Throughout my entire pregnancy, I think I purchased about 15 total items from the maternity section. I could have gone absolutely nuts and redone my wardrobe into a maternity closet, but you really don’t need to do that! With just a few key pieces, you can get through an entire pregnancy – and not spend a lot of money!
Taking into account that I can wear leggings or jeans to my day job, it was silly for me to think I needed an entirely new maternity wardrobe just for the 40 weeks of pregnancy. For one thing, I stayed in my normal clothes well into the second trimester (with the help of #1 below!), and I continued to rock the same workout clothes (below-the-belly pants, for example) and shirts that were long enough to cover the bump.
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super comfortable maternity dress (comes in a bunch of colors) – 38 weeks pregnant here!
The Only 7 Maternity Clothing Items You Need
Here are the items you actually need during your pregnancy (yep, all 40 weeks of it)
- Belly band – This thing helped me stay in my regular/pre-pregnancy jeans up until the middle of the 2nd trimester. I had one in black and one in white and ended up getting another black one because I was wearing them constantly! They just make it look like you’re wearing a tank top under your shirt.
- Maternity t-shirts – These were my favorite, and they’re about $10 each if you hit the sales right! They’re long and come in a bunch of different colors.
- Leggings – Worn throughout my entire pregnancy, these were perfect with tunics for work and t-shirts on the weekends.
- Denim – Once I couldn’t fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans with the Belly Band anymore, I purchased more than a few pairs of maternity denim before finding a couple of pairs that worked really well for my body. My favorites were these (pricier but so worth it) and these (more affordable option).
- Fancy dress – I had a couple of weddings to attend during my pregnancy, so I purchased a gorgeous Rachel Pally printed caftan dress to wear to one of them (when none of my other dresses looked right). I can’t say enough about the RP line for maternity – the dresses are flattering and super comfortable! They’re not just for pregnancy, too – I wore it twice after having my baby, too!
- Casual dresses – I’ve talked about this tank dress quite a few times, and it’s for good reason. It’s super comfortable, flatters your bump at any stage, and can be worn with anything from a blazer to sandals. I started wearing this in the end of the second trimester and wore it straight through. Note: I let my sister borrow these dresses during her pregnancy, and then I wore them again in the summer of 2020 before my second child was born. They still look excellent, even after being washed through 3 pregnancies!
- Bras – You will most likely need to go up in your bra size during your pregnancy, so just keep that in mind! Because I didn’t know what size I would end up in, I purchased a couple of bras at Target (at just under $15, they’re budget-friendly!) in a new size in my second trimester and then ended up having to purchase a few new ones for the third trimester.
Non-Maternity Clothes I Wore the Whole Pregnancy
Athleisure – I kept wearing my favorite cropped workout pants, which have actually become my go-to for most days since I’m now working from home pretty much every day. I also have a lot of longer shirts that were perfect for a big ol’ third trimester bump.
Pajamas – I am not a fancy girl when it comes to bedtime wear, so my pajamas have pretty much stayed the same! I love these pajama sets – they’re SO comfy (and nursing-friendly for after baby arrives!). And I’ve always loved Wildfox sweatshirts! (This is where I buy mine at 50% off!)
Swimsuits – I originally thought about buying a maternity swimsuit and then decided to just rock the two-piece all summer. Toward the end I had only 2 swimsuits I could comfortably wear in public, but I was okay with that because a) swimsuits are expensive anyway and b) who knows if my next pregnancy will be in the summertime!
Moral of the story here: You definitely do not need to go out and spend a ton of money on a new maternity wardrobe! Take the pieces that you know won’t work with your bump and put them away so you don’t have to see them in your closet. Keep ONLY the items that you know fit and make you feel good in your closet/drawers!
You don’t NEED a ton of maternity clothes
Follow my advice and only get these 7 must haves, and your wallet will thank you.