Advice on Maternity Wear from Mamas

One of my internet friends is pregnant! I can’t tell who it is, but I can say that I am delighted by proxy and couldn’t resist throwing together a little guide and fashion tips to maternity wear.

I’ve polled the new mamas in my life - friends Anna, Amy, and Andrea - for advice, and here’s what we found:

  • My friends all continued dressing like themselves. One who loves fitted tank tops and long boho skirts to accentuate her flat tummy, continued wearing… fitted tank tops and long boho skirts, this time to accentuate her bump. Another loves tees and cardigans, and she relied on a floaty tee + cardigan combo from the moment she found out she was pregnant until she gave birth, through nursing today.

  • Some of your stretchy and easy fit garments will continue to fit throughout your pregnancy. As Anna put it, “any bikini is a maternity bikini if you just put your mind to it”. Same goes for long tank tops, flowy tops, and cardigans - the ones you already have will likely do just fine if they are long enough to cover a bump.

  • Caveat - Andrea noted that some babies sit low and others sit high - it might take you some trial & error to figure out what you can wear with your new body.

  • Accept as many hand-me-downs as you can from friends, suggested Amy. She supplemented them with a rental subscription for the last trimester, to add variety & treat herself during the harder moments of pregnancy.

  • Andrea used a belly band so she could wear her regular tank tops longer.

  • Low necklines, buttondowns, and tops that layer over a cami can help you transition seamlessly to nursing, when you’ll want something where it’s easy to pull a boob out.

  • On the subject of nursing - colors and patterns can help hide milk, which I am told will end up on everything.

  • Their bra sizes changed - not just the cup, but also the band - because your ribs expand during pregnancy. Storq & Boob Design carry soft bralette-style bras. If you prefer more support, try re-sizing yourself before shopping. (Wearing a supportive bra, wrap a tape measure snugly around your ribs, right under your bust - that’s your band size. Then measure the widest part of your bust. Bust measurement minus band measurement = cup size. 1”=A, 2”=B, 3”=C", 4”=D, 5”=DD/E, 6”=DDD/F, etc.)

  • You might not feel amazing. Pick out clothes that will help you feel comfortable and like yourself.

  • You’ll have the big bump for your final trimester, and then your shape is going to keep changing for a while after birth. It’s normal to continue wearing some of your maternity clothes after birth.

  • If you are in a wedding, don’t worry! A good tailor should be able to add gussets to the side seams of your dress so it will fit beautifully. If you have the option to choose an empire waist dress, free-waist dress, or something with stretch, that might ease some concern over not knowing exactly what size you will be.

  • Rentals can seem be handy, but check their laundering methods. I’m an avid Rent the Runway user, but keep in mind that they (and many rental services) do dry clean the clothes. RTR is planning to transition to organic dry cleaning, but until the transition is complete, I’m not sure if I would recommend doing a subscription - it could be a lot of chemical exposure on a regular basis. That said, for an occasion here and there, rentals are undeniably handy, and they do allow you to filter by bump-friendly styles, sooooo… hello baby shower outfit.

  • If you have been eyeing anything from Hatch, secondhand sites like theRealReal, thredUP, and Poshmark are FULL of gently used Hatch clothing. Environmentally friendly & awesome for your budget!

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Stay tuned on my next blog for 7 Sustainable Maternity Brands you need to Check Out!