When you finally get to the point where that adorable little bump has popped and your clothes just aren’t fitting comfortably anymore, it can be overwhelming to start looking at options for maternity clothing. When I was pregnant the first time around, I had a really hard time finding stylish maternity clothes that were also affordable. I felt like I had to spend a lot of money to find something I really loved and felt good in. I picked up a few tips and tricks since then and thought I would share them here so you don’t have to break the bank to look and feel wonderful while pregnant.
Invest in the Basics
Buy 3-4 stretchy maternity tees in neutral colours like grey, black and white that can be worn alone for a casual look, or dressed up with a cardigan or blazer. Many maternity tees have ruching on the sides and I learned to embrace these as the ruching left room for my growing belly all the way to the end of my pregnancy.
Embrace the Mom Jeans
Buy a pair of comfy maternity jeans with some stretch, you won’t regret it! A lot of people prefer to wear their pre-pregnancy jeans and use expanders or elastic bands at the button, but I learned to embrace the full-panel high rise mom jeans. They just make me feel more comfortable and the full panel smooths everything out. They’re basically jeans with built-in spanx, and I’m very okay with that!
All the Leggings
In any stage of motherhood, leggings are an obvious wardrobe staple. When you’re pregnant, they’re pretty much a necessity. I have about three pairs of maternity leggings that are all high rise to keep that belly in and offer support. I have two pairs of black leggings and a pair of grey leggings – again, always going with the neutrals! I made sure at least one pair of my black leggings didn’t have any seams to make them look less like athletic leggings – this way I can still dress them up and be comfy at the same time!
When you’re shopping, look for maternity clothes that can also be worn as postpartum clothes, or can be used for nursing. For example, stretchy shirts or shirts with buttons are great for nursing after you’ve had the baby. If I can find pieces that can continue to be worn after baby, I consider that a #momwin!
Keep Wearing Your Favourites!
Try not to get caught up in buying a whole new wardrobe and remember there are many pieces in your closet you can continue wearing in pregnancy. For example, cardigans, blazers and oversized sweaters will still work with your growing belly. Pair these items with your basic maternity tees underneath and you will have lots of wardrobe options.
Dresses for the Win
I recommend having a little black dress on hand for any special events, or for dressier work days. I love wearing dresses in general, but during pregnancy they’re a great way to be comfortable and also feel great. Many of my non-maternity dresses already in my closet worked for me, but I also purchased a few more maternity dresses to have on hand when my belly needed just a little more room. Again, I tried to pick items that are versatile such as pretty florals or basic solids that can be worn alone or dressed up with a blazer or cardigan.
For the Working Mamas
As a working mom, I found it very difficult to find affordable maternity clothes suitable for work and was frustrated by this added expense. I ended up purchasing some versatile neutrals that gave me lots of options throughout my pregnancy. I would recommend investing in 2-3 pairs of maternity dress pants. I have one black pair and one grey pair, and sometimes dress up my leggings on those days I’m feeling bloated and tired. I often pair my maternity pants with one of my basic neutral tees and dress it up with a blazer and some jewellery. It’s also good to have a few dressier blouses; I personally purchased two white maternity blouses – one that has a very classic and simple design and one with lace detailing. I pair these with different blazers and cardigans for different looks. Finally, I definitely make good use of those dresses as comfortable yet stylish options for work outfits!
Have fun Shopping!
Many people put off buying maternity clothes for as long as they can, but I recommend starting to shop for the basics around 12 weeks. There is no escaping the need for maternity clothes; that growing belly makes it inevitable, and you just never know when you’re going to pop and when your regular clothes will start feeling tight. If you’re going to make the investment anyway, you might as well have them on hand so you can be comfortable, show off that adorable bump with clothes that are designed to accentuate its beauty, and get some wear out of your investment.
One of my favourite stores for maternity clothes is Pink Blush, a clothing company that specializes in fashions designed specifically for moms or women looking for comfortable, beautiful and affordable styles. Many of their pieces are designed to be worn before, during and after pregnancy - and I absolutely love this versatility! Of all the maternity stores I have shopped, I personally think Pink Blush has the biggest selection and I find their pieces to be very affordable. If you subscribe to their email list, they frequently send promotional offers, and I often take advantage of these to round out my wardrobe with pieces I can continue to wear after the baby arrives!
One of my favourite maternity pieces in my closet right now is this navy twist front dress that was gifted to me by Pink Blush. The material is soft and stretchy, making it very comfortable for my growing belly and the ¾ length sleeves have made this dress a perfect option to wear to work in the winter months paired with tights and little black booties. I love that it is designed to be worn before, during and after pregnancy, so I can continue wearing this as a work staple after my maternity leave.