It is no surprise that bringing a baby into the world comes with a bit of added expense but one thing you may not have thought about is the cost of maternity clothes – and yes you do need some! There are lots of stores out there geared towards pregnancy and maternity wear that can get you sucked into buying lots of cute seasonal items. I’ve been there. Plus, if this is your first baby you will be super excited to start showing off that bump! However, you can still be fashionable and cost effective at the same time by following some basic tips and knowing what to invest in and what to leave behind.
My first tip: you actually have a lot more bump friendly clothes in your closet than you think you do! Flowy tops are great for first trimester bloat and your regular pants should fit until about the second trimester or so (but you can extend their life with the hairband trick or by using a belly band).
Second, invest in pieces that grow with you so you can wear them as long as possible. There is no sense in getting a shirt that will only fit for the second trimester so look for fabrics that have stretch to them and aren’t constricting. This also goes for bras as well! If you haven’t already ditched underwire you are going to want to. These are my favorite for during pregnancy.
Lastly– avoid purchasing special occasion wear and rent it instead! Yes- rent the runway has options for maternity rentals too which make it a great alternative for any special events, photoshoots or babymoons you have coming up. That way you can spice it up for picture perfect memories without investing in pieces you may not wear again. This goes for coats too! I never had the need to get a maternity coat since I don’t zip them up anyway but if you are in a colder climate or have an event in the winter this is a great option.
|| Layerable Tops || Regardless of what season you are pregnant in, you want to stock up on some quality tank tops and short sleeved shirts for basic layers. I always stock up on this brand because they stand up to repeat wear and are stretchy enough for nursing but still hold their shape. Plus you want something breathable to keep your temperature regulated. The side has a bit of ruching which gives your belly even more room to grow. Wear these on their own during the summer or for the cooler months use them as a base under cute things you already own and accessorize, accessorize, accessorize.
|| Leggings || If you aren’t a leggings person already then prepare to meet your new best friend. There are a ton of options out there but nothing feels as good as this buttery high waisted pair. The high waist fits great over the bump and the fabric quality is unmatched. I get my regular size but if you want extra room get a size up. I also use their more compressive style for post recovery. Both extreme high waisted versions are sadly only available online but you will not regret purchasing these. I live in them during pregnancy and especially right after birth.
|| Jeans || My first pregnancy I invested in a few pairs of jeans for office wear and for whenever I felt like dressing up or going on dates with Chris. I tried a really cute stretchy pair that looked nice but I ripped holes in them while trying to hoist my pants up by the belt loops -yikes. So these are my choice (tried and tested) for everyday wear and I also got a lux pair for date nights and presentation days in office. I personally don’t like the feeling on my hips of over belly jeans so my picks are both panel style- however they do make them in over belly too!
|| Shoes || You can wear most of your shoes in your wardrobe but for me comfort is king. I wore pumps into my second trimester with Porter but my feet got so swollen at the end I wound up stretching out a favorite pair! If you don’t have a nice set of flats to wear at the end I would get a pair to have on hand if you need them for the office. Otherwise I lived in my slip ons! The last thing you want to do at the end of pregnancy is try to bend down and tie a shoe. Then even afterwards with a new baby in your arms you will appreciate the convenience. I wear this pair nearly year round but this wool pair are perfect for cooler weather.
|| Lounge and Sleepwear || For most lounge and sleepwear options you can easily size up if you are worried about stretching out your night time favorites. I opted for some cute maternity additions like these wide-legged pants that allow room for a growing belly but also will fit me postpartum. You’ll want stretchy, comfortable lounge wear even after baby arrives!
|| Fashion Tops || If you do want to invest in a few cute bump accentuating shirts be sure to get neutral patterns and colors that you can wear in all seasons. Super pastel colors don’t work in the fall and olives don’t translate to the spring. Think of your color wheel and get primary colors or neutrals that you can pair with seasonal items you already own. I get so many compliments on this top I got when pregnant with Porter and was able to wear it again with BB2. The only fashion item I bought this time was a heavy sweater and lighter cowl neck sweater I could use for important meeting days and photoshoots and they will last well into the winter!
That is all I have for tips and tricks! The items I linked I actually own so I can attest they will hold up in multiple pregnancies and are great regardless if you are pregnant in the same season. Porter was an end of July dead of summer baby and I barely wanted to wear clothes at all but BB2 is due in early February and I am layering it all up. Luckily I am able to still use most pieces I bought with Porter but did learn from the mistake of buying those overly seasonal items the first time. Hey- it happens! I share this with you so you can get the most out of your maternity wardrobe and I hope I made it fun and stress free. Happy shopping!