Apr 29, 2015

7 Maternity Style Tips

First of all, I am so excited to share this post. Why? Because I learned SO much and I am really excited to share it with you. Even though I have a lot of friends who had kids before me, no one told me most of this stuff. So if you have any pregnant friends - feel free to share this post with them :)

You DO NOT have to spend a lot of money to look good while pregnant. In fact, even though I didn't spend that much on maternity clothes, I honestly think I could have spent less. I'll share my purchase mistakes with you so you can hopefully learn from them.

Here are my seven tips for Saving Money on Maternity Clothing:

                    borrowed dress                              borrowed sweater                        borrowed tee

This is the best tip I can give anyone. If you have friends that have been pregnant before you, ask to borrow their clothes. Chances are, their maternity clothes are sitting in a box in the attic collecting dust until they decide to have another kid. I had three friends lend me clothes, which I am so grateful for. My pregnancy was in a different season than most of them, and we all have different tastes in clothes, BUT just getting a few pieces to wear was great.

2. Become familiar with stores that sell affordable maternity clothes
It's important to be aware that most shops don't carry much in their in-store maternity sections. I figured most of my maternity wardrobe would come from Target because I was familiar with their Liz Lange line (how many times had I found a cute shirt in the sale section, tried it on, and then figured out it was maternity by the masses of fabric in the belly?), but they hardly ever had anything I wanted in-store. Same with Old Navy and GAP. So be willing to shop online. Most stores listed have cheap/free shipping and great return policies. Here is where I found the best deals:

  • Target Maternity
    When is Target not a winner? The best maternity dress I bought was from Target (seen here and here) for $10. Target had lots and lots of options and while I didn't end up with as much as I thought I would from the store, their stock changes enough that I browsed it constantly.
  • A Pea in the Pod Maternity
    So, the largest chunk of my maternity purchases came from a Pea in the Pod. Which is kind of crazy considering that most people would hardly list them in the "affordable" category (especially a cheap-o like me). But here's the deal: they have awesome sales. They have a BOGO deal on their sale items once every 2-3 months or so and that is when I bought everything I have from the store. I got some amazing deals - for example this sweater had $128 on the price tag (what!?) but I got it for $20.
  • H&M Maternity
    h&m is amazing for basics, though some of their stores carry maternity clothes and some don't. I'm not really comfortable ordering from h&m online, so I stocked up when I was in NYC this summer. Their clothes are super soft (a pregnancy must!) and very affordable so if you are lucky enough to live close to one, feel lucky :)
  • ASOS Maternity
    I had never tried ASOS before I was pregnant, but I was really happy with my purchases. Their clothes fit true to size (at least in maternity styles) and they have some of the best selection of maternity dresses and work wear that I have seen. They also have great sales.
  • GAP Maternity 
    I have two items from gap maternity that I love, but I tried some others were terrible. Make sure you read the reviews if you order online. Also, I recommend only buying on sale (I personally think GAP is overpriced).
  • Honorable mentions: old navy, loft, thrift stores, motherhood maternity
    All of these places have good maternity clothes, I just didn't really utilize them in my pregnancy. None of my local thrift stores had maternity sections, which was annoying. I have also heard that some people have had good luck with ThreadUp (essentially an on-line thrift store).

                       not a single item of clothing in these pictures is maternity, except black pants                                        

3.  Wear non-maternity clothes
I got completely different advice from most people on this. I had friends that said things like "I only bought 2 maternity items the whole time and just made do with my regular clothes." I heard other things like "it's not worth being uncomfortable in your clothes - spend a little money on some nice things you feel good in."

My philosophy falls somewhere in the middle. First of all, comfort is so important in pregnancy. Your body is growing/changing rapidly which is uncomfortable in itself, so wearing things that feel good is important. In that respect, I think it's worth it to spend money on things that make you feel comfortable. I also did not want to wear any of my normal clothes that I felt could stretch out and not fit well later.

On the other hand, there were plenty of "normal" items that I could wear for the nearly the entire pregnancy. They included:
  • cardigans
  • jackets
  • stretchy maxi dresses
  • elastic waist skirts
  • leggings
  • t-shirts
  • long tunics
  • vests

4. Accessorize!
People will not notice that you are wearing the same clothes over and over again if you accessorize and layer strategically. There is lots of hype out there right now about building a french wardrobe or a capsule wardrobe (essentially you invest in basics and change it up with accessories). That's essentially what I did when I was dressing the bump, and honestly it was kind of fun. I liked the challenge of making the same pieces look different every time I wore them.

               with jeans                                    with pencil skirt                              with black pants

5. Focus on your personal staple items
I spent most of my maternity budget on clothing items that I wear often in everyday life. It was pretty easy for me to figure out because of the blog (I referred back to my "one piece many ways" posts) but if you are unsure, ask your significant other or just look at what clothing items you have to wash the most. For me it was:

black pants
chambray shirt
black dress
striped shirt
dark rinse skinny jeans
jean shorts

               with pencil skirt                              with black pants                            with jean shorts

These items definitely got the most wear in my maternity wardrobe and made me feel like I was dressing like myself everyday. Plus, most of them are "classic pieces" that I hope to get use out of in subsequent pregnancies.

