I have a really hard time shelling out for maternity clothing. I don’t fit into maternity stuff until well into my second trimester, and then I only get a few months of wear out of it. My babies have been far enough apart that stuff I loved with one didn’t appeal to me at all by the time I got pregnant again.
I’ve learned the hard way that a maternity wardrobe made up of just a few basic, affordable, and mixable pieces is the best thing for dressing yourself when you’re pregnant. Then, if you fall in love with a not-so-basic top or dress or you need some more supportive underwear, you’ve got the budget to make a splurge.
Here are the very basic pieces that can get you through pregnancy with your budget (and sanity!) intact.
1. A Few Tanks
I’ve discovered that three or four basic tanks (or tees) in neutral colors are a really good starting point. Wear them alone or add a vest, cardigan, cropped jacket, scarf, or above-the-belly belt. There are so many ways to jazz them up with your pre-pregnancy clothing that they go a lot farther than you’d think!
(via Old Navy)
2. One Pair of Jeans
The hair-tie trick gets me through all of my first and most of my second trimester without having to wear maternity jeans. When I do make the switch, I’m usually round enough to want a full panel. One good pair of full panel maternity jeans is enough to get me through the rest of my pregnancy in comfort and style. A word to the wise: Just like with regular jeans, you’re probably better off going to the store and trying on a few pairs until you find one that fits your shape. It’s so hard finding a good fit online! I love to check department stores like Macy’s and JC Penney … they usually have quite a few options and they’re always having sales!
3. Pencil Skirt … For When You Need to Look Nice
We’re church-going folk which means I need to have a bump-friendly skirt or dress option open to me every Sunday. I’ve also been pregnant over Christmas twice now, which included some nicer parties for work and family. I have a skirt that is very similar to this one and it has been a lifesaver.
4. Maxi Dress
I firmly believe that every pregnant woman should have one thing in her closet that is both easy to wear and makes her feel like a million bucks. I have a dress very similar to this Gap one that I pull out whenever I’m just feeling fat and blah. There’s something about it that makes me feel long and lean regardless of how big my belly gets!
I know some people swear by maternity leggings (and you should definitely try some on!) but I’ve had a couple of pairs and I’m really happy just wearing my regular (very stretchy) ones with the waistband under my belly. Also, if you have one of those jersey fold-over skirts, then don’t buy a maternity version — it’s the same thing! Lastly, avoid maternity versions of anything with an open front, such as a cardigan, unless it’s on amazing sale. You can probably get the same thing for cheaper in the non-maternity section! There are plenty of things in your pre-pregnancy closet that will work great through your whole 9 months!
6. When All Else Fails … Raid Your Man’s Closet
When you get to the very end and you’re huge and nothing fits, then take a gander at the OTHER side of the closet. My husband hates when I steal his clothes but desperate times, you know? His stuff can usually get me through those last few weeks. Bonus: It’s free!
Also, don’t forget to check out thrift stores. Sometimes I find stuff, sometimes I don’t, but when there are $4 maternity tops at stake, it’s at least worth looking!