It may be a couple months before you start to show, so it can be tempting to start purchasing baby clothes for every stage of your pregnancy. Or, perhaps you feel that maternity clothing lacks the flair of your usual fashion choices.
But, no matter your feelings on maternity fashion, you’ll need some basics to get you through the upcoming months – a fact that drives women to spend $800 million annually on maternity clothes, for an average of $200 each, according figures from the Financial Times.
Here are a few ideas on how to buy wardrobe staples that will keep you feeling fashionable while saving some cash to outfit yourself – and your new bundle – after it’s born.
What to expect when buying consignment online
Whether you opt for jeans that go over the belly or under it, maternity jeans are a must. And, just as with any jeans, you should try on several pairs to find a flattering fit that feels comfortable and will look good with a variety of tops. BabyCenter recommends looking for jeans with a dark wash and modern boot cut.
For the first few months, you’ll probably be able to transition your own jeans into your maternity wardrobe by wearing them unbuttoned with a belly band to hold them in place. If so, you might feel justified in treating yourself to a pair of designer maternity jeans that will have you looking fashionable in your second trimester and after your baby is born, but before those pre-pregnancy pants are an option, according to advice from The Bump.
Either way, online consignment sites are a great option for designer maternity jeans since they haven’t likely faced the wear and tear of everyday jeans and can be found for a fraction of their original price.
Tunics and Tops
Look for long tunics and tops that will accommodate your growing belly and go over the stretchy front panels found on maternity pants and skirts. Tops with ruched sides are not only trendy, but flattering and practical since they can be easily adjusted to fit as you expand, says Parents magazine.
Detailed or embellished necklines are also a great way to add a bit of sparkle to your wardrobe.. You could also consider experimenting with patterns and colors you don’t have in your pre-pregnancy wardrobe. Maternity tops and tunics are relatively inexpensive, especially if you buy them second-hand. And, if they don’t suit your style, you can always utilize online consignment them to another expectant mother who will love them.
It can be tempting to make do with the leggings you already have, but a few pairs of maternity leggings are a wise investment, since they’re typically more comfortable and flattering than pre-pregnancy stretch pants. They can also be worn under skirts and dresses to extend your maternity clothes into cooler seasons or chilly nights. Opt for neutral colors that coordinate with many tunics, tops, dresses and skirts.
A draped cardigan that wraps comfortably around your middle can also be paired with almost any outfit if the weather turns chilly. The longer, loose-hanging fronts of wrap-around cardigans are also more flattering to your current shape, according to advice from Parents.
Again, a neutral color is your best option, since you’ll wear this to change the look of everything – from your go-to maternity jeans to dresses that take you from work to designated driver duties at after-hours dinners and parties.
You’ll probably want more than one of these one-piece wardrobe staples, as they can be dressed up or dressed down with shirts, jackets, cardigans, and accessories. For instance, a well-chosen little black dress can work at the office or at social occasions. Wrap dresses are another figure-flattering option for many expectant moms, since they create a distinction between your bust and belly without constricting your middle.
In addition, maxi dresses are another trendy option to consider, as they elongate your figure and provide full, comfortable coverage.
A pair (or two) of basic black pants are a workwear essential that can be easily dressed up with a blazer or dressed down with a T-shirt. The same goes for a solid-colored skirt that falls just above the knee and works just as well with a button-down shirt as it does with a tank and cardigan.
If you have to be suited up at the office, the What to Expect website recommends selecting a fabric that will work throughout the seasons you’ll be showing and choosing a neutral color that’s easy to accessorize and can coordinate with many tops. Since suits can be expensive and aren’t likely to get the heavy wear and tear of everyday outfits, online consignment sites can be a great money-saving option.
Seasonal and Special Occasion Wear
If you’re showing while it’s snowing, you may need a winter coat. Before you spend a bundle on a pregnancy parka, it makes sense to check online consignment sites for bargains since you aren’t likely to wear a heavy maternity coat post-pregnancy. The same goes for a swimsuit you might only use a handful of times over the summer.
Finally, if you need an amazing outfit for a formal occasion, remember to check online consignment sites before shelling out retail money. These sales offer affordable options that may have only been worn once and will still make you look and feel fabulous.
Shopping smart for basics and a few fun items, accessorizing, and getting creative when pairing pieces will have you feeling fashionable instead of frumpy during your pregnancy. And, if you don’t expect to be expecting again any time soon, you can always sell your clothes online and use the money you make replace to those maternity jeans with something a little more form fitting.
What are your go-to maternity outfits? Share any tips and tricks you’ve picked up for building an affordable, attractive wardrobe during pregnancy on our Facebook page!