Who Needs Maternity Clothes?

I’m not someone who’d be labeled frugal or thrifty — or even practical for that matter — but there are certain purchases I’d rather not make. Maternity clothes are at the top of that list. It pains me to buy clothing that will be completely obsolete 12 months from the date of purchase (that’s generously adding three months post-birth for body adjustment).

For both of my pregnancies, I used creativity — and determination – to drape my growing body exclusively in items that I already owned; were given to me; or were purchased with the understanding that they could be worn equally as well when I was not with child.

I succeeded. Here’s how:

Think extra long. A bulging belly shortens the length of shirts. To compensate for this technicality, I sported long T-shirts from month one through birth (and beyond – long cotton T’s are ideal for concealing a post-natal stomach and can be stretched to and fro for epic nursing sessions). And long T’s are a layering staple for a regular wardrobe, too.

Go for the empire look. Shirts and dresses with an empire waist (starting below the breast line) are absolutely designed for pregnancy – without being “designed” for pregnancy. Perfect.

Rock the T-shirt dress. T-shirt dresses are comfortable at every stage of pregnancy and they can be easily integrated into a non-pregnant closet. Big belly or no belly, dress them up or down with a belt and the right pair of shoes.

Lean on leggings. If you’re already a fan of leggings you understand their appeal (versatile! stretchy! made for layering!). If you’re anti-leggings, pregnancy is an ideal time to reconsider your position. Paired with a tunic (think extra, extra long T-shirt, often with a bit more structure and design) and a pair of boots, you’ll be stylish even deep into the third trimester.