Let’s Talk Maternity Clothes: How to Get Through Nine Months of Changes on a Budget


February 27 2013 062

Hello again blog!!!  I have been a busy bee lately.  In my final trimester, I have been busily nesting away, organizing and re-organizing, and enjoying my freedom to run around town or go nowhere at all, have a quiet coffee with a stack of magazines at Barnes & Noble and just really soak in this time before my life changes forever.  Oh, and my mom and sis threw me an incredible baby shower a couple Sundays ago!  Despite the snow the night before, it turned out to be a gorgeous day filled with beautiful people who came out to spoil this babe.

I have been meaning to do a post on the subject of maternity clothing for a while.  So last night, I pulled out every single item I have purchased since I got pregnant, and snapped away with my phone.  The quality is not super great, but I knew I had to do it or it might never happen!  Plus, I have a little bit to say on the subject and wanted to share with you all who might be expecting or thinking of having a baby in the future.  After putting this post together I missed a couple of dresses I had purchased, but the rest is all here.

Sure it’s fun to see all these celebs and their fashionable bumps splashing the pages of People, (except Kim, what is up with her maternity style, and her looks can NOT be comfortable), but not all of us have the lavish wardrobe budgets to go out and buy a closet full of Pea in the Pod.  At least I didn’t.  Plus, even if you do have a larger budget, let’s face it, who wants to spend a lot of money on temporary clothes that they will probably hate after the birth of their babe and either give them away to a friend, donate or stow away in a Tupperware for next time.  I knew I didn’t!  I was determined, and still am, to creatively maximize the articles of clothing I already own, repeat looks and pieces, and only ONLY purchase necessities when I absolutely had/have to.  You would be surprised at how many things you can still wear from your pre-bump days well into maternity!  If you are trying to conceive, think ahead and purchase items with a bump in mind.

Here are some things you may already own, or you should plan on investing in leading up to conception:

1. The maxi dress!  Not only a closet staple for summer, these forgiving jersey floor skimmers are great for pregnancy too!  Just top them off with a denim jacket, open and long cardigan or a blazer.  Wear with flats, or dress up with heels.  Purchase in thicker fabrics or different colors and textures depending on the season.  You definitely don’t want to be wearing a super light weight, cotton white maxi in the dead of winter, but you can (and I did) pull of a black and white striped tank maxi during my fall/winter maternity with a jacket and cute scarf.

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Left to Right: forest green maxi from American Apparel (purchased in February), olive green tank maxi from American Apparel (purchased in February),

navy jumpsuit from Ross $12.99 (purchased in March for my baby shower)

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Left to Right: Striped jersey dress and chambray dress/top purchased in second trimester at a sale at Dillard’s, polka dot skirt from Target, purchased in second trimester, and gray knit maxi by Heidi Klum maternity from Destination Maternity purchased in second trimester.

2. Long open cardi!  I fortunately already had two gray versions in my closet pre-pregnancy, but I cannot tell you how many times I wore them!  Cozy, and the length is key!  Something about the bump growth in front and needing to sometimes balance out the kidney bean shaped profile out back with a longer cardi or blazer.  It helps, promise.  Also, at home, I wore them constantly with workout pants or velour sweats and a tank or tee.  You NEED cozy clothes because by the time you get home, with all that extra heat pumpin’ through you, all you want to do is strip that damn bra off and get in stretchies!  EVEN fashion peeps.  I found my gray cardis at Ross (left) and the Chico’s cashmere belted version (right) was a thrift store score!

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Heart sweater from Madewell, purchased on sale (plus additional 30% off) in second trimester, and red stretchy tunic from a boutique purchased in second trimester.

3. Long, loose tunic tops!  These tops are luckily in style, preggo or not.  You can find these ANYWHERE!  I wore several I already had including a white one from H&M, a bright pink silky one from the thrift store, a black one from H&M and the two I purchased below.  The tan one was from Nordstrom Rack, Nordstrom label, and the maroon one was from Soft Surroundings in Park Meadows.  Both were purchase in my first trimester (Aug/Sep/Oct).  I have not worn these two since the first trimester honestly.  In the beginning these tops are great because you can hide the “awkward” stage, before your belly pops.  A lot of people didn’t even know I was expecting.  You don’t need a slew of them, just choose a couple in a color palette that flatter your skin tone, and again, think of the season.  I was pregnant during a colder season, which I am thankful for.  I got away with not having to purchase a winter coat (mine still fit) and I went without one most of the time with layers, if you are just going in and out of your car and indoors.

April 2013 216Ingrid & Isabel black long sleeve maternity tee purchased in first trimester and still wearing, maroon blouse from Soft Surroundings purchased in  first trimester, and tan blouse from Nordstrom Rack purchased in first trimester (no longer wearing the blouses but I have them for post baby).

 

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Black and white short sleeve sweater (Kirna Zabete for Target) purchased in first trimester, still wearing, Love sweater from Target, purchased in second trimester and still wearing and coral striped blouse from old Navy, purchased in second trimester and still wearing.  All can be worn post baby.

