Embracing the elastic.

by heirtoblair on March 29, 2012

Let’s be honest – maternity clothes are darling. Until I have to wear them, & then some black hole sucks all the cute & I’m stuck wearing cheap fabric draped like a tent over swollen ankles.

My maternity style back in 2009 was terrible; I’m not going to make any excuses for it or claim that I am a reformed now-fashionista, but I did learn valuable lessons to carry into my next pregnancy:

1) Embrace leggings. Being a tall gal (5’10″) I ran into a BIG problem in the third trimester – the dresses that properly covered me in the second trimester now rode high on my belly & exposed…well, everything. So I purchased capri leggings to wear under my work dresses, & unfortunately this was long before leggings became cute fashion staples.

2) Invest in good clothes that I love. There are two types of maternity-wearers – those that refuse to spend money since it’s a short “season” of clothing, & those that view it as a fashion opportunity. I fell under the first group & rocked many shapeless shirts I found on the $5.99 clearance rack. By the end of the pregnancy, I splurged for good pieces that fit my new body & I felt much prettier.

3) Rock the elastic. I want to find out who decided that pants should have buttons & zippers instead of elastic…& punch them in the face. Elastic is comfy & I have decided to start a petition for all pants & skirts to be made with elastic from here on out. I was in maternity pants around 5 weeks pregnant with Harrison & wore them until 12 weeks postpartum.

4) Play up the accessories. This past year, I’ve really worked on putting scarves & cardigans & cute shoes into my closet to complement more “plain” pieces, like basic t-shirts, jeans, and black shift dresses. I think it would be smart to create a maternity wardrobe with a few classic, quality pieces & build the fun & color with the accessories. babmaternityclothes Embracing the elastic.

Do you “toss in the towel” with maternity clothes & figure it’s 6 months of frump? Or do you invest in good pieces? Or were you like me & you’ve changed your mind after pregnancy?

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer @ Also Known As the Wife March 29, 2012 at 8:54 am

I was like you…I figured it was silly to spend major bank on clothing that I was going to wear for only a few months, most of that time spent at home since I work from home. I felt so gross by the end I started splurging on nice pieces and only wore them for a few weeks just to keep myself from crying every morning I got dressed. After I had the babe I went back to my homeless chic look for those first few months but finally embraced my new shape and it’s given me a new lease on fashion life.

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Holls March 29, 2012 at 8:55 am

I got lucky being pregnant over the summer… NO PANTS! I didn’t buy maternity clothes, I just bought clothes a size or two ( or three… lets be honest) up- it was easier and cheaper than maternity clothes, which were never really comfortable for me anyways.

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Brandy March 29, 2012 at 8:56 am

YOU STEAL MY IDEAS I TELL YA! I was going to write about this. O well I will link to you too. As I am in the trenches of this, I have found I wish I would have bought a couple of really nice pair of maternity jeans with #1. I wear jeans everyday. Would have totally paid for itself. . Also get straight leg so you can cuff them for cute capris.
I say buy bottoms that you really like and are versatile. You may be wearing these post baby too. So they get their ware. Tops on the other hand are a dime a dozen. After baby you don’t want to seem bigger than you are. I am finding with the trend of longer shirts for regular clothes, I can get away with that for a good while now.

O and have babies in the summer because you can wear flowy jersey skirts (read no maternity price tag) and cool dresses everyday. So much more comfortable for telling the haters it rocks to have a baby in the summer :)

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Brandy March 29, 2012 at 8:57 am

O and always ask around to buy or borrow stuff. I just bought a tub of clothes from a girl for $60. Cute dresses, tops, skirts. A steal!

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Suz March 29, 2012 at 8:59 am

The clothes you’re letting me borrow aren’t fumpy! I love the Loft caridgans mixed with ON tops. & I’m still sad the belly is too much for your jean skirt!

Let me know when you need them back & I’ll have some of my own to add to your stash then too. :)

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Rachel March 29, 2012 at 9:13 am

Stupid question, but did I miss a major announcement? There’s lots of pregnancy talk and future children references going on around here!

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Nikki March 29, 2012 at 9:24 am

I, like you, didn’t view my maternity clothes with Henry as fashionable. Instead, I chose comfort and spent the last 6 months in yoga pants and t-shirts. Now that I’m pregnant again, I’m looking at those clothes and dreading putting them back on. I’m still too cheap to spend $68 on a pair on cute maternity jeans, but I am spending some time searching out cute clothes for great deals on the internet and I hope to limit the yoga pants this time around.

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Katie March 29, 2012 at 9:33 am

I bought nice stuff, then didn’t wear it because it had to be ironed. One thing that I was glad I did (though I didn’t plan to do it) was giving birth to both babies in the same month. Then my maternity clothes from my first pregnancy were seasonably appropriate and fit. That also helped make baby hand-me-downs useful for both boys. Of course, after having just thrown two gala March birthday parties, I’m starting to realize that family planning around fashion isn’t the best idea. I eyed the Seven maternity jeans and designer stuff when I was pregnant, but never felt responsible buying it. Old Navy was my best maternity resource.

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christy March 29, 2012 at 10:01 am

Being tall and pregnant is not easy. It’s even worse being tall and weighing more than 130 pounds. When I was pregnant last time, some supermodel (Heidi Klum??) did a line at Destination Maternity and I was all excited until I realized I couldn’t stick one swollen ankle in them….pulling out my maternity clothes this time was like a pageant of crap. That said, I’m glad I’m a SAHM this time and I can spend more time in cuter, stretchy things!

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Jenny March 29, 2012 at 10:10 am

I was like you basically for everyday but I did buy better pieces the second time around especially to go out in and it was a much better experience. By the end though I think they all start to look like tents lol.

