Let me first say that I am thrilled to be pregnant. I know that may women and their significant others struggle with infertility and I am thankful that I have proven to be lucky enough to be able to get pregnant. My thoughts are with those under different circumstances.
Dressing while pregnant can be a bit of a drag. I love clothes, and I wish I could still be wearing cute outfits that I see emailed to me daily from my favorite shops. Well, I guess it’s good that I’m not tempted to buy what they’re selling me and I can save some money. But anyway… Here is what I have learned about maternity outfits.
1. Only Buy the Essentials
Shopping at maternity stores like Destination Maternity is quite expensive. I walked in wanting to get a bra that I can fit into and a couple of cute outfits. I left $220 deep with one pair of pants, a bra, a t-shirt, and a feeling of remorse. How am I supposed to buy enough outfits to last me the 6 remaining months, through winter, spring, and the start of a hot summer? How am I supposed to feel cute on the weekends and professional at work? I realized I probably didn’t need the t-shirt and went back and bought a pair of black pants that I could wear to work.
2. Discount Shopping Is Always Best
Target and Old Navy both had great dresses that I’ve worn almost daily to the office. I have 4 dresses that were all under $20 from those stores. Some other places to try are Marshall’s, TJMaxx, and WalMart if you’re down with that.
3. Belly-Hugging Is Actually Flattering
Usually you try to hide a bigger belly. But when you’re pregnant, trying to hide the ever-growing bump (once you’ve made all the announcements necessary to family and friends and Human Resources) might just make you look and feel frumpy. When wearing baggier clothes I catch myself, knowing how silly it is, wondering if people think I’ve gained a ton of weight or if they can tell I’m pregnant. I’ve learned to embrace these life-giving curves and let the bump shine!
4. Use What You Already Have
If you’re a lucky lady who barely sports a bulge during most of her pregnancy, then this will be easier for you. For me, I could wear a lot of my clothes up until my third month. If you buy a belly band, which is pretty cheap, you can wear your own pants a lot longer. Before I got a belly band, I used a ponytail holder/rubber band to stretch out my jeans. You can also buy an extender for your bra clasps. What worked best for me, however, were flowy maxi dresses from my closet and oversized shirts. Most of my pregnancy allowed for me to wear a large white button-down and a cool oversized camo button-down with pants or tied over dresses. Those were the days I felt most pulled-together and I didn’t have to buy anything new.
5. Borrow, Borrow, Borrow
Fortunately, I have a group of friends that consists of mamas and mamas-to-be and a sister-in-law with two kids. They were generous enough to loan me the maternity clothes that they weren’t using. The majority of my wardrobe came from their generosity. My sister-in-law loaned me three dresses from ASOS – they have an awesome maternity section – in the same style but different colors that I wore the heck out of. And my sweet friend Amy emptied her whole closet basically to let me borrow her clothes. I don’t know what I would do without those items that have become my pregnancy staples. Thank you ladies!
If you are the first of your friends and family to be preggo, or your friends are currently using their own maternity clothes, you can also get second-hand clothes from your local thrift shop. And if you find a social gathering with mothers your age, you might make a new friend who would be generous enough to let you borrow.
I hope you can continue to feel cute and confident as your body changes. Happy Pregnancy!