I don’t claim to be an expert on maternity clothes, by any means. But I have been pregnant for almost the last two years straight, and I have definitely figured out what I like and what I don’t, what I needed, and what I didn’t in the realm of maternity clothes. I worked in a business casual office, didn’t work, worked in a bit dressier business casual office, and finally in an office where I wear jeans and comfy “business” casual shirts. Here’s a list of my must-haves from my pregnancies.
1. A comfy, STRETCHY pair of jeans. I have 4 pairs of jeans and some casual pants, but one pair of my jeans don’t have a panel at all, and weren’t very conducive to a growing belly after the middle of the second trimester, and the other two pairs don’t have a lot of stretch which doesn’t really work for me in my third. My casual pants are okay, but one pair doesn’t have a full panel and it slips a lot, and the others don’t have as much stretch as I like with my giant belly. I wear this pair every day, no lie. I wash them 3 times a week so I can wear them every day.
2. A few pairs of maternity slacks. I bought these and they are so comfy. There’s a lot of give, a full panel, and I can wear them with flats or heels. Also, they are dressy enough for work, if you need work slacks, but can be paired with a casual shirt for family events, non-jean events, or church.
3. A couple of dresses. I found great sales at Motherhood and have three maternity dresses I bought from there. They have been great for fancy dinners, baby showers, work, etc. It’s nice to have something a bit more dressy, but still super comfy.
4. Shirts in a handful of colors. I kind of went overboard the first time I was pregnant and had a million shirts. Also, both times I have been pregnant from the spring to winter, which requires a full year’s worth of clothing choices. I found that I have my favorite shirts, and I pretty much wear them over and over again. Most of them are jersey (t-shirt) material, and they are in a variety of styles/sleeve-lengths, so that I can wear them with jeans or slacks and dress them up with jewelry or heels or a fancy sweater, or wear them to run errands or whatever else. I found a fantastic selection at Old Navy, and a lot of my maternity shirts are tight because I like to show off how big the belly is! 🙂
5. A couple of fun t-shirts. Let’s face it, being pregnant isn’t the most fun thing in the world. Sometimes you need a laugh, or to make others laugh not at your expense, but with your situation. Having a couple of fun shirts that will make people do a double-take is a necessity for me.
6. Maternity/nursing bras. Not all women experience a significant change in their chest size while pregnant, but a lot do. I bought these bras the first time I was pregnant and wore them toward the end of both pregnancies. Since they are also nursing bras you can use them for more than just your pregnancy, so the price is justified, and you can buy them in a bigger size than your normal bras so that as you, um, grow, you’re still comfortable. Plus, these are so comfortable!
7. Bigger pajamas. This may seem unnecessary, but my regular pajamas don’t fit me very well these days, and I love having the bigger-sized pants and nightgowns I bought during my first pregnancy. Plus, I wore them after my first pregnancy when everything was sore and I was still larger than I wanted to be. I have stretchy, comfy pants and nightgowns that I wear as long shirts. It’s much more comfortable than Jim’s pj pants and undershirts (my back-up bigger-sized pjs).
8. Cardigan-style sweaters. As I mentioned before, since my pregnancies have spanned the seasons quite nicely, it has been necessary to have a full-year’s worth of clothes. However, the heating coil in my belly keeps me pretty warm, even when it’s 30 degrees outside. I swear by cardigans, which tend to be stretchy, so you don’t have to buy maternity sweaters, and tend to be a bit warmer than a light jacket (and not as confining), but aren’t as warm as a winter coat. I have about 5 cardigans that will still button or tie over my belly. I wear them pretty much every day.
9. Tank tops. It’s proven well-worth it to me to buy maternity tank tops. I generally like to wear a tank top each day, because I’m not too keen on showing off my cleavage or bra straps, and tank tops seem to cover this problem. But maternity tank tops are made for big bellies, and go all the way down to the bottom of the panel on your pants, or past that. Even though you will just wear them during pregnancy, it’s worth it.
What maternity stuff did you/do you swear by?