Maternity Clothes 101: 15 Of The Most Horrible Mistakes

Maternity fashion to many is an oxymoron. However, things have really changed over the past decade or so. Perhaps it's the inordinate amount of attention we pay to preggo celebs that has helped lift the fashion from big ugly bows and tents to hide behind. Whatever the reason, maternity fashion has progressed and there are all kinds of choices for women. Maternity wear can be found at large department stores, some specialty maternity shops in malls, and oodles of clothing for expectant mothers can be found online. When shopping for maternity clothes, a woman should keep in mind a few things. You will maybe wear them again for subsequent babies, or pass  them along to friends or relatives, or perhaps you'll sell them online or at a consignment shop. However, you will undoubtedly grow to hate almost every item before baby is born. It's just part of the process; you will associate them with the uncomfortable last weeks and you will grow tired of wearing the same things and yet not want to buy new items to wear for only a few more weeks or so.

15 Not Finding The Perfect Time

I remember with my first pregnancy, I was jumping at the chance to buy some maternity clothes. Not because I'm a compulsive shopper or anything, but I was just so anxious to wear maternity clothes so people would know I was pregnant and not just getting a little sloppy and out of shape. It was a rookie mistake. If I could go back in time to tell myself something, I would have said to wait until my clothes simply didn't fit. By starting early, I made myself so sick of most of my maternity wardrobe by the time my daughter was born, I wanted to throw all those outfits on a bonfire and dance around them. Some women go the whole other way, and wait until the buttons flying off their clothes blinds someone. It's not comfortable to squeeze into clothes that can't really accommodate your growing figure, and it's definitely not flattering, either. And you won't fool anyone, either. Pregnancy gets uncomfortable enough without making it worse with ill-fitting clothing,.

14 Insisting On Buying Everything New

If you have a fat wallet and little foresight, go ahead and toss caution and common sense to the wind. However, for those more grounded in reality, I have a few suggestions on stretching that maternity wardrobe budget. First, take stock of who you know who is reasonably close to your size who has had a baby recently. By recently, their baby isn't in middle school now, for instance. If you have a good relationship, or genes in common, just ask if they have any maternity clothing you could borrow for say, several months? You won't love it all, but you need not comment on every piece. If you borrow, you must remember to lend when it's someone else's turn! Otherwise, consider yard sales, consignment shops and online places such as eBay. Scour the internet looking for deals, and you will find some. If you are concerned about the cost of shipping, actually price it out and then compare to the gas and time of shopping for the same items.

13 Sweating Because You Want To Look Good

The way location, location, location is the key to real estate, layers, layers, layers are the key to maternity wear. Why? Hormones, extra weight and baby growing make a woman warm. Frequently, she will be overly warm. So although it's January, you may think it a bit balmy at times. Your thermostat is simply off for much of the pregnancy. To be comfortable (within reason, of course) you should dress in layers so that should you be out somewhere, you can take off a jacket, a sweater or peel away a long sleeved shirt and you'll still have a lightweight top, preferably sleeveless, beneath. If your legs get too warm, maybe you can find a pair of zip-off pants that convert to shorts or capris. You don't want people telling you you're glowing when in reality you are just plain sweating. When purchasing items, think how you can layer them with things you already own.

12 Refusing To Buy New Underwear

Unless you're a commando-kinda gal, this is something you'll have to decide on or figure out. And if you actually are a pantiless kinda girl, you may not be a no-panty pregnant woman. Let's be honest; pregnancy can be a messy business at times, and your underwear will take the most hits here. Forget the $20 lace numbers that must be hand-washed, line-dried and sacheted into perfection. Basically there are 2 general camps ladies fall into; there's the I don't want anything binding on my tummy, so my panty line is under belly, and then there's the I am wearing giganto-grandma panties and I don't care. It's all about comfort right now. Yes, they make maternity underwear. Yes, they make maternity thongs. However, you can probably get away with "normal" underwear that is sized up a number or two, especially if you belong in the first camp, or underbelly group.

