Maternity Clothing: Ideas and Resources

One of the most popular posts on this blog is a Maternity Clothing Rant. It gets about 5 hits a day on this blog just through Google searching.

This is a follow-up post since that one was pretty negative. I was in the thick of pregnancy ennui, still feeling ill, and tired of wearing maternity clothing. It was a bit depressing and I was seeing the glass “half empty”. I have been thinking of a few follow-up posts about pregnancy and maternity wear, a post about planning for baby, and also planning for birth. I will probably tuck these away to share with my sisters and friends in the coming years.

Click below to read more about maternity wear and to see all of my resources for looking chic! (Without buying mall maternity).

If you are pregnant: Congratulations! What beautiful news. With the knowledge that you will have a cute and cuddly baby in your arms in 9 months and any unpleasant nausea / fatigue you are experiencing, you are almost sure to have noticed that your jeans are starting to feel tight. Maybe nobody knows you are pregnant yet? But you sure feel pregnant.

There are easy ways to avoid spending loads of cash on clothes you will only wear for a few months. I wanted to share some things that worked for me to make the most of the coming months as your body changes and you might feel awkward and uncomfortable. Getting dressed and walking around everyday becomes frustrating. This may be of help as you navigate new physical changes, anxieties, worries, excitement, celebration and impending financial responsibilities that inhibit buying a whole new wardrobe.

Some images of style inspiration Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin (pictured in all images above and a few below) is a true style icon. I think she is a great inspiration for looking effortlessly beautiful; pregnant or not. Obviously those shorts below are out of the question when you are feeling bloated and beginning to “show”. but head-to-toe in white cotton or linen, with simple gold jewelry is one great look. It doesn’t cost much to get a similar look going on and during pregnancy simplifying is helpful. This would not work for winter, but more on that below.

Naturally I do not endorse smoking while pregnant 😉

Me pictured above at 38 weeks pregnant wearing an 80’s maternity dress from my Mom.

Free First: Why Maternity Clothing is Perfect for Sharing

After you have a baby the last thing you want to wear is maternity clothing. Or anything you wore all the time while you were pregnant. This is fortunate for your friends who become pregnant after you. I have a friend who hands off a big bag of clothing to any friend who becomes pregnant after her. She has two daughters. When she found out that I was in need of some items she gave me a big bag of stuff that came in handy. I recently returned it to her and it now has a home for the next nine months with her sister-in-law who is expecting. So if you normally have qualms about asking to borrow things or for hand-me-downs, now is the time to ask around! Tips for getting the free goods:

  • Ask your Mom and Mother-in-law if she has a stash of maternity clothes if you don’t already know. My own Mother had her maternity clothing in a big box in our basement for years while I was growing up. I wish I had snagged that stuff earlier! I wore one of her maternity dresses all the time while I was pregnant.
  • Most towns have Motherhood Meet-up groups or Mama’s Groups on Facebook. Join the group and send out a message on the wall asking if anyone has maternity clothing they want to get rid of or lend out to a new expecting Mom.
  • Email the girls you know who have babies and see if they have any clothes to lend out.
  • Craigslist or Freecycle can be great resources
  • Do and inventory of your own closet and try to make the most of what you have and figure out what you need (pants will be top of this list)

Budget Maternity:
Thrifting and Vintage

Thrift stores and vintage shops have loads to offer for super cheap! Look for large button-down shirts, tunics, stretchy dresses and wrap skirts. I wore 70’s style dresses with halter tops and the elastic stretchy top everyday in June. If your husband has cool band T-shirts, hit up his closet and pair his rock and roll t-shirts with cut off maternity shorts (I did this all the time!).

Buying New:
Finding “Maternity” Anywhere

  • Old Navy, The Gap, H&M, Forever 21 and a host of other stores selling mass-produced, cheap clothing are great for finding inexpensive maternity for a little more than thrift prices. All of the ones I listed have a maternity line depending on the store location.
  • ASOS has a lovely maternity line.
  • HATCH has caught-on big time for those wanting a more trendy / higher end product. I personally think their designs are clownish and costume-y.
  • Mall Maternity: Motherhood Maternity has super low prices (think Target quality). A Pea in the Pod is the more expensive option with “higher quality”…but not really as the materials are all synthetic despite the prices being higher. You would be better off shopping at Target or Old Navy. The jean selection at A Pea in the Pod is much better though.
  • Mama Apple by Shabby Apple is lovely and higher quality.

Resources and Helpful Garments

Etsy! My favorite place to shop. Click the image above to purchase the maternity items listed in my curated treasury. Search for “ethnic tunic”, “wrap skirt”, “wrap dress”, “shift coat” and “caftan”. Then narrow your search results to vintage-only.


Whew! I hope that is a helpful list of resources and tips.

This post will be a work-in-process as I think of more things to add. Let me know if you have anything to add to this in the comments section that might be helpful to other readers!

3 comments on “Maternity Clothing: Ideas and Resources

  1. Abby October 18, 2012 8:22 am

    What a thoughtful and thorough resource, Steph! Great work. I’ll be sure to revisit this in the future… 😉

    • Steph October 19, 2012 10:29 am

      Thanks, Abby! I hope it comes in handy. I’m also going to post some baby basics / necessities soon! xo!

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