Frugal & Functional: My Best Maternity Fashion Tips & Where to Shop
As I draw near to the end of my 2nd pregnancy, I thought it would be fun to share my best tips for getting through pregnancy when it comes to fashion. Some women feel their most beautiful when pregnant, others feel like a giant balloon, but either way, you gotta dress yourself! And if you are like me, you don’t have a lot of extra money to go buy a whole new wardrobe to accommodate this short, beautiful season. So, here are my tips for a functional and frugal maternity wardrobe…
- Stick with the basics.
For the first few months of pregnancy, you can probably get by wearing your normal clothes, but as you progress you will definitely need a few things. I would recommend investing in a few pieces:
-2 pairs of maternity jeans
-5-6 basic maternity t-shirts (short or long sleeved depending on the season you are pregnant)
-1-2 comfy dress options (I have 2 jersey-knit throw-on casual dresses)
-1 nicer maternity dress (think for church or special occasion).
It may not sound like much, but these are the basics of what I have used particularly through this 2nd pregnancy as I have realized I can make do with much less.
If you are working away from the home and have to look more professional, this list may look different. I work 1 day/week in a professional office setting and I usually pair a dress with leggings and some flats to create a comfortable yet dressier look.
- Utilize cardigans, sweaters, or kimonos.
With baby #2 I have been pregnant through mostly colder months and my go-to combo has been a long sleeve fitted maternity shirt under my open cardigans and sweaters. These are cardigans I already owned and simply paired them over my maternity shirts. If you are pregnant in the summer but still want a little more coverage, I would recommend buying 1-2 cute light-weight kimono style open tops.
- Let your accessories take the stage.
With such few maternity pieces in my wardrobe, it’s easy to feel like I’m wearing the same old boring outfit over and over. But I’ve had a lot of fun challenging myself to wear some neglected accessories that pair well with basics. Do you have a statement necklace you like but that has been gathering dust? Pull that baby out! Do you, like me, have way too many scarves that never get worn? Put those in rotation! Try a fun hat, a funky earring, or stacking some bracelets in a new way. These things shake up an outfit and take away from the fact that you wear that simple black tank dress every week (guilty).
- Borrow from friends.
Do you have a close friend who is a similar size and not pregnant right now? Ask them if they have a few pieces they would share with you. I was lucky enough to have a friend who just had her 4th and last baby and she passed down several wonderful pieces to me that I wore a lot over the winter. This is a frugal method to get some maternity clothes, and since it it such a short season of life, why not share the love! Then, when you are done with your season of growing babies, you can pass on your clothes too! Cool!
- See what you already own that will work throughout your pregnancy.
You might be surprised to find that you have more pregnancy-friendly clothing than you realized. Flowy shirts are wonderful for accommodating the bump. I have worn my elastic high-waist skirts with a tied up t-shirt through both pregnancies (these are easy to find at thrift stores!). Pull out any empire waist dresses; these can be easily worn with leggings as your belly grows and your dresses get shorter.
- Don’t forget about undergarments. 🙂
Until I had Flora I didn’t realize just how much various parts of my body would change…not just my belly. Once of my 2 saving graces have been my seamless panties from Victoria’s Secret. They are the stretchy kind that have no seam around the legs or waist which accommodates growth in the bum area without cutting off circulation. My other secret weapon is my bra extender! As baby grows and takes up more space in your body, all your organs shift around and get pushed up. This means your rib cage widens and your bra size will change quite a bit. From my last pregnancy I had purchased 2 new bras, but this time around they just weren’t wide enough. For about $7 I ordered a 3 pack of bra extenders from Amazon that simply clip to your bra hook, and voila! No need to buy more bras (which can be dang pricey!).
- My favorite places to shop.
So where do you find these few, but important pieces? This is where I have gone…
-For inexpensive basic tops, shop at Ross! They have a small maternity section where I have found short and long-sleeve simple tops. They aren’t the most amazing quality, but for $3-5 a shirt, you can’t complain!
-Check out Old Navy, online and in store. Both of my jersey-knit comfy dresses are from there. They also have great sales.
-On Cyber Monday I ordered a pair of nice skinny jeans from Motherhood Maternity for $20 and they have been great. I don’t adore most of what Motherhood sells, but for a basic like jeans, it’s hard to go wrong.
-Check Target for jeans, tops, and dresses. While there prices aren’t always amazing on maternity, the selection is usually pretty cute.
-For a fancy dress, look at ASOS online. Be warned…it’s all super cute and not necessarily budget friendly.
Hopefully a few of these tips are helpful and you can learn from my experience and mistakes. 🙂 The season of pregnancy has really show me how little I can live with in my wardrobe and it’s kind of refreshing!
*top image by Neal Dieker Photography