DON’T have to spend $100+, but you shouldn’t short change yourself. My favorite pairs were these FULL PANEL jeans from Indigo Blue at Motherhood Maternity. TRUST ME, the full panel jeans (the super sexy ones that go all the way up your belly) are SO MUCH MORE comfortable than the demi-panel ones. The demi-panel ones eventually cut into the bottom part of your tummy RIGHT where baby is and baby will let you know that he or she does not like being poked there by your maternity jeans. Go get fitted. You will thank me later.
2. Get a few STRETCHY maxi skirts. I did buy a few “maternity” maxi skirts, but they are definitely maxi skirts that I can wear post-pregnancy. A basic maxi skirt will go with anything and carry you through all nine months.
3. Invest in a few really comfortable bras and comfortable underwear. Your body changes SO much throughout pregnancy… my ribs expanded like CRAZY and none of my bras ended up fitting. I went to Target and got two bras a size up and I was in heaven. The same with underwear. You’d be surprised how uncomfortable some of your underwear can get as your hips expand to make way for that kid. I went to Destination Maternity and actually got some maternity underwear and they are the most comfortable things EVER. It REALLY makes a difference.
4. Instead of getting a ton of “maternity tops” – get a few stretchy tops a size or two up. I printed off a few coupons to Target and bought like 4 or 5 stretch v-neck t-shirts a size up and I have worn those like 50 different ways throughout all nine months. And I will totally be able to wear these tops post-pregnancy as well!
5. Get creative with what you have already in your closet. Don’t feel like you can’t wear ANYTHING you already own. Cardigans are your friend. Skinny belts are your friend. Don’t button an oxford shirt all the way, belt it over a tank instead. Just figure out what works for you!
Incorporating Trends into Maternity Fashion and Style
Yes, you can still have FUN with fashion and style during your pregnancy! I know I have had SO much fun putting together looks and trying to incorporate trends. If you’re able to, give yourself a little wiggle room to get one or two “trendy” maternity pieces. I was blessed enough to be given a few by friends and my mother-in-law (because they all know me so well and knew it would make my year!)
But even then, I got trendy pieces that will still last a while, last through multiple pregnancies, AND weren’t that pricey. Maybe do something like give yourself a budget of $50 or something one month and hit a trendy maternity clothing store and get a splurge item. Now is the time to have a little fun and indulge (if it is financially feasible for you!) Don’t overdo ANYTHING.
Maternity Workout Clothing
This is something that I am no good at… I basically wear the same workout running capris and one of my husband’s XL t-shirts. I can tell you though FLAT waistbands, NOT cinched waistbands are your friend.
If you’re wondering what I’m talking about… this is what I’m talking about:
My Favorite Places to Buy Maternity Clothes
- Old Navy Maternity – (They have AWESOME sales and remember to always wait for the coupon codes!) I have scored some GREAT deals from here.
- Destination Maternity / Motherhood Maternity – Another GREAT place to score some great deals. They often run coupons, specials, etc. and you can always find great pieces on the sale racks!
- Target Maternity – Another GREAT place to get sweet deals. ALWAYS check for coupons online… they almost ALWAYS have a 20% off coupon. Plus, if you do your baby registry there, you get extra maternity clothing coupons. Score!
Anywho. That’s all I can think of for now. I may think of more later.
Have you had a baby? Are you pregnant? Do you agree / disagree with any of the essentials I mentioned? Other maternity clothing / fashion questions? Sound off in the comments!