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How to Build a Maternity Capsule Wardrobe on a Budget

Building a Budget Maternity Wardrobe

 

Some of you beautiful Mommas out there LOVE being pregnant. You’re glowing, you’re excited, and you’ve never felt better! I wasn’t exactly in that boat.

I mean, I was absolutely thrilled to be having a baby, but I’m about the most impatient person in the world! 9 months seemed like an excruciatingly long wait, especially when I already felt like I’d been waiting 31 years to be a Mom. I felt nauseous, exhausted, and though I kept checking the mirror for it, I was definitely not seeing the infamous “glow”.

I’m prone to bloating even when not pregnant, so buttoning pants was out of the question pretty early on. (The ol’ hair tie trick saved me for a little while!)

First, I tried to rework my closet to accommodate the bloat. I was NOT going to be that pregnant girl wearing baggy t-shirts and athletic shorts, and let’s not even talk about buying a pair of jeans with elastic on the top. Ugh. (Eventually, I ended up doing both.)

Here were the biggest challenges to my maternity wardrobe:

  1. I’m a teacher. I needed to look professional during the week, but fashionable comfort was my go-to on the weekends.
  2. Being due in October in New York meant my closet needed to be equipped for 3 out of 4 seasons with temps ranging from 50 degrees (or less) to 90 degrees!
  3. I refused to spend a lot of my fashion budget on clothes I’d only be wearing for a few months.
  4. Pinterest made me want to be the cutest, most fashionable pregnant lady anyone had ever seen. (Yes, you might find a board on my Pinterest called Pregnancy Goals.)

For the first 2 trimesters, I was able to rework some of my existing wardrobe to fit my expanding belly.

Step One: Scour your closet, and KEEP these items:

-Long tank tops

-Long t-shirts

-Leggings, Especially LuLaRoe!

(If you haven’t heard of LLR, you need to find a consultant in your area. The leggings are like butter.)

-Those cotton sundresses hiding in the back of your closet that are way too short to wear but that you can’t stand to get rid of because they’re SO cute (These make adorable long shirts with leggings!)

-Stretchy dresses or summer dresses (They work even with a slight belly.)

-Stretchy maxi skirts

-Stretchy jeans (I know…jeggings aren’t exactly popular anymore. Dig ’em out from the back of your closet because when you don’t have ANY jeans, you’ll want these. Promise.)

-Cardigans

See? You actually have a really good start to your maternity wardrobe if you can breathe life back into some forgotten pieces in your closet. If you’re anything like me, these won’t work for your big belly in the third trimester, but they’ll get you through for now.

Take everything else from your closet and store it away somewhere for 9 months. This way, you won’t be staring longingly at those skinny jeans. It also makes getting dressed in the morning a little more organized.

Believe it or not, this entire outfit is non-maternity! The tank was something I found at the bottom of my summer tanks, and the pants were stretchy black jeans. Cardigans are still game if you leave them open!

Believe it or not, this entire outfit is non-maternity! The tank was at the bottom of my summer tanks, and the pants were stretchy black jeans. Cardigans are still game if you leave them open!

Clothing Items You Won’t Want to See Again for 9 Months or More:

-Crop tops (Some girls can totally pull this off. Me? No. I didn’t even have any to begin with unless we’re talking about my favorite Dave Matthews tank that accidentally shrunk in the dryer.)

-Skinny jeans without stretch

-Any tight dress with a zipper and no give to the fabric

-Heels (Again, some of you glamorous moms can pull this off. My feet were swollen, and I was way too tired to try to give off the impression that they weren’t.)

-Flowy shirts or tanks (These just weren’t flattering in my case- they made me look much larger.)

Now It’s Time to Shop! Here are the Basic Items You’ll Want to Get You Through the Next 9 Months:

Maternity Budget Capsule Wardrobe

Luckily, I had a few items given to me by friends. I was also able to hit up the local consignment shops for some gently used maternity items. But, I splurged on these items, and they were totally worth it.

1. Maternity Jeans. ($35)

This pair of cropped skinny jeans caught my eye because they would get me through almost every season of the pregnancy. Looking back, I wish I would’ve bought them a size bigger because they weren’t the most comfortable in the third trimester. In the beginning, a friend recommended buying full panel in any pants, and I was thanking her later. You’ll want to hike everything up over that belly!

2. This tank. In. Every. Color. ($13)

They’re long, they’re comfy, and they look cute under all your existing cardigans. And they’re everything on the weekends. And in the summer. Just get them.

3. These T-Shirts ($15)

(See all the reasons above.)

4. A Maxi Dress (Prices vary)

For days you want to feel pretty but don’t want to sacrifice any comfort, go with a maxi! Be sure to check this site for coupons and clearance. If it’s not on sale when you’re shopping, try again next week. They run new promos all the time.

5. Cotton T-Shirt Dress (Prices vary)

Comfort + Fashion = Cute & Happy Mom. I actually wore this one to my baby shower. It was a Jack n’ Jill Baby-Q, so this dress was perfect.

6. Crop Stretch Pants ($32)

These were my faves because I could get away with wearing them to teach, but no one knew they were entirely made of stretch and had a stretchy panel. The best part is they have an elastic band you can tighten up at the top of the panel. That sounds super dorky, but trust me, when you can’t wear a belt, elastic is a lifesaver. Buy these a size up for sure.

7. Maternity Leggings (Prices Vary)

You’ll want several pair of these if you’re anything like me. I wore them almost every day to school during the cool weather months because I could get away with pairing them with a tank and cardigan, a light weight tunic, or even one of my regular-sized short dresses. On the weekends, there’s nothing better! This brand was amazing because they didn’t pill or fade, but they’re a little on the pricier end of the leggings market.

8. Lightweight Tunic ($20)

To finish off your wardrobe, you’ll want a few lightweight tunics for days you want to throw something on quickly without having to put in much thought. And there’s the whole comfort theme going again!

Reworking my wardrobe around comfort really worked to make my 9 months a lot easier. I even came to like my maternity wardrobe better than my normal one! I might even still wear my full panel leggings from time to time. 😉 What tips do you have for stretching your closet to make room for a baby belly?

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