11 Not Placing Enough Importance On Bras

Bras are not the easiest things to settle on when building the maternity budget. What fits you now, will most likely not fit you later. What you like wearing now may in no way resemble what you prefer while pregs. Look up choices. Personally, I think a pregnancy bra should move on to the the next category of bras; nursing bras. Some people buy different ones for nursing, but it's your call. Research is a good idea, so try looking up all the options and then if possible, try some on in a fitting room near you. If not, if it's an online company, check out the return policy and if it's flexible enough, order one to see how it is for you. Please keep in mind the ta-tas of today may not be recognizable tomorrow. You may need to upsize along the way, even if you pick a bigger size and one that stretches and grows with you. You might want to keep those ones you outgrow to wear when you begin whittling back down after baby. Comfortable, ease of care and the ability to grow with you are big pluses in maternity bras. Also, you will need support; larger breasted women often wear sleep bras while pregnant.

10 Not Thinking About Sleepwear As Clothing

This is a big personal decision, and it will definitely vary greatly by woman. Many women will co-opt their man's soft, oversized tees for sleeping. Or if you have a thing for nighties, by all means, continue to go with that just knowing you will have to get bigger sizes eventually. You'll prefer breathable, lightweight cotton, even if you usually loved poly blends or silky, satiny things. If you are buying new nightgowns or pj's, you may consider nursing versions with cleverly hidden slits for easy access to the milk machines. That way you're stretching that maternity budget dollar a bit more. If you don't have a good robe that covers well enough, and expands to fit you, you'll want one if only for the looky-lous and well-wishers visits soon after baby. Easy care and comfort are key elements for sleepwear as well. Bodily fluids will find their way onto them more than once, guaranteed.

9 Not Taking The Time To Find The Perfect Jeans

If you are a jeans person, like me, you will want at least a couple pairs. It will be necessary to try on some different versions. There are the kind with the soft, stretchy fabric panel at the tummy, those with expandable waistbands sometimes snaps, maybe buttons, and some other funky versions. I had a pair I thought were terrible, with a scoop out, so the jeans went under my belly, and the top edge was stretchy fabric. Lo and behold, later in the pregnancy these scorned maternity jeans became my go-to pair. I guiltily wore them in the first few weeks after baby, too. If you want to wear jeans often, you may want to buy more pairs unless you don't mind doing laundry every couple days. Perhaps you're more partial to khakis; same advice applies there.

8 Thinking You Won't Look Good In Leggings

Leggings can be key components of a maternity wardrobe. Depending on what they're paired with, they can be universally flattering. The best aspect is their flexibility, not just to accommodate a tummy and other filled out bits, but also how well they work with other pieces. You can stick a pair under a dress, a tunic or a flowing cardigan sweater. They can be dressed up or down depending on mood or need. Just don't wear them exposed to the waistband; let's be honest, no one wants to see all that even if you don't care. You may want to buy tops that are extra long, because your belly will magically shorten tops later in pregnancy. You can buy some in heavier weight fabrics for winter babies, or in lightweight material for most any other time. (Remember the pregnancy thermostat irregularities.)

7 Getting Clothes That Are Too Constricting

Tunics naturally follow leggings in a list of maternity clothing must-haves. Tunics vary so much in style, material and patterns. They can be ultra chic or super casual. They can be bold and modern, or frilly and feminine. They are easy to pop on and off, are paired easily with skirts, jeans and leggings. You can change the whole attitude of an outfit built on a tunic base, with simple sandals, booties or athletic shoes. Tunics of a smaller size used in early pregnancy, perhaps not even maternity wear, will be great to use after baby is born as well. By buying some loose, larger items that are on standard racks, instead maternity specialty stores or sections, you can probably save some money and stretch your wardrobe dollar even further.

6 Not Knowing How To Match

One caveat when maternity clothes shopping is to avoid too many unique pieces. Those would include items that go with virtually nothing, except possibly one item that was purchased for the express purpose of matching that one unique item. Sure, it may be so cute on you but if you indulge in such fancies too often, you'll have a nonfunctional wardrobe that costs way too much. A better approach would be to jazz up simple clothing choices with zippier accessories, such as purses, bags, and jewelry, as well as belts. Expectant mothers don't have to be dowdy, however. It's just a good idea not to overindulge in whim purchases that don't work with existing pieces in your closet. An occasional impulse buy probably won't break your bank or blow your maternity wardrobe budget, though. Just be certain to choose your moments.

