Friday, April 05, 2013

how to find non-maternity pregnancy clothes {+ five deals I love right now}

Okay, so I think something crazy happens to women in the second trimester. Suddenly you totally lose all interest in wearing anything but yoga pants and a t-shirt {or maybe it's just me!}.

Not that clothing should ever be a big concern in the first place, but somehow when your body is growing and changing, it seems like you kind of go into survival mode and want a pair of stretchy pants and just one or two things that will get you through the next few months. :)

the one small piece of clothing I'm really looking forward to putting on these days ;)
{Now caring about what the house looks like is a whole different story- phase 1 of nesting is happening on a major scale here already! lol!}

I remember when I had my first baby, I was so stinking excited to try on maternity clothes. I wouldn't have dreamed of wearing anything else- I mean I'm pregnant after all!! :) I even went in to the fitting room and tried on that little pillow bump when I was in my first trimester. That's how pumped I was. :)

But for the last four pregnancies {4??!!! wow}, I've tried to find as many clothes as I could that would fit me after the baby was born too. That was the kicker about maternity clothes- I wouldn't want to wear them at all after the baby was born, but nothing else fit!

I went through my old maternity clothes the other day and strangely enough, I didn't find much I've even worn when I was pregnant in the last 6-8 years.  Most of my favorite "maternity" clothes these days are regular clothes 1-2 sizes bigger than my normal size!

It's surprising, but the clothing styles have changed so much that you can really find plenty of clothes in stores and at GW that will fit without having the maternity label on them. :) While it won't work for everyone, of course, I have really enjoyed having clothes I could keep using after the baby is born. :)

If you're shopping for non-maternity pregnancy clothes, I think you basically want to find longer shirts with room to grow out in the front, which means they're either extra stretchy knit, or very long and blousy to begin with. And most of the time, you'll want to size up 1-2 sizes so you don't outgrow it. 

But here's an important tip: when you're sizing up, if possible, also try to make sure the shoulders fit you as well as possible. Getting as close to your regular size in the upper body/shoulders with lots of extra room in the bottom is the idea. :)

You'll save lots of money by buying regular clothes {they're way cheaper!}, and really, it's way more fun to have clothes you can wear for months after the baby is born too! :)

Here are a few of my favorite cheap "non-maternity" clothes finds for pregnancy you can buy right now:

1. the basic long tee
I picked up this striped Mossimo shirt at Target for $8 in a couple sizes up- I love that these tees are extra long to cover the belly:
2. The dressy tee.
And I'm loving my $14.99 Merona stretchy ruffle shirt- it's long and covers well too- I sized up one so I  think I should be able to wear it for a while, and after the baby is born too:
{I was wearing it here on ultrasound day!}

3. Pants extenders. {formerly known as elastic with buttons?}
Okay, so these are technically maternity items, but they make your non-maternity clothes work longer. While I love the bella band, I've always loved these button extenders more for extending my regular jeans. The bella bands were a bit itchy and roll quite a bit, but these make your regular jeans work without wearing an extra tight tube top around your hips. :)

I lost mine sometime in the past 4 years, so I'm thinking I need to pick up another set soon!

4. Exercise clothes.
This is the area I've needed the most clothing in this time around. I didn't have many exercise shirts that would fit me well beyond the first trimester, so for the last couple of months Old Navy and Target have been my go-tos for blousy cheap workout tops that I can teach in.

This ON top is on clearance in the store right now and it's super long:

And I love these tie-bottom Target shirts. I picked up one in pink, and it's so happy! :)

Honestly, most of my clothes these days are exercise clothes. {and I have a feeling that will probably continue for the next 3.7564 months or so?} :)

I just put on my workout clothes in the morning and wear them until it's time to go to the gym. It saves me laundry, and having to try to find regular clothes that fit every day. And as Martha says, that's a very good thing. ;)

Oh, it's so fun to have this little reason to buy a few bigger clothes. He's worth it, I think. ;)

Are you a non-maternity clothes wearer too? Or do you ever get maternity clothes handed down to you? {that's so fun!}

What are your favorite things to wear that get you through 9 months of growing?
My last 4 have been summer babies, so I've loved having lots of shorts that were cool!

What would you say your best maternity investment has been?
A pair of Gap maternity jeans used to be my old standby, but now I am a fan of regular ones with a button extender more, I think.

Favorite nursing bra? {I've yet to find one I like!}


Verna said...

I usually just stick to maternity clothes. My body likes to hold onto everything, therefor everything tends to expand during pregnancy. I have a few pj pants and stretchy skirts that are big enough to still fit now, but maternity shirts work the best for me.

Margo said...

This post is so funny, because I am at the point in my life where I wear Yoga pants or jeggings everyday and I'm not pregnant :) I also have that same Target turquoise top in my closet. I've been know to browse the maternity section because sometimes those close fit me better than the regular ones. Regular misses are too tight in the bust and in the belly and I need them a little blouseier there and less so in the waist.

BTW: I just called you about something and left a message, so be sure to check your messages.


mwimp said...

awe those are so great! and that lil guy is so sweet!!

mwimp said...

also i was wanting to send you a prayer request but i can't use the email mandy link because my new comp doesnt has outlook set up. is there another way to email you? thanks!