7. And A Few Random Pieces of Advice:

  • Belt your shirts/dresses over the top of the bump. I actually did not utilize this tip as much as I should have, but so many ladies look great with a belt over the top of the bump (examples here and here). 
  • Invest in pants/shorts with a full panel maternity belly. After about 20weeks, the short panel bottoms starting digging in after sitting for a short amount of time. You can also roll the full-panel down easily until you are ready to wear it all the way up. 
  • Men's button-downs are a great thing for a growing belly. I wore my husband's plaid shirts a few times when I was desperate for something different. 
  • Maternity skirts are really hard to find. Everyone sells pants... skirts... not so much. I tried soooo many, and I finally found a favorite pencil skirt from GAP. So moral of the story - if you find a great maternity skirt, snatch it up!  
  • Don't let other people make you feel guilty for spending money on maternity clothes. I had a few people say things like "Oh, I just essentially wore leggings and stretchy tunics the whole time - it's not worth it to spend money on maternity clothes." That's great... if you aren't working. If you work in an office, you're probably going to have to spend money on maternity clothes. That's just the way it is. 

Now it's your turn! I would love to hear anything that you learned about styling the bump or any maternity style tips you might have!


  1. Such great tips! You did pregnancy style so well - especially love your stripes remixed.

    I didn't have anyone to borrow from - that would have been nice. But definitely I agree with shopping at Gap and Target (whose maternity lines got WAY cuter after I was done, what gives?). Gap was always great to check in store because I'd find ridiculous clearance deals with extra % off, that were full price online. And definitely yes to the personal staple items - pregnancy turned into a great opportunity to explore that, and you can totally get away with wearing the same thing pretty much every day since everyone knows you've got a limited wardrobe. My only other advice would be to not buy TOO far ahead, because you just don't know what size your own bump will be at what point. I had a few things that I never ended up wearing because I bought ahead, they ended up being too big for the bump at that point, and then the season changed.

  2. These are some great tips! I'll have to remember this post when it comes time for maternity clothes (several years down the line! haha). I'm sure I'll be hitting up the thrift stores for most things. Basics will probably have to come from a store. Plus the basics you bought now will come in handy if you get pregnant again. I never thought about borrowing clothes. That's such a great idea!

  3. I love your style! I'm not pregnant and don't plan to be any time in the too near future, but I feel like I can still transfer a few things to my current style! Plus, keep in mind for that day when I will need to style myself as a pregnant lady ;)


  4. I wish I had all these tips back when I was pregnant with my daughter. But you are right on point for each and every one!

  5. So many great tips, I'll have to keep these in mind.

  6. love love love these tips! except for #1. haha. jk. i don't have anyone - legit, no-one - i can borrow from. but its good to know about the sales and stuff. once i was in h&m and i saw this maternity tank for like $7 so i snatched it up. i hope it fits when it comes time. on the whole normal clothes vs maternity, i think some things work fine, but i have a friend who was all about not spending a dime on her maternity wardrobe.... she seriously stretched everything out so badly she couldn't wear it afterwards! she had no idea it was that bad at the time, by the time she realised it was too late! and yes you are so right - i work in an office, i can't wear leggings on a normal day i certainly won't be able to if and when i get pregnant. i will keep an eye out for a maxi skirt though!

  7. These are such great tips! I took advantage of #1 and borrowed some great stuff from my best friend and family members. I mostly shopped Target and Old Navy, but I'll remember Asos next time around too. Also, I love your tip about spending your money on things you loved before--I SO wish I would have bought a chambray maternity shirt. I wear my chambray all the time! Also keeping that in mind!

  8. Definitely saving this post for future reference! I plan on relying heavily on that BORROW advice, as both of my sisters have had two pregnancies each now, so I'm hoping I can raid their maternity closets. Really great tips here--thanks so much for putting together this post!

  9. These are such great tips, and they save money, too--maternity clothes can be pricey at times. Just to add to tip #3, you could wear kimonos, maxi dresses, and maxi skirts while pregnant and also long after your baby is born.


  10. This is all fabulous advice! Pinning for later! :)

  11. This is fantastic! Totally saving this.

    Amy Ann
    Now blogging at my new site Straight A Style

  12. Great post and tips. You looked lovely while pregnant. I personally owned 3 or 4 maternity shirts, 2 pair of dressy pants, a pencil skirt, a pair of jeans, a cardigan and 3 pairs of tights that were all maternity. That is all. I was pretty small in general so the rest of my closet worked. All of my bottoms including the skirt had a full panel though and I did invest in a few new bras to accomodate my growing bust.

  13. These are great tips! I love reading posts like this and I'll definitely be saving it for the future :)

  14. You definitely had a very stylish pregnancy! Love all your chambray shirt stylings!
    Chic on the Cheap

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  16. These are such great tips and I agree with so many of them! remixing is definitely the way to go in pregnancy. And doesn't all the frequent washing and re-wearing just prepare you for life with a messy baby anyway? hehe! :)

    I always recommend ASOS for maternity clothing to everyone who asks - mainly because we are in the opposite hemisphere here so when Asos stuff goes on sale, it's for our current season! I loved the maternity pencil skirts I go there, couldn't have done pregnancy work wear without them.

    You had a really stylish pregnancy, you definitely did it right so thank you for sharing your tips! :)

    Away From The Blue

  17. These are great maternity outfitting tips, babe! :) Love your momma-to-be style!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  18. So many great tips! Your striped maternity style is so on point!


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