So you’re pregnant, now what are you going to wear? Well let me make one thing clear: a pregnant body can be very hard to dress. And it gets increasingly harder as your pregnancy goes on. Once you think you’re managing it (quite well, thank you very much), your belly pops A-G-A-I-N and then all of a sudden nothing fits. Again. This happened to me this weekend while I was trying to get dressed and actually look decent. I put on my trusty black maternity pants and they were A TAD SNUG in the rear and thighs. Le sigh.
To be frank, maternity clothing is expensive. Really expensive. I can’t really (and most people have this same issue!) afford an entire new wardrobe of special belly friendly clothing for just 6 months (plus how ever many siblings we decide on and/or just happen to happen). So I’ve tried to stretch my non maternity clothing out as long as possible. Here are some tips from moi, but take into account that I started outgrowing my jeans in about late January, which means all my tips are related to being full term at the beginning of August. I realize if you’re due in December that you aren’t going to be wearing maxi skirts every day.
So here are my dressing your maternity body tips:
1. Get a Bella Band. Sometimes, (especially with a second+ pregnancy) you will outgrow your pants a bit sooner than you had anticipated. A Bella Band will help you to stretch out your pre-pregnancy wardrobe into hopefully your second trimester. It will help basically all through your pregnancy if you need it to! You can also use it when you’re nursing to wear under your shirt to cover your belly when feeding the baby. AND you can wear it with a shirt that’s getting to be a bit too short. Some days when I thought I was fine without the Bella Band, I would stick it in my purse just in case. 2. Basics. I’ve stocked up on basics (the tanks shown below) that will last me hopefully (fingers crossed) until the baby is born. I’ve been wearing these ones (which are identical and I first bought just to sleep in) since I was 9 weeks. They aren’t maternity tanks, so I bought them two sizes larger than I ordinarily would have and crossed my fingers that they’d hang in there for a while. Lots of stores in the mall will have similar tanks or tees that you can stock up on without breaking the bank. This is a great way to switch up your wardrobe and keep it from getting too boring. Ingrid and Isabel tanks are a maternity tank OF CHOICE if you are working with a bit larger of a budget. When looking for pants, you want to make sure you get the BASICS out of the way – these will go a LONG way when you’re weeping on the floor of your closet about your limited wardrobe. What did I get? Well since Snuggle Bugz is a casual environment, I purchased a pair of black pants, casual jeans, dressy jeans and khakis. I also got a long black skirt to add to the basics category as well. What did I want to get? Cute patterned crop skinnies but I knew my money would be better spent on something super duper versatile.
3. Layer. By this I mean that you have a number of things in your wardrobe already that will hang on for some time. You can wear your pre-pregnancy blazers and cardigans for most if not all of your pregnancy (as you can see above this is my look of choice!). I actually didn’t realize until now that I wear a tank + cardigan LITERALLY EVERY DAY!
4. Leggings. Get some maternity leggings and you’ll thank yourself later! You can prolong the length of time you can wear your dresses (which are often more forgiving, but get quite short as your belly grows) by picking up some maternity leggings. This works for almost all seasons too. Also: long shirts can be worn with leggings at first and then with pants or skirts later as they inevitably get shorter. That’s what I’ve been doing with that striped number below.
5. Belts. This is another one that will help you lengthen the time that you can wear your pre-pregnancy tops and dresses. I generally wear belts all the time to spice up outfits anyway, but have found them particularly useful in pregnancy. But as I grew, the belts became too small. I went to an accessories store in the mall and bought two belts (I could have bought ALL THE BELTS!) with embellishments on the front and ELASTIC around the back. Problem solved – they’re not uncomfortable for me, and they’re still keeping my blouses (like that plaid one) from making me look like a house.
6. Be Comfortable. Make sure you’re comfortable above all else. My aforementioned outgrowing of my pants now applies to my pre-pregnancy (AND MATERNITY #$**&#^@) yoga pants, which bums me out (get it?). I’ve found that pants and skirts with a “fold down” top on them have been really great for 1) staying up without squeezing you and 2) being comfortable. They also don’t usually leave lines on your skin like elastic does, so that’s nice.
And that’s about it! For this pregnancy anyway. If you are due in the winter, I recommend a zip-in panel to help you weather the winter without dropping the cash on a new maternity winter coat. I want to know what other tips people have for their maternity wardrobe! Any moms of winter babies want to chime in on what worked for them?