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Maternity Clothes: Everything You Need to Know About Dressing the Bump (Part 1)
Ok you guys, maternity clothes and shopping for them is a topic I never thought I’d write about. I mean, I love clothes and shopping is always a fun way to spend a Saturday, but maternity clothes – it’s a whole different world! Way harder than shopping for baby girl!
So I need to start with a disclaimer: all bodies are obviously different and what works for me (and the challenges I faced buying maternity clothes) are probably completely different than the ones you might be facing. I too had a LOT of questions: do I buy maternity clothes or just bigger sizes? When should I start to buy maternity clothes? Who has the best maternity selection? I needed to know all the things.
With that disclaimer in mind, this is my maternity clothes shopping journey (Part 1) and even if it helps one person easily find something to wear when everything that was cute in your closet is now on the “no-fly list”, it’s worth me writing it.
The first thing that changed to my body during pregnancy:
Okay so, since finding out I was pregnant, I had no idea how much my body could change. I’m a pretty tiny person because I have a very physical job (building houses is no joke!) and I eat pretty darn healthy. But pregnancy has changed all of that. I started at 136 lbs., size 4, 34C, and XS top. Now, I don’t even know what size I am! I’m 25 weeks (6 months) pregnant when writing this, thus the “Part 1” because I still have a LONG way to go and I think another post with SUPER PREGNANCY clothes might be in order!
The first thing that happened with my body during pregnancy was that I had to start sleeping in a bra. I mean, I’m all for the free-spirited stuff, but I always wear a bra during the day. I’ve never slept in one, though, so this was a diversion for me. I’m talking major “OUCH!” trying to sleep without it. This is the comfiest bralette that I found (I tried a LOT) and it’s not see-through either. Brett and I have a lot of guests, so that’s important in our house. (I ordered a size M):
Once I had that figured out, it was smooth sailing for a few weeks. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, my clothes started not fitting. None of my bras fit and my high waisted jeans started getting really tight. I was able to wear these super comfy jeans the longest because they have a lot of stretch to them. I even wore them on The Today Show before anyone (except Mina, Alison, and Leanne) knew I was pregnant.
Where to buy cute maternity clothes:
Then it was time to get some maternity clothes. I’m not going to lie, I was freaking out a little because it’s not like I could just run into any old store and try a few things on. Also, I wanted to buy things that weren’t going to break the bank, since I wasn’t going to be wearing them very long. First stop – Target – DUH! So long story short, although it was super convenient to have the option of Target and for them to have a brick-and-mortar maternity section – all of their pants ended up being (and still are) way too big for me. I think their pants would be a great option for anyone over a size 4 (pre-pregnancy) but even after gaining weight, their size 2 was too big for me. That said, I found some really cute t-shirts that worked well for the first couple months of pregnancy. They weren’t long enough for anything after 5 months though.
My maternity clothing saving grace!
Another major piece of clothing that has saved my life during pregnancy, are my Lululemon Align Leggings. I was able to wear my regular size pants until about Month 5.
When I hit Month 4 however (and it literally felt like one day I had it all figured out and then the next day nothing fit), I was in trouble. I had upcoming events and had nothing to wear, never-mind we were getting into the holidays and my belly was starting to hang out the bottom of my sweatshirts. So this is when the real shopping began!
How does shopping for maternity clothes work?
I didn’t realize that very few stores carry maternity clothes to go try on and buy. Most stores are online, which means a lot of buying, waiting, and returning. The only one I could find that I could physically go to was “Pea in the Pod”. (Since I went, the local location has closed in Costa Mesa, CA. Bummer!) I went online and started ordering clothes, but before they arrived I was so uncomfortable that I broke down and went to try on jeans. Here are the ones I liked the best. (Size 26 in all):
At the time, I wasn’t quite ready for the full “over the belly” jeans, but that time would come! These jeans helped me feel much more comfortable (like, literally, I could breathe) and I paired them with some cute tops (size S in all). So yes, you CAN wear normal jeans while pregnant!
I also got this sweater, that I love! (size S):
And one more super important item to start the new wardrobe – a bathing suit! This isn’t technically maternity but it worked great for the first couple months. I wore it up on my shoulders, though. (Size M):
Then, before I knew it, none of my pajamas fit. If it’s not one thing, it’s another! I ordered these maternity sweatpants and I’m not sure what makes them maternity, but they’re GREAT! (Size S):
I have yet to find a really comfy top that fits over my belly. For now, I’m just wearing some old sweatshirts, knowing that pretty soon they won’t work at all. My husband Brett did buy me this really funny t-shirt that I slept in until about 5 months:
The big pregnancy jeans decision:
Then it was time to really up my game and get some over-the-belly maternity jeans. I have a feeling I will go back to the original side panel ones once I’m super preggo (Part 2) but I’m at the stage now where I want the jeans to be up and over. After trying on SO MANY, here are my favorite ones. (Size S in all):
I also bought these leggings, which I get a ton of compliments on! (Size S):
At some point, I realized we were headed to the cold weather for vacation and I didn’t have a winter coat that would fit. I literally tried on all my coats and none of them would zip up. Sheesh! I found this one and though it’s not the finest quality, I think it will last for one winter no problem. Not a maternity coat exactly, but I did need to size up! (Size S):
Along those same lines, I realized I didn’t have a single pair of shorts that would fit. I didn’t have time to look anywhere but Amazon, but I totally lucked out and these fit great! Praise Amazon and their great maternity selections! (Size S):
I also bought this bathing suit that I’m obsessed with! (Size S):
The maternity dress you need in every color:
In the meantime, I saw a fashion blogger wearing these cute maternity dresses and bought them in every color. The Size S is still a little big on me, but it’s great with all the side sinching, so I know I will grow into them:
And last but not least, I bought a bunch of t-shirts and flannels for work, since that’s really all I wear! These all ran a little on the big side (I ordered a S in all) but again, I have faith I will grow into them:
And the icing on the cake to my new wardrobe (at least for now) was this really cute sweater I found. (Size S):
So that’s about it! I can’t even tell you how many maternity things I bought and returned over the course of the past few months. What will be next for my body to change? I’m thinking those dreaded “swollen feet”? At least the babe’s feet will be adorable!
Hopefully this little guide will help someone! Anyone? Ok, we’ll just have to see.
Thanks for reading you guys! What a fun and spectacular time in my life and I couldn’t be happier than to be sharing it with all of you.
SHOP THE BUMP: