Congratulations, you’re having a baby. But now your regular jeans aren’t fitting right, and you can’t wear a midriff top to work. So, what are you going to do? It is time to invest in some comfy, stylish, and stretchy maternity clothes.
Most women think of pregnancy clothes as huge, shapeless sacks and lots of elastic waist tracksuit pants. But it doesn’t have to be!
These days, there are lots of comfortable and fashionable maternity clothes. Comfy and Stylish aren’t words you associated with pregnancy clothes in the past, but this is a new era for maternity clothes. Here is the best advice and tips for what to wear for the next nine months and how to look fabulous and enjoy those new curves.
First Trimester Style Tips
During the first trimester of pregnancy, you can usually get away with most of your existing wardrobe, especially if it is your first pregnancy. Many women don’t even start to show until early in the second trimester.
Towards the end of the first trimester, you may find your pants starting to feel a bit snug. An old trick to keep your pants and jeans fitting for a bit longer is the rubber band trick – simply loop a rubber band through the button and top loop of your pants to provide a bit extra fastening room.
That might work for around home, but if you’re going to the office or out in public, you might want something a little more comfortable. That’s where maternity pants come into the picture. These wardrobe staples are a pregnancy must-have! And will come in handy after your pregnancy too.
One of the first noticeable changes that happen in the first trimester is the breasts tend to enlarge. Sometimes up to 2 cup sizes! You’re likely to notice that your existing bras simply do not provide the proper support or comfort for your new boobies.
Proper support for your breasts is vital, but don’t go too crazy buying new bras as your breasts might still grow larger over the coming months. You can probably pick up a few stretchy maternity bras to tide you through the first trimester.
Take Advantage of Layers: Learn to layer your clothes in these first few months. You can extend the life of your non-maternity clothes by simply layering. Invest in a few singlets or camisoles in basic colors such as white, black, grey, and red, making sure they are extra-long.
Problem: Your new bigger boobs are not quite fitting in your button-up shirts anymore.
Solution: Avoid the buttons straining open against your new boobs, wear a singlet or camisole underneath, and leave the top few buttons open.
Problem: Your belly is starting to swell, and your tops are not long enough to cover the gap between your tops and bottoms.
Solution: Wear a long-length singlet or camisole in a contrasting color underneath or buy a long maternity top. Belly bands are also perfect for that in-between stage where nothing is fitting right.
Second Trimester Style Tips
Once you get to the second trimester, you’ll start expanding, and now is the time to invest in some maternity clothes. If you shop carefully, it will not break the bank, and you’ll find these few essential items can last the whole pregnancy and afterward. One of the easiest solutions is to buy the basic maternity clothes that you can mix and match, like:
- Stretchy Maternity Pants – they will accommodate your growing belly (get in black or khaki so that they will match everything).
- Slim Fit Skirt with a belly panel
- A couple of lightweight and flowy maternity dresses – especially a black dress – slimming and will match everything)
- 3/4 Sleeve Top
- One or two Maternity T-Shirts – You can wear them by themselves, or they are great for layering under pre-pregnancy button-up shirts or cardigans/jackets (worn undone)
- A Tunic Length Sweater for colder weather
- Maternity kaftans specifically designed for pregnant ladies are a perfect option for those days when you don’t want to spend too much time getting dressed.
- Maternity Jeans – invest in a pair of jeans that fit well. You don’t have to settle for a pair of ugly, baggy jeans just because you’re pregnant. A style that sits on the hips is great for early pregnancy, while those with flattering panels or full stretch capability are essential later on. Stick to jeans made in a stretch fabric for maximum comfort.
The secret to extending your maternity wardrobe is accessories, lots of accessories! You only need a basic wardrobe with these essential items – stick to black, white, grey clothing items – but you can spice up your outfits with plenty of colorful accessories and jewelry!
This will keep you looking and feeling fresh, so even if you are wearing your slim-fit pregnancy skirt for the fifth time this week, you don’t feel unfashionable and frumpy. Bright colored scarves, chunky jewelry, hats, brooch are all great items to brighten up your outfit.
It is an odd fact of pregnancy that your foot size can increase. This might be because of weight gain or water retention, but by your second trimester, it’s time to ditch the 4 inches, pointy-toed high heels and stick to lower heels, flats, and wider shoes. Stick to slip on shoes or sandals because you won’t want to be fiddling with straps and buckles by your third trimester when your belly is so big that you can’t even reach your feet anymore!
As much as you might love your heels, as your body expands, be aware that your center of gravity will change too. And that will affect your balance too. You don’t want to risk falling off your shoes!
If you already wear hipster bikini-style underwear, you can probably continue wearing these into your second trimester as they fit below your stomach. Most women will expand at least one or two inches around the hips, so you may have to invest in some underwear one size bigger than you usually wear.
If you wear briefs, you will need new underwear sooner than if you wear bikinis because your growing belly will soon make your current pair too snug.
Maternity underwear billows out and covers your entire abdomen. Not always the most flattering look, but by the end of your second trimester, you’ll find comfort more critical than looks.
By the second trimester, you can start to think about maternity bras, which have several rows of hooks (at least 5 or 6) to accommodate the changes in your rib cage. They also have adjustable cups, so you don’t need to buy a new bra every time you go up another cup size. Many maternity bras are designed to be used as nursing bras as well.
Some women experience breast sensitivity due to hormonal changes and rapid growth. To ensure comfort is to wear a bra all the time, even while sleeping. Nursing mothers often wear a bra 24 hours a day, too, because support is essential. Invest in a couple of soft cups, wireless “sleeping” bras. Do not sleep in an underwire bra!
Third Trimester Style Tips
As you get bigger and the baby drops into position, you may feel pressure in your pelvis. You can help alleviate some of this pressure by wearing a maternity support band. It is not always a glamorous look, but it will help eliminate back leg and abdominal pain, and it can be worn discreetly under most clothes.
For most of the third trimester, you’ll be filling out your maternity clothes nicely. Perhaps towards the end of the trimester, they might be a tight squeeze. But hang in there. Not long to go now.
This is the time where you want to be comfortable, and a maternity support belt is essential. The maternity support belt is great as it can be folded down in half to hold up pants. Pants always want to roll off a taut, very pregnant belly. Plus, it looks like a camisole or tank top when your maternity shirt inevitably rises up.
This is the time where you can let yourself off the hook a bit. You still want to keep your sense of style, but comfort is the most important thing at this stage. If you’re going to wear a pair of sweat pants, then wear them!
Shop very wisely during this third trimester; there’s not long to go now!