Mandy said...

thanks girlie!! my email is mandy @ if you need it! :D

Ulrika said...

I think the biggest problem with regular clothes is that they will get shorter in the front than in the back. For dresses and skirts that just doesn't look good I think. And for me personally - I have a rather long torso - I have a feeling most regular tops would be way too short. I know there are women who never get any maternity jeans and can wear regular low ones but I needed maternity pants already in week 9 of my first pregnancy. :D (And I was thin too then except that the belly grew.) I've actually continued to wear maternity jeans after my pregnancies only in a smaller size. This is because of my diastasis belly and my colostomy. It's been so hard to find regular jeans that fit and that don't have the waistline right where the colostomy is.

Mandy said...

thanks girlie!! my email is mandy @ if you need it! :D

Leigh said...

I have to chime in because there are a few things that I've loved with baby #3 (now 2.5 months old) that I didn't have the first two times around. The nursing tanks from Target have been my staple nursing "bra" - I have 4 and wish I had one or two more. I wear them every day. They are great because they are long and comfy, they provide enough support AND I can nurse my kiddo without exposing my giant, smushy postpartum belly every time! I wear them under shirts or cardigans, which is my second tip - get clothes that will allow you to nurse without much problem. I am loving cardigans and henleys because I can just unbutton them to nurse, which is so much easier with two other kiddos around. And I really love the TL Care Organic Cotton Nursing Pads (from Amazon) because they are SO soft and are much more comfortable and cheaper than any disposable nursing pads I've used. Wish I had all of these the first two times around! Oh, and an Aden and Anais cotton or bamboo swaddling blanket - worth every penny - so soft and light, which you'll need in the Texas heat! Congrats and good luck!

Janalin Hood said...

Nursing Bras without underwire and SUPER cute. And affordable. I want one and I'm not even of need of one right now! Let me know what you think if you order. xo

Christie said...

Unfortunately, with my first pregnancy I thought I could just buy bigger, blousier clothes, but it doesn't work for me after six months or so. (or after four months with the other ones) I'm really petite, so I look like I have a gigantic basketball under my shirt for months. = ) Plus, the regular clothes that I did wear well into pregnancy now seem ruined or stretched out when I try to wear them. Oh well, just blame the basketball again. If the Lord gives us another baby, I am going to try layering maternity tanks with regular cardigans that can be worn later. My best investment was during my fourth pregnancy, a pair of jeans from Motherhood. Love! And as far as nursing bras, I thought with my first one that I would be really frugal and buy the 4.99 ones in a bag from Walmart (ha!), so after I realized how dumb that was, all the other ones have seemed fantastic. = ) I do love the Target nursing tanks as well!

Kelli H. said...

My go to items during pregnancy are maxi skirts/dresses... and on lazy days I wear hubbys basketball shorts :)! I also have couple pair of Victorias Secret leggings with the lace on the waist band... they are super comfy for pregnancy and just after because there isnt elastic to cut into your tummy. I got mine on sale during my pregnancy last year and have worn them through this pregnancy... well worth the $$.

KJ said...

I'm as single as we come but giggled to find my two favorite blouses in your list. #1&2 are hanging in my closet and #2 has been my most complimented blouse this season! Glad to know they will work for me in the (far) future. Haha

Leigh Anne said...

I just found out I'm preggo w/ #4! Woohoo! So I was interested in your take on maternity clothes. In the past, my sis and I have shared these huge rubbermaid totes of mat. clothes that we just pass back & forth. Have lasted us thru 5 pregnancies between us. So, I will get those back soon & see what will work. Some of the stuff is old-school & really flowy, etc...I actually prefer stuff more fitted so I don't feel so huge.
I do agree that buying non-maternity wear is much better(have learned something along the way). But, I had to laugh about you really wanting to wear maternity with #1. I was the same way! Was so excited to shop at Motherhood Maternity :) Now, just trying to get by with what I can and wanting to find things that will work for after baby too! I hate that in between stage postpartum.
I don't have a favorite nursing bra. Have done well with the nude underwire ones from Motherhood maternity. But, with #3 I bought some nursing tanks from target (awesome!) and a really long one that is basically a sleeping dress/tank from JCP.....WONDERFUL! I LOVED that thing! I wore it in the hospital and at home at night all the time! I told my sis when she was preggo that she HAD to get one. The fabric is a nice weight and it wasn't too tight.
I can't find them anymore online (boo!)....they were made by Leading Lady. Here's a link with something similar:
It was well worth the money! Hope mine is still in good condition so I can use it one more time :)
I may have to try your pants extenders. In the past, I have just moved into maternity cuz I got so tired of them always falling off. Especially since I have been chasing a toddler in 2 out of the 3 pregnancies. Do they really hold your pants up well throughout the pregnancy?
Thanks for your recommendations! I just placed an order from Old Navy :) Gonna hit Target next!

Stephanie Z├╝rcher said...

