Courtesy of De Elizabeth Gleason

The One Style Hack That Saved My Pregnancy Wardrobe (& My Wallet)

Ad failed to load

I’ll be honest: when I found out that I was pregnant last December, buying new clothes was one of the first things I thought about. That’s not to say that I didn’t think about other important things, like scheduling doctor’s appointments or eating right, but I knew that my closet was due for an overhaul, and that overhaul ended up happening a lot sooner than I thought it would.

As a petite woman with an affinity for skinny jeans, high-waisted skirts, and bodycon dresses, I knew that it wouldn't be long before I needed to go shopping because there was no way I was going to fit into my favorite styles in my current size. Sure enough, while I didn’t start showing until around 12 weeks, many of my clothes started feeling super uncomfortable a lot sooner., because I was so bloated. So I set out on a trip to the mall, ready to add trendy maternity items to my wardrobe.

But upon setting foot in my mall’s maternity store, I was surprised by how expensive everything was, especially the blouses, tank tops, and T-shirts. While I don’t necessarily consider myself the most frugal shopper in the world, I struggled with the idea of paying what seemed like a lot of money for something that I might only wear for a few months. I’m all about making investments in my closet, and $70 maternity shirts certainly did not seem like an investment. I can rationalize spending more money on a dress or a pair of jeans, but a casual top? No, thanks. And to make matters worse, it’s not like the clothing I was browsing was particularly fancy or special; in fact, they resembled a lot of things I already owned.

Ad failed to load

That's when I realized: I didn't have to buy maternity shirts. I already had plenty of items that would work, right in my closet. And while I was standing there in the maternity store, it occurred to me that instead of dropping some serious cash on those stretchy Spandex t-shirts, I might be able to wear my favorite shirts all spring and summer long — they’d just fit a little differently, that’s all. I ended up leaving the mall that day without purchasing any tops at all; instead, I went right home and dug my favorite baggy tank tops out my summer wardrobe.

Courtesy of De Elizabeth Gleason

Over the past few years, I've collected a lot of trendy loose-fitting tank tops — you know, the ones that are meant to be worn over a cute bandeau bra, because they contain arm holes the size of melons. Some of them sport logos across the torso, while others have witty quotes (or ~deep~ thoughts).

Ad failed to load

Those shirts have been my go-to every year when the weather turned warm. I’ve worn them over leggings, or tucked into denim shorts. Unless I was going somewhere fancy, chances are, if it was between the months of May and September, I’d be rocking one of those tops. They’re incredibly roomy and comfortable, so I figured, why not transition these to my pregnancy wardrobe?

Courtesy of De Elizabeth

While I bought most of these tops a while ago, there are a ton of similar tops on the market. Forever 21 sells this adorable ombré tank for $12.90, as well as this retro Lynyrd Skynyrd muscle tee for $17.90. (I guess shirts with '70s rock band logos are a thing now.) If you want the world to know you're a "Road Trip Warrior," you can rock this tank from Target for $12.99, and, if you've got a little more cash to spare, Urban Outfitters is selling a muscle tank that doubles as a hoodie for $49. At this point in my pregnancy I can still wear my old sizes comfortably in these types of shirts, but if you want a little extra room, going up a size definitely can't hurt.

Ad failed to load

Active Ombre Muscle Tee, $13, Forever 21; Lynyrd Skynyrd Muscle Tee, $18, Forever 21; Road Trip Warrior Graphic Tank, $13, Target; Silence + Noise Sleeveless Muscle Sweatshirt, $49, Urban Outfitters

Courtesy of De Elizabeth

Even though my belly is rapidly growing, every single one of my baggy racerback tank tops still fits comfortably. They even look good over the Medela nursing bra ($18.99, Target) I had purchased a few weeks earlier. While it's admittedly more visible underneath a tank top than a bandeau is, it provided coverage and support and still looked pretty stylish when paired with my favorite tops. A total win-win.

Ad failed to load

With that, I made a decision then and there that I wouldn’t purchase any “casual” or “comfy” maternity shirts, not when I could wear my faves throughout the upcoming warmer months of the year. As of now, I’m nearing the end of my second trimester and still wearing those same shirts. And I’ll be damned if I don’t wear them right up until delivery.

Medela Nursing Bra, $19, Target

Courtesy of De Elizabeth
Ad failed to load

Of course, I will admit that my solution wouldn’t work for everyone. I have a career that allows me to work remotely, so no one cares if I spend an entire Monday wearing leggings and a baggy tank top that reads “Mermaid Swim Team.” But if you do have to go into an office, you could easily pair one of these tops with skinny maternity pants (like these skinny jeans from Kohl's), toss on a blazer and a statement necklace, and call it a day. And if you're looking to avoid buying any maternity bottoms altogether, you can dig out your old spandex pencil skirt and pair it with flats.

That said, this particular type of clothing also comes in handy for lazy weekends, evenings at home, summer days at the beach, or hitting the gym. So if you’re wrestling with the mind-boggling price tags at maternity stores, you might want to consider what you already have at home. Or what might be tucked away in Forever21 or Target for a fraction of the price. For me, it’s been a life (and money) saver.

Maternity Oh Baby by Motherhood Secret Fit Belly Skinny Jeans, $23, Kohl's; Pencil Skirt, $13, H&M

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack