Top Tips for Buying Maternity Clothes

Monday, March 11, 2013

Whether you are buying maternity clothes for the first time, or you have already had some experience, it’s still smart to follow basic rules to ensure you have the right items to see you through your pregnancy.

With the right planning, you may even be able to find items that will be useful after you give birth, before you return to your pre-pregnancy size.

While the experience of being pregnant is amazing, the experience of finding clothes that both suit your personal style and accommodate your growing baby bump is far from easy. To get you through the clothing-buying process, keep these useful rules in mind:

Choosing Sizes
Remember to pick your regular size when you are buying maternity clothes. Specialized maternity clothing is designed to be more forgiving in the areas where you grow, while still fitting your frame properly. Many popular brands have made maternity cuts of their best selling items, like the Gap Essential V-Neck Tee pictured here.

Remember, you are growing a baby, not necessarily growing larger all over! But, if you are having multiples, you may need to opt for a larger size or even try plus size clothing because most maternity clothing is designed for a single baby.

Gap Maternity Essential V-Neck Tee

→ Buy the Gap Maternity Essential V-Neck Tee, $19.95, at

Opt for Stretchy Fabrics
Fill your maternity closet with primarily stretch fabrics that will be comfortable and will accommodate a range of sizes without feeling too tight. Rigid fabrics have a much smaller window of utility because they will not “give” as you grow. A stretch maxi dress, like this find from the Lavish by Heidi Klum line, will stay stylish and comfortable throughout your pregnancy.

Lavish By Heidi Klum Sleeveless Maternity Maxi Dress

→ Buy the Lavish By Heidi Klum Sleeveless Maternity Maxi Dress, $139.00, at

Buy Multiple Bras
Finding the right bra is key. Your breast size may grow as much as several sizes as your pregnancy progresses, so it’s smart to buy several bras in different sizes once you find a style that works for you.

Wait until the end of your pregnancy to purchase nursing bras or you may end up buying the wrong size. If you are at all uncertain about the right bra size, get a professional fitting at a maternity store or a reputable department store, such as Nordstrom.

Motherhood Maternity Demi Underwire Nursing Bra

→ Buy the Motherhood Maternity Demi Underwire Nursing Bra, $21.98 (buy 3, get 1 free), at

The 'I Feel Fabulous' Outfit
With only nine months of pregnancy ahead of you, and even fewer months requiring maternity clothing, it’s tempting to go ultra-frugal. Remember to treat yourself to at least one special item that will make you feel fabulous on those “bad-clothing” days. A gorgeous dress or a pair of designer maternity jeans, like these Secret Belly Boyfriend jeans from AG, is a worthy splurge.

AG Jeans Secret Fit Belly Boyfriend Fit Maternity Crop Jeans

→ Buy the AG Jeans Secret Fit Belly Boyfriend Fit Maternity Crop Jeans, $235.00, at

Comfy Shoes
As your pregnancy progresses, your feet will swell and temporarily (and perhaps permanently) change sizes. You’ll definitely want comfortable shoes that can accommodate these changes. Slip-on flat shoes are always popular with expectant moms. Some companies have even gone so far as to create special maternity shoes, like these from New Life, that will stretch to match your shoe size as your feet swell.

New Life Ashley Adjustable Maternity Shoe

→ Buy the New Life Ashley Adjustable Maternity Shoe, $65.00, at

More Smart Tips
  • Remember to buy maternity underwear, which will fit comfortably around your growing belly without binding.
  • Black stretch pants are a must-buy. You'll be able to dress them up or down, and wear them on the weekend and to the office. Plus, they're such a staple that no one will notice if you repeat wear multiple times during the week.
  • A basic white shirt works with many different outfits and will be a versatile item you turn to throughout your pregnancy.

With these tips and ideas you'll look great and get a lot of wear out of your maternity wardrobe.