(Closed) Super confused by…maternity clothes? Help!

posted 6 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
728 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

bump! i have no idea but i’m interested now! 

ps congrats ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 4
1116 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

@CEtoSAHM:  I’m only a few weeks ahead of you, but with twins I’ve been in mat clothes for awhile now.  Here’s my 2 cents:

1. I’m buying what fits now, but looser, if that makes sense.  Pre-preg I wore mostly size 10 bottoms, and medium tops.  I’ve been able to buy mostly the same size bottoms, but I make sure they’ve got some give in the legs and if possible, around the waist.  I figure I’ll have to shop a few times, but I can’t expect what fits me now, to work for me in the third tri either.

2. Depends on your life and how often you do laundry ๐Ÿ™‚  I work from home, so I can live in more sweats than women who work in a professional office.  Right now, I have 3 pair of pants, 3 ss tops, 3 ls tops, a sweater, a dress – all maternity.  A week’s worth of clothes is a good goal for each stage.

3. I think tops are easier than pants to get by with regular.  Just buy long tees.  But the rouching on mat tops is really nice for hugging an expanding belly without making me feel big all over, just fyi.  And I haven’t spent a ton yet – most of my pieces are from Target and Goodwill (but Gap, Motherhood, etc brand).  My most expensive piece was $20, and most have been $10-15, some as cheap as $5.  You don’t have to buy at boutique stores to look nice while pregnant.

4. My three pair of pants are three different types.  One is under the belly – this has been really nice for the inital bloat and popping stages.  Getting a little tight when I sit now though.  The pair I really like right now in mid-2nd tri is the short elastic band (like 6″).  They stay up and are comfy.  My last pair has a panel that comes higher on the belly.  They slide down a lot now, but I’m sure as my belly grows, they’ll stay up better.  I think they’ll be my favorites once I’m big ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 5
6010 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

1.  If your pants are just starting to get tight, you might be able to hold off on buying full-on maternity clothes until a little later, when you find out where you’re gaining weight/how you’re carrying.  Some people gain weight all over, some people just grow a big belly.  ๐Ÿ™‚  I would suggest holding out/making do as long as possible (some people use a belly band to stretch their non-maternity wardrobe), and then buying what fits, with the options of buying a few more items at the end, if needed.

2.  I started out with like 3 pairs of maternity pants and 7-8 maternity shirts, with my first pregnancy.  It got a little monotonous and boring, but it lasted me the whole pregnancy.

3.  Non-maternity clothes will probably work for a good part of your pregnancy.  Look for anything empire-waisted and/or flowy.  Also, wrap dresses and empire-waisted dresses (with leggings, if needed) work great for early pregnancy, all the way through post-partum.

4.  There’s a few different sizes and materials for the belly band part of maternity pants.  Personally, I found the under-the-belly pants (with no belly band and no buttons/zipper) the most comfortable for the majority of pregnancy.  Really, though, everyone’s body shape is different, so you’ll just have to try a few different brands/types on to figure out what fits you bext.

Hope that helps!

Post # 6
794 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I am 16 weeks and have recently done this as well.  I am loving the full panel pants with the elastic that goes past the belly button.  You would think it would be super uncomfortable but it is wonderful.  My favs are work pants from motherhood maternity.  I am wearing them now and they are so comfy it is like pjs.  I am just buying things as I need them.  Open cardigans, not from maternity, are fine.  Also, some maxi dresses and skirts non maternity may be fine as well but its hard to predict how you will grow. 

In the motherhood maternity stores there was fake baby bump pillows in the dressing rooms tha treally helped me visualize how i might look further along in the pregnancy. Most stores suggest to buy your pre pregnancy size but use your own judgement.  For example:  If it is already a lil forfitting or the fabric has no give, you may want to size up.  I am still in all my normal sweaters.  I have found maternity tops to be a lil big right now but I am strictly wearing maternity pants.  Other pants fit but just feel so uncomfortable that I cannot wait to rip them off. 

I have puchased 1 pair of jeggings, 3 pairs of work pants, 2 pairs of yoga pants, and 2 maxi skirts.  I also purchased a few non maternity open cardigans to wear during the next few months over maternity tanks.  I figured I could use the cardigans again post baby and save $$ from having to buy maternity stuff.  Old navy and motherhood maternity have been my favs so far.  Good luck and try and have fun with it.

Post # 7
438 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

1.  Maternity clothes are designed to be the same size as you wore pre-pregnancy, and to grow with you (if that makes sense?).  I wore a small in all of my maternity clothes, which is for women who wore size 4-6 pants or small tops pre-pregnancy. 

2.  I think I needed maternity pants more than the tops at first.  I have dressy and casual days at work, so I bought 2 dress pants and 2 pairs of jeans and that worked well for the pants.  I also bought some maternity yoga pants to wear when I workout and those were great (old navy).  I was able to wear most of my shirts through the 2nd trimester, and then I used through about 10 tops to get me through the last trimester. 

3.  For the tops, you can buy a bigger size than you normally wear for a while.  For me, I like my clothes to be a little more fitted so it didn’t look like I was wearing a tent all the time.  And you can get the extenders and/or the bella bands to help you stay in your pants for a little longer.  But for me, it was SO much more comfortable to wear the pants with the panel, since my hips were getting too big to fit in my pre-pregnancy pants early on.   

4.  I prefer the full panel pants (the ones that go up to your chest).  I would fold the panel down in the beginning, and once I started showing, I pulled it up.  It helps to hold your pants up and I liked the added bonus of not having to worry about showing my buttcrack if I bent over – haha.  Again, a bella band can be used the same way as the full panel pants with your pre-pregnancy clothes until you absolutely need new ones. 

