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Putting Together My Maternity Wardrobe — on the Cheap

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Welcome to Pregnancy Without a Filter, my weekly series in which I chronicle my life as a first-time mom-to-be. Read along for insights, outbursts, ups, downs, and the real deal about the crazy adventure of making a person.

Week 22

A few days ago, I decided that I’d had it. After 22 weeks of trying to stick my ever-growing body into clothes from my pre-pregnancy closet, I went on an online spree and got up close and personal with maternity clothes. Well, to be fair, “spree” probably isn’t the right word. What’s the word for “All I want is a few shirts and pants that will fit without making me want to tear my hair out”? That’s probably more accurate.

See, I consider myself a pretty frugal gal. And the thought of investing in an entire wardrobe that I’ll be using for only a few months just rubs me the wrong way. But friends, the clothes that I ordered the other day have arrived and I have seen the light. When it’s 100 degrees outside, and you’re starting to not be able to see past your toes, and all you want to do is make things as comfortable as they possibly can be, a tiny investment in your baby bump gear is 100 percent worth it. But! None of that is to say that I went out and spent a zillion dollars. So let me share my (newbie) knowledge with you for some maternity clothing basics.

I’ve been trying my very best to make the things that I have work for as long as they possibly can. That means anything that’s stretchy is good, y’all. My cotton maxi dresses have been my best friends this summer up until now — but the bump is finally large enough that I’m worried I’ll start stretching them out. I know there are women out there who are total fans of wearing a belly band over their pre-pregnancy pants, but I have to be honest. The band squirmed around on me and got all out of place and felt like too much pressure on my stomach any way. If they work for you, rock ’em out. But! What I do think is brilliant is a bra extender. As soon as I got pregnant my ribcage expanded like crazy, and the couple of extra inches from the extender has gotten me this far. (But let’s be real. At this point the girls are way larger than my usual cup size, so a few new bras are in my future.)

As far as actual clothes, I decided on a plan. A shirt for each day of the work week, two pairs of shorts, and two pants. Boom. Done. I’m finding that I can still supplement from my closet with a few loose tops, so there’s plenty to wear. I added a couple of maternity tank tops for layering, and I think I’ll be good to go for a while. And the first day that I put on some pieces from my online maternity clothing adventure was the most comfortable day I’ve had in a long while. (In case you’re wondering, I found most pieces from Pink Blush Maternity and Old Navy Maternity! Both spots have pretty great sales and clearance if you keep an eye out.) I was pretty happy with the decision to invest a little bit of money and gain so much comfort and piece of mind. Because as I’m learning, anything you can do to make yourself feel a little more attractive, comfortable, or put-together while you’re preggo is well worth it.

I’d love to hear your take! Did you try to make your existing wardrobe work while you were pregnant? Or did you love putting together a new maternity wardrobe?

Photo: Chelsea Foy