4 Lessons in Maternity Style

I don’t consider myself as a fashion expert in the least, but since you guys are loving my maternity style posts so much, I thought I’d share some things I’ve found helpful while dressing my bump. 

To preface, not being able to fit into my normal wardrobe has been frustrating and a challenge at times. I also found a lot of the tips on Pinterest and such about wearing your pre-pregnancy clothes during pregnancy useless. I needed maternity clothes starting at 9 weeks along. My pants did not fit and that whole button/hair tie trick thing? Sorry, but it does not work for me!  

So with that said, here’s some advice I have for moms-to-be to use maternity clothes without breaking the bank or losing your mind! 

4 Lessons in Maternity Style: tips on creating a wardrobe that works for you and your budget

1. Don’t wait to get what you need.

I was very hesitant to buy the maternity clothing really I needed for two reasons. One: I needed mostly business clothing that I knew I wouldn’t use for a second pregnancy (since I plan to be a SAHM next time around). Two: it’s freaking expensive. 

I definitely waited far too long to just break down and buy what I needed. Once I did, I was so comfortable though, and that helped my mood and confidence a lot. Just get what you need and don’t suffer in things that don’t fit or make you feel icky! 

2. Go with styles you know. 

A lot of pregnant ladies and mom’s I know recommended wearing leggings, maxi skirts, and dresses as comfortable options throughout pregnancy. However, I never really wear these styles to begin with (and most of them weren’t cold-weather friendly, which is when most my pregnancy took place). Instead of trying to make these styles work for me that I didn’t already wear, I stuck with what I knew. 

I didn’t feel like pregnancy was a good time to experiment with style as I was frustrated enough as it is with things not fitting right. I am sticking with mostly full-panel pants, maternity tanks & shirts with my pre-pregnancy open sweaters over them. 

maternity style

My typical ensemble for work

Basically, whatever already worked for you before pregnancy – go with that. It’ll make you feel more comfortable & fashionable all around!

3. Put away anything that doesn’t fit anymore. 

I was in total shock that about 85% of my wardrobe would suddenly become useless to me. I knew I’d get bigger and need new clothes, but wow! It was very frustrating to open my closet and see bunches of clothes that I could not wear! 

Putting the things that did not fit in a bin in my basement really helped me in two ways. One: I could open a drawer and know that I could actually wear what was in it. Two: the visual reminder of my favorite tops or pants that didn’t fit were not taunting me anymore. 

I’m also sure that when I’m back in my regular clothes, it’ll make all those clothes seem new again since they took a little siesta from my closet.  

4. Don’t forget about clothing “extras.”

It’s not just pants and tops that don’t fit. It was easy for me to forget about all the little extra things that I might need too. Throughout pregnancy, I also needed new…

  • workout clothing
  • pajamas 
  • bras & underwear
  • panty hose (for work) 
  • shoes 
  • Belly band – not a must have, but was really useful 

I definitely cried a little and had a pity party for myself when I broke down and bought a pack of giant sized Hanes granny panties just to have some underwear that fit on my butt that suddenly had its own zip code. 

But these were essential items that I realized I couldn’t do without. I was a much happier mama-to-be once I had what I needed and it all just fit right. 

casual maternity outfit

A casual outfit for the weekend 

My Maternity Essentials 

Along with those bits of advice, here is what actually made up my basic maternity wardrobe. 


  • 2 pairs of full panel stretchier work slacks 
  • 1 pair of “Ponte” full panel skinny stretchy pants 
  • 2 full panel pencil skirts 
  • black & nude full panel maternity panty hose 
  • handful of rouche-sided maternity tank tops 
  • my pre-pregnancy open buttoned sweaters 
  • a few hand-me-down empire waist maternity tops 
  • 2 fancier work blouses 


  • yoga pants with the top folded up (like a full panel built-in!) 
  • 2 pairs of very stretchy pajama/lounge pants 
  • 2 maternity t-shirts 
  • low panel skinny jeans 
  • full panel jeans 
  • same tank tops used as above 

I really didn’t buy very much and will probably have to buy more for my second pregnancy since I don’t have nearly enough casual wear clothing. You don’t need much, though, if you are willing to mix and match and wear the same thing more often. 

Some of my favorite places to shop for maternity clothes were Destination Maternity, Old Navy, Target, and Kohl’s (mostly online, though). 

I hope the moms-to-be out there find this helpful! And if you’re frustrated with clothing choices now, just remember – pregnancy is temporary! 

Questions for You: 

  • Moms: what was most frustrating about dressing during pregnancy? 
  • What changes about your clothing do you think you’ll find surprising during pregnancy? 

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