Clothed with Grace: Maternity Essentials

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Maternity Essentials

Now that I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy, I've been reflecting on what I really needed to purchase, vs. things I could do without. My hope is that this can help you from making some of the mistakes I made.  Back in June I posted about my Maternity Capsule wardrobe. I really thought I was being smart with my purchases, but I did make a few mistakes.  

First, I purchased a number of bottoms that were elastic bands that hit at my belly button, instead of buying the "full panel" option. I learned pretty quickly that this was a mistake.  The elastic band hit me in the worst spot and they were so uncomfortable to wear. I ended up selling them for pennies on the dollar on our local Facebook buy-sell-trade site and opted for full panel instead. I think the below belly bottoms are fine and have a few of those, but in my opinion, full-panel is definitely the way to go!

Secondly, I bought a number of tops for the summer online and because I wasn't that far along, they were too long to wear with shorts. A number of the tanks have been great with leggings and jeans, this fall, but they didn't work with shorts. I was actually able to wear a lot of my normal shirts this summer, so if you get pregnant, I'd suggest going though your closet and taking out the tops that you try and don't fit, but you'd be surprised how many will continue to fit your growing belly-at least until the third tri-mester that is. 

I also bought a number of maternity dresses, many of which I ended up returning because, once again, my normal dresses fit through most of the summer. If I had to work in the summer, I probably would have considered keeping them, but since I was at home and usually in casual clothes, my normal dresses worked just fine for dressing up once a week for church. Maxi dresses and jersey dresses obviously worked best, as they are stretchy, but once again, you'd be surprised how long you can make normal clothes work.

Now that school has started the pieces below have been the most versatile.  I would highly suggest investing in a few basic white tops and basic black tops. The Old Navy options down below are great and have worn really well. I also think adding a chambray is another versatile piece to have too. 

As for bottoms, get yourself a half-dozen pair of full panel leggings and pretty much call it a way. I've definitely found this to be true from about 25 weeks and on.  I also have a pair of great skinny jeans and a pair of white jeans I've used a lot as well, but so many maternity tops are so long, leggings work perfectly.

My normal sweaters and cardigans have continued to fit just fine, so I don't feel it's super necessary to buy maternity versions. I'd suggest, saving your money and skipping that too.

Maternity Essentials

One thing that has stunk is my shoe situation. My dress shoes haven't fit in months and a number of my booties and other shoes aren't fitting either.  I don't have a lot of swelling, but my feet just aren't the same.  I had this same issue last time around and my feet went back to normal afterwards, but it's made my shoe choices pretty limited.  I did get new pair of riding booties and booties-both leather and I ordered a half size up.  I really hoping they aren't too big after Hannah is here, and if so I'll just have to get some  thicker socks.  Being pregnant in the summer makes shoes easy, as you can wear flips flops-other seasons aren't so easy.

What about you?  What advise do you have when it comes to maternity clothing?


  1. All great points! Love the Old Navy picks. They are all so versatile for a mommy-to-be!

  2. you have the cutest maternity clothing. I love that striped dress!

  3. I got really lucky, and my neighbor who just had a baby let me go through all of her maternity clothes! I agree with the full panel pants--they are much better as your belly gets bigger. I was using a pair of dress pants that were elastic, but eventually started looking weird, even though they fit okay. Right now I need to find a good pair of dress pants for work. All of my friend's pants were too long, and I haven't found any at the stores yet.

  4. I also agree with your thoughts on the full panel pants in the later part of pregnancy! I was able to wear my under-the-belly bottoms up until the third trimester, but these days I pretty much live in my full panel skinny jeans and leggings.
    One other piece of advice I would share is that skirts really didn't work for me during pregnancy. There's not really a logical place to wear them once you don't have a waist anymore! I switched to dresses or pants pretty early on.