Do I even need maternity clothes?
When should I start buying maternity clothes?
What size do I buy in maternity clothes?
If you’re expecting a baby these are probably all questions that you’ve thought of at some point or other.
If buying maternity clothes seems confusing or even frivolous to you, this guide will answer all your questions about how to buy maternity clothes.
No better time than now to pin this!
Do You Have To Wear Maternity Clothes When Pregnant?
Let’s answer the obvious question first. Why buy maternity clothes? Maternity clothes are specifically made for expecting mother. The cut and design of these clothes are made to accommodate the changes that pregnancy brings and flatter the body.
Speaking from personal experience, I debated on whether I wanted to spend money on trendy maternity clothes. I decided to take the plunge around my 4 month of pregnancy and it was the best decision!
I vividly remember standing in the dressing room in Target and breathing a sigh of relief at just how comfortable these maternity jeans made me feel. Plus, they didn’t look like frumpy maternity clothes. I was SOLD.
When Should I Start Buying Maternity Clothes?
Pregnancy is not the same for every woman. Our pregnancy journeys are unique as we are. There is not a universal week of pregnancy that you have to pack away your old clothes and only wear maternity clothes.
To answer the question, you should look for certain signs that it may be time to make the switch or start purchasing a few maternity pieces.
Can you button your button down shirts normally without struggling?
Do your pants feel uncomfortably tight?
Can you button your pants?
Would you prefer spandex or stretchy clothing over anything else?
Is your bump starting to peek from under your regular shirts or tops?
These are all very good signs that you may be ready to start shopping for maternity clothes. Just as there is no consistent answer to when you will begin showing, there is no one size fits all answer to when you should buy maternity clothes. The timing is based on your personal shape, weight, body type. Also if this is your first pregnancy you might start feeling like you need to buy maternity clothes later than say your second or third pregnancy.
How Do I Find My Size In Maternity Clothes?
Generally maternity clothes follow your current sizing. For example, if you wear a size 8 pants now, you would probably want to try on a size 8 in maternity pants as well. Or, if you wear a size large you could search for size large maternity clothes.
It’s easy to get hung up on numbers and sizing. Remember one of the reasons you are buying maternity clothes is because you want to feel beautiful and comfortable.
Don’t be tempted to buy clothing a few sizes larger than what you normally wear because you’re unsure of how much weight you might gain. When sized correctly, trendy maternity clothes can be appropriate and stylish.
Who Sells The Best Maternity Clothes?
The good news is these days there are tons of shops and retailers that sell trendy maternity clothes that don’t look dated or silly. From big stores to super unique niche maternity brands you have several options.
A one stop shop for ALL things maternity clothing. This store was designed for baby bump friendly tops, jeans, dresses, sleepwear and more. They have the Jessica Simpson Maternity line which I am a big fan of.
Most of us are familiar with Target and shop there already, but did you know they have an amazing maternity clothes section? On your next Target run, be sure to stop by and check it out. They make great essentials. I highly recommend the Isabel Maternity by Ingrid and Isabel jeans and leggings. I lived in these pants during my pregnancy.
Yes, the same place you shop for pantry items, food or electronics. Amazon has an amazingly good, budget friendly wide selection of maternity clothes. No kidding. I bought the dress for my maternity photoshoot from Amazon under $50 and it turned out beautiful. I recommend getting maternity shirts or dresses from Amazon. However, if you’re a prime member with free shipping, you can easily send items back with free returns.
Old Navy has stylish maternity clothes that are always being updated. Their styles are always on trend and easily mixable. Old Navy Maternity is a good place to get comfortable maternity basics you will live in. Their jeans and pants have 4 types of supportive panels to pick from! They offer low, side, rollover and full panels to support your baby bump. They also offer styles that take you past the 3rd trimester, with a variety of nursing camis, cardigans and tops. Sign up for their emails so you can get notified of coupons and sales.
H&M is known for their quality, budget basics and maternity clothes are no exception! The H&M MAMA line offers staples like tanks, tops, leggings and even nursing bras in neutral colors. If you’re ready for a pop of color or print, H&M has pretty shirt dresses made to flatter your bump. For casual comfort try the jersey or cotton dresses.
