Maternity wear – quick fixes

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

Yesterday, I wore a grey top and black leggings to yoga. In the summer of 2010, I wore the ‘top’ as a dress, bare legged. How times (and the area of my arse) have changed.

This wardrobe ‘adaptation’ (or desperate search for something to cover my bum) got me thinking about the little things that can be done to switch up your standard wardrobe to something more suitable for maternity, without having to shell out for a new set of maternity clothes. Pretty useful for early pregnancy in particular, where you haven’t got a clue what the hell your body is doing and whether you’ll still be the same size next week (let alone tomorrow).

I’ve been thinking about doing a couple of posts on the epic topic that is maternity wear – having found it very tricky to find decent quality, decent value things that don’t make me feel 15 years older than I am. However, this seems like a more sensible place to start. And somewhere I really should have begun, rather than diving head first into the ASOS summer maternity sale, at around 10 weeks pregnant.

So, some useful little things that I’ve personally found have helped to eke out my standard clothes a little longer…

Bra extenders – truly, a work of God. Love these ugly but functional strips of elastic. I got three for less than £3.00 delivered from ebay. I knew these existed before, but didn’t think to get any.

The extenders just clip onto your bra fasteners, thus giving you a few delicious additional CM of give in the band area. I could have saved a depressing half hour and £20 spent in M&S in a desperate search for a comfortable bra in my first trimester if I’d have got some of these earlier. Not to mention many sore red marks around my rib cage. Apparently your rib cage expands during the second and third trimesters (not to mention additional boob growth) – so I’ll probably get some use out of these even after having bought a few more maternity bras.

Longline vest top – again, I only got a decent long vest top a couple of weeks ago and really should have got one sooner. Mine was £3.49 from New Look and has washed really well so far. I only have the one in black, but even this has meant that I can wear tops that I previously wouldn’t have gone near due to trouser overspill-baring danger.

I’ll definitely get some more of these to last me the next few months – they also do a three pack for £9.99.

Maternity tights – these were one of the first maternity items I bought and I’m really glad I got them early on as they’re so damn comfy. I don’t think I can go back to standard tights: why would you not want a nice tummy panel to pull things in and avoid waist overspill? Maternity tights meant that I was still happy wearing most of the dresses in my wardrobe up until a few weeks ago – they are comfy while being supportive, so ideal for concealing first trimester bloat. And cheaper than buying a new dress or trousers, too.

I have a few pairs now and the best are these £8 pair from ASOS and this pair from Boots – also £8 – but half price if you’ve joined the Boots Parenting Club, as they send you a voucher. The ASOS pair are soft and opaque while not being too thick. They also have a gummy band to the top which holds them up well. I’ve seen that ASOS now have more opaque options in stock for winter, so I might be back to try some other options (I’m a sucker for a high denier). The Boots pair are a similar fit and slightly more opaque – probably better for the colder weather.

Sizing up – yes, obvious but true. I bought a few autumn jumpers from H&M when they first got their new season stock in – all a size or two above what I normally wear. Partly as I know H&M stuff has a tendency to shrink after washing, but partly to give me a little extra room for growing. So glad I did this, as over the past couple of months these jumpers have been a little bit of interesting in my old and rapidly shrinking wardrobe. So, if you’re thinking of buying a few bits even very early on in your pregnancy, sizing up will give you a load more wear – plus, again, covering that first trimester bloat way before a bump is on the agenda.

I didn’t get on with the idea of bump bands, so can’t comment on their usefulness. Also,  the elastic band around the button thing for trousers just didn’t work for me due to aforementioned bloat and the fear of it pinging off in work (seriously, is this not a worry for most people?)

Are there any other quick and easy tips and tricks for making clothes pregnancy-friendly? Please drop me a comment below. Anything that stops me buying the fortune currently lingering in my ASOS saved items basket would be great.

8 thoughts on “Maternity wear – quick fixes

  1. I got long length h&m maternity tank tops shipped over from the UK and wear them under a few sized up t shirts/tops every day. Still in them at 36 weeks, best investment ever! Used a belly band with specific work trousers (refused to buy maternity khakis!) and only gave up on it 3 weeks ago. Wasn’t the comfiest thing ever but did the job 2 days a week. Can’t be more useful than that though, dressing for LA is rather different than home! I mainly wore maxi skirts/dresses (non-maternity) and haven’t worn a jumper since February!

    • Thanks for the tip – it’s always good to have specific items recommended as there seem to be so many dud maternity items out there. I think I need to get over the fact that most of the maternity items I buy now won’t be the pretty ASOS dresses or cool printed trousers, but the pretty boring looking – but VERY useful long vest tops and leggings that I’ll actually wear every day *sob*

      And not having worn a jumper since Feb – so not jealous of that, nope….

  2. Thanks for writing this! As you know from twitter I am starting to struggle with clothes to wear as I’m in that horrible in between stage. I have just bought two jumper dresses, one h&m and one primark, both of which are a size bigger and they are both great. I also have a knee length stretchy skirt from primark which should be me for a while. I think it’s supposed to be mid calf length but I hoick it up to just beneath my bra!!!
    Maternity leggings are a god send, I was starting to get an unsightly bulge between bra and leggings! I found somewhere on eBay that does them for a fiver and they are pretty good.

    • That Primark skirt sounds good – I might have to brave my local branch, armed with a bottle of water and deep calming breaths. Love the Christmas pyjamas they do, so that’s extra motivation 🙂

      Do you have the link for the ebay leggings? Cheap leggings that are also decent would be amazing!

  3. I can’t give you the link as I’m on my work computer and eBay is blocked but the item number is 180791538080 which you can search on.
    The do lots of different colours and arrived pretty quickly. I’m not sure how many washes they will last but at only £5 then it’s no hardship to replace them when required.
    Good luck in Primark….!

  4. I’m 10 weeks nearly and bloat is terrible, but I wasn’t sure what’s normal, what’s progesterone tablet related (ivf) and what’s just fat from having to eat all the time to keep nausea at bay. I’m in maternity tights and managed to get 2 pairs of maternity jeans off eBay for less than a fiver. But tomorrow I plan to sew a triangle of fabric to a thick band of elastic, button hole and one end and button on the other so I can keep wearing my jeans and trousers.

    • I couldn’t believe the bloat during those first few weeks – I literally puffed up a few days after I found out I was pregnant. I went to a wedding shortly after and had to buy a new dress because my original new one looked AWFUL. It seems so unfair when you don’t have a proper bump yet! Congrats on your pregnancy btw 🙂

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