However, maternity clothes aren’t required for at least 12 to 18 weeks after you get pregnant, so stock up on those items now so you have them on hand for your baby shower (if you’re planning one). Pregnancy clothing should be comfortable, but you can still show off your particular style. It’s possible to find affordable maternity wear and plus-size maternity wear. You’ll be able to get a lot more use out of your purchases if you plan to wear most of them after giving birth.
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One thing is for sure: Your wardrobe will alter as your pregnancy progresses, and you’ll need maternity clothing to keep up with it. Today, there are a wide variety of maternity clothes options that make it easy (and enjoyable!) to show off a bit unique style while pregnant. Here’s everything you need to know about maternity clothing, from where to shop to what to look for.
When to buy maternity clothes
Stretchy leggings and long tops, purchased early in your pregnancy, will serve you well through the first trimester and into your second trimester. Otherwise, you can shop for maternity apparel whenever you want, although most women begin to show around 12 to 18 weeks of pregnancy, which is when most of them will need to start wearing them for the first time.
Pregnant women who are in good health at the start of their pregnancy normally gain one to five pounds in the first trimester on average. It doesn’t matter if you don’t gain a lot of weight or look pregnant at first; your body is still developing. In addition to experiencing greater gas and bloating, pregnant women may also find that wearing their usual clothing becomes increasingly uncomfortable.
Even though your usual clothes no longer fit, you’re not quite ready to wear maternity wear just yet — that’s normal. During this transitional period, you can shop your closet for soft knits, athleisure, loose-fitting blouses, giant cardigans, and spacious dresses.
Pregnant women can wear empire waisted tops and dresses that don’t seem like tents. To keep well-meaning but curious friends and coworkers at a distance, these objects may be useful.
Even though maternity pants are an unavoidable necessity, there are a few do-it-yourself options for extending the life of your current pair. A hair elastic threaded through your buttonhole makes a quick and easy handmade waistline extender, as does a belly band constructed from an old shirt. You may learn more about maternity wear by reading this.
Waiting until your second trimester to buy the rest of your maternity clothes is perfectly acceptable, especially since you have no idea how quickly your tummy will expand during that time. Ask your mom friends if they have any maternity clothing that they no longer need, and then you can buy only what you need to complete your collection.
What to look for when you buy maternity clothes
Look for elastic materials, adjustable straps, and ruched-side shirts when shopping for maternity wear. Avoid anything that’s too sheer or doesn’t provide enough coverage unless you’re layering. Breasts will fluctuate throughout pregnancy, so maternity tank tops that provide extra support may be helpful.
This pregnancy and any future ones may necessitate a lower standard of quality, but you still want your clothes to last for as long as possible.
If you normally wear a medium, you’ll be the same size in pregnancy clothing as you are in non-pregnancy items. Learn how maternity clothing sizing work here. Make sure you like the fit of the garments by trying them on in the store. Before adding products to your cart, make sure to verify the return policies of the website you’re purchasing from, so you may return what doesn’t work.
The following are some of the key maternity clothing items:
- A few pairs of maternity jeans or pants (and shorts, if the weather permits)
- For the office, maternity pants or a skirt should be business-casual enough.
- Leggings for pregnant women are a must-have!
- At the very least, a couple stretchy maternity blouses or tank tops.
- For layering, a large cardigan or jacket
- Sporty workout gear or maternity loungewear
- In the third trimester, even if you aren’t used to wearing dresses, you may find them more comfortable than pants.
- A warm and cozy maternity coat, particularly if you live somewhere that gets cold.
- If you’re planning a baby shower or maternity photo shoot, wear something you love.
Pregnant women should consider purchasing maternity bras, as their cup and band sizes will increase. Despite the fact that your pre-pregnancy bras may function for a time, you’ll soon prefer the comfort and expandability of a maternity or breastfeeding bra. (Plus, if you’re planning to breastfeed, you’ll want to stock up on a couple nursing bras now.) Look at what other moms have to say about their favorite pregnancy and nursing bra brands.
A few pairs of maternity pants can’t hurt either. You’ll save your favorite underwear from stretching out, and they’ll be more comfy, too.
As your baby grows, you may find yourself unable to keep up with your maternity style guidelines, swollen and fatigued, and ready to toss them out the window. Purchase a few more gowns without buttons, zippers, or suffocating waistbands now while prices are low.
Where to buy maternity clothes
Whether you’re looking for workhorse denim or exquisite couture, maternity fashion is a $10 billion (and growing) market, and there’s no shortage of adorable maternity clothes out there for you if you’re ready to shop. See which maternity clothes companies are most popular with expectant mothers.
Plus-size maternity clothes
It’s now easier than ever to find fashionable, plus-size maternity clothing. Despite the fact that plus-size pregnant women still have fewer options, there is an increasing number of maternity retailers that provide more inclusive sizing. If you’re expecting, you may show off your belly in style by shopping the maternity collections of plus-size labels.
