It has been more than a year since I was pregnant and I’m still wearing maternity clothes. This isn’t because I haven’t lost the weight (or, at least, lost most of the weight).
Rather, it’s because I was picky about the new maternity styles I bought, only buying those that I thought I’d still be able to wear after I lost the pregnancy pounds. This “buy for after pregnancy” shopping strategy is today’s hint for making the new big clothes worth the money.
To be sure, I’m not the only one advocating this trick.
“When you’re shopping for maternity clothes, buy staple pieces that will work for you after baby is here because clothing items like this DO exist,” wrote Candice Williams in a 2012 Baby Gizmo piece. Steph Snyder, meanwhile, who blogs as “A Professor’s Wife at timesunion.com, wrote a couple months ago that she wears “at least one piece of maternity ‘leftovers’ each and every day,” and the site “Mom Generations” featured a post-pregnancy maternity wear look last November.
Styles that fit the post-pregnancy bill for me included Japanese Weekend maternity dresses (I bought this one that I’m still wearing to work with a black blazer), and skinny J Brand maternity jeans that I still wear today with a belly band. I also bought a few long drapey and stretchy maternity t-shirts, cardigans and tanks from the likes of Old Navy and Gap that pretty much looked just like the non-maternity ones that were already in my closet.
And it turns out that there are designers offering just these kinds of long-lasting maternity looks. The ladies over at Cool Mom Picks and Well Rounded NY recently highlighted the brand Fourth Love, which makes maternity clothes designed to look great with, and without, bellies. Another similar line is Hatch, hailed by The Wall Street Journal as “maternity clothes to be worn after the baby’s born” (and at least one woman wears Hatch styles pre-pregnancy). In her Baby Gizmo post, Candice Williams, meanwhile, highlighted a brand called Boob Design as good for pregnancy and beyond.
To be sure, the maternity styles that will work best for you post-pregnancy will depend on your body type. And of course, it’s easier to only buy versatile maternity pieces when you’re lucky enough to get a lot of basic maternity wear hand-me-downs (as I was) and lucky enough to have non-maternity clothes in your closet (think stretchy dresses and shirts) that you can still wear while pregnant (as I did). (If you like the idea of still wearing your regular clothes while pregnant, Abi Porter shared some good tips on that over at Babble.com last August).
Finally, it’s worth pointing out, as Molly Cerreta Smith over at She Knows Parenting notes, that maternity styles can be a lot more expensive than their non-maternity counterparts, so “ consider trying a larger size of ‘regular’ clothing” (think empire waist, maxi or legging styles) that you can wear after pregnancy. One of my friends did this, telling me that she focused on only buying a few nice pieces that she “could wear while pregnant, and after,” including Gap and Old Navy t-shirt dresses, and Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines maxi dresses.
What are your tips for saving money on maternity wear?