Wondering how to shop for maternity clothes? Take it from this first-time mom - it's hard to find the right maternity clothes, at the right price, that'll last through your entire pregnancy. Check out my tips and tips for buying maternity clothes.
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Shopping for maternity clothes
As soon as I found out I was pregnant, my mind went immediately to shopping for maternity clothes. When would I need to start wearing maternity clothes in the first place? Which stores had maternity clothes that would suit my style and budget? Did I need maternity clothes at all?
So as I sit around, 9.5 months pregnant and looking back on my maternity clothing purchases over the past nearly a year, I've rounded up my tips and tricks for buying maternity clothes - everything I wish I'd known before I bought those first maternity leggings.
FAQ: Can I size up instead of buying maternity clothes?
The most frequently asked question I've gotten is "can I size up instead of buying maternity clothes?" To each her own, but for me, the answer is no. You will ultimately need at least a few pieces of maternity-specific clothes.
In the fist trimester, I wore my existing wardrobe comfortably, rocking my Old Navy leggings basically everyday, so I didn't feel too squished.
Once I got into the early second trimester, I started noticing that pajama pants specifically were a bit snug, especially when I wanted to feel comfortable watching TV, in bed, etc. I'd recommend a few pairs (you don't need that many) of maternity sweatpants/lounge pants to start.
FAQ: How many maternity clothes do you really need?
In the end, you don't need that many maternity clothes. A few pairs of pants (get some jeans to cut down on laundry), lots of t-shirts, a couple jackets to spice things up, and a few dresses if you'll need them/be pregnant in the summer should do the trick for clothes. Add underwear and pajamas and you're all set! Yes, you'll wear the same thing a lot, but it's only a few months in "full" maternity clothes, when it's all said and done.
How to buy maternity clothes
Don't start too early
The minute you see "pregnant" on the little test, a million to-dos start running through your head, not least of which is "how much longer can I wear my normal clothes??" Well, one piece of good news is that you can just hold tight. Most people don't need actual maternity clothes until well into their second trimester.
Get the season right
It's good practice for buying baby clothes down the line! Unlike purchasing "normal" clothes that you may wear year after year, maternity clothes could be one-time only, and assuming you'll buy a pretty limited supply, pay special attention to the season. And don't overdo it! I started needing maternity clothes in the spring, but unfortunately had bought quite a few unnecessary sweaters in an over-eager Christmas maternity shopping binge (when I'd only just reached 12 weeks and didn't look remotely pregnant).
Focus on basics
Most days, you'll be wearing the same few, recyclable outfits. After a bit of trial and error, focus your spend on the items you'll wear the most. Here are mine:
Consider what activities you'll be doing
Realistically, how many cocktail parties and weddings are you going to be attending? As cute as many of the fancy dresses are, I found that a few basic dresses, dressed up or down, took me to weddings, dinners, and country clubs without breaking the bank. Save up that cash for new stuff when you've made it through!
FAQ: What are nursing clothes?
I was 100% ignorant to so many aspects of maternity clothes, but particularly the "nursing" element of many pieces. Depending on your anticipated needs, pay attention to whether maternity clothes are marked as "maternity" or "maternity and nursing." If you plan to nurse, obviously it's great to get pieces to do double duty. If you know you will not be nursing, keep in mind that the "nursing" element could include extra flaps and zippers to provide "access" that could also mean unnecessary bulk if you only intend to wear the item while pregnant.
Under bump or over bump?
I was slow to appreciate the value of "under bump" attire, as I assumed it would feel like my pants were falling down. I maintain that this wasn't an unreasonable assumption, but in reality, as your stomach gets particularly large at the end, a few "under bump" pieces can be incredibly comfortable. I'd especially recommend "under bump" for support garments.
What about "over bump?"
The sneaker trend sounds like it's pregnancy-friendly, until you get to around month 8 and realize the amount of bending over involved in putting them on! I was so happy when I found Kizik - they're cute sneakers that slip right on and off, without looking geriatric.
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