Whether it is your first, second or sixth pregnancy, when you find out that you’re pregnant there is a buzz of excitement that something wonderful is growing inside you. And then hormones, worries and morning sickness quickly descend.
But slowly, week by week, you move through that fog of the early weeks and rediscover the initial excitement that this little bump is going nowhere anytime soon. In fact, it is rapidly growing! And those smart work pants you love to wear increasingly feel like an instrument of torture.
Nine months is a long time to not feel comfortable or feel that you look your best. So you decide to do what most women do in a wardrobe crisis – go shopping. But before you run for the door, maybe consider these points.
Have a game plan
Think about what you really need before going to the shops, as this can help you work out where to spend the bulk of your budget. What seasons will you be clothing a bump through? Will your third trimester be in winter or summer? If it’s winter, you may wish to focus your money on pants or jeans. If it’s summer, then consider maxi dresses and boho skirts.
Also, maybe you don’t even need to buy new pants or jeans. Some women swear by pregnancy pant extenders. See if a friend has a pair and try them out for the day. I personally found it uncomfortable to wander round with my fly undone all day with a curtain over it but others aren’t as fazed. Whatever makes you feel comfortable, I say.
Focus on the basics
This is a general rule I like to apply when I’m not pregnant too. Investing in a good quality pair of black work pants or skirt and basic stretchy tops will help you pull off almost any outfit. Depending on the season, you could dress these basics up enough for work with accessories you already have. Like a scarf, a jacket worn open, or a funky necklace. Of course, the trick is to find quality maternity clothes, which brings me to….
Look beyond the label
Maternity clothes are a bit like wedding flowers. They are just clothes but are often overpriced for what they are simply because the “maternity” is stitched on the label. By all means have a look at maternity clothes, particularly at the larger chain stores, but perhaps just look a few weekend outfits and shirts that can later double as nursing tops.
Go to regular stores and ask to see their stretchiest pants. The looser or more non-existent the elastic is at the top, the better. Try some on and see how easily they stretch and how far. Don’t be afraid to try on a size larger but keep an eye on how baggy they get around the legs. Also consider open jackets or cardigans as options too since these will most likely be wearable again after the baby is born. If you are in your third trimester in winter and live in a cold area, it might be worth looking at different cut jackets that will close up – like pea coats or ponchos.
The larger dilemma
If you’re a plus-sized Mamma like me, you may find the experience of shopping purely in maternity sections a little deflating to the ego. I have drawn the conclusion that the big brands firmly believe any woman over size 14 doesn’t need work pants because she is clearly too busy wearing maternity yoga pants on her couch all day long while eating ice cream. Ok, maybe that’s just my oversensitive interpretation but, still, it’s frustrating. Big women have babies too!
At any rate, do the same as above and go to the regular stores you shop at and ask for their stretchiest numbers. I’ve found tights, pantyhose, jackets etc. in shops like Taking Shape, City Chic, Maggie T, and ASOS (online). But don’t stop at the plus-size stores. Some of my best finds have been at Blue Illusion, like my beloved work pants and endlessly giving stretchy tops.
So that’s it, all my tips to help you not get frustrated. Have you got any to share, particularly on good places to shop? I’m always up for a shopping trip!
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