If you’re looking for the widest range of plus-size maternity clothing, you’ll need to browse online rather than in the store. To ensure that your plus-size pregnancy items fit properly, you should take your measurements and consult a maternity size chart before placing your order. Sizing varies greatly from retailer to retailer.
You should follow the same recommendations when it comes to pregnant women’s fashion: Wear what makes you happy and what makes you feel good, and don’t forget to put your comfort first!
Cheap maternity clothes
Even if you don’t plan to use your maternity wardrobe for more than a few months, it’s normal that you don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. Fortunately, consumers on a tight budget can easily locate low-cost pregnancy clothing.
Some of the largest retailers have extended their maternity sections, either by developing their own lines or collaborating with high-fashion companies to produce lower-priced capsule collections. Other useful advice: Take advantage of seasonal specials, clearance racks, and internet coupons before making an online purchase. You can also check out secondhand maternity boutiques to locate gently worn (and in some cases, brand new) things.
You can also look for pregnancy apparel swaps, deals, and giveaways in your neighborhood or on social media. In the event of a particular event, such as a wedding, there are websites where you may rent maternity apparel and look designer without having to pay designer prices. Pregnancy clothes may be lying around the homes of moms you know from church, school, or the workplace.
Many of your pregnant garments (especially the soft, lived-in maternity leggings) will be used after the birth of your child: It takes six to eight weeks for your uterus to recover to its pre-pregnancy size, and your post-baby belly won’t go overnight. Knowing this might help alleviate some of the weight of the price tags on some of these things.
Cute maternity outfits to try
The most important “law” of maternity fashion is that you should wear whatever makes you feel good about yourself. Make use of social media and the BabyCenter Community for maternity style ideas when considering these pregnancy clothing.
Wrap-around dresses. Dress in wrap dresses, or let them to dress you up. At work and on the weekends, you’ll look polished and put together. Depending on how high your bump rises, you may modify the tie’s position to make the dress empire-waisted, creating a defined line between your chest and bump.
Maxi-length dresses. The ankle-length maxi dress is a popular choice for pregnant women looking for an outfit that can take them from the office to the grocery store and everywhere in between. Lightweight fabrics are commonly used, so you won’t overheat in the summer, and you can layer a jacket or cardigan on top of one if the weather turns chilly.
Pregnant women’s favorite maternity outfits are included in the gallery below.
Maternity jeans and a stretchy tee
Classic dark denim bootcut or pregnant thin jeans can be worn with a variety of tops and dresses. The flexible fabric in the waistline may become your new favorite thing, and you may never want to wear ordinary jeans again, as it has for many other expecting mothers.
Maternity leggings and a loose top
Leggings with a loose-fitting shirt (or a cozy big sweater in the winter) are a simple way to appear put together while still being comfortable. The greatest pregnant leggings can also be used as pajamas or gym pants if you prefer versatile attire.
Accessorize your little black maternity dress with eye-catching jewelry, vibrant scarves, and attractive – and comfortable! – shoes. Isn’t it the best? Even after you’ve outgrown your maternity clothes, you may still wear these stunning pieces.
When is the best time to purchase maternity clothes?
What if you’re pregnant and you’re unsure when to begin shopping for your maternity clothes? Check out our style advice for expectant mothers and a list of must-haves for new moms…
It amazed us how early many of our moms started buying maternity clothes when we asked them when they started wearing them.
MrsKP informed us she began wearing maternity clothing at around nine weeks’ gestation.
“I went to work in maternity pants at 10 weeks – purely for the comfort,” Snugglenush exclaimed.
Buying maternity clothes in the early stages of pregnancy may appear enormous, but don’t buy too little: you can even use a small pillow to have a sense of how you’ll look in your third trimester.
Choose apparel with a unique design element, such as
- parts of the body that can be stretched
- waistbands that can be shortened or lengthened
– all of which will provide you with additional room as you grow. (Our guide to the greatest maternity and pregnancy clothes collections is a good place to start.)
The longer your maternity outfit lasts, the more versatile the fabric should be. Cotton jersey or spandex, for example, are great options.
Clever maternity fashion tricks
- Pregnant women should not strive to fit into their pre-pregnancy attire. The more flattering of looks will be those that can support your increasing baby bump, as well as your legs, arms, and boobs!
- It is possible to wear your regular clothes throughout the first few months of pregnancy, as you gain weight and your abdomen expands. But it’s a good idea to start looking into maternity essentials like jeans, pants and skirts because your regular clothing may begin to feel a little too tight as your baby grows.
- For some women, maternity clothing may not be necessary at all! Seasonal trends like the multi-seasonal maxi-dress, maxi-skirts and tunics, mannish tailoring and layered knits can be worn in non-maternity sizes.
