If you’re pregnant, I’ve got some maternity style tips for you! I have really made it a goal to maintain a fashionable look during my pregnancy. I didn’t want to look like a stereotypical frumpy pregnant person who you can’t tell if she’s fat or pregnant. None of that. Of course, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on an entire new wardrobe either. After all, your size is changing on a weekly basis and this stage of your life (and this new weight) is only temporary (we hope at least). That said, don’t be fooled by friends or colleagues who tell you that you don’t need to buy maternity clothes—that’s the biggest lie. Ever. I’m a somewhat slender person (usually around a size 4) and after 12 weeks there was no way any of my jeans were fitting me comfortably again anytime soon. So here are a few tips to help you maintain style and look great your entire pregnancy.
Accept that You Will Need New Clothes
People who say that they “didn’t really buy any maternity clothes, they could just wear what they owned most of their pregnancy” are liars. Sorry, but it’s true! Maternity clothes are not a waste of money. Being comfortable and feeling pretty is important—especially during pregnancy. Trust me, there are enough things that make you feel bad during this “magical” time. I think it really is important to feel good. Plus, you’ll be wearing these clothes after the baby is born as well for a while—sorry, it’s true. Would you just not buy new clothes for over a year because they wouldn’t be in style the next year? It’s kind of the same thing.
Image Courtesy Francis for Flytographer Quebec City
Know Where to Buy Maternity Clothes
I stupidly assumed maternity clothes would be readily available and convenient to purchase. I was wrong. Most standalone maternity stores have closed and have opted to sell exclusively online. Even the Gap has put all their maternity gear online. This can be a bit frustrating at the beginning when you have no idea what size you need and want to try clothing on. But alas, most companies have easy returns so you just have to order a whole bunch of stuff in a range of sizes and send back what you don’t like. My favorite site is ASOS, they have great and stylish clothing that is on point with current trends, which I love. Old Navy has great loungewear and workout gear for us mommies. I actually even like their stuff better than the Gap. And wait for their sales, which happen pretty frequently for 30-40% off. I got leggings and sports bras for under $10 at one point. ShopBop, my favorite regular shopping site also has some great maternity picks by designers like Hatch, J-Brand and Rosie Pope.
One store that does exist in Manhattan (and Paris, London, Hong Kong and Dubai) is called Seraphine. This is probably my favorite store and where I have gotten most of my nice dresses and clothing. Everything fits great. They even have a celebrity book showing what celebs wore what clothing (Kate Middleton, Mila Kunis, Christina Aguilera are among some of the store’s fans).
Buy a Good Maternity Bra
Make sure you have a bra that fits at all times during your pregnancy. You will feel like a new woman. If your cups still fit but your bra becomes tight around your back like mine did, consider purchasing bra brand extenders. They cost about $5 for a set of three on Amazon and really give you that extra breathing room. Once you’re nursing you’re not supposed to wear an underwire (something about milk supply, haven’t really gotten there yet but that’s something to consider). I’m almost into my third trimester and so far I’ve worn my normal bras (which admittedly were always a little roomy in the cups) with the extenders but I know I’m almost at the point where I’m going to need the hardcore maternity bras. I have heard that Medela’s bras and Bravado’s nursing bras are where it’s at!
Invest in Maternity Pants and Jeans
Even though you can wear a lot of your shirts for much of your pregnancy, don’t be afraid to invest in some maternity pants. I like the kind with the band built in that hug your bump. The maternity pants with stretchy material on the hips continuously fall down. Plus the extra fabric gives you extra support, which I love. And you heard it here first, bump bands are the worst! If you’re not familiar, bump bands are basically a strip of material you can wear over your pants when they won’t close anymore so you can wear them unbuttoned, making them last longer into your pregnancy. I felt like when I did this, my pants did not lay right and I had bulge in all the wrong places. I was uncomfortable and felt like my pants and the band could slide off at any time leaving me in a compromising position. When I tried on maternity pants, I got so excited! They fit! There is no reason to be uncomfortable. AG Jeans, J-Brand, Seven and other designer jean brands do make maternity jeans that can be super cute. I recommend investing in a couple really cute pairs. But you can also order from H&M. Their pants have a great stretch and are pretty inexpensive.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
Your first instinct may be to invest in giant clothing that will hide your bump. But it may surprise you that hugging your bump may be much more flattering than burying it. Hiding your bump under moo-moos, potato sacks and basically tent-sized clothing can make you look frumpy. I think that the women that look their best are those who highlight their bump and show it off. In addition to stretchy gear, empire waist lines look cute too and so do belts just under the bust.
Dresses Are Your New Best Friend
Even though I love my maternity pants, I do try and wear dresses when I can. They’re super comfortable and make it super easy to go to the bathroom—which by the end of your second trimester can happen every ten minutes.
Do you have any maternity style tips? Please share them below in the comments!
*This post originally appeared on our other blog, Travelingpanties.com*