Buying second hand clothes can save you a lot of money. Thred Up has a great selection of maternity clothes that aren’t frumpy and discounted! This is also a great option if you’ve had your eye on some pricey maternity clothes or a particular expensive brand that you want to splurge on. It’s a good idea to see if those items are here first.
Money Saving Tips for Shopping
If you’ve decided you’re going to buy maternity clothes here are a few tips to maximize your wardrobe shopping, so you can get the most bang for your buck.
Sign up for the retailer’s mailing list for coupons. A lot of retailers will give you a welcome discount code just for signing up! They will also notify you of sales.
Save Amazon maternity items you have your eye on to your cart for later. You’ll get notified of a price change so that you can buy when the price goes lower.
If you decide to shop online use a cash back shopping program like Rauketen to get a percentage of your purchase back!
Use gift cards to purchase your clothes. If any part of your pregnancy falls during your birthday or a gift giving holiday like Mother’s Day or Christmas, consider asking for gift cards so that you can purchase what you need or want.
Shop off season. This might take some planning, but you can buy the clearance or closeout clothes from the current season ending to prepare for the upcoming season. So when fall clothes are being displayed and summer clothes get marked down, consider shopping for those discounted summer clothes to save for warmer weather.
Shop at local resale stores in your area. An example of a store like this is Kid to Kid. This primarily a consignment store for kids clothes, but they do have a buy maternity clothes. Call your local store to make sure they have maternity clothes. If they do, stop by and see if you can find a good deal. Thread Up is online if you don’t have a local option.
Maternity Clothes Checklist
If you are trying to shop for maternity clothes on a budget, your focus should be on essentials. In order to maximize your money, here are my suggestions for your maternity shopping checklist.
The top is where you’re going to get the best bang for your buck because you can get a nice shirt for under 25 dollars at most places. So you’ll want to invest in three to five stretchy tops that are going to be comfortable enough to wear to work, on the weekend or at home. You don’t have to buy only solid shirts. Experiment with patterns, prints and different colors. This Motherhood Maternity knot hem short sleeve top is a good example.
Consider this multipack of side ruched maternity tops that save a bit of money since you’re buying in “bulk”.
Button Down Shirt
Button down shirts can pull double duty because you can wear them to work AND around town casually. Make sure that you get the appropriate size. It doesn’t look good when you have the buttons stretched and gaping because the shirt is too small. That can easily take the look in a direction that’s the opposite of stylish.
My recommendation is a chambray button down shirt, I love that chambray is “neutral” that can go with solid colors or a fun print.
A belted, open front cardigan is perfect for layering. For the warmer months choose a thin option and for the cooler months, feel free to get a chunky knit cardigan. It’s a cozy option that will help you look pulled together on the days you just aren’t feeling it.
This fun tassel open front kimono is perfect to layer with the knot hem shirt I mentioned earlier and a great pair of supportive maternity jeans.
You probably already have a couple pairs jeans in your closet, but as your bump grows they will stop fitting at some point. Jeans can go from day to night and everything in between. Jeans are definitely the workhorse of most people’s wardrobes.
Finding a good pair of maternity jeans isn’t hard! You can head to a physical store location and try them on first to get a feel for which type of support you need. Then look them up online to find the best price. As I mentioned earlier, I am a huge fan of jeans from Target and Motherhood Maternity. Another option is this Levi Strauss pair that has rave reviews (4 stars) and they are under 30 dollars.
If you work outside of the home, then you’ll want to invest in 2-3 pair of work pants that will not leave you that will not have you dreading office hours because you’re imagining when you can get home to pop your pants off.
You can buy them in neutral colors like gray, navy, khaki or black.
Maternity dresses are so much fun and the ultimate compromise on simplicity and style. Invest in a dress that can be worn casually, but also can be dressed up into a chic outfit for social events like a wedding.
This mermaid flare midi dress fits the bill and is available in SO MANY stylish prints and colors.
As if you needed a reason to get a pair of sweatpants! Joggers are a stylish take on sweatpants that don’t look frumpy. You deserve at least two pairs of these comfortable joggers with pockets!
I hope you enjoy shopping for maternity clothes on a budget! This is one investment that you’ll appreciate as you go through your pregnancy.
If you’re interested in a maternity clothes capsule post, let me know in the comments.
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