I splurged on the pants and got them at Kohls or Motherhood.  I bought a bunch of tops from Old Navy and Walmart to save some money, if that helps. 

Congrats and good luck!!

Post # 8
641 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I am 28 weeks, and here is what I have found so far:)  I hope this helps!!


1.  I have bought generally the same size that I always wore, but it can vary depending on the brand.  In Old Navy I am a M, same with pants at motherhood.  I am also one who actually lost a little weight in the beginning and am still playing catch up.  To be fair though, I have only gained in the belly and little in my boobs, so I didn’t really have to size up on anything other than a pair of skinny jeans that I bought (they were just too tight around the knees),and a slim fitting shirt from motherhood.

2.  Right now, I have 2 pairs of work pants, 3 pairs of jeans, 2 black dresses, 2 tank tops, 4 short sleeve t’s, 1 long sleeve t, and a couple of dressier shirts for work.  So far, it seems to be enough, especially since if we don’t go anywhere on the weekend, I stay in my pre-preg lounge pants.

3.  At this point, I can wear a non-maternity sweater, t-shirt, or two but pants and things just would NOT work.  Because I am tall, a lot of the old navy tall things that I bought seem to work OK to cover me up.  But, most other shirts that are not either tall or maternity are way too short.  I, like other posters, have gotten a lot of stuff at thrift stores.  We have  store called Savers and they always have like brand new maternity things.  Sometimes, it’s the same stuff you could buy at oldnavy.com that same day.  I have definately scored there.  Also, I found that JC Penny has good maternity stuff and a good price, just not much selection.

4.  As far as the different types of pants.  The only ones that I wear are the motherhood “secret fit belly”.  These are a thin panel that comes up over my belly. I have to pull them up sometimes, but they don’t dig in anywhere, and since I am tall, I am limited to whatever motherhood carries in long.  I did wear a b-band from target with my non-maternity clothes until I was about 17 or so weeks.

Post # 9
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I’m 27 weeks. They really do grow with you wth those ‘attached belly bands’.  I have maternity pants with different lengths of bands. I think it is a bit of a personal preference.  I actually love the largest bands, but not everyone does.  I shopped when I was about 13 weeks, and was going just to get a belly band. I thought I’d have to wait til I was bigger to buy the other things, but nope, you can fit into them pre-pregnancy and they just stretch with you.  They are soooo comfy.  When I tried on my first pair I was like “why aren’t ALL pants made this way?!!!”

Post # 10
641 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

@cvbee:  I said the SAME thing about the pants. I think I am going to wear maternity jeans for the rest of my life Wink

Post # 11
1487 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@cvbee:  Me too!  At Thanksgiving dinner last year, everyone was complaining that their pants were soooo tight, and I was like “Not me!  My pants are AWESOME!”

Post # 12
618 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

@CEtoSAHM:  I’m 12 weeks and I’m in maternity pants already because I didn’t like the Bella Band and anything tight across my stomach didn’t feel good. I’m in some maternity tops because my boobs are already huge. I’m up to a F cup. I started to get a complex because some people don’t ever have to wear maternity clothes or they are only in them in toward the end. I just have to do what’s right and comfortable for me and that right now is maternity clothes.

Post # 14
2638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2006

Okay, I’m officially going on a clothes-buying strike until I’m pregnant. 

Post # 15
2027 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I am 28 weeks and this is pretty much how maternity clothing has gone for me:

At 10 weeks, my pants started getting tight. I tried larger jeans that I already owned, but they just didn’t fit right. So I tried my friend’s belly bands, which just never seemed to work. At 12-13 week, I just gave in and bought a couple of pairs of the demi panel pants from Gap on sale. I purchased them in my normal size. They were perfect until I was 16-18 weeks or so. I was still wearing almost exclusively my old dresses and tops, as well.

By 16 weeks, I had invested in a couple more pairs of jeans, but they were from Paige Premium (on clearance) and had a front  like this :

Union maternity

I don’t know if you can tell, but they just have elastic at the corners. These are still my favorite type of maternity jean, so I own a skinny pair to wear with boots, and a straight leg pair. By 16-18 weeks, I also had started moving into maternity dresses and tops. A lot of my non-maternity tops were starting to get too tight at my chest, so I stocked up on holiday sale priced clothes at Gap, Old Navy, A Pea in the Pod, and Motherhood. I had also grown into a new bra size. 

I thought I was done with maternity shopping at this point, but I am carrying really low, and could no longer wear the demi panel jeans after about week 22. They were just too tight on my belly. So I just wore what I had that did work until about week 26, in which I grabbed a couple of pairs of full panel jeans from Gap on sale, also in my pre-pregnancy size. They have been a godsend and I think they should definetly go through the rest of my pregnancy. I am also up another bra size, at this point, and am anticipating that I will have to change once more closer to time. As for tops, I can only wear maternity at this point, as well as only maternity dresses. I am all belly and boob, so I have no choice. 

So basically, it really depends on how you will grow, as well as how you are carrying. Everyone is different. Be prepared that you may have to shop twice and potentially will grow out of some things, even if they are maternity. I have basically been living off of Gap maternity long sleeved tshirts, maternity jeans, and accessories to dress things up. It get monotonous, but at this point, I just want to be comfortable. 


Post # 16
9029 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

You should be able to just buy your regular size. 

The panel attached to some pants is just an option you have. Some find it more comfortable to wear pants with a panel and others prefer low rise. You gotta try them on to see which works for you.

So far I have only bought one pair of maternity pants and about 5 maternity dresses, and 1 maternity hoodie. I already had quite a few long shirts and loose low rise pants that I am able to wear with my bella band. I do buy non-maternity but then I have to buy several sizes bigger than my regular size and sometimes the proportions arent as good.

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