The Ultimate Guide to Buying Maternity Clothes

If you’re experiencing pregnancy for the first time like me, then you may have had some of the same thoughts I’ve had about maternity clothes. I knew I didn’t want to spend a fortune on maternity clothes while at the same time, I still wanted to make sure I had enough clothes I felt comfortable in.

At the time I’m writing this post, I am 21 weeks and 4 days pregnant! I still have a ways to go, especially when it comes to maternity clothes. But so far, I think I’ve learned a great deal about how to dress comfortably, cute, and without having to spend a fortune on clothes I know will only be worn temporarily.

Here are my best tips for buying maternity clothes as a first time mom.

Before we begin…

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Tip #1: Think REALISTIC

Have you spent a lot of time scrolling through Pinterest and looking at cute maternity outfits? I definitely have, well before even getting pregnant!

But once I finally got that positive pregnancy test, I knew that I wanted to be smart with the maternity clothes I bought.

While I would love to wear a super cute outfit everyday to show off my bump, I knew that just wasn’t going to be realistic for me. Before buying any of my maternity items, I asked myself these three questions:

  1. What would I ACTUALLY wear?
  2. How many times would I be able to wear this item during pregnancy?
  3. Will I be able to wear this again in a future pregnancy?

These are all so important to take into consideration. You might see an item you love, but you need to ask yourself, would I actually wear this? Or do I just think it looks cute?

How many times do you think you’ll realistically wear this item during pregnancy? Is this something you know you will wear multiple times, or is it just a super cute top that would only be suitable for a night out?

I recommend only purchasing maternity clothes that you can get use out of and get your money’s worth!

Lastly, is this an article of clothing you can wear in a future pregnancy? We’ll discuss this question further when we talk about “thinking seasonal” when buying maternity clothes.

Tips for buying maternity clothes for new moms

Tip #2: Think SEASONAL

You might be tempted to buy a collection of cute maternity sundresses or fashionable long sleeves for the winter. Although pregnancy will take up the majority of your year, you won’t have to rush into maternity clothes right away.

An important question to ask yourself is, “what seasons are coming up during my pregnancy?”

In my scenario, I found out I was pregnant in February. Although it was still winter time here in Chicago, it didn’t mean I had to start stocking up on maternity long sleeves.

I had to think ahead to the seasons where I’d actually be showing and would start needing to wear maternity clothes.

I knew that warmer weather was approaching and that even in my third trimester, we’d still be experiencing mostly warm weather.

It wouldn’t be until the end of my pregnancy where we would start feeling the fall weather.

What I’ve Enjoyed + More Tips on Thinking Seasonal

This pregnancy, I’ve been loving dresses, especially in the heat. This two pack of maternity dresses have been a go-to of mine! You can easily wear them casually or dress them up.

Amazon Maternity Dress

After you’ve determined what seasons are coming up, now is the time to think about how to get the most use out of the clothes you buy. When I started buying maternity clothes, I made sure to purchase items I could wear in multiple seasons.

For example, all of the maternity tanks and tshirts can be worn by themselves in the summer but can also be paired with a cute cardigan or flannel when the weather starts to cool off.

This assures that I am definitely getting my money’s worth!

Tips for buying maternity clothes

Remember how I told you to ask yourself if you can wear certain clothing items in a future pregnancy? This is where thinking seasonal can really be helpful.

For example, let’s say for your current pregnancy, your second/third trimester lands in the summertime. You may be tempted to stock up on sundresses.

But think about this: what if your second/third trimesters of your next pregnancy land in the winter time?

If you buy dresses that are specifically maternity, you may not get the use out of them in your next pregnancy because you’ll need to dress warm.

By all means, don’t let this stop you from getting a few cute items! But don’t go overboard buying clothes meant for a specific season.

Tip #3: Buy What You Need As You Need It

If you’re like me, you will probably get so eager to start dressing your bump! But don’t spend a ton of money up front on clothes you may or may not wear. And may or may not fit you! 

I’ve made the mistake of purchasing maternity shorts that are still a little too big on me. And I even purchased them during the summer season! Be extra careful when buying certain clothes.

I thought the shorts, for example, were something I was going to grow into. But so far they are still loose on me because I’ve been growing more out on my belly, but not wider on my hips.

When I knew that I was going to be showing soon and starting to feel a little more bloated, that’s when I went ahead and purchased maternity leggings and jeggings. I knew I could hold off a little while longer before needing maternity tops.

I purchased this pack of maternity leggings and this pair of maternity skinny jeans when I noticed my regular pants getting a little tight. To ensure my bump had extra room to grow, I sized up to a medium.

Although I purchased these in my first trimester (during the winter), I knew I’d be wearing them again at the end when we were approaching fall. I’ve gotten so much use out of them and definitely got my money’s worth!

It doesn’t hurt to look! You can create a wish list on Amazon and come back to purchase clothes later as you need them.

Tip #4: Stick to the Basics and Build Your Wardrobe From There

Basic tanks and tees are a great start. They can be worn alone in the summer. They can be worn with flannels and cardigans in fall/winter. And they can be worn with cute button ups or kimonos in spring.

tips for buying maternity clothes

Basics are great because they can be casual or dressed up with the right accessories.

Pro tip: use Amazon for most of your maternity needs. You can get sets of 2-3 items for the price of one that you would buy in the store. Save yourself the discouragement of shopping small maternity sections in stores!

In the picture below, I am wearing a maternity shirt that came in a pack of 3! There are so many color/pattern options to choose from. The price of this 3 pack is the price of just 1 really cute maternity shirt or dress you would find at the store!

Amazon maternity tshirts pack of 3

Concluding Tips for Buying Maternity Clothes

Did you find these tips helpful? What advice or maternity clothes hacks do you have for expecting motheres? Share your thoughts and favorite places to shop in the comments!

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