spring clean

Maternity Wear Essentials

Building a maternity wardrobe isn't much different than building your pre-pregnancy wardrobe. You're still going to need pieces for all the places and occasions you usually dress for (work, home, gym, weekend, date night, etc.). Fortunately, maternity wear has come a long way, so you'll be able to find the clothes and styles you already love that are also bump-ready.

  1. A belly band may make your regular clothes wearable for a while (maybe even the whole first trimester). But don't overdo it; if you wear your wardrobe too long, they'll stretch out and won't fit after you have your baby.
  2. Assume you'll be wearing maternity clothes after you have your baby, too. It takes a while for your body to adjust post-baby and maternity clothes will fit and be comfortable while this happens. Big picture, expect this wardrobe to be worn 18 months per pregnancy. Splurge on pieces you'll wear a lot; you want them to hold up throughout this pregnancy (and maybe more).
  3. Look for transitional pieces that can layer or be dressed up or down. Cardigans, wraps, ponchos, and blazers will fit all pregnancy long and make pieces like sundresses and tank tops transition to cooler months. Many women find dresses particularly comfortable, especially if you need to dress professionally.
  4. Leggings are on trend and so flexible; they work with dresses, skirts, and tops. And let's be real: You are going to need jeans that fit. (Once you put on maternity jeans, you are going to wonder why all jeans are not made this way. Seriously.)
  5. You'll likely need new undergarments, as your breasts will swell and the size and cut of your current underwear may no longer be comfortable. Try a few different styles to see what works for you.
  6. If you are expecting to breastfeed or pump, look for clothes that will be easy access. There are tops, tanks, and dresses all designed specifically for nursing. You should buy your first nursing bras in the third trimester. Look for ones that offer support, but are flexible to fluctuations in cup size. (Don't be freaked out if you experience a lot of fluctuations.)
  7. Get a few nightgowns. In the event you have a C-section, waistbands may irritate the incision.
  8. Many women find a binder helpful post-delivery. A binder is a breathable elastic wrap that supports your abs and back and can help you feel more comfortable and confident moving around post-baby.
  9. As fashionable as hospital gowns are, you'll probably want to wear your own clothes ASAP. Pack comfortable loungewear or nightclothes, a robe, and slippers in your hospital bag.
  10. Don't forget your own going-home outfit. Splurge on something comfortable that you love. You earned it!