When to Buy Maternity Clothes

when to buy maternity clothing

When is the best time to buy maternity clothes? There is no set time across the board during pregnancy when you’re supposed to buy them, because everyone grows at a different rate. Many women start to buy them when they begin to feel uncomfortable in their regular clothing, and the timing can vary from person to person for a number of reasons.

Some women become uncomfortable very early in the first trimester due to bloating and others don’t get any bigger then because they’re struck by morning sickness. Women also grow at different rates and in different ways. With my first pregnancy, my pants got tight very quickly, and I was much more comfortable in maternity pants at the end of the first trimester. However, I could wear my regular shirts up until almost the 3rd trimester before my tummy started popping out and I needed maternity tops. Other women have very rapid breast growth in the beginning and they need to buy maternity tops sooner.

There are many tricks to staying out of maternity clothes for as long as possible such as wearing high-waisted skirts, wearing a slightly bigger top, empire waist tops and dresses, the use of belly bands with your pants, stretchy pants or dresses without zippers. However at some point between about 16 weeks28 weeks, you will probably start to get uncomfortable and want to buy a few key maternity staple items, or at least bigger, looser clothing. Certain areas of your body will have expanded and you will need something that has better elastic or panels. Your waist, breasts, belly, and thighs will most likely get larger, so make sure to take all of that into account when purchasing your clothing. In my opinion, wider waistbands are better to accommodate growth.

It’s very difficult to predict how you will grow, so waiting until you are almost uncomfortable before going to shop is advised. That way you can make sure the things you buy will actually fit you. I remember buying shirts very early on, that were so huge and then out of season by the time they fit me. And although online shopping is much easier these days, it does help to try things on in a store to ensure a good fit.


At the end of the day, there is no perfect number of weeks during your pregnancy that a green light goes off and it’s time to shop for maternity clothes. Everyone grows differently. However, when your regular clothes start to get a little tight, that’s definitely a good indicator that you should get to a store soon!

When did you make the switch to maternity clothing?