As I walked through the mall this morning, I passed Motherhood Maternity and then Express. I remembered how a friend had recommended that I try the extra long T’s at Express, since she had liked the fit during her pregnancy. I didn’t end up buying one at the time, but I did have a few other items in my closet while I was expecting that were not maternity. The truth is, for most of your pregnancy, real maternity clothes are not needed or required.
Limiting yourself to the maternity clothing store can sometimes be frustrating, especially if you are particular about what you wear. There are only so many styles one store can offer, after all. Maternity clothes are also cut to fit a woman all the way through pregnancy. Sometimes they are just too baggy when you’re only six months along.
One of my favorite outfits was a gray sweater dress that I bought from Boston Store. It was not maternity, but it was stretchy and I bought it one size larger than I usually wear. It fit me for most of my pregnancy and I wore it with leggings and a black fashion belt. I loved it! Belts are your best friend when you are adapting regular clothes to fit your pregnant body. Simply buy a shirt a size too big (it helps if it’s a stretch knit so that it’s not too baggy up top) and cinch it above your belly with the belt. This would be really cute with an extra long plaid button down shirt and leggings. I also used pretty scarves and ribbons to create an empire waist in otherwise loose fitting shirts or dresses.
Here are the signs that your non-maternity clothes are no longer working for you:
1. Things are getting drafty and your belly is showing because your shirt is not long enough.
2. Your jeans are causing discomfort because they are too tight around the waistline.
3. Your shirts are stretched out beyond the point of return.
4. Your friends start giving you gift cards to maternity stores.