One of the “challenges” of pregnancy has been trying to maintain some semblance of a good appearance while also dealing with a growing baby/belly, limited maternity clothes options, budgeting for the clothes. etc. Since I work from home quite a bit, I’m lucky in that I don’t need a full professional maternity wardrobe – just a few things that I can wear for meetings, days in the office, etc. The rest can be relatively comfy/casual.
But since I know this is a challenge for a lot of people, I thought I’d share some of my strategies/challenges/solutions!
Where (and When) to Start?
One of the biggest decisions for me was where and when to start shopping for maternity clothes. I could fit into a lot of my pre-maternity wardrobe until about halfway through my second trimester – but not all of it was comfortable and flattering. So I ended up starting with some basic maternity leggings, a couple of tunic-style shirts and a couple of sundresses. For me, these items were practical to wear a lot, comfortable and gave me flexibility in terms of “how pregnant” I was/looked. They didn’t necessarily look out of place even before it was obvious that I was pregnant.
Since then, I’ve expanded with additional shirts, some denim leggings and a couple of dressier dresses that I’ve needed for special events.
Oh the Pants!
My biggest challenge has definitely been maternity pants. My problem is that I’ve always needed tall or long pants – I’m about 5’11” – and while you can find maternity pants and tall pants, it’s VERY challenging to find tall maternity pants. There aren’t many options and if the options don’t fit you well then you’re out of luck. (For example, I know Old Navy has long maternity jeans, but their jeans have never fit me well…)
How have I solved this? Well honestly, not particularly well. I’ve defaulted to leggings with longer tops and dresses. I’ve found that the leggings are more forgiving lengthwise than other pants. (And leggings are SOOO comfortable!) That has been fine for the summer/early fall but I’m wondering if it’s going to get a bit cold… I guess we’ll have to see!
Favorite Places to Go for maternity clothes
I’ve found that not many stores have big or good maternity sections anymore (unless they’re only dedicated to maternity clothes). If you get to a BIG department store (like a larger Macy’s or such), then you usually find a decent selection. But most of the smaller department stores (even smaller locations of the big stores) as well as Kohls, Target, etc. don’t have much in stock. So if you like to shop in stores, I recommend finding a local Motherhood, Pea in the Pod or Destination Maternity.
But honestly, I’ve had the best luck shopping online. I’ve definitely ordered from Motherhood.com, but have also had really good luck with PinkBlush Maternity (PinkBlush also has non-maternity clothes). That’s where I’ve found a lot of longer shirts (to go with my leggings) as well as cute dresses! I found the dress for my friends wedding from there! It took me one order to get my sizing down (an order where I had a fair amount of returns) but after that initial order, I’ve been pretty consistent in sizing with them – making ordering online pretty easy!
To Sum it Up
I’ve definitely adopted the comfort-first approach to my maternity wardrobe, but I’ve tried to keep it fun with some cute tops and dresses – and of course the accessories that I already had! I am looking forward to having more clothing options back post-pregnancy though!