I loved remaking some of my former GW jeans finds. They were too big pre-pregnancy, but with some alteration and a new elastic waistband they are perfect at 8 mos! I also find that I am still wearing a lot of pre-pregnancy clothing, which is great for the budget. (and we live in Switzerland where everything is highly priced.)
I tend not buy fitted things anyway, so my maxi-dress and walmart travel skirt are serving me well! However, I still can't find a good bra. Mine are perfect for the cup, but they bubble out under the arms and that's not comfortable!

Kelli H. said...

My 8 month old still loves sleeping with her Aiden and Anais blankets! I will have to get some more for this baby bc i dont see her giving them up anytime soon! I have been thinking about doing the cloth nursing pads instead of the disposable ones, I will have to check out the ones listed.

JoyBelle said...

I'm a bigger momma and going up sizes does not always work because then the armpits of tops hang down to my belly button. I am busty (I highly recommend bras from for busty, pregnant and nursing mommas!!! They are the BEST but definitely measure yourself per their measuring guide, then re-measure a few times and make sure you get the correct size. So far I have not had to return/exchange anything). I am also short.

So unless the top is a peasant-style or tunic or whatever they're called - they won't work for me to go up in size because it just doesn't fit right. I do have to get maternity tops but I definitely get ones that I can use after birth as well, for breastfeeding.

My biggest splurge in maternity wear is definitely jeans. I get mine from Motherhood Maternity. I got some from Old Navy and took them all back - they were terrible (the panel tore off when I was trying them on, eek!). But I do appreciate that Old Navy does have a "short" version of jeans since Regular is too long and Petite is a little too short for me. I don't recall if they have the length option in maternity but they do have it in their regular jeans and kid jeans.

Mandy said...

oh, I need to check those out!! Do you buy them online or in the store?

Mandy said...

oh wow! those are cute!! and not too expensive either! thanks for sharing!

Mandy said...

I like your layering idea! that's a good one- it's really hard to find an undershirt that's long enough when you're preggo! :) I've totally done the Walmart thing too- they don't last long do they? LOL somethings we learn the hard way! :P

Mandy said...

ooooh- that's a great idea too! no annoying waistbands that roll! I would buy that!

Mandy said...

hehehe! I LOVE them too- that's why I was so excited to be able to wear them now and in 3.5 months! :D

Mandy said...

did you buy your nursing tanks in the store at Target or online? and thanks for the nursing tank tip!! Let me know what you find at Tar-jay! :D

Mandy said...

You are amazing. If I have to do more than sew a straight line, I'm in trouble! :D great job remaking!! that's awesome! I hope you find a good bra soon- is online shopping an option there? Or would shipping be outrageous?

Mandy said...

oh, thanks for the website! I can't believe the ON ones tore on you right away! My gap ones always tore after a few months, but never that quickly! wow! I'm mid-height for a girl and still have problems with too long pants. I think my torso is long, and my legs are short, so I sometimes prefer the short version at stores too!

Abbie said...

WOOOOOOHOOOO! Yay, Leigh Anne! Congrats, girlie!

Janelle said...

Even though at eleven weeks I had lost twelve pounds I could not wear my regular jeans. I was so sick that anything touching my belly would induce dry heaving. So I went to my local consignment store and bought three pair of maternity jeans for thirteen dollars. I was so happy. They were ON and Jcpenney jeans and I love them. One of the old navy can be used for after and as it will be August it will start getting cooler in the evening. I am wearing those jeans every day and I love them. So comfortable. I love wearing my husbands t-shirts cuz they make my bump look way cuter than maternity shirts. I do have maternity shirts but don't love them because they are so big!

angel gonzales said...

Maternity jeans and tops worked for me when i was pregnant. They were the only ones who made me feel comfortable. I was four months pregnant when i started wearing maternity clothes because my clothes could no longer fit me and it was just so frustrating. I enjoyed your blog by the way.


Norma said...

I tried not to buy too much, since I know that I won't be using my new clothes for long. However, I did get some comfortable Maternity Shorts and a few other pieces to supplement what I have. I got great prices at Burlington Coat Factory and I love my new clothes. I have been living in the shorts since they are much more comfortable than anything else and they actually fit.

angel gonzales said...

We don't really have to wear traditional maternity clothes. It's all about mix and match. All we need is a couple of great tops and pants. Maxi dresses or skirts as well. I didn't really spend much on maternity clothes when i was pregnant, it was always about comfort. Anyway, these are great tips. Every pregnant woman should take note of all these great tips.


ainulhanani said...

When I was pregnant with my 1st child earlier this year, I religiously wore Palazzo pants that I found at They have the most comfortable pants and the waist is totally stretchable to fit your body. I love how the pants helped me stay stylish and comfortable even when my bump was as huge as they can be. Hehe..And I like the fact that the pants do not hurt my belly and my baby inside as it is buttonless and zipless. Total freedom at that department. Haha..You should go check them out. For the quality of the pants, and they are currently shipping out for FREE, their price is definitely a bargain! :)

Sweet Lily Maternity said...

These gorgeously dressed pregnant woman makes me feel like becoming one, momma you guys are doing a great job, Well done...

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