Saturday, May 26, 2012

Maternity Clothes on a Dime

Now that I am starting to outgrow {or fit too tightly in} some of my regualar clothes, I have started pulling out the ol' maternity clothes tubs.  I have a very limited selection of summer maternity wear, for a couple of reasons. 

The last time I was pregnant:
1.  It was mostly during winter months.
2.  I wore scrubs to work every day.  Therefore needing much less "real people" clothing.
3.  I was lazy.  {Read- most nights I came home from work and transferred directly to sweats.}

I have pulled out what I can from those tubs and I'm stretching {figuratively and probably literally} my creativity and resourcefulness with my other clothes.

Outfitting one's closet with maternity clothes can be tiresome and expensive.  But it doesn't have to be.

My absolute, hands down favorite article of clothing, which I am certain will stick around for almost my entire (if not entire) pregnancy are the Old Navy Jersey Stretch Tanks, or Tamis.  This tank has modest chest coverage and is also longer than other tank styles.  I am someone who wears a tank under my shirt every day, so I definitely love these.  I own a ridiculous number of these in every color they have stocked in the past few years.  Before pregnancy, I rarely wore these on their own because I don't like my clothes fitting too closely to my body.  (I'm sure they looked fine, I'm just weird.  Plus, lots of other people wear them alone.)  But, since my belly has started making its grand appearance, I have stepped out of my comfort zone and I'm sporting these by themselves!  Usually I layer 2 together for smoothness and an extra pop of color.  They go so well with my newly made t-shirt skirts for a comfy, on-the-go look.  I know I will be especially grateful for this large collection once we hit Saipan!

Challenge #1:  Go through your tank collection and see which ones might work throughout your pregnancy.  Depending on the material, you may have to worry about stretching some out.  But, the ON Tamis have been through many shapes and sizes with me and always go back to their original form.

Another regular item I have enjoyed turning into maternity are a couple nicer style sleeveless tops which are supposed to tie in the back.  I picked them up on Target Clearance last fall in preparation for our Saipan move.  Lucky for me, I can fit in them right now. (Yay for wearing loose clothing pre-pregnancy!)  One little trick I tried the other day and LOVED- instead of tying in the back, I tie in the front, off to one side.  This helps accentuate my little baby bump instead of just looking chubby!  I have received numerous compliments on these tops and I also look forward to wearing them regularly again one day!

Along with these couple tops, I am also glad that tunic-style tops are still in fashion.  Talk about getting good mileage out of a piece of clothing!  Something that is supposed to look loose and flowy while not pregnant means you have lots of growing room in the same shirt.  Chance are it will still look cute as your bump starts to fill the space.

Challenge #2:  Test out some of your favorite tops that could possibly be styled or accessorized differently to work as early to mid-maternity shirts.  This could buy you a few months of extra wear before having to make the switch to "real" maternity clothes.

By some miracle, I am still able to fit into all my pre-preggo pants, shorts, skirts, etc.  (It's not really a miracle...I am keeping a closer watch on my food intake and exercizing much more consistently this time around).  I am in love with any yoga band bottoms I own.  Unlike my jeans and other bottoms that zip/button, yoga bands do not cut into my tummy and always help round out the bump.  I may be the only person left on earth wearing gauchos, and I'm OK with that.  I have loved them since the first day they appeared on the racks and I have never looked back.  Combined with my t-shirt skirts and other skirts with similar waist bands, I can coast through my pregnancy in comfort and style.  (Not to mention, they are airy and cool.  Major pluses when moving to an island...)

I also have a little trick for extending the life of pants when they start feeling uncomfortable while buttoned.  My friend taught this one to me during my first pregnancy, and you may already know it.  Take a rubberband (or toddler hair band, in my case), loop it through the button hole of your pants and secure around the button.  That little bit of "give" takes your fav jeans a long way.  (Keep an eye on your zipper though, mine tends to creep down throughout the day...)

Challenge #3:  Try on your pants/capris/shorts to see which pairs fit everywhere BUT the closure and test the rubber band theory for a little extra life.

Another one of my favorite tricks is to purchase one size up in a few clothing staples.  I have been stocking up on ON tanks in one size larger so they will fit later in my pregnancy.  The added bonus being, after the baby comes and before I can fit my pre-maternity clothes, at least I'm OUT of maternity clothes! ;-)

Challenge #4:  Keep an eye out for good deals or sales on your favorite staple items and put back a few in one size larger for the end of your pregnancy.  Old Navy has a $2, $4, $6 tank sale going on this Memorial Day Weekend.  I just scored several new tanks to add to the rotation, and I will be able to use them post partum too!

I know I will sooner or later end up in all "real" maternity clothes, but I am glad to get some extended use out of some "regular" favorites in the mean time.  Do you have a favorite trick or tip for making regular clothes work as maternity?

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