Fresh (maternity) duds

I’ve never been trendy or fashionable or fashion-forward, per say, but I’m trying not to look a frightful mess during this pregnancy.

That’s been somewhat challenging given how little maternity clothing I own . . . and how little I want to invest in it. After losing almost 40 lbs. in 2013-14, I had to replace nearly everything in my wardrobe — which hurt in the pocketbook and the psyche.

It might sound ridiculous, but imagine if all of your favorite pants, tops and dresses no longer fit. Or like everything vanished overnight. Even though I wanted to get healthier, of course, I never considered the fact that my favorite Levi’s — a pair I’ve lovingly worn since college — would no longer be wearable, and I’d have to drop $40 a pop trying to find a replacement in my new size. (And I still haven’t. The angst.)

I’ve been fighting with my wardrobe for years. Before Weight Watchers, I struggled to find clothing that made me feel confident. I hated the way everything hugged and spent most of my time pulling at my clothing. Post-Weight Watchers, I felt great getting dressed . . . when I actually had something to get dressed in. I started searching for cute, affordable clothing to replace nearly everything I owned. And I was making good progress!

Then I got pregnant.

Maternity wear is an entirely different animal. In the beginning, I purchased basic short-sleeved tops and camisoles to wear under open-front, non-maternity sweaters. I bought stretchy black slacks for work from Old Navy and have two pairs of maternity jeans I like from Sears. Christmas brought some new tops from my parents, sister and husband, but until this weekend? Well, I basically rotated the same half-dozen tops for work and have been wearing one of two sweaters after-hours.

The thing is, I’m trying to be frugal. Though I want to feel good, of course, it’s hard to justify dropping hundreds of dollars on clothing I won’t be wearing come summer. My pregnancy has been a back-and-forth between wanting to invest in nice duds that will make me feel confident and trying to save money in general . . . so. I’ve sought basics I can pair all kinds of ways and tried getting creative with my wardrobe — but there’s only so much you can do without shelling out more dough.

Which is why I nearly burst with happiness on Sunday. My brother-in-law’s cousin kindly told my sister about baby gear she is ready to offload now that her youngest is two, and — as an aside — mentioned she had some maternity wear she’d be happy to pass along.

Friends, she came through big time. I’m talking 25 tops in various styles and colors for work and weekends, most from Old Navy or Motherhood Maternity — the two stores I’ve been visiting regularly. I honestly could have wept.

I’m wearing one of the new (red!) tops today and honestly feel like a million bucks. I didn’t realize how drab my clothing had gotten, too: all grays and blacks. Very monochromatic. I love those tones, but as we inch closer to spring? I want to branch out a little. Maybe bring in some purple and mint green, you know? Something uplifting.

I think the lesson here is to put things out into the universe, be patient and be gracious. When you least expect it, someone might show up with a trash bag full of fresh duds and expect nothing in return.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to inspect my haul. I just like petting them.

If you’re like me and on the hunt for maternity wear, I’ve had good luck with the tops from Kohl’s (the Oh Baby by Motherhood line) and Motherhood Maternity. Sears is the only department store that actually carries maternity wear in-store, and I love the maternity jeans my husband found there!

I browse Zulily’s maternity section pretty faithfully, but I haven’t always loved what I’ve ordered . . . mostly because it’s too short. If you keep in mind that their “tunics” can’t actually be worn with just leggings, making them tops, they have cute items! And they’re not all solid colors. Why are maternity tops all in solid colors?! Is there something offensive about a pregnant lady in a print?

15 thoughts on “Fresh (maternity) duds

    • Very true, Charise — thanks! I should have mentioned that, as I have found nice items at Goodwill. I wish our local store separated maternity versus regular clothing — that would be less frustrating. Right now, it’s like looking through a needle in a haystack . . . but it’s kind of fun, too!

