Maternity Clothes: What to Buy and When to Wear - Baby Chick

Maternity Clothes: What to Buy, When to Wear, and How Not to Go Broke

maternity styleUpdated August 4, 2020


Pregnancy is filled with so many new adventures — especially as a first time mom. Think about it! From learning what you can and cannot eat to boldly exploring baby stores and creating a registry amongst the dozens upon dozens of products, there’s a lot to take on. One new adventure that every pregnant woman takes on is finding the right maternity clothes to wear while growing a tiny human — and belly — for nine whole months. So where do you begin, what should you buy, and how can you do it without going broke? Let us explain.

What Maternity Clothes to Buy

In a dream world, you find roomy and baggy staples in your pre-pregnancy closet that will stylishly get you through pregnancy without having to visit the maternity section of a clothing store. However, for most women, this dream world does not exist.

I learned this lesson myself. As a first-time mama, I did what I could to stay in my pre-pregnancy clothes as long as possible. After all, it shouldn’t be too hard to do, right? Boy was I wrong. I hit the point, at about four months, where my once flowy tops began to look like belly shirts. So I reluctantly started looking for maternity clothes, but let me tell you, I’m so glad that I did. The second that I put on my first pair of full-panel workout pants I never went back — and possibly never will!

Maternity clothing has not only been more flattering on that cute, growing baby bump, but has allowed me to be more comfortable in everything that I do, from working all day in an office to enjoying a yoga class.

Here’s what I have found as the must-haves for each trimester of pregnancy:

First Trimester

Belly Band

Buy Now

I purchased two belly bands, one black and one nude, early on in my pregnancy and have not regret it one bit. In fact, in my third trimester, I still use these bands. They look the best with flowy tops and really allow you to be comfortable while wearing your favorite pre-pregnancy pants. It took me from that “too tight” feeling of buttoned jeans to being able to breathe.

Second Trimester

Maternity Workout Pants

Buy Now

Similar to pre-pregnancy jeans, my workout leggings started to become more and more uncomfortable as I teetered the first and second trimesters. I knew I needed something that would be sweat resistant and also let my growing stomach, well, grow. In all honesty, I had a hard time finding leggings that were truly workout leggings. The first few pairs that I ordered online, although advertised as athletic leggings, ended up being those that you would wear with regular clothes vs. workout in. This is an item that I splurged on and am so glad I did as they have been worn constantly throughout my pregnancy.

Maternity Leggings

Buy Now

Remember how I explained I had a hard time finding true athletic workout leggings? Well, that in part led me to my favorite maternity leggings. I was never one to wear leggings as pants before I got pregnant, however, comfort is certainly key – especially as you close out the second trimester. These leggings have become my best friend and pair well with a long tank and long cardigan.

Third Trimester

The third trimester is when I finally went “all out” with my maternity wardrobe. I added full-panel jeans, a few maternity tops, a couple maternity dresses that I could wear to showers and weddings and a new bra that fit my growing body and doubled as a nursing bra for when the baby arrived.

How Not to Go Broke with Maternity Clothes

1. Choose your staples!

Invest in maternity staples and make them work for you as long as you can. For me, these staples included the belly bands, workout leggings and regular leggings. I could pair all of these items with flowy pre-pregnancy tops and sweaters. Once I started to grow out of these, I could add maternity tops into the mix.

2. Look for deals!

This is especially helpful if you’re early on in your pregnancy, as you have a longer time to spot a good deal, but keep an eye out for discounts. Another trick is to do your shopping online. Many online maternity websites have special offers for first-time purchases.

3. Borrow from a friend — or service!

As my belly was really growing in the second trimester, a friend of mine offered to let me borrow a few tops that she wore during her pregnancy. If you don’t live in the same city as your fellow mom friends, consider one of the services that allows you to “rent” maternity clothing, such as Le Tote or Stitch Fix Maternity.

To see more of our recommended products check out our Chick Picks Shop here. It’s our carefully curated shop of products we love and recommend! ❤️

Lindsay Lohan and Rihanna pregnancy pictures showing their maternity style

Maternity Fashion Trends From Celebrities That We’re Loving

Pregnant woman window shopping at jewelry store

The Best Shoes To Wear During Pregnancy

Collage of pregnant women wearing maternity bras

Best Maternity Bras for Every Mom

Looking down on woman's pregnant belly and wearing maternity leggings.

The 10 Best Maternity Leggings

Collage of pregnant women wearing affordable maternity clothes

Our Favorite Affordable Maternity Clothes

Woman in dark grey pregnancy announcement t-shirt

30 of the Cutest Pregnancy Announcement T-shirts