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Give the lowdown on maternity clothes

Forum: 2013 Playroom


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  • 1 Post By Mountain Momma
  • 1 Post By Laurenj915

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April 20th, 2013, 02:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 208
I would love some advice from all of you. None of my pants can button anymore, so I just started thinking about the next steps. First, I really dislike clothes-shopping; I hate spending money on clothes; I have a very simple, practical wardrobe. My husband and I traveled around the world for 7 months and all I took was two pants, a pair of shorts, one skirt, two t-shirts, two long sleeved shirts, and a jacket - and I would happily continue with that bare-bone wardrobe if society/work allowed me to .

I just started browsing for maternity clothes at target, macy's motherhood maternity, and find them really disappointing - a lot of them look cheaply made, and very odd styles. Other websites look like they have nicer options, but I can't stomach buying a shirt for $40+. I got too overwhelmed, so ended up buying a waistband so I can at least keep my pants on at work this week, and decided to regroup and get some input.

So here are my questions:
1. Are maternity clothes really necessary? I can see that pants will be, but a lot of the shirts I see look identical to the shirts I already have. And when did they become necessary for you (if they were)?
2. What would you suggest is the bare minimum maternity wardrobe?
3. Under-belly, mid-belly, or full belly pants?
Thank you for all of your experienced feedback!
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April 20th, 2013, 03:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,893
Try Old Navy's website. They have a lot of the basics pretty cheap. I got a dress and 4 shirts for about $60.

The shirts are constructed a bit differently; they usually have an a-line shape, an empire waist, or ruching down the sides to allow more fabric for your belly to grow. My normal tanks are usually fitted, so when I was bloated they would ride up all day long. Kinda like a window pull shade that wouldn't stay down.

I'm not sure about the pant styles. So far I've bought one pair up from my normal size to buy time. Still in my jeans, just unbuttoned.

"He's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen." ~ Forrest Gump
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April 20th, 2013, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Montana
Posts: 378
For me at least a few pieces were necessary. I liked the full belly pants, felt a little more supported in them, expecially in the end when I was so big last time. A few shirts were also necessary to cover the big 'ole belly and I did wear them for a while after the baby came. I was NOT one of those mommas who left the hospital in the old clothes! Gap also has some plain and affordable maternity clothes.
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April 20th, 2013, 04:20 PM
Wren's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,618
I wasn't really big enough for the full belly pants until third trimester. Right now I am in regular sweatpants and drawstring pants and probably will move into my under belly maternity pants if I can find them in the basement in a month or so. Again, I didn't really need maternity shirts until the third trimester, but my regular shirts were too tight around the chest and too shirt a bit earlier. If you wear your shirts loose and long you might be okay longer. If you don't want to buy obvious maternity clothes you won't use for too long you could just buy some shirts a size up or so longer styles. Also consignment shops and thrift stores have a ton of used maternity clothes.
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April 20th, 2013, 04:21 PM
Laurenj915's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: South Florida
Posts: 3,214
So here are my questions:
1. Are maternity clothes really necessary? I can see that pants will be, but a lot of the shirts I see look identical to the shirts I already have. And when did they become necessary for you (if they were)?
I don't think they are. I wear lots of maxi dresses because they are really easy and don't need to be maternity. I wear skinny pants with some stretch and I can wear them through 90% of my pregnancy, i wear stretchy pencil skirts (not maternity) and my tops are all non maternity, I bought six $5 tanks last week at target, all one size too big because I know I will wear them everyday over the summer. I wear yoga pants around the house

2. What would you suggest is the bare minimum maternity wardrobe? A few maxi dresses, a pair of yoga pants, a stretchy skirt, some kind of nicer pants either skinny with a stretch or maternity. A few tanks one size up, and a few nicer shirts- Maybe a stripped 3/4 length. I guess alot of this depends on your work situation.

