Making Your Maternity Wear Look Like a Million Bucks (Without Spending It)
Let’s face it — the maternity clothing industry has a pretty sweet corner of the market. It seems like all they do is add a ruching stitch to the side of a tank top and all of a sudden the price jumps from $5 to $19.
Whether you start showing at two months or seven, clothes start to feel awkward almost from the moment you find out you’re pregnant. But even though you feel like everyone is staring at your completely obvious belly bump, it’s really not as noticeable as you might think. With a few slimming clothing accents you can obscure even the roundest belly and still look like a million bucks. And the best part is, you can do it without needing to buy brand new maternity clothes.
Stretch What You Have
For the first two trimesters and even into the third, you can make most of the clothes you already have work with your ever-adjusting waist size. If you have some favorite pants and bras that you love, don’t set them aside until you can fit back in them; just give them room to grow by adding a couple of stretchy accessories.
- Bra Extenders: Instead of shelling out some of that much needed baby money for brand new undergarments, consider purchasing some bra extenders. They usually run around $5 or less and come in the three basic bra shades of white, black and beige, as well as in two-hook rows or three. The extenders give you a few extra inches of breathing room and let you keep wearing your favorite bras for much longer.
- Belly Band: Maternity jeans are great, but they can add up quickly. Instead of buying several new pants to replace your pre-pregnancy collection, consider buying a belly band. These stretchy tummy wraps usually run between $15 and $30 and work with all of your jeans and pants. While many moms-to-be use these until their maternity jeans fit, others simply wear the band throughout their pregnancy. Additionally, you can keep using the band after baby until those pre-pregnancy clothes fit comfortably again.
Hit the Thrift Store
Thrift stores and shopping for gently used clothes online are essential for moms-to-be who are looking to save on clothing but still look fashionable. Since maternity clothes are worn for such a short amount of time, a lot of them end up in the thrift store in like-new condition or even with the tags still on. But you shouldn’t just be looking for clothes designed specifically for pregnancy. You can also keep an eye out for:
- Shirts that are a size or two larger that tie in the back near the natural waist
- Wraps in a larger size that fall just below the hips
- Dresses made from stretchy material that flow freely around the waist
- Casual skirts made from stretchy material without waistbands or other restricting features
- Layer-able clothes in slightly larger sizes such as dark colored tank tops
- Fun, bright necklaces that draw the eye up and away from your belly
- Long shirts/t-shirt dresses that you can layer over leggings
Join or Create a Mom Sharing Circle
No one understands what a new mother is going through like another mom. Mom circles are invaluable as you get to know your new little bundle and experience all the moments of sheer exhaustion, terror and joy that come with him or her. And not only can you lean on your mom friends for support, you can also pool your pre-baby and baby resources together. From sharing shirts and skirts to passing on bassinets, swings and toys, mom circles can help to keep you in cute clothes and baby necessities for years to come.
Stock up on Spandex Blends
Even though you can usually find just about everything you need in terms of maternity clothes gently used, consider buying some brand new basics that can make all your new-to-you items look especially chic. For the most amount of versatility with your clothing, consider purchasing:
- Dark-colored stretchy leggings (there are maternity ones, but usually just a larger size works well)
- A couple comfortable tank tops in different colors (for extended use, look into nursing tank tops)
- A pair or two of maternity jeans – you’ll wear them a lot more than you expect after baby
- A stretchy fabric skirt in a neutral shade
And if you don’t have them already, a pair or two of very comfortable flats will work wonders on your posture and your mood. You never really know how much the comfort of your feet affect your day until you’re pregnant.
Most importantly, keep an open mind while working on your wardrobe. Your body is at its peak during pregnancy, giving you gorgeously glossy hair, beautiful skin and a rosy glow. Don’t be ashamed of your blossoming figure, show it off! You’re pregnant, and that’s a beautiful thing.