Last fall, I had so much fun preparing for and writing my Mix and Match Wardrobe post — of course, getting a few new items of clothing wasn’t bad either!
I had intentions of doing another Mix and Match Wardrobe post with maternity clothing this spring, but I just never got around to doing it. I suppose the idea of being photographed as I got larger and larger wasn’t really that appealing to me 🙂
However, since I’m now enjoying my “normal” clothing again, I thought it might be fun to share how I got by with a fairly minimalistic maternity wardrobe for 3 pregnancies in 3 different seasons of the year.
1. I borrowed several items.
I realize borrowing clothing isn’t for everyone, but when you grow up with only sisters, you get used to borrowing clothing quite quickly 🙂
I’m thankful to have many same-size, same-age friends and cousins who were all having babies around the same time period and were all willing to share clothing. I can’t even tell you how much time, energy, money, and space I saved by borrowing (and lending) maternity clothing over the past 4 years.
Borrowing was especially helpful when it came to those seasonal items like a winter coat (I only needed it with Simon) and bathing suits (only needed with James). For the record, I just borrowed the bathing suit TOP and used my own bottoms 🙂
I also borrowed a fancier maternity dress to wear to a Fall wedding when I was pregnant with Nora, a handful of sweaters for Simon’s pregnancy, and a couple super cute summer dresses when I was pregnant with James — my summer babe.
2. I wore non-maternity items whenever possible.
Now certainly, this is not to say that you should try to squeeze into your regular clothing for your entire pregnancy — but rather, look to find clothing that would work for a growing belly and also after the baby is born.
Maxi skirts, leggings, shirt dresses, cardigans, ruched t’s and tanks, and stretchy sweaters were lifesavers for me (and my closet). It’s honestly amazing how long regular clothing can fit — especially if you pair cardigans or open sweaters with maternity tanks and a cute scarf (my maternity wardrobe of choice!)
Of course, wearing non-maternity items is fairly easy for the first 10-15 weeks until you start to show… however, the picture below is me at 35 weeks with baby #3 and neither the skirt or the shirt are “maternity” — as you can see, I was not super small, but the clothes stretched 🙂
Also, keep in mind that although it’s not as comfortable as wearing maternity clothing, you can wear your own pants much longer if you get a Bella Band or use a rubber band to give you a couple more inches 🙂
3. I was OK wearing the same clothes often.
Again, I know this tip won’t work for everyone — but for me, a non-fashionista who works from home, this was really a no-brainer way to save tons of money and space on maternity clothing.
Once I found a handful of cute items that I felt comfortable and confident in, I just resorted to wearing them very regularly. Certainly, not day after day, but I definitely had my 3 or 4 go-to “cute outfits” for when I was going out, and then various tanks and cardigans for bumming around the house.
4. I kept maternity purchases to “the basics”.
There were some items that I knew I would want to purchase and keep — things that I would wear all the time and could work for multiple different seasons of the year.
Things like a cute pair of jeans, some cute tank tops, and at least 1 cute maternity dress for church were on my list. Also, lots and LOTS of blacks, greys, and other neutral colors that could easily go with multiple different things.
And again, as I was making purchases, I always tried to see if I could find any non-maternity options first — just so I could continue wearing them after I was pregnant (if I wanted to).
My Bare Minimum Maternity Wardrobe:
In my opinion, the list below is the “bare minimum” of what you’d need for a basic maternity wardrobe. Of course, it’s different for everyone… but the items listed below worked for me with all 3 pregnancies, for all different weather conditions, and at all different stages of my pregnancies.
- 1 pair of maternity jeans
- 1 pair of maternity comfy pants (I prefer black so they look dressy enough to wear out and about)
- 1 or 2 pairs of maternity leggings or yoga pants
- 2 or 3 dresses and/or skirts (these are by far the most comfortable choice, especially when you get bigger)
- 4 – 6 maternity tank tops (I wore these basically every day with some sort of cardigan or wrap shirt over top, and often with a scarf too)
- 3 – 6 cute maternity shirts or sweaters
Please keep in mind that I work from home, so I don’t need a work wardrobe. And since my family members are the only people who see me every single day, I can easily get away with wearing the same outfits over and over again!
If you’re pregnant in the winter, you might want a maternity coat (I borrowed this). If you’re pregnant in the summer, you might want a maternity bathing suit and shorts — however I always suggest just waiting to see how big you really get and what you find is most comfortable.
I was actually able to wear one of Dave’s grey fleece coats for my entire pregnancy with Nora (even all the way until November) and then I borrowed a cute red coat for the last couple winter months with Simon.
I also found some cute (and VERY LONG) tankini bathing suit tops from Target when I was pregnant with Nora and used them with James as well. They were a little tight at the end with James, but considering I was just sitting in my back yard with my kids, it wasn’t a huge deal. The best part of this deal is that the tops aren’t maternity, so they still look cute!
I never got maternity PJ’s because I just wore baggy pants and a t-shirt (and then one of Dave’s t-shirts as I got bigger). I also never got maternity underwear (although mine was pretty tight towards the end!)
So there you have it — my thoughts on how to keep a relatively minimalistic maternity wardrobe.