Budgeting for Your Maternity Wardrobe

Budgeting for Your Maternity Wardrobe Behold: a chart of what I spent on my maternity wardrobe during my first pregnancy.

I share my maternity wardrobe budget not because this is the definitive list for maternity clothes (trust me, it’s not), but simply for shock and awe value, at least for newly pregnant moms. You’re going to be amazed at a few things here: a) how cheap everything was — nothing designer, nothing fancy, all bought on sale, b) how many pieces were gifted (usually by my mother sending me something in the mail), and c) how small my collection of maternity clothes was, and d) how I still managed to spend almost $900 on maternity clothes that were only worn for about four months. For most moms-to-be that is not an insignificant amount of money, so budgeting of any kind can be very helpful. (Stay tuned for our upcoming post on how to save money on maternity clothes!)

I recorded my thoughts in 2011, during my first pregnancy, as well as during my second pregnancy, in 2014 — note that I was still working as a lawyer during much of my first pregnancy (my final day was in May and my son was born in August), and that for my second pregnancy I barely gained any weight at all. (I did buy a few more tops and warmer bottoms for my second pregnancy — those totaled $138 — but by and large I wore my maternity clothes from my first pregnancy.)

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General Advice for Maternity Shopping for Work

general-maternity-shopping-adviceIt’s been two and a half years since I wrote my little ebook on Dressing Professionally for Your Pregnancy, so I’m in the midst of revamping it. Here’s an update on my general advice for maternity shopping for work. (Pictured — for more specific pieces to buy, don’t forget to check out our Guide to Maternity Workwear.) Ladies, what are/were your best general tips for maternity shopping for workwear?

My tips include:

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Maternity Clothes You Still Wear

maternity clothes you still wearHere’s a fun question: Is anyone else occasionally still wearing maternity clothes, many moons after your pregnancy ended? I’ve graduated from my maternity jeans but I still find myself pulling out maternity t-shirts for sleeping or working out. After my recent ACL surgery I wound up wearing my maternity yoga pants because all my newer workout pants were too tight-fitting at the knee and the thought of being in PJs for weeks bummed me out. (I thought I’d donated the vast majority of my maternity clothes, but nope — I was happy to find I still have a few odd pieces.)

In addition to my maternity yoga pants and maternity t-shirts, I have a few nursing things I still wear, too — namely some of my nursing bras for sleeping. My favorites are my Bravado bras, but I have a random nursing bra from Destination Maternity or one of those mall stores that I bought during my first pregnancy and still find myself wearing if everything else is dirty. (I’m such a fan of the Bravado bras I’m even considering buying one or two new ones to keep on hand in case my older ones die on me.)

So let’s hear it, ladies: Have you held onto any maternity clothes to wear even if you’re not pregnant anymore? Do you do it because they’re functional and on hand (e.g., a t-shirt to sleep in), or is there something you prefer about maternity clothes? (I will admit, part of the reason I like sleeping in my maternity t-shirts is that they feel vaguely fitted but nice and loose in the tummy, which isn’t my favorite body area.) I know a few of my girlfriends who had C-sections preferred maternity jeans for a long while after birth — while still others stayed in maternity clothes for a long time postpartum because those clothes fit (and their old, non-maternity clothes did not).

(Pictured: My maternity yoga pants are from Gap and somewhere like Destination Maternity, but if I were looking today I’d be mighty tempted by these affordable yoga pants at Amazon — some colors and sizes are as low as $9.99 and eligible for Prime, and they have hundreds of positive reviews.)

The Hunt for Stylish Maternity Suits — and What to Wear Instead

Over at Corporette, we followed up on our recent roundup of suiting brands for women with a “Part 2” post of suiting in specialty sizes — including maternity suits. As we all know, maternity workwear can feel really limited, but stylish maternity suits are particularly lacking. The options we noted:

But I thought it would make a good topic for discussion over here.  For those of you who needed a suit while pregnant, which brand was your favorite? If you cobbled together a mismatched suit from separates, what are your tips?  I bought some maternity blazers in my first pregnancy, but in my second pregnancy (where admittedly I only gained the minimum weight), I found that my regular, non-maternity blazers fit up until week 38 or so.

Commenters have discussed this topic in the past, as well, coming up with the following ideas:

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Plus-Size Maternity Clothes for Work

plus size maternity clothes for work2017 Update: We’ve updated links below to reflect some new options for plus-size maternity clothes for work. You may also want to sign up for CorporettePlus, our newsletter featuring plus size work fashion

It can be tough to find professional and stylish plus-size maternity clothes for work , so we’ve rounded up a bunch of tips that CorporetteMoms readers shared about plus-size maternity workwear.  Ladies who are (or have been) plus size during a pregnancy, where did you shop for work-appropriate maternity plus sizes?  Which were your favorite work outfits?

Brand Recommendations / Stores That Carry Plus-Size Maternity Clothes for Work

  • Old Navy/GapReader quote: “Old Navy maternity is BIG. I did just fine in Old Navy XXL Maternity sizes for almost everything — especially yoga pants, tops, etc.” (Pictured above: reddish sweater knit maternity dress, available up to size XXL.)
  • Motherhood Maternity/Destination MaternityReader quote: “I had a few pairs of pants from Motherhood Maternity. They were not fabric I enjoyed, but they looked OK.” (Update: Destination Maternity now has an entire plus-size line!)
  • JCPenneyReader quote: “JCPenney carries good work clothes for plus size maternity. I was really happy with their stuff. (God bless JCPenney!) Their pants are way better than Destination Maternity pants.” (Pictured above: black maternity dress in sizes 1X-3X.)
  • Target: Reader quote: “I’m surprised by how generous a lot of the XL and XXL maternity clothes are from Target & Old Navy/Gap.”
  • PinkBlush Maternity: Many of the plus-size offerings from PinkBlush are too casual for work, but there are some styles that are office-friendly — and budget-friendly, too — like a $67 wrap dress. Sizes go up to 3X, and shipping within the U.S. is free.
  • Nordstrom: It doesn’t carry a lot, but it does carry a few plus-size jeans.
  • Mommylicious Maternity: It looks like this little shop also carries a lot of plus-size maternity clothes for work.

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Hiding a Baby Bump — The Second Time Around

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2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on how to hide a baby bump the second time round— links have also been updated below.

What clothes best hide a baby bump — particularly if it’s your second child and you feel like you’re showing earlier?  We’ve talked here about how to work through your first trimester — and over at Corporette we’ve talked about ways to hide a baby bump — but it’s been far too long in either place since we’ve talked about work outfits for the first trimester. Kat’s picked a few pieces particularly for the early days of pregnancy (for example here, here, here, here) — but what are YOUR favorite pieces?  We’ve rounded up a few tips that readers have shared in the past — what are your best tips for how to hide a baby bump?

(Pictured: Tahari A-Line seamed dress — non-binding at the waist, with pockets to boot! It’s available for $128 from Nordstrom.)

 

 

 

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