3. Under-belly, mid-belly, or full belly pants? regular pants with some stretch but underbelly if I was going to do maternity. I like fitted shirts over my pregnant belly and i don't like the line the mid and full belly pants make under your shirt.
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Expecting a baby girl Nov 4, 2015
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April 20th, 2013, 05:29 PM
Spyctre's Avatar Arwen
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Freaking Louisiana
Posts: 9,225
I think a lot are unnecessary. I don't normally get much myself. I have:

1 pair of jeans
1 pair of long capris
1 pair of short capris
3 maternity shirts, 2 of which are for the house

I do fine with regular t-shirts mostly. I bought the 3 maternity shirts, but 2 just don't fit well on me. Too big. So I sleep in one, and the other is empire waste and long enough to be a dress! I wear that at home. The third looks nice so I use it for going out.

Sometimes regular shirts will show your belly at the bottom. They might ride up. So I steal DH's. You might buy some a size up. I like full belly pants the most. The underbelly ones fall down on me.
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April 20th, 2013, 05:55 PM
MrsHoot's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Oh my word, I typed out a book and then of course it got deleted!!! ARRRG there is nothing more annoying than that.

1.I think it depends on how big you get. I know others said they are able to wear regular pants, but I was not able to wear regular pants without being extremely uncomfortable.

2. Mid, under or over? I had all three types with my first. I hated the mid, it was really annoying because it made your belly look funny and just hit at a bad spot. I had under in jeans (which I liked) and over in some dress pants. Sometimes I really liked the over pants and sometimes they ended up completely rolled down by the end of the day because my belly got so hot. I would personally say under...but I didn't mind the over most of the time. Also- my thinking is that the overbellies might be too hot for summer clothes!

Basic needs? I'd have a few tanks and tees that were maternity. Even my long shirts stopped fitting over my belly. So unless you are comfortable with some of your belly showing, I would pick a few up. Definitely a pair of maternity jeans. If you already wear stretchy skirts or dresses, you'll be able to wear those. I got maternity shorts for the summer too because I can already imagine how hot I'll be!

Another idea- check craigslist. WHen I was pregnant with my first, I found a lady who had a ton of maternity clothes and was getting rid of everything pretty cheaply. I found good quality for not much money. And really- people are wearing them for less than 9 months.. as will you. So most of the stuff is in pretty good condition!

I got a lot of maternity at Old Navy- good quality and pretty inexpensive. I've also gotten things in the past from Kohl's.

Hope that helps!

One angel baby lost at 8 weeks in June 2016
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April 20th, 2013, 06:07 PM
*Lana*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,279
I have a lot of maternity clothes, but I will probably be selling some soon as I know I won't wear them this pg.
I prefer the full panel kind of pants because they are more comfortable for me. Under belly is ok, but towards the end they were not comfortable because that elastic is snugger and the full panel is more like a belly band connected to the pants/shorts/skirt.
I bought some long tanks at target in the next size up. Plain t-shirts are nice because you can mix and match. Today I'm wearing a white maternity t-shirt (with ruching on the sides) and a knit skirt I had.
I recommend buying maternity shirts, or long shirts, as your belly grows, you won't want it peaking out the bottom. My belly was so out there by the last month, I had to wear a belly band so the bottom of my stomach did not stick out of the bottom of my maternity shirts.
Dresses are great, but you lose the mix and match option. But, they are so comfy.

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April 20th, 2013, 07:01 PM
ILoveStorm2011's Avatar Mack :)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 2,398
I know I'm not a BTDT mom buttt I just bought 2 super cute skirts that are REALLY stretchy, 2 cheapo maternity shirts, and 2 maternity tanks because already my tank tops were too short. I love the stretchy skirts already since it's easy to go to the bathroom and I can just get them on and off instead of fighting with my jeans.
Excuse me if my typing is bad There's probably a baby in my arms.
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April 20th, 2013, 07:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 3,079
I agree with others who stated depends on where exactly you get bigger. Some women can still fit into their pants for a long time, but my hips get bigger, my thighs somewhat, my boobs, you see where I'm going. I need maternity or larger sizes. I like underbelly pants. It's great that summer is right around the corner because you can wear a lot of dresses if you like them. They def don't need to be maternity, just empire waisted. A lot of skirts that are not maternity have elastic waistbands and that is.good enough. My sister spent $100 on a pair Ofskinny maternity jeans that she was only able to wear for maybe 2 months!

