When you’re pregnant it’s hard to even think ahead to having your baby or to imagine a day of not being pregnant. It seems that every day you roll out of bed (since rolling is the only way you can move at times), you are a bit bigger than the last time you checked in the mirror or tried to count your toes. Meanwhile you are quickly determining that your pre-pregnancy extra loose clothing will no longer adequately fit your expanding belly or simply looks ridiculous on your now very pregnant body. Welcome to the club!
The idea of spending a lot of money on maternity clothes is not always highly appealing, although you do need new clothes to comfortably fit your shape (fast!) since losing weight is not an option, nor should it be. For most of us it’s the first time in our life that we have our Doctor’s permission to steadily gain weight and eat more to be healthy, this should be outstanding news, right? On the surface this task seems super fun in so many ways, but it can suddenly become a very inconvenient feat in that we quickly find out our wardrobe options are dwindling fast and our belly shows no sign of slowing its runaway expansion march!
My advice to expecting women who would like to look stylish while not spending a fortune on a huge new wardrobe of maternity clothes is this:
- Invest smartly in a number of everyday items that you can mix and match in your maternity wardrobe. Definitely invest in a good pair of maternity jeans with a lot of stretch, crops and yoga pants and a few casual skirts that can go with everything in your casual wardrobe. Also get some great basic tops in a variety of colors with varying sleeve lengths depending on the season you are in or approaching. ¾ sleeves are a great option as they work year round and are comfortable inside and out unless it is truly hot outside. Also, pregnant women run a little hotter, so ¾ sleeves work well in cooler months too.
- If you need a business wardrobe for work, then also look to find some staple skirts and dress slacks that you can wear over and over. Blacks and taupe or khaki colors can work for any time of the year with a light stretchy rayon/spandex mix and plenty of room for an expanding belly. Dress pants and pencil skirts are not the thing that people remember, so you will need to buy less in terms of slacks and skirts than blouses and tops.
- For maternity tops, go light on patterns as they are easy to remember and opt for more solids as they can be interchanged more easily. However it’s important to find at least a few prints you do enjoy wearing – remember pregnancy is a time where you can dress up more because you’re pregnant. After all, a pretty maternity dress can provide comfort with style with little effort. Maternity dresses will generally easily fit an expanding belly without troubling waistbands and give you a beautiful polished look in just a minute! You can sport a print wrap maternity dress to the office, PTA meeting, out to Saturday lunch with friends or date night with your husband. Just make sure you like it!
- Invest in a number of really good nursing bras and maternity underwear. Now trust me this is not an area where you want to skimp. There is nothing more uncomfortable than a too tight bra when you are pregnant or restrictive underwear. Your rib cage is expanding fast while you are pregnant in addition to your bra cup size. Your pre-pregnancy bras, even the sports bras will only take you so far and as your bust will grow before your belly. A great way to economize with your new bra collection is to invest in nursing bras (instead of just bigger bras or maternity bras) that fits you while you are pregnant. This way you can wear it both before and after and even nurse in it. Which brings us to the next point….
- Buy maternity clothes that double as nursing clothes and transition wear. You will find that once you have your baby, unless you are truly a super freak (and there are a few out there that literally walk out of the delivery room minus the basketball and practically into their pre-pregnancy wardrobe), you will most likely not fit back into your pre-pregnancy wardrobe for some time. If you choose to nurse, and we sincerely hope you do, then you will be grateful for clothing in your wardrobe that is specifically made for nursing, no fuss involved. This is particularly useful in the early stages of nursing when both you and your baby are on a steep learning curve and generally anything that makes nursing easier makes life a thousand times easier. Also, transition wear clothing that is made to stretch where you need it and look good on you after you have your baby will help camouflage a postpartum belly. All of these factors add to your quality of life before and after you have your baby and can help stretch your dollar with your maternity clothes investment.
Remember pregnancy does not last a lifetime, although it may seem like it at times. Why not enjoy this time in your life and dress in a way that is both comfortable and versatile for both during and after your pregnancy. It’s easy to look good and stylish with a few good staples and fun prints in your wardrobe. Enjoy the journey and shopping!