- Pregnancy clothing is essential, but so are maternity jeans and pants. Being able to wear pants or jeans without feeling constricted is a no-brainer when your waistband is one of the most noticeable and rapid locations to develop in. Over or under the belly, choose styles with soft and stretchy waistbands. If you have swollen ankles, opt for a wide leg or a boot cut! Check out our pregnant jeans fashion special for a sampling of what’s available.
- When shopping for maternity clothing, look for garments that may be worn both before and after the birth of your child. With a belt, you can always cinch it in where it matters after having a kid!
- Think carefully about what you wear. Choose neutral, classic, and staple pieces that can be paired with other items in your closet so that you may create as many different looks as possible. Makes you appear to have more clothing options than you actually do.
- Don’t forget to bring some clean undies with you! Pregnant women should buy maternity bras and knickers as soon as they notice that their undergarments are getting tighter. Precious maternity fashions abound. It’s also critical to have your measurements and fittings done on a regular basis. Don’t shy away from a free fitting service because you think it’s too expensive.
Are maternity fashion sizes different to pre-pregnancy sizes?
Buy maternity clothes in the same size as before your pregnancy rather than a few sizes larger when you go to buy them (during the second trimester, but everyone is different and it differs from woman to woman). Maternity clothing is made to accommodate your growing belly, and many styles may be easily altered to fit your changing shape.
Footwear in pregnancy
Pregnancy is more than simply a bloated belly. If you notice that your feet are getting bigger or more painful, it’s time to invest in a new pair of shoes, preferably ones that are both supportive and comfortable. Flat shoes that support your arches, soft-lined boots that protect your ankles, or mid-heel styles if you refuse to give up your heels during pregnancy are all good options.
Maternity fashion must-haves
Dressed to impress
It’s critical to have a positive outlook in order to maintain your sense of self-worth as your body changes through time.
When it comes to your wardrobe, having a few standout pieces can help you feel and look your best. Topshop Maternity and ASOS Maternity both provide maternity outfits that are both trendy and unique.
Maternity tights, jeggings, or leggings are all acceptable options.
Dresses, tunics, long tees and tops can all be worn with them. They go with anything! The ideal pants have a comfortable waistband and enough stretch in the leg to allow you to move freely. If you’re looking for leggings, check out Next.
Daylong has a wide variety of pregnancy tights to keep your circulation flowing and your bump comfy while you’re still at work or choose to cover your legs.
Nightwear that is easy to sleep in.
Sleeping becomes increasingly difficult as your due date approaches. You’ll be unable to toss and turn because of your bump, and you may find yourself needing to go to the bathroom frequently as a result.
Wear loose-fitting clothes made of soft cotton or other breathable materials to stay cool and comfortable. If it’s warm enough, wear a nightie or pants with soft elasticated waistbands if you prefer pants.
Boohoo and Seraphine both carry a fantastic assortment of pregnant nightwear.
Properly sized footwear
When your feet begin to swell, it is not a good idea to squeeze them into tiny shoes. If you must wear heels, opt for wide-fitting styles at sites like Hotter. Additionally, the reduced pressure on your feet might assist minimize ankle edema. Wide leg boots from SimplyBe are perfect for the coming winter.
Tight-fitting jeans or trousers
It’s plenty to get you through the day if your jeans or pants are well-fitted. When shopping for maternity jeans, make sure that they are both comfortable and well-fitting around your growing belly.
You have the option of wearing the waistbands over or under your growing belly; it’s up to you. The length should be an inch below your ankle, and the bottom should be snug but not tight.
How do I know what size maternity clothes to buy?
There is no difference in sizing between maternity and non-maternity clothing, which means that you’ll fit into both. If you usually wear a small, you’ll be a maternity small as well.. In terms of numerical sizes, a regular 6 or 28 is the same size as maternity 6 or 28.
Do you buy your own size in maternity clothes?
Instead of going up a few sizes when you buy your maternity clothes (usually during the second trimester, but this varies from woman to woman), go with your pre-pregnancy size. Maternity garments are made to provide extra room in the areas where you need it, and they can be easily altered.
What month do you start wearing maternity clothes?
Second-trimester maternity garments can be worn by expectant mothers around 16-20 weeks of pregnancy on average.
Can you hurt your baby by wearing tight pants?
Prabhu assures parents that, despite their fears, wearing too-tight clothing won’t harm their newborn. So go ahead and flaunt your growing baby belly with a slinky dress or a pair of skinny maternity jeans, but there are many other options available these days.
When should I start buying baby clothes?
Many new parents choose to wait until they know the sex of their baby before purchasing baby gear. Typically, this occurs between the ages of 18 and 21 weeks, however it can occur as early as 12 weeks in some cases. To begin shopping for your kid, you do not, of course, need to know their gender.
Should I wear a bra to bed during pregnancy?
I’m lying on my bed. Pregnant or breast-feeding women should wear their maternity bra to bed if it makes them feel more secure. It is entirely up to you whether or not to wear a bra, and you are under no obligation to do so.