Dear Rookie Moms, I need help with maternity clothes shopping

by Heather Flett on January 22, 2010

in Breastfeeding,Dear Rookie Moms,Pregnancy,Prenatal

Hi there readers, we have another friend and reader email to share. This is what Jenny really said and what I told her. Sound off in the comments with your best tips and advice for maternity clothes shopping.

big pregnant and medium pregnant

Dear Rookie Moms,
I know I should read the blog from beginning to end, but in the meantime, any maternity clothing tips to pass on??

I actually have a bella band that I bought on sale and love it since I’m able to still wear my jeans and not feel like I’m about to flash everyone. I also bought a few tops in a couple of sizes larger than normal so that they are longer and looser, one pair of cords 2 sizes up, and a couple of longer sweaters that I figure I will be able to wear next winter too. That stuff got me through the last couple of weeks without any breakdowns. But so far no true-blue maternity clothes (aside from the Bella Band and a pair of tights).

I was hoping that if I bought a great pair of maternity jeans that they would last me through the months, but what do you think?

Thanks,
Jenny (Not My Real Name)

Dear Jenny,
First, here’s a simple tip to save your sanity. As you outgrow maternity clothes, store them with the smallest on the bottom to the largest on top in a box or shelf so that as you lose the weight you don’t have to dig through everything again. Just work your way down.

But you’re on your way up, so here are some maternity clothes shopping tips learned the hard way:

  1. Remember you are beautiful and gorgeous and your body is doing an amazing thing so try not to sweat it when you start getting larger and your pants and shirt can no longer cover your midsection. It can be a challenge, so I mention this up front.
  2. Wear what you have. To extend the life of your pants, you can use a rubber band to fasten buttons for as long as that will last. There are also bra extenders so if the cups still fit you can wear them a little longer. Or did your boobs get huge immediately?
  3. Bella bands are great for some people; they are a super wide spandexy belt that bridges the gap between your pants and your shirt. Very long undershirts could also do the job. Whitney loved hers. Me, not so much.
  4. Beg. Borrow. Steal. Buying new maternity clothes can be a big waste of money. Try to borrow truck-fulls of maternity clothes from your friends then you can pick and choose some free basics and then buy some special pieces as you want them (Some stuff will look huge. Don’t give back what’s too dang enormous, just what you don’t like at all).
  5. On jeans. The trouble is that you “deserve” nice jeans that make you look awesome and feel like a million bucks. In my case, I bought them for baby #2, outgrew them in two months. Bye bye $150. I have had so much angst finding great maternity jeans but I hope you don’t. Another idea is to buy jeans that you love and fit you early in your pregnancy (with a stretchy band) and hope you can wear them on the flip side.
  6. High-class swap. There is a service/event in the bay area called maternity xchange, which is a high quality maternity clothes swap. If you’re a greenie, it would be good to find one in your area.
  7. Go ahead and shop. Other than those sources, I shopped at mimi maternity (I kinda hate them, but they do provide a necessary service) on the sale rack and Target (the Liz Lange line is pretty great for basics) and also Gap Maternity online.

Good luck and tell us what you find that works for you!
Cheers,
Heather (My Real Name)

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RookieMoms co-founder & mom to 3 boys in Berkeley, CA. Bossy big sister and project manager turned blogger helping moms enjoy their first years of motherhood. Find me on my other site on 510families.com or hiding in my minivan eating dark chocolate.

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