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April 20th, 2013, 09:27 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,298
I'm going to try to stick with non maternity dresses in stretch material for hopefully the whole pregnancy.

Maternity shirts were a must for me with pants and shorts because my belly gets huge. Near the end the shirts don't cover bottom two inches of tummy.

For now have you tried the rubber band trick with your pants?
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April 20th, 2013, 09:38 PM
Lotsakids's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 5,401
1. Are maternity clothes really necessary? For me yes. I have an extremely sensitive tummy/uterus later in pregnancy & can't really have anything touching my belly at all.
2. What would you suggest is the bare minimum maternity wardrobe? Depending on the season, (we are coming in to winter,) a couple of pairs of pants, a couple of tees or long sleeved tee's. You can get away with larger jumpers & hubby's tee's if they are bigger. Or even hubby's track pants. I spend a lot of my pregnancy slouching around in my pj's
3. Under-belly, mid-belly, or full belly pants? For me the only comfy pants that don't hurt me or cause contractions are the secret fit belly panel by Motherhood. I had two pairs of cargo's for my last pregnancy with this panel & absolutely lived in them

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April 21st, 2013, 07:21 AM
Effervescence's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 6,791
With my others, I didn't wear maternity clothes until the third trimester. This one seems to be growing differently- mor outward than my others, so i am already in both maternity pants and shirts. I think it is different not only for every mom but also for every pregnancy. Every baby grows differently and every mom's body adjusts differently.

If you want to extend the use of your regular pants, use a hair band to loop around your button and through your button hole. It will give you and extra inch or two inches. I also used a maternity band that I wore over my unbuttoned pants. I think it was called a bella band and only cost about $12.

I have quite a few professional pieces from my son's pregnancy, because I worked the whole time I was pregnant with him. I'm re-using those this time for nicer events like the bridal shower I went to yesterday. I bought almost all of my items second hand at resales, this is the time of year for those so keep your eyes peeled and ask other moms in the area if they know of any big ones going on. And also a used clothing store called Clothing Mentor. The pieces that I bought brand new were on clearance and didn't cost much either. I splurged for a couple of events, for example I actually had my wedding when I was nearing the end of the pregnancy with my son (we were planning the wedding first, found out we were pregnant, and decided not to move the date) so I bought a special outfit for our honeymoon. This time, I have a pretty nice wedding to go to, so I also bought a dress for that, but that was to treat myself and make myself feel pretty when I'm feeling a little low about my body image.

I personally find maternity shirts necessary. My regular shirts fit, but they aren't flattering at all. Maternity shirts work with my new figure, and the non maternity shirts make my baby bump look like an overgrown muffin top. Also, the regular shirts can be too short in the front, again accentuating what looks like a pot belly, not a baby! I feel like the maternity fit me better, even though the non maternity "fit" if you know what I mean. But again, it's all about how you are growing with this pregnancy.

I like the pants with the elastic band, except when I wash them the band gets twisted up and distorted. I have recently started wearing the under the belly kind. I didn't like them at first, but now that I've grown a little and started wearing the maternity shirts with them, I am liking them more. There is less pressure on the belly and the cut seems more fitting to my body type. My sister likes the full panel bellies becasue she feelis like it gives her more coverage. My sister and I are very different styles though, just to give an example of how different women can be.