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Meghan March 29, 2012 at 10:18 am

I loved maternity clothes! I still wear some pieces… mainly tops because they don’t look maternity. Some of my regular tops were used as maternity, because they were empire style.

Unfortunately for me, I decided to go splurge on a new pair of jeans and a really cute maternity button-up about 5 days before I went ecclamptic, had a few grand mal seizures and had Kenzie ripped out of me via emergency c-section. Dr. didn’t know I was pre-ecclamptic, and I never did end up trying to return the clothes. Motherhood Maternity has an 11 day return policy and I was in the hospital for 10 or 11 days. Oh, well… I can pass them on to someone else since I’ve been told not to have any more children. :-/

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Arnebya @ whatnowandwhy March 29, 2012 at 10:48 am

It was very rare that I’d spend a lot on maternity clothes. I will admit liking to just walk through Pea in the Pod though. But, um, if I’m not paying $100 for jeans when not pregnant, why in absolute hell would I pay that for temporary jeans? I suppose if I “had” that kind of money to spend I would be more inclined but only certain pieces. I still doubt I’d spend that much on maternity jeans. I pretty much stayed in Old Navy or Target maternity clothes. Motherhood never had anything I liked.

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Erin March 29, 2012 at 11:03 am

Frumparama. I’m a cheapskate; half of my maternity clothes are hand me downs and the other half are non-maternity clothes that I tortured into being being maternity clothes. Absolutely nothing fits my Homer Simpson belly by about 20 weeks so I barely even try. I’m at the very end (can you tell??) of my second and final full term pregnancy and I am looking forward to throwing my maternity wardrobe into a bonfire.

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Melissa March 29, 2012 at 11:03 am

My first pregnancy I worked in a road construction field office so I invested in four pair of maternity jeans and called it a day. Then added some maternity tops or a-frame style tops and went on my way. Baby number two was a different story. I work now in an office and dress clothes are more appropriate. I totally rocked the leggings. In fact, for the last couple of months that was almost all I wore. However, I bought non-maternity sweater dresses to wear with them. So next winter, I’ll have some clothes to wear. :) I also bought some clothes a size or two big. I definitely felt prettier with the more fitted styles than i did the first go round. Now don’t get me wrong…some days I sported the hubbs XL t-shirt and jeans!

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Mary H March 29, 2012 at 1:16 pm

When I was pregnant with my daughter I wasn’t working. Therefore, I lived in yoga pants and jeans.
This time around, I’m working. So, I had to get new clothes. However, as a plus sized girl let me tell you that the plus size section of Motherhood Maternity kind of… well… sucks. I found a few cute tops and pants that do just fine. But, no sundresses. No skirts. Nothing that says yes, I’m pregnant and not just fat.
Le Sigh….

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CurbsideProphet March 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I have some good pieces, others are just ok. I just wish I had bought maternity pants sooner.

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KristenSue March 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Oh, I had high hopes for pregnancy. i was pumped to
1) eat all the ice cream I wanted
2) get a completely new, cute wardrobe

But pregnancy was MEAN and sucked away my desire to do anything put sit on the floor in the shower and cry. I didn’t WANT to eat ice cream. and what was the point of making all that shopping effort when it wasn’t going to make me feel better anyway. It sucked. I hope next time is better.

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Dina Corini March 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm

You make 35 weeks look awesome! Beautiful pic!

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Shannon March 29, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I completely agree about investing in good quality clothes. I hated the thought of maternity clothes, and since I had a september baby I tried to avoid maternity shopping at all cost by wearing sundresses. However when I finally caved and bought a few maternity pieces I found like the sexiest pregnant lady alive. Who would have thought it….

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TarheelsInNj March 29, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Dresses got me through it. With an October baby, I was big through the summer and dresses were perfect. Comfy and they flattered the belly. I don’t know what I’ll do next time if it’s a different season!!

I also think a great pair of jeans is key. I’ll splurge on that next time.

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Jessamyn Wendell March 30, 2012 at 9:28 am

Spend the money on quality pieces, especially if it is your first pregnancy. I spent $100 on a pair of maternity jeans with an elastic adjustable waist (like you find in the kiddos pants) and about died at the time. That was seven years ago and I have finally retired those jeans into the only wear when everything else is dirty pile in the back of the closet. I wore them through three pregnancies and could probably wear them through a fourth. Invest in the core pieces like pants, jackets, and dresses especially in ones that are don’t lool totally maternity, you will be able to wear them through the transition back into your regular clothes and through additional pregnancies. When you look good, you feel good.

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Kayla March 30, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I’m currently 8 months pregnant. I have only bought 1 pair of maternity pants and some couple shirts & camis on the target clearance rack.. that’s it for maternity. I can still wear my regular jeans, I just rubber band them and I wear A LOT of leggings with some long tunics. I TOTALLY agree with you on accessorizing. I’ve spent money on shoes, jewelry, scarves & cardigans because those are pieces I can wear after I’m pregnant. I’ve bought a couple tops that aren’t labelled “maternity” but I know I can wear during and after pregnancy. I just don’t see the point on buying a whole new wardrobe just for those couple months, I’m saving my $$$ for a shopping spree when I lose the baby weight!

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Erin April 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I frumped it up on the weekends, and had nicer stuff to wear to work since we had to dress nicely. I LOVE LOVE LOVE elastic waisted stuff, and definitely rocked the leggings – in 2009 AND 2011.

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Melissa May 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Well, I am not particularly stylish to begin with. However, I didn’t go through months of frump during my pregnancies, largely because I had to have a presentable work wardrobe. I did hate to spend money on clothes that would be used for such a short time though.

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Kendall Hoover June 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Love this and my little boy’s name is Harrison as well. Excellent taste in names ;). I’ll be back — keep writing!

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