How to buy maternity clothes you can wear again and again
The best way to maximise your budget for maternity clothing is to choose items you can wear not only as your bump grows through the trimesters, but also post-pregnancy – and even when you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding. Here are five tips for what to look for to help you buy maternity clothes you can wear again and again.
First things first
The first thing you should know is that your bump won’t magically disappear once your baby arrives. There’s a reason the Duchess of Cambridge always appears on the steps of the hospital post-birth wearing something reasonably loose-fitting around the middle – because it takes some time for your bump to return to its usual pre-pregnancy state (and for some of us, it’ll always be a bit curvier than before your baby arrived). So yes, you will need some maternity clothes after your baby is born. But if you shop with these tips in mind, you’ll be enhancing your wardrobe with things you can wear for a long time.
Skinny maternity jeans are your friends
Do you live in jeans and can’t wait to get back into your favourite pair post-baby? Newsflash: They might not fit right away, and when they do fit, you may find you have new curves in places where there weren’t any before. But fortunately, skinny maternity jeans were made for this situation. Skinny maternity jeans are comfortable and stylish throughout pregnancy, are an excellent item to take to hospital to wear home (they will hold a maternity sanitary pad in place no problem), and will probably fit better than your “regular” jeans for a long while because they’re made to stretch and hug all the right places. And what makes them so comfortable? Well, the next item on the list…
Elastic waistbands will save your life
Okay, maybe not your *life*, but definitely your sanity and your comfort. Elastic waistbands are the reason skinny maternity jeans feel so nice. They’re not at all like the maternity jeans you’ve seen Phoebe wearing on old episodes of Friends, with the great big round tummy cutout shape; modern elasticated waists on maternity clothing are made to grow with your bump and disguise any post-baby wobbly bits with support, but without being constricting. Look for maternity skirt and pants styles that are comfortable and on-trend, like black leggings or yoga pants, and check out the waistband – it looks just like a regular waistband, but is even more comfortable. Some even fold over so you can wear them in different ways.
Clever draping hides breast pads and spew stains
Babies are gorgeous, delicious little things, but they do tend to… Well… Spew. Spill. Burp and bring up just the tiniest bit of milk, which will land right on your freshly laundered top. But many maternity tops are made with clever draping and ruching that works to not only disguise discreet breastfeeding or pumping openings, they’re also very good at keeping breast pads under wraps, and they’re super-flattering to both pregnant and post-pregnant bodies. Make draped or ruched tops your go-to and you’ll feel body confident no matter what is going on underneath your top.
Breastfeeding-friendly tops don’t necessarily look like it at first glance
One of the most commented-on features of Breastmates’ tops and dresses is that they don’t at all look like maternity clothes – unless you knew they were there, you wouldn’t see the cleverly hidden zips, openings, or folds which conceal breastfeeding access. This makes our tops incredibly comfortable to wear in regular, everyday life.
Scarves, wraps, and breastfeeding covers are incredibly versatile
No, you don’t *need* to cover up if you’re breastfeeding – it’s your right to do so wherever and whenever you want. But the humble scarf, wrap, or breastfeeding cover can come in incredibly handy for non-breastfeeding reasons, so it’s a worthwhile investment even if you don’t plan to breastfeed. Cover up from the cold, swaddle your baby in it, roll up and use as an armrest while you’re feeding, drape it over a pram when you’re moving from carpark to mall in the winter, use as a sunshade, change your breast pads under it, wear it as a beach cover-up, and even – if you’re really, really desperate – use it as an emergency nappy changing mat. Our Multi-Wear wrap can be worn 16 ways – even as a skirt. Talk about versatile!
Photo curtesy Deanna Robinson Photography, http://www.deannarobinsonphotography.co.nz