As the temperatures climb further into the 90s, I am reminded of last summer, when not only was it super hot, but I was packing an extra 35 pounds (40 pounds … 45, whatever). I was pregnant with my late July arriving baby and working hard to stay cute with cankles and back sweat (and leg sweat, and hair sweat, and all the sweat everywhere).
Lucky for you summertime pregnant mamas, I took a lot of belly selfies, so I’m going to share some of my favorite fashions and tips on stretching a small maternity clothes budget while still looking put together. I should also mention that I was very frugal with maternity clothing purchases, and was able to spend little money to make it through to the end.
Tip #1: Buy basic items in a stretchy fabrics.
I went to Walmart and Target and purchased several tops in fun colors and patterns that I could pair with other things in my closet. My job requires me to look nice, so I wanted things that would be versatile. Buying several tops that fit well and would grow with me allowed me to spend little money on items I could wear to work or out and about.
Left: V-neck (Wal Mart-$5), Cardigan (pre-pregnancy purchase), Black skinny pants (Old Navy Maternity. So comfy and lasted the entire pregnancy. Great for work.)
Right: Tank (Target Maternity) – I had this long, stretchy tank in several colors, Shorts (Hand me downs from a generous friend.)
Tip #2: Dresses are your friend.
Pants are the worst. Dresses became a staple because they are easy, and I was able to wear many of my pre-pregnancy dresses even when I was large and in charge. Maxi dresses are very forgiving in the late stages. Dresses made me feel less like I was having to restrict my belly into an outfit, and more like I could move about and feel a breeze.
Left: Floral dress with hi/lo hem (pre-pregnancy purchase from Target)
Right: Striped dress (hit just below knees from Target)
Tip #3: Wear your pre-pregnancy wardrobe until you can’t anymore.
I refused to buy maternity clothes for awhile, although I regretted that as soon as I tried on maternity jeans.
Hello stretchy waistband! Can I get that on all my pants?
I eventually could not fit into my size small tops, but I was glad to have options in the beginning so that I could space out the money I spent over time instead of buying a new wardrobe all at once. Dresses, cardigans, flowy blouses – -all great options to get you through the early small belly days when you aren’t quite ready for maternity clothes.
Left: Chambray top (Target) and very stretchy cotton pencil skirt (Old Navy).
Right: Top (unknown) and burgundy skinny pants (Old Navy)
Skinny pants made possible by belly band. Get one! So helpful for when the pants will pull up, but won’t button. Slap on the belly band — it smooths out the top of the pants and holds them up without you fighting with that button. I bought this one, and was grateful for it.
Tip #4: If someone offers you their hand-me-down maternity clothes, take them.
I was fortunate to have friends who were willing to pass along their maternity clothes, some that had only been worn a handful of times. I was able to score several pairs of shorts, a few dresses, a bathing suit, and even a few brand new, never used nursing bras from generous friends.
Tip #5: Find ways to show off your individual style.
You are still that same beautiful woman who rocked skinny jeans, heels, sexy dresses, or whatever. That woman is still there even though the pants won’t currently zip or your feet are too swollen for those heels (or any pair of shoes for that matter). Remember how special and important it is to create life, and have fun figuring out how to show off that cute belly. One of my tricks was to use some of my pre-pregnancy tops to dress up maxi dresses or skirts. I found maxi dresses in big, bold patterns, and tried to be creative with my closet.
Left: Maxi dress (Target), tank (Old Navy)
Right: Maxi skirt (Old Navy), blouse (Stein Mart)
All pre-pregnancy clothing that was already in my closet.
Tip #6: Shop the sales, but don’t be afraid to splurge.
I am programmed to check the sale rack first, but I did buy a few items that were full price and too cute to pass up. There are several super cute maternity clothes out there, so don’t feel guilty for buying something that makes you feel like the rockstar you are. My favorite places to shop for maternity clothes were Old Navy and Target.
I hope these silly selfies are helpful while you try to beat the heat this summer. And honestly, you can wear whatever you want! Comfort is the name of the game in the last few weeks. So find a fan or a pool, prop up those feet, and get ready! You are one hot mama!