Staying fashionable throughout pregnancy doesn’t have to break the bank. Rather, you can re-purpose your pre-pregnancy clothes to accommodate your changing body, stock up on a few new essentials, and mix and match clothes for endless variety and much-needed comfort.
Do wear your old cardigans, blazers and oxfords open over a tank or camisole. This not only saves you from having to buy extra clothes, but is a great option for moms-to-be who dress business-casual at the office.
Don’t hide your tummy. It’s acceptable to wear form-fitting, stretchy pieces. Just make sure they’re long enough to completely cover your belly. Also, consider making large, flowy clothes more curve skimming by adding a belt.
Do don leggings. These wardrobe staples are often stretchy enough to accommodate a growing tummy, and high-waisted styles can provide additional support. Solid black is classic and slimming, while colors and prints paired with a solid top add pop to an otherwise basic outfit.
Don’t be afraid of prints. While it’s easy to think an all-over print can make you look larger, the opposite is true. As long as you steer clear from chunky horizontal stripes, patterns are a wise and slimming wardrobe option.
Do understand if you have to size up or shop for maternity duds. Though it might be tempting to try and squeeze into your old clothes, looking constricted makes you appear larger than if you wore well-fitting items.
Don’t fear heels. Since pumps are basic elements in many women’s wardrobes, it can be tough to give them up. While a change in your center of gravity makes stilettos and heels difficult and dangerous to wear, kitten and wedge heels are safe, stylish and comfortable options.
Do recycle. It can be painful to spend large amounts of money on things you’ll only wear for a few months, so shop from thrift stores for inexpensive clothes and accessories. Also, talk to new moms you’re friends with. Many are more than willing to give away their old maternity clothes after baby arrives.
That said, while many maternity pieces are unnecessary, especially when a tight budget makes it impractical to spend big bucks on clothing that you’ll only wear while expecting and perhaps shortly after, there are a few items you should invest in for comfort’s and convenience’s sake.
Maternity jeans: As jeans are a wardrobe staple for most women, being unable to fit into your favorite pair can be a downer. It’s well worth it to invest in denim that fits your growing belly. Not only are maternity jeans comfortable and go with everything, but looking and feeling great are a major confidence boost at a time when it’s easy to feel frumpy.
BellaBand: Though one pair of maternity jeans is generally a pregnancy must, fit into your regular jeans longer with this indispensable item. The stretchy waistband smooths down the button and zipper on your pre-pregnancy jeans while holding them up. And during the awkward transitional period in which your belly is too big for your normal jeans yet too small for a maternity pair, the BellaBand lets you wear your favorite denim without risking wardrobe malfunctions.
Quality, well-fitting bras: This is especially important when your breasts become tender and, potentially, too large to fit into your pre-pregnancy bras. If you plan on breastfeeding, invest in nursing bras early on, as the support they provide may carry you through your pregnancy.
Remember, these tips are just to get you started. The important thing is that you wear what makes you feel comfortable and beautiful.