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It all started back when we were just trying to get pregnant no blue line yet, and not even a confirmation from the doctor. But boy, oh boy was I ever excited to be pregnant! Besides all of the obsessive planning for baby, I was definitely guilty of shoving a pillow under my shirt every now and then and fantasizing about when my baby bump would start to show. But when it did? I was totally unprepared! All of those clothes in my closet that I had off-handedly thought would be great for my pregnant self? Yeah…not so much. My boobs were huge, my body had morphed into something unrecognizable, and I couldn’t afford a brand new wardrobe. I just wanted to cry when I got dressed every morning of my third trimester.
Take it from me, your maternity wardrobe doesn’t need to be so angst-filled, and you certainly don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of brand new maternity clothes! Here are some simple maternity style tips I learned along the way for making your old wardrobe work with your new body and for how to get the biggest bang for your buck when shopping for maternity clothes.
1. The Black Pencil Skirt Fixes All
Whenever I felt the absolute globbiest (you know what I mean, rotund women!), the only thing that seemed to make me feel better (besides a glazed donut whoops!) was a black knit pencil skirt. I would wear mine pulled up over my bump with a shirt tied up over it. Sometimes it was a T-shirt tied in a knot in the back with a blazer over top, or other times a crop top. But it always made me feel pretty and pulled together. The black pencil skirt fixes all.
I love this black maternity pencil skirt, but if it were me, I probably would pull it up over my bump so I would feel longer and less squatty. It would go perfect with a shorter length top! Similar skirt available now from Nordstrom, $49
2. Stretchy Knits are Easy as Pie
Out of all the things from my old closet that I thought I would be able to wear when I was pregnant, this dress was certainly the furthest from my mind! But I quickly learned that stretchy knits are easy to wear when you’re pregnant. Sure, they accentuate your bump, but these days, pregnant women don’t need to shy away from showing it off. Just be careful because if you’re wearing a shorter dress, like I am here, it will be even shorter with your bump stretching it wider. So you’ll want to wear it with opaque tights or leggings, like I did here.
A dress like this jersey knit maxi dress would be lovely at any time of your life, and could certainly be worn stretched over your bump during your maternity months!
Available from ModCloth, $44.99
3. Button-Up Tops are Instant Maternity Shirts
My bust size just blew up when I became pregnant, so finding a top that fit over my belly and my bust was so frustrating. Thankfully, I had a few button-up tops that fit pretty loosely before my maternity days, so early on in my pregnancy I was able to wear them untucked over a pair of pants, and then into my third trimester I wore them like this, buttoned up over top of a stretchy skirt. This was definitely my go-to look during my last pregnancy!
I think a plaid button-down shirt is just so cute, and the fact that I could buy a roomier size and make it work with my next pregnancy? Well, that just gives me the perfect excuse to click “buy now!”
Similar shirt available now on Amazon, from $19.99
4. Find a pair of stretchy black pants you can wear anywhere!
When I wasn’t wearing stretchy dresses or skirts, I was living in these stretchy black cigarette pants. By chance I happened to stumble on them at the thrift store, and loved the fit in the legs so much that I’ve been known to wear them even when I’m not pregnant. Don’t tell anyone! They’re just too perfect. (Especially for wearing to family feasts during the holidays, I’d imagine!) Finding the perfect pair of black maternity pants is probably the most important wardrobe move you can make during your pregnancy, so this is an item I’d definitely say is splurge-worthy. You will really live in them with big t-shirt, sweaters, and button-downs-everything, really!
Finding a rise you like is certainly a matter of preference, but I personally wasn’t a fan of maternity pants that rested below the belly. I love these pants because they can be worn with shorter shirts without having to wear a belly band or camisole underneath to cover your bump.
Similar pants available now on ASOS, $28
5. Comfortable, Wide Open Shoes are Your Best Friend
I was lucky and was pregnant in the Summertime, so if I’m perfectly honest, I’ll tell you that I wore black flip flops most of the time. But I really hate wearing flip flops (they make me feel like I’m giving up), so the only other option I had that worked for me were shoes that had an open construction. They aren’t kidding you when they say your feet swell up! And they get sore too, so high heels aren’t something you’ll want to do. I tried it. And I can typically put up with a lot of stress on my feet during the day. Well, not during my pregnancy. I would even go so far as to buy a pair of basic medium-height heeled black pumps in a size larger than what I’d normally wear just for my maternity days. It’s worth it to find a nice shoe that goes with most of your outfits that you can feel comfortable and look put together in.
I actually own these black pumps and like them a lot! They needed to be worn in, so word to the wise – don’t wear them barefoot for a while unless you’re equipped with band aids. But they are cushioned, the heel is barely noticeable, and they would work great in a size larger for a pregnant lady.
6. Maternity Jumper Dresses are Wardrobe Work Horses
I’ve written before about how jumpers are amazing because they can be worn so many different ways. So, if you’re going to buy a new maternity piece, I’d say a jumper dress would be a smart decision to get a big bang for your buck!
I love the casual style of this dress, and it would work to dress up a variety of t-shirts or blouses!
Similar dress available now from ASOS, $46
7. Find a Flattering Little Black Dress and Try Not to Wear it Every Day
In addition to wearing my black maternity pencil skirt, when I felt frumpy and frustrated with my wardrobe, I just pulled out this black maternity dress I had and instantly felt a lot better about myself. My advice to you is to find a black maternity dress that makes you feel pretty no matter what’s going on in your life, and then make sure it’s always clean, because you just might want to wear it every day! And that’s okay.
Similar dress available now on Amazon, from $39
8. If All Else Fails, Adopt a Bohemian Lifestyle
I definitely gravitate towards classic, preppy style in my normal, everyday life. But when I was pregnant, it was just so easy to wear bohemian-style clothes! Anything from the ’70s seemed to just go with the look I had going on, and they were so, so comfortable. Longer, flowy dresses were a favorite, along with oversized tunics and sweaters. If I had known this change would happen during my pregnancy, I might have been prepared beforehand with some bohemian style clothes that would work for my expanding belly too.
Alright, obviously this dress is a pretty big splurge for most people, but you can find dresses similar to this at vintage shops or even thrift stores for a fair price. The style works great for a bohemian gal, and would certainly go well with her baby bump, too!
Bohemian dress available now from Free People, $298