April 2013 210

Sheer black tank vest and wide leg cotton pants with elastic waist (both from Pacific Sunwear and purchased in first trimester)

4. Bras!  I bought these pretty EARLY on in the pregnancy as they were the FIRST thing to bloom!  Be prepared to purchase them again post-birth.  I lucked out with a New Years Day sale at Dillard’s this year and purchased three.  Definitely purchase a nude.  I wish I had bought a strapless for tanks and special occasion dresses, and am headed out to get an affordable one this week as the temps are warming up.  don’t spend a lot, because you will most likely grow when your milk comes in for nursing, and then (sadly) from what I hear, shrink down.  No use in spending lots of dough at Sol Lingerie or even Victoria’s Secret, when you are just going to be this size temporarily.  Just be sure to get one that is supportive, and COMFORTABLE!  You can find GREAT brands at department stores, Maidenform and Wacoal, and even check discounters like Ross at TJ Maxx.  Try to get them on sale!

5. Long sleeve jersey tees, tees and tanks that run long in the body!  Sounds basic, and they are!  I had some great basics in my closet already that got MAJOR wear.  I found the best brands that were  long enough to cover the belly, nothing is more annoying then air hitting your belly because your tops are cropping up, and stretchy, and SOFT, were C&C California, Michael Stars, even a top I had from Forever 21, and Nordstrom brand Halogen.  Look for these on sale and try to get a black, white, and navy or a solid color that flatters.  Stripes are still on trend, so a navy blue and white striped one is great too.  I did invest in one long sleeve black jersey tee by maternity line, Isabel and Ingrid back in my first trimester.  it was a little pricier, I purchased it at my pre-natal yoga studio, but I have worn it the ENTIRE pregnancy and can wear it afterwards.

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Left to Right: Brown long sleeve/hooded tee by Michael Stars (several years old and not a single hole or snag), coral long sleeve scoop neck tee by C &C California (purchased several years ago, both from Nordstrom).  Good wear and wash…

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Left to Right: Gray waffle long sleeve tee by Bump in the Night, purchased at Macy’s on sale $7.99 (Monday/third trimester for the growing belly), and the black knit sweater was just purchased from Gap Maternity on Monday, on sale, for $7.97!!!)  So soft, and the length covers the bum!  Plan to wear this one well after pregnancy!

6. Wrap dress!  I wore MANY of the dresses I already had in my closet, but I did purchase a red wrap dress from Nordstrom rack in my second trimester.  Fabric is stretchy and the tie looks cute tied above the bump.  Plus, I can/will most likely be able to wear it post-pregnancy.  That’s another major point, IF you purchase anything, try to purchase things you like well enough that you can and would wear post pregnancy too.  Use your noggin!

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7. A GOOD pair of maternity denim!  Good does not mean expensive, but if you have extra funds, or find yourself with a gift card, as I did, I say splurge on ONE good pair of jeans to get you through.  I love dresses, but I can tell you I LOVED wearing my AG dark blue skinny maternity jeans while being preggo!  Once your waistline grows and a lot of your dresses/skirts can’t be worn anymore, you will need a pair of slip-them-on-and-go pair of pants.  Mine were as pricey as a designer pair of denim, gulp $200, but I had a gift card and knew they would get maximum wear, and I will keep them for the next time as the quality is superb.  They won’t fall apart!  Go with a cut/color that you will most likely wear the most if you were not preggo.  When purchasing them, you actually purchase the size you are now (ask sales associate for fitting help).  I personally did not mind my belly being covered, tights and maternity pants could go above my belly and I felt fine; in fact, I felt it was like a built in Spanx.  But you might not prefer that.  They also make maternity pants that go below belly.  I purchased mine from Destination Maternity.  I did not need purchase them until my second trimester, early January.  I also purchase a couple “fun” pairs of maternity pants to feel like my self if I felt like being more fashionable.  I purchased the mint green and coral skinny pants from Ross believe it or not, and they were $12.99 each!  I JUST saw both of these colors in a similar cut pant at Gap maternity yesterday, but for a whole lot more.  Shop around and use your noggin!  The wild, patterned pair is from H&M, back in my first trimester.  I bought them before I needed them and I am glad I did.  I have worn them several times.  H&M downtown carries maternity clothing, but the one at Cherry Creek does not.  You can get colored skinnies here too.

April 2013 211

Left to Right: Animal print stretch pants from Madewell, purchased in first trimester and still wearing (wore them tonight in third trimester!), H&M printed skinnies, purchased in first trimester and still wearing, mint and coral skinny pants from Ross purchased in second trimester and still wearing, and my AG maternity jeans purchased in second trimester and still wearing.

8. Wedge sneakers, Toms, or cute sneakers!  I am so NOT a flats person.  Never was.  I have a high arch and actually am more comfortable in heels.  I am still sporting heels, but if I am running around town all day, I am slipping on laceless Converse sneaks (from Ross), Toms on my yoga days, or wedge sneakers (from Love Culture) if I want to feel downtown cool.  All of my boots and what pairs of flats I already owned have also got use.  Depending on the season you are preggo in, you will definitely need some comfortable/supportive, flat soled shoe.  be it a sandal, a riding boot or the canvas Toms.  If nothing more than to slip them on and run to Target or walk the dog.

