I'm so excited that a couple of my friends are expecting, and I've been thinking about what
stores and items I really loved when pregnant. One thing you're not prepared for is how sensitive your breasts get. You don't want anything touching them, so it's hard to sleep sometimes. I loved these maternity/nursing tanks from Cantaloop because the material was really soft. It also provided coverage and stretched over my huge belly. It's also been great now that I'm nursing. They were on sale on zulily, so I didn't have to pay full price for them, which was even better. Cantaloop also made a great support belt that I wore like a belly band. It helped keep my pants up and made my belly feel a bit less heavy.
Motherhood Maternity. They were less expensive than the actual spanx brand, and they worked just as well. Even better than smoothing out lines, it also gave me much needed support when I was wearing dresses. Without these, I often felt like my belly was dragging downwards during my third trimester.
Speaking of dresses, these were the most comfortable things to wear, especially during the summer when my belly was huge. I found that a lot of the empire waist and wrap dresses that were already a part of my wardrobe worked just fine. For example, none of the outfit below was maternity - except maybe my tights. Since the weather in the Pacific Northwest is mild, and my third trimester wasn't until the summer, I also got away without buying a new winter coat. Instead, I wore my regular coat unzipper and/or wore sweater coats like one below, also undone.
My propensity for empire waist clothing, also paid off when it came to tops. Believe it or not, the top below is from Anthropologie (as many of the tops I wore while pregnant were), and managed to stretch out and accommodate baby quite well, even towards the end.
I did buy quite a few maternity items though, particularly pants (like the grey jeans above). I found that full maternity panel, skinny jeans worked best. Some of my friends managed to wear a belly band with their regular pants throughout their pregnancy, but this only worked for me through part of the second trimester. After that, I tried the low rise and knit/stretch panel pants, but these did not work so well because they just don't stay up. This is also why I favored the skinny jeans. In addition, it is impossible to find petite maternity clothes, and skinny jeans were easier to avoid hemming. Instead, I just scrunched them or folded them up.
I didn't want to spend a ton of money on clothes I'd be wearing for just a few months, so my favorite places to shop were Old Navy,
Gap, Target, and H&M, which all sell maternity clothes in some of
their locations. (I only bought a couple things online, as trying them
on was important, since my body kept changing.) Old Navy had great basics. I got one of my favorite pair of jeans there as well as some tops and summer dresses. Gap
was a bit pricey, so I only bought things on sale here. However, this
was a good place for more work-appropriate clothes. I found a great
black wrap dress here, as well as the grey jeans I was wearing above.
I love Liz Lange's line at Target. I also shopped here the most frequently because every store carries maternity. I got some great dresses and tops here, like the one above - I can't believe I was that big towards the end! I also found really comfortable maternity tank tops which were nice for layering. I also got a cute bathing suit here, although Old Navy's are definitely lower priced. H&M's maternity line is called Mama, and they carry some cool and stylish options. I loved their jeans, but they didn't work fit me as well as Old Navy's, but the price was not that much higher. It's also harder to find a store that carries it, so I more often bought regular tops that worked with the belly, at my local, non-maternity carrying H&M. I was interested in checking out Forever 21's maternity line as well, but none of my local stores carry it. (I read somewhere, that it's only carried in states with high teenage pregnancy rates, so I guess Washington isn't one of those states?)