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    • I really like their styles there, but I have not had good luck with the clothing fitting me well. I typically wear a medium/large in maternity wear, but even the extra large has felt too snug . . . and I still have a few months to go! πŸ™‚


  1. Love this! My cousin-in-law gave me two bags full of maternity clothes recently, too. Now I’m just waiting for most of it to fit! I seem to be in-between maternity sizes at the moment where one size will be just a little too snug but the next size up is too loose for now. I’ve been buying regular clothes a few sizes bigger but it’s mostly been loose-fitting tees and leggings. The only luck I’ve had with maternity clothes so far have come from Pink Blush (great for jeans, I’ve found). She sent some really cute stuff, too, so I’m hoping I can wear it in the next few weeks!


    • I’ve heard good things about Pink Blush, Stephanie! They ran a sale around Black Friday that had me salivating, but we were so early in our pregnancy that I couldn’t justify spending all that money on clothes I couldn’t even wear at the time. Sigh. Now I kind of regret it, but I’m also glad I waited . . . the bag was all the sweeter! πŸ™‚


  2. I am dreading having to spend money on maternity clothes. A lot of it for me is psychological – like you, I lost a bunch of weight on WW, so having to buy bigger clothes is messing with my head a bit. A friend has promised me a bunch of stuff after she has her baby in April, so I’m hoping she comes through with some good pieces!


    • It’s definitely psychological as well as financial, Erin — I understand! As much as I’ve been embarrassed to admit it, even to myself, gaining weight during pregnancy has been tough. It’s more than worth it, of course — but not easy. Hope you get some great hand-me-downs, too! πŸ™‚


  3. I definitely feel your pain. For about a year I had been trying to lose weight, but to no avail. I decided to purchase three fantastic pairs of Levi’s jeans over Christmas and, of course, I finally managed to lose some weight! Now the jeans look quite baggy, and I just know if I go and buy a smaller size I will end up putting the weight back on!
    It’s so lovely of your brother-in-law’s cousin to give you all her maternity clothes. Plus, it will come in handy for any future mini-Meg’s! πŸ˜€
    Aly β™₯


  4. Oh, I had issues with maternity clothes too. I also lost a ton of weight before my pregnancy, so I did NOT enjoy seeing my clothes getting tight after finally going down a bunch of sizes. In fact, I’m still in maternity clothes right now, 4.5 weeks post-delivery. I haven’t lost the baby weight yet and don’t want to buy a whole new wardrobe again in a new size since I just did that after I lost the weight and then again when I got pregnant and needed maternity clothes. I found the majority of my maternity clothes at Goodwill (they separated them out) and at Kid to Kid which is a consignment shop that sells baby stuff and maternity clothes!

    So glad you got a ton of clothes for free! It’s not fun having to drop a lot of money on things you will only be wearing for a short time.


  5. Yep, it’s difficult finding clothes that match you as well as make you feel beautiful, but don’t stress it! I found lots of dresses that I’ll adjust afterwards, so I feel like I invested the money πŸ˜€


  6. Oh girl. Maternity clothes! Now that I’ve had two babies in two different seasons, I’m hoping I’m covered…except I haven’t shed all my weight from #2 and I fear that my pants won’t fit me throughout the next pregnancy. But I remember going out once and breaking out into tears, driving to sonic for a giant ice cream, and hiding in bed watching Law and Order SVU for the rest of the afternoon. It was so difficult finding clothes on a budget and that I liked. Gap actually came in for me–I didn’t look there initially because I didn’t want to spend a ton of cash, but they were having a HUGE sale and I was able to get a great steal. Motherhood Maternity, Old Navy, and Target are my other favorites. How lucky that you were able to use a friend’s wardrobe!!


  7. That’s fantastic! I’m so glad she came through right when you needed her. It’s so hard to justify spending a ton of money on maternity clothes when you know you won’t wear them too long.


  8. Just found your blog (which I love!) and totally feel your pain with this post! So pleased you got a surprise delivery of mood-boosting clothes. I’m 19 weeks with my second and not planning on having anymore. The idea of spending more money on maternity clothes that I’ll only wear for another 5 months or so pains me, but, oh I do ache for some uplifting retail therapy! Maybe I should ‘bank’ the spending opportunities for after I’ve given birth?!


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