Congratulations, Moms-to-Be! Remember, just because you are pregnant does not mean you have to sacrifice personal style & fashion. However, it's important to know that you don't have to break the bank on clothes you will hopefully only be in the next few months, and even after your pregnancy is over! Use these few tips to help you buy great maternity clothes, keep your budget intact and help you look good doing it!
Time Required: For the duration of your pregnancy
- Try different options before buying maternity clothes. Your first option would be to just go up a couple of sizes in your clothing. This may work for a little while. Another good option would be to use a "belly button". The belly button consists of elastic with buttons. It allows you to widen pants and skirts as your belly starts to grow; the elastic will easily fit over a growing belly. Cover your waistline with a long shirt and nobody will ever know.
- Do not buy maternity clothes until your second trimester. You will not really show during your first trimester (if you are having just one baby). During your second trimester, you will start to show, so you will need a few items to help you get by.
- Shop at maternity stores first. These stores are more likely to have knowledgeable staff and quality maternity clothing. If you are a special size, or have a special need, you'll be more likely to find clothes that fit in a maternity clothing store. The staff can answer any unanswered questions you may have. Once you are comfortable picking out what you need, try other places for inexpensive options - like online or from discount stores.
- Good quality maternity wear is designed to last through the nine months of a pregnancy and will stretch with you. Remember that you will not dispose of these clothes once you deliver. A lot of women continue to wear their maternity clothes after they give birth, so it is important that these items are durable. Quality does not always have to mean expensive, but you want to be sure that these items last.
- Wear maternity clothes that look and feel good. Maternity clothes have come a long way. These days it is easy to find trendy maternity clothes for a good price. Be sure to experiment with different styles. Your body is changing and what looks good on you might change as well. Make sure you get quality, stretchy fabrics. Most quality items are made to grow along with you. Choose those that contain lycra or spandex for stretch capacity.
- Purchase the same size that you were pre-pregnancy. If that size doesn't seem to fit, try buying a size larger or smaller. Most sizes are based on your pre-pregnancy size but brands will vary.
- Don't overdo it! Keep it simple. Stick to clean, simple lines and classic cuts. Don't wear large or busy patterns that overwhelm your growing frame. Choose solid colors. Use patterned or bold color accessories to enhance the outfit.
- Save money on maternity clothes by borrowing them or buying from consignment shops. Borrowing stylish maternity clothes from friends or relatives is a great way to save. You can also buy online from sites that buy and sell clothes, like eBay. Many stores that sell consignment kids' clothes also offer consignment maternity clothes.
- Do not plan on buying your wardrobe all at once. Depending on how you carry your baby or how your body changes during your pregnancy, will determine what your clothing needs will be. It's hard to determine these things weeks or months in advance.
- Try sticking to monochromatic, darker colors. These colors are slimming and tend to show less wear and tear. When possible, try a monochromatic look. Top and bottom colors that are too different will make your look shorter and wider.
- For the first couple of months, just go a little bigger. You may feel it unnecessary to buy true maternity clothes during your first couple of months. Try wearing clothing that is just a couple of sizes bigger for the time being until it's time to make that step.
- Don't rely on baggy clothes. Try slimmer fits. For example, slim, straight-legged pants will probably be more flattering than baggy ones, since they'll highlight one of the few areas where you haven't gained weight.
- Stick to lightweight fabrics. Since your body temperature tends to rise when you're pregnant, cottons are the best option. Fabrics like wool, tweed or pure synthetics are not good options. Stick to breathable fabrics like cotton.
What You Need
- a great shopping buddy
- a desire to look great