I am nearly half way through my first pregnancy, and I do not own a stitch of maternity clothing. So far, I have been quite underwhelmed with the affordable options out there. Most of what I do like is well out of my budget, and I simply cannot justify spending more that I would on a regular dress, on something that I’ll wear for a few months tops. Despite my lack of success with maternity clothes shopping, I refuse to enter into sweatpants purgatory! I’ve come up with a little “plan” for how I am hoping to successfully conquer my newest style challenge – my growing belly!
1. Work with what I’ve got.
I have a good handful of clothing (primarily dresses) that I believe will work for the majority of my pregnancy. Empire waists and stretchy fabrics are my best friend right now. All of the dresses pictured below are items that I am hoping to get extended use from.
2. Shop smart.
I have placed two shopping rules on myself for the time being – I can only purchase clothing that will either work with a baby bump, or that are nursing friendly. I recently picked up a number of articles of non-maternity clothing that can work around my growing belly (soon to be debuted). I am particularly loving the skater dress trend – they make great maternity tops, without looking matronly!
3. Thrift what I can.
So far, I haven’t had any success with the maternity-specific sections at my local thrift stores and secondhand shops. This of course does not mean I’ve given up on scouring the “regular” clothes sections for items that could work for me. I enjoyed this post about thrifting a killer maternity wardrobe. There are a lot of awesome tips!
I’ve gotten a head start on some maternity friendly DIY projects. I’ve made two tank dresses (seen here and here) with my baby bump in mind so far, and hope to continue making some cute, budget-friendly additions for my closet.
5. If necessary, buy some maternity basics.
The maternity sections of my local stores have been disappointing, with a very small selection of shapeless, unexciting pieces. I had placed several online orders for maternity clothes which looked better, but I ended up returning everything. Sad face. I suspect that it will come to a point where I will need to buy some basic maternity items, such as tank tops, t-shirts, and leggings. That I can deal with. I do have a few items that I am willing to “sacrifice” by stretching them out, but I also don’t want to ruin items that I want to wear post-baby.
6. Seek out inspiration!
There have been plenty of style bloggers who have ventured into the world of maternity fashion before me. Thanks to them, I have quite a bit of inspiration to immerse myself in. Some blog archives I’ve enjoyed perusing are The Daybook, Snappy Casual, Knocked Up Fabulous, and Academichic, to name a few. I have been collecting my favorites on my maternity style inspiration board on Pinterest for future reminders of how to stay stylish while rocking a baby bump.
I’d love to hear the input of other mamas-to-be, or from those who have “been there, done that.” What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in regards to your maternity wardrobe? What is working or had worked for you?