My first experience with maternity clothes did not go so well. Being the cheap (thrifty?) person I am, I couldn’t see spending a lot of money on clothes that I might only wear once in my life. I think I bought a total of two dresses, four maternity tops and one pair of dress pants (that actually look more like yoga pants) from a store. Everything else was borrowed or purchased secondhand.
To be fair, purchasing items secondhand is not a bad idea – as long as you’re buying clothes that fit you. I couldn’t figure out why I always felt so frumpy in my secondhand maternity clothes – until I pulled them out this time around. They were four sizes too large.
Helpful hint No. 1: Don’t buy clothes – not even maternity clothes – that are too big for you.
And, similarly, Helpful hint No. 2: Just because it’s maternity doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Be picky with your clothes; buy only what you like – not what you feel you have to buy.
This pregnancy, I’m trying to buy clothes that fit in my budget and that I can wear again. To that, I wanted to give some advice to new moms-to-be (or even second-timers like me) who are trying to look cute – not frumpy.
No. 1: Maxi dresses are your friend.
I just discovered that I like maxi dresses in the last two years. Even better, for this pregnancy, I’ve discovered that maxi dresses are comfortable – and that’s always a win. I have two maxi dresses that I love and that I can wear throughout my pregnancy; what makes me do a little dance is that I can wear them post-pregnancy, too.
No. 2: You WILL need some basics.
You’re going to need to make a few purchases. This is just a given. Depending on your daytime schedule, get a few items that can go a long way. Leggings are helpful, because you can wear leggings preggo or not. Long shirts, too, are helpful.
Like Melissa, I’m a big advocate of Stitch Fix. They have a maternity section, and I was very specific in what I wanted: items that I could wear through my pregnancy and next year, too. They included a pair of maternity jeans (which I had asked for because I needed them), a pair of leggings and a long sweater that will tide me and the bump over for the rest of the winter.
No. 3: Remember your seasons.
Lord help us who are pregnant throughout multiple seasons. My first child was conceived at the end of summer, and as I really didn’t start showing until around November (and Louisiana winters don’t come around until January), I didn’t have to purchase but one season of clothing. This time, my bump is already here (it comes quicker after your first kid, just fyi), and I will be ready to pop in July. Thanks to my first pregnancy, winter is pretty much covered – though most of those clothes are ready for a much bigger bump than what I currently have. But come spring and summer, I’m going to be shopping the sales.
No. 4: Remember the “fourth trimester.”
I’ll cover this more in a future post, but when your baby is born, you’re not going to magically fit back into your pre-pregnancy clothes. In fact, it was a couple of months before I fit into clothes that, before I was pregnant, had been too big for me. Plus, those first two months, you’re going to be physically and emotionally a wreck. Just prepare for it. Dress comfortably. Chances are you won’t be leaving the house much, so enjoy the yoga pants, leggings and baggy T-shirts. And when you’re feeling the most frumpy and uncomfortable with your body, remember this: this too shall pass.
The sleeplessness shall pass.
The feeling of not understanding why you still look pregnant a month after giving birth shall pass.
The exhaustion shall pass.
Your body carried, nurtured and developed a human being – that’s incredible! That’s a miracle! After you give birth, give yourself a break. Don’t feel bad for wearing the same PJs all evening and through the next day…and maybe the next night. Do what you can, do what works for you, and, if you can wear clothes that are cute and comfortable at the same time, go for it.
Happy baby baking!