I have always been someone that tries to only buy something if I know it will be a versatile piece that I will have for several seasons/years. So when it came to finally buying maternity clothes I really struggled to convince myself to buy something that I would only be wearing for a few months. While there really are a lot of options out there for maternity clothes I felt limited in my search since I didn’t want to spend a fortune.
Luckily I started my search for maternity clothes around my 4th month giving me a few weeks to research and scope out my options before I actually needed to start wearing them (which was around 22-24 weeks).
So after finally stocking up on maternity clothes I thought it would be helpful to share a few tips for anyone else struggling with the change. Now that I am 35 weeks and nearing the end of my pregnancy I can actually share what was useful, what I wore, and what I didn’t need.
Like I said, I started looking around before I actually needed to order maternity clothes which gave me an opportunity to compare selections and prices from different stores. Before I even started ordering I had an idea of the type of pieces that I liked. I was also able to see which stores had better deals and which pieces I was willing to splurge on.
Stick to Basics
It can be super tempting to buy all of the trendy maternity clothes or statement pieces but truthfully basics are best (which is usually my motto anyways). Stick to the pieces that you can wear with multiple outfits. Think simple blouses, sweaters and dresses that you can easily dress up and down.
Use What You Already Have
Go through your closet and find the pieces that you can still wear (at least in the earlier stages). Shift dresses and looser fitting blouses will be great for when your bump is still small. One perk of being pregnant during colder seasons is I am still able to wear all of my jackets, vests, cardigans, capes and scarves. This may be harder to do if you need maternity clothes during the warmer seasons, but do your best to make use of what still fits (just don’t risk stretching anything out).
Find Pieces For Post Baby Too
Its unlikely that your body is going to immediately snap back right after labor (which is perfectly okay!) so you will need comfortable pieces post baby. Try to find a few maternity options that will work for after labor like loose fitting tunics and sweaters. Some pieces really only work with a bump, but often times you can find items that work even without a bump!
Know What To Splurge On
Take it from me, it may seem best to go the budget route on all things maternity but I quickly learned that not all budget pieces cut it. The first maternity items I bought were pants. I tried to stick with a cheaper option but after wearing them for a week they just didn’t cut it. I eventually ended up splurging on nicer maternity jeans which was definitely worth it. Some pieces will be worth a splurge while others its best to save on. I’ve decided to keep it budget friendly with all of my tops, sweaters and dresses while only splurging on 2 pairs of pants and a fun dress for the holiday season.
Favorite Spots For Maternity Clothes
Old Navy: Probably the best budget friendly option. They almost always have 30% off and its a great spot for basics. Most of the maternity sweaters and tops I’ve ordered have been from Old Navy.
H&M: A great selection of both basics and statement pieces. Most of which are all at a pretty decent price point.
Loft: Their selection may be limited but they have some great pieces! Plus, everything I have from Loft Maternity is super soft and comfy.
Gap: Gap is another great spot for staples and basics ( & Gap Factory too). They have great shirts and sweaters. You can almost always get their stuff on sale too.
A Pea & the Pod: This is where I found my jeans and I’m so glad I ended up trying this store. They have a wide variety of pieces from basics to trends and a great selection of jeans.
Sweaters: Sweaters were absolutely what I wore most often. Whether paired with jeans or leggings I had a few favorites that I wore constantly. I loved this simple crew neck, this black tunic sweater, this gray cowl neck was beyond comfy & perfect with leggings,
Leggings: To be honest I feel like I lived in leggings for the majority of this pregnancy and normally I’m not a “leggings person”. But being comfortable is SO important (and hard to achieve) while pregnant. So most days I paired leggings with a longer sweater. I loved these compression leggings to help fight swelling and these heavier knit leggings too.
Longsleeve T-Shirts: I ordered a striped long sleeve and 2 solid color long sleeve tees that were great for casual days or layering under vests and cardigans. Also super easy to dress up with jeans, cute shoes and a scarf or jewelry.
Skinny Jeans: The 2 pairs of jeans I wore most often are from A Pea in the Pod. I got a pair of dark wash denim and a pair of black denim. They are comfortable and stretchy. I opted for the full panel because I felt like it held them up better.
What I Rarely Wore
Dresses: Normally I would love wearing dresses and I did in the beginning. But later on in the pregnancy as my swelling got worse and I had to regularly wear tall compression socks dresses just didn’t work any more. Overall I loved the few dresses that I did order but eventually I reached a point that I couldn’t wear them.
Loose Fitting Blouses/Tunics: I ordered a few tunic style blouses and looser fitting “dressy” tops that I thought I would wear often to work. I wore each of them a few times but as I got bigger I personally opted for more form-fitting clothes because I felt like they were more flattering. That was just my personal preference. So keep in mind that as your body changes further into your pregnancy what you loved at 5-6 months you may hate at 8 months.
Overall I tried to be reasonable with my purchases during pregnancy. I did end up buying a few things that I probably didn’t really need or wear often enough to justify the purchase. The basics that I am sharing today were definitely my most worn pieces that were worth buying! You can shop all of my favorite maternity pieces HERE.
2 thoughts on “Maternity Clothes: Dressing the Bump on a Budget”
These are such great tips, Taylor! Thank you so much for sharing. We hope to have a baby in the next year or two, so this is sooo helpful. Although we’re not trying to get pregnant yet, I am starting to plan ahead.
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Thanks, Courtney! So glad you found this post helpful! Once you get closer, if you have any questions let me know 🙂