Hear ye! Hear ye! I do hereby declare for all mothers-to-be in the land: Ye does not need to buy an entirely new wardrobe of maternity clothes. Ye shall still be able to wear much of ye's wardrobe throughout most of ye's pregnancy. Okay, all joking (and Renaissance speaking) aside, shopping for maternity clothing can be a daunting, exhausting, and expensive part of pregnancy. But it doesn't have to be. As most mothers will tell you, there are a few items of maternity clothing that won't feel like a waste of money, but aside from these, whether you do a complete overhaul of your closet is really up to you (and your budget).
I always loved the idea of shopping for maternity clothing: getting pampered by the doting maternity store employees, finding the perfect dress that hugged my bump just-so, and, of course, slipping into jeans that didn't need to be buttoned. However for many people, myself included, the first shopping trip for maternity clothes is actually a very draining experience: one in which you may end up leaving frustrated and empty-handed, or frustrated and with too many things in your hand because the salespeople said you "needed" it all.
For starters, maternity clothing is overpriced. It's also challenging to find the right size, even with those weird bump pads they give you. And, though there are more brands creating really cute maternity clothes, historically, pregnancy clothing is not going to land you on any "best dressed" lists. What then, you're probably asking yourself, are pieces that are worth the investment? Look no further fair maidens (sorry, Renaissance talk is hard to kick) for we have compiled a list of nine clothing items you need during pregnancy (and beyond) that won't feel like a waste of money.
1. A Belly Band
I cannot stress the importance of this item enough. A belly band is the single most important item of clothing during (and after) pregnancy. This was the first piece of maternity clothing I purchased, and helped me stay in my regular jeans for several months after I could no longer button them comfortably. It's also perfect after baby comes and you're transitioning back to your old clothes.
2. A High-Quality Nursing Bra
If you are planning on breastfeeding, there's definitely a benefit to investing in a high-quality nursing bra. It made a world of difference to my comfort level after I was properly fitted for a bra at a local store that specializes in breastfeeding support. Trust me, when it comes to breastfeeding, you will need all the support you can get (see what I did there).
3. A Great Pair Of Jeans
I love jeans, and thankfully there is no shortage of options when it comes to maternity jeans. It's worth investing in a high-quality pair or two because they will stretch out a bit as you wear them, and as you grow. You may also find that certain brands of maternity jeans will fit better than others based on your body type, as explained on Mom Loves Best.
4. Wrap Cardigans
Not gonna lie, when I saw this cozy-looking wrap cardigan was on sale, I put it in my cart immediately. And I sure as heck am not pregnant. But wrap cardigans are perfect for adding a light layer throughout your pregnancy, and also for snuggling up with baby afterwards as well. As one of my mom friends said, "My baby was born in the winter, so I would put her in the baby wrap and wrap the cardigan around both of us all the time too." Brilliant.
5. Maxi Dresses
I don't care in what season you're giving birth, you're going to need some maxi dresses to get you through those final weeks. Nothing will feel comfortable if it isn't flowy and free of buttons, zippers, or anything else that could possibly cause you discomfort. Sounds fun, right?
There are also lots of beautiful maternity maxi dresses that can transition with you post-pregnancy as well. This gorgeous pick from Pax Philomena has none of the aforementioned buttons or zippers and it can be worn post-pregnancy and beyond (plus, it's made of lightweight, 100 percent cotton and guaranteed to help keep you cool).
6. A Fitted Blazer
Whether you work in an environment that requires you to have a blazer on or not, spending money on a nice one will serve you well throughout your pregnancy and beyond. I was shocked when the one I bought (which is sadly no longer available or I would have hooked you up with the link!) fit me through my entire pregnancy, and still does. I wear it all the time.
When I first bought it, the blazer helped hide my second pregnancy before I was ready to tell the world. It then carried me through each season of my pregnancy. I've probably worn it 100 times since then, though I somehow can't locate a single picture of myself wearing it in all 8,000 photos I have on my phone. Trust me though, it's bomb.
Whether you're planning on getting freaky or not, there will come a day in your pregnancy when you look at yourself naked and wonder what in the actual you-know-what is happening to the body you once had. It is at this precise moment that you need to bust out some sexy lingerie and prance around your house reclaiming your sexy-goddess self.
Then make sure your partner sees you before you slip back into your leggings.
8. Tank Tops
I don't know how to break this to you gently, so I won't. You're gonna sweat like a pig during your pregnancy. Tank tops are a must-have. When you find one you like, such as this cute little number from Target, stock up. Buy every color. Buy two in every color. Buy all the tank tops. Your armpits will thank you.
9. Black Leggings
Getting back to those post-lingerie leggings... leggings are crucial to pregnancy. I don't care who you are or what you think you would "never wear" even if you were pregnant; you will need to get yourself some black leggings.
There's not a mom I know who didn't end up with a favorite pair she was still rocking at least six months postpartum. Ah, I feel more comfortable just thinking about mine. I wonder whatever happened to them anyway (BRB).