5 Buying Something That Will Only Ever Be Worn Once

Some maternity clothing designers are clearly a bit sadistic. How else could you explain a jumpsuit that must be pulled off the shoulder and all the way down to change, or the real biggie - to go to the bathroom! Some clothes are just horrid ideas for pregnant women. When you hit the early and late parts of pregnancy and it seems you should have a revolving door installed at the bathroom, you learn to hit any clothing that slows you down or in any way restricts access. Other bad ideas include dresses that are complicated to put on, particularly those with back closures that require an extra set of hands to put on or remove. Some dresses you may think will work a bit post baby, but if they don't have some special access areas, you may need to nearly strip down to nurse baby. That's not a convenient thing! Heavy fabrics that are mostly synthetic are not a preggo's friend, either.

4 Not Dressing Like You Anymore

Sometimes women try to make themselves over while expecting a baby. Perhaps they felt too modern, too goth, or too chic to be pregnant. So in order to fit a role they think they must, they totally change up their look and buy maternity clothes that probably fit their mother's style of dress more than their own. While you may need to remove certain body piercings while pregnant, and just to be safe, stop dying your hair in Kool-aid tones, you don't have to morph into a maternal creature. For instance, if you love belly shirts and cut offs, you can probably do something pretty much along those lines while still accommodating your new girth. The days of hiding the baby bump are out, anyway. If you like sleek, modern outfits, you can adjust slightly for maternity wear. If you are a no-nonsense yoga pants person, no problem. You don't have to wear lace and ruffles, with bows and cutesy adornments. You can still be yourself while pregnant, remember.

3 Being Unreasonable With Shoes And Footwear

I know many women out there suffer from some kind of shoe addiction/affliction. I must confess, I have been spared from this malady. However, while pregnant I had to put some miles on these puppies and footwear is a big concern while pregnant. First, let me break some bad news to you; you're feet will likely not be contained in your present shoes at least not comfortably. Our feet tend to get swollen, and the hormones relax joints and somehow our feet tend to grow while pregnant. Worse news? They may never go back to the size they were before pregnancy. It may be hardly noticeable, or a size or even two different. So expect to buy some new shoes for pregnancy and perhaps beyond. (That was the good news). For those who love heels, you should look forward to reuniting with them after baby. Your frame will be overloaded and not entirely balanced, and if you are doing this on high heels you are being foolish and a fall is not something worthwhile when you're walking with two. Get shoes with good tread, balance and comfort. Have a couple pairs to switch off with. And when buying slippers, stick to ones you don't have to bend over to put on.

2 Buying Seasonal Items That Can't Be Repurposed

Those who are big with baby in the more extreme months of summer or winter have a few extra maternity clothes worries. For those who live in milder climates, this may not be a concern but for the rest of us, it definitely is. For summer babies, count on being hot and miserable for those hottest weeks. Should you want to head to the pool or beach, you may need to invest in a bathing suit. Different women will probably go in a number of different directions on swimwear. Some will feel comfortable purchasing a regular bikini or two-piece instead of a maternity one, since belly will be out and no special sizing will be required. Others will go for a more modest covered midriff, with a maternity suit. Go with a tankini for ease of pulling down a wet suit while desperate to go to the bathroom. A one piece suit for a pregnant woman is insanity. As far as winter coats go, you may not need as heavy a one as you normally would wear. Your thermostat is set high and by wearing layers and perhaps a roomy lighter weight coat, you may get through your winter just fine. If you live where polar bears would be cozy, you may need something a bit heavier.

1 Never Splurging Even When You Feel The Need

Every woman it seems hits a wall in the final weeks of pregnancy. She's tired of being uncomfortable, peeing all the time and having people ask, "Still not had that baby yet, huh?" She is unwieldy, miserable and sick of the whole thing. She wants to have this baby and get on with being a mommy and not just an oven. Some of the negativity and rancor can get transferred to the maternity wardrobe. She may even say things like, "The day I come home from the hospital I'm burning that pair of stretched out leggings and that ratty blue top!" She is tired of it all, and hates the probably smaller stack of clothing that fits and works for her now. For a little pick-me-up to perk up a bad mood, it's a good time to go ahead and buy a new top, nightie or pair of jeans. Yes, you won't wear it many times and no that doesn't seem to make good financial sense, but sometimes that little investment can have a big reward. If a little sprucing up will lighten the mood, and it won't leave you hurting budget-wise, why not? You can then lend it to a friend, virtually new and unstained. Good karma!

Sources: Huffington Post, Pinterest

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