9. Bigger panties!  Obviously not pictured.  You get the point.  I was able to still purchase the style I wear now, just in a larger size, but as your pregnancy goes on, you may need more coverage in the nether region.  As your friends… Also, post pregnancy, you will need to purchase a full coverage brief or panty for the aftermath.  This is what I am reading and hearing anyway.  I will purchase a package of Jockeys from, Target as I get closer to my due date.

10. An LBD! Not a mandatory item, but it definitely depends on your lifestyle.  I am currently at home, but there were several holidays and special occasions that came up during my pregnancy that called for a dress including a wedding, an engagement party, New Year’s Eve, a fashion show and an upcoming dinner date in a couple days celebrating our anniversary.  I was able to wear a black sequin dress for New Year’s Eve as well as a friend’s engagement party at Strings because it was stretchy (both occasions in second trimester.)  The fashion show was a stretch, but I was able to squeeze into a vintage number that I wore to a wedding last summer, pre-preggo.  It had a side drape and zip, but I got into it (third trimester)!  for my baby shower, I purchased an affordable, and flattering navy spandex jumpsuit (photographed above) and accessorized.  I can wear it postpartum as well.  Just look at your calendar ahead for the next nine months and see what special o’s you might be attending and needing a gown or cocktail dress for.  Take a peek at what you have, try it on, pull it out to see if it might stretch over a bump, and when you spot a jersey or spandex or stretchy dress that might work dazzled up with accessories, snag it for when the time comes.  I JUSt found this LBD by Motherhood Maternity on the clearance rack at Macy’s on Monday for $14.99!  Velour skirt, body conscious and a slight cowl drape neck line!  So flattering!  I plan to wear it on our Babymoon in Aspen this week.

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Photo does not do this dress justice, so I hope to get a photo actually in it.  Found on clearance at Macy’s, by Motherhood Maternity, $14.99 on sale.

11. For Birth and Postpartum: Nursing tanks/cute jammies for hospital and visitors (nursing friendly), robe for hospital/slippers or flip-flops for hospital!  Don’t forget to save a little budget for that final stretch and post birth!  I found these Anne Klein jammies at Nordstrom Rack ($28.97) back in my first trimester and bought them in a large size thinking ahead.  They have a drawstring waist cropped pant and a button down top (easy access for nursing) and the print is fun.  I just found the teal robe by Gilligan & O’Malley ($21.99) and fuzzy flip-flops by Xhileration ($12.99) at Target last week; both perfect for bathroom trips and strolling the hospital hallways.  I guess this color is a little hospitaly, but I like it anyway and the fabric is so soft, and nice big pockets and longer length to cover the tush.  On my maternity shopping trip this Monday, I ran into a sale at Gap!  30% off additionally on sale items and 40% off a ton of things, including their Pure Body tanks!  Originally $14.50 each, I got them for $8 each!  I purchased a classic black and heather gray (third trimester belly growth has all my tops cropping up).  The nursing tanks were found at Target last week, $19.99 each, both by this line called Gilligan & O’Malley.  I really liked the button detailing on the heather gray one and the navy/white stripes and lace detail on the other.  Sort of “trendy” as far as nursing tops go…

April 2013 226Robe and flip-flops from Target, jammies from Nordstrom Rack.

April 2013 222

Maternity tanks on left from Gap Maternity, and the nursing tops from Target.

Take hand me downs with a happy heart!  My friend Tess gave me these three tops, and I have worn them!  The trapeze style printed tank was my favorite!  Thanks Tess!

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Last thoughts:  Work your accessories!  Long necklaces, earrings, head wraps, scarves, even belts!  Also, I have managed to wear my blazers by leaving them open, obviously.  Finally, have fun with your changing body, and be sure to document here and there if not for a blog or Instagram posting, but for yourself and your future child to look back on fondly.  I have been fortunate enough to have had an AMAZING experience with pregnancy.  Nine months goes fast, so soak it all in and enjoy the ride!  I’ll admit that the first trimester is the most awkward.  You aren’t yet showing, and you just look really pudgy and you might feel like you have “side fat”, but don’t worry, your body has to gain a little weight in the middle first for it to fill out.  Consignment shops and mommy groups are also a great resource to tap for gently used maternity clothes, but honestly, I find that the most flattering clothing is non-maternity!  Why do they insist on adding awkward ties and thin, unflattering belts on tops?!  I will admit that I am a little anxious to get back to exercise and just FEELING like my physical self again, I mean I get winded just going up stairs and rolling over in bed at night or getting up to pee seems like a small workout, but there will be plenty of time to safely lose the weight later.  So if you have been pregnant what items could you not live without?  If you are planning to get pregnant, did you find this helpful?

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One Response to “Let’s Talk Maternity Clothes: How to Get Through Nine Months of Changes on a Budget”

  1. tessdressed Says:

    Yay! This post is cute. Glad you’ve worn the tops 🙂

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