Your bump, it’s arrived! That baby, it’s growing! Winter, it’s coming. And your body, it’s changing. Like, a lot.
Even inside of all of the joys of pregnancy, it would be dishonest not to talk about how hard it can be to dress a rapidly growing body.
While the pregnancy glow is a very real phenomenon for some (lucky) mamas, there are also many women who feel extremely uncomfortable with their self-image and changing body shape in this season of life.
Heading into the winter months and colder weather can also present a dilemma, especially for the mama who just doesn’t have the finances to buy a whole new wardrobe to house that bump.
So, what do you do?
Yes, it’s true; some women can wear their old jeans with a rubber band their whole pregnancy, stretch their leggings to the maximum, or make their husbands t-shirts work.
But, if this isn’t you, then some solid, affordable basics and the art of layering are going to get you to the end of those nine months.
Spend some money on some good basics.
Basics are the crux of every pregnancy wardrobe. I absolutely understand not wanting to spend a lot of money of clothing for such a brief season of life, but there are some solid staple pieces that will be foundational to nearly any day or any outfit.
Each of us has a different budget for maternity shopping, but I truly think most women can find these items at a price they can afford.
Here are some basics that have helped me (affordably) dress myself during multiple pregnancies:
- Basic Tops
- Short-sleeved/tank style cotton dress
Jeans: I know, most women want to live in their leggings every day, but at least one pair of jeans is a necessity, especially in the colder months.
Over the belly or under the belly, full panel, side panel, front panel, it doesn’t matter! Most women can tell pretty quickly which style they prefer, which should help you buy the right thing the first time.
If you can, get in the store and try some on. Or sit on your couch and eat ice cream, order eight different options during an online sale, try them on in the comfort of your own bedroom (because no one feels good in fluorescent lighting) and return what you don’t like!
Some favorite options at all price points come from Old Navy, Gap, or Pea in the Pod (this is where you’ll find higher-priced designer options like Articles of Society or J Brand).
Leggings: I don’t know where you land in the “leggings are or are not pants” debate, but if you’re into them at all, a neutral pair is a layering wardrobe staple.
I also found them to be one of the most comfortable things to wear. Just like jeans, there are over and under belly options, so again, figure out what feels best!
Your favorite choice may depend on whether you want to work out in these pants or wear them for day-to-day, but Motherhood Maternity, Blanqi and Ingrid & Isabel are all great options.
I have met many mamas (myself included) who loved the Lululemon Align pants all the way through their pregnancies. They are technically not maternity pants, but if you already own a pair, you may be in luck!
Tops: Tank tops, t-shirts, or mix it up, you choose! But a couple neutral bottom layers are going to be crucial to layering your way through the next few months.
These are not hard to find, they often come in two packs, and you can likely stock up on a ton of colors. Try H&M, Motherhood Maternity, Gap, and Target for some good options at some great price points.
Short Sleeve/Tank Dress: If you hate dresses or aren’t interested in buying one, you can read on.
But, when we’re talking about layering, a good basic neutral dress (even in the winter) can go a long way in a wardrobe. Look for cotton or a similar basic fabric.
If you’re comfortable with it, buy a more fitted style, as that smooth silhouette looks great under bulkier layers. ASOS, Pink Blush, Motherhood Maternity, or A Pea in the Pod all have some good options.
It’s all about the layers.
Now that you have some basics picked out, it may be time to snag a couple layering pieces or make your existing wardrobe work for you.
Many mamas find that open layers have the ability to hide your changing silhouette while highlighting the bump.
This “third” layer can be nearly anything. Cardigans, vests, jackets, a button down shirt, blazers, scarves – none of it needs to be “maternity” and all of it can work!
Using What You Already Have
My guess is, you already have a lot of items in your closet that you can wear pregnant.
Your buffalo plaid you can’t live with out, the grandma cardigan that is so soft, or that bomber jacket you bought right before you found out you were pregnant?
Throw on one of your maternity basics underneath and leave those buttons and zippers undone. Stack your cardigan on top of your plaid, put a vest on top, and you really are ready for those colder days.
New Layering Pieces
If you’ve got some extra money in the clothes account, you can absolutely invest in some great staple layering pieces.
These new items really can be guilt free, as all of them will easily transition back into your “normal” life or the warmer months.
Whatever your reason for needing to clothe your bump, whether you’re the frugal mama, the fashionista mama, or the body conscious mama (or the many mamas who may be all three of these!), some solid basics and some layering pieces are going to be your answer to surviving the winter, accommodating your growing bump, and hopefully, falling a little bit more in love with that changing body.