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April 21st, 2013, 07:49 AM
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Every pregnancy is different. With #1 I wasn't in maternity clothes until 20+ weeks cuz I was tired of not looking pregnant. With #2 I was in maternity clothes by 8 weeks. I carried him differently and gained more weight. With #3 I was also in maternity clothes by around 8 weeks. I didn't get huge with her but I did get big fast an was working so I couldn't stay in comfy jammies all do. Now I am on #4 and I am 14 weeks and I am still wearing my regular clothes. I just went the other day to get a couple of maternity pieces to add to what I still had from #3. I think this time around I am still in regular clothes cuz I haven't gained much weight.

I prefer the full belly panel. Maybe some of this is true too since for us bigger ladies we don't have the option on all the different belly panels
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April 21st, 2013, 03:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 208
Wow, thank you guys for all of the excellent advice! You make me feel a lot better - now I don't feel pressure to get an entire new wardrobe! And, I guess I didn't realize that the issue with shirts is that they get too short - when I looked at the maternity tanks, they looked similar to the tanks I have, but now that several of you mentioned it, they are LONGER. So there might be a point to getting some Also, I didn't think of Craigslist. I'll give shopping another shot later this week now that I'm equipped with more knowledge
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April 22nd, 2013, 04:05 AM
jamieshalon2's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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With my first pregnancy back in 2000, I didn't wear maternity clothes at all, I didn't need them. After that with my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies I got HUGE. There was no way I could avoid maternity clothes. I actually got so big at the end of my 2nd pregnancy due to pre-E that my maternity clothes didn't even want to fit anymore, lol.

This time I was able to borrow most of my maternity clothes and depend on Good will for the rest. I have quite a few pair of jeans, capris in different colors and styles and cute little shirts. Since I work in an office environment, I kinda have to dress business casual for work, so I have to have more clothes than I normally would have gotten for this pregnancy. My biggest downfall so far has been having to buy new shoes since my heels are making my lower legs swell already, so I have been on the look out for cute flats and sandals to wear here.

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April 22nd, 2013, 07:32 AM
chachartier's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Newport News, VA
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I didn't NEED maternity clothes until third trimester, but now my pants are getting SO TIGHT and I am DYING to get into those comfy pants!!! Haha, I have to wear professional clothes to work, so I have quite a few maternity pants for work. I prefer the over belly, but they are a little big for early pregnancy so I know they wouldn't fit quite yet... shirts, I still wore a lot of my shirts all the way through my pregnancy but I did have to get a few maternity shirts for work that fit nicer around the belly. Right now I am still trying to hide the belly for three more weeks, and I am struggling to find clothes in my wardrobe to hide it. Any suggestions?? I am not a fan of the "tunic" style or whatever it is that collects under your boobs and then falls loosely, I feel like those make you look pregnant even when you aren't lol

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April 22nd, 2013, 08:42 AM
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I just want to add that I am debuting a Taget bought Liz something full panel pant and they are horrible...they are riding down The motherhood brand full panel ones that looked very similar to these fit me so well and are so comfortable!

Need for maternity clothes depends on how much your body changes sizewise pregnant and not pregnant. I am a whole different person when pregnant I don't fit into any of my regular clothes!
Expecting baby girl September 29th

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April 23rd, 2013, 09:15 AM
drewbears's Avatar Mom to 8 AWESOME kids!
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for me I can get away without maternity bottoms, but I need the shirts as they are longer in the front. And they are cut to help me not look as fat.

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April 23rd, 2013, 09:25 AM
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I am right there with drewbears on at least maternity tops help me look pregnant not just fat and overweight When I have regular clothes on I just look overweight but when I put the maternity clothes on I look pg. But the maternity pants still aren't really comfy yet since I am carrying this baby really low. At my 12 week appt baby was still at like my pubic bone level An doctor told me I have an anterior placenta again. I had one with my last baby too an it sucked since you don't always feel movement and I ended up going into L&D a couple of times just to make sure things were ok since I didn't feel the baby moving
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