23 March 2017

maternity basics: on a budget

Alright. As always I have to preface with the fact that I'm not an expert but I have strong opinions and high standards when it comes to quality and comfort a la maternity clothing. While I'm certainly not opposed to investing in pieces that will last several pregnancies and make you feel good - I've found that lots of retailers are coming out with maternity clothing that washes and wears really well AND won't cost a fortune. I used to overlook Gap but they've recently stepped up their maternity game and since they seem to run a weekly 40% sale and keep things in relatively decent stock - I'm a converted fan.

1. Jeans - I've tried designer maternity jeans and I do love them but was surprised to find that this new pair of Gap denim is every bit is great at a fraction of the price. The blue is sold out at the moment but if/when they bring them back I'll update the post and let you know. These will inevitably go on sale for 40% off (or more!) so exercise everyone's favorite virtue when contemplating a purchase.

2. shorts - I've been mostly opposed to maternity shorts and gotten away with dresses and skirts but the Florida weather has me singing a different tune and I'm really impressed with Gap's denim shorts and their twill shorts too. They stay put and don't make me feel like a frump muffin (technical term). Again, they WILL go on sale - don't pay full price!

3. support cami - I still love and wear my Blanqis and will probably start wearing them full time during the third trimester but for everyday wear during the latter half of my first trimester and the bulk of my second trimester I've been loving these Gap support camis. They are lightweight, stretchy, and don't pill in the wash. Another friendly reminder that they'll go on sale ... and soon.

4. linen pants - A nice alternative to shorts and cute with tank tops (or so I tell myself). I washed and dried these and was pleasantly surprised that they didn't shrink up to culottes. Also - SUPER comfortable which is key. I found these on super duper (88% off) sale on Amazon too - so worth checking Amazon on occasion!!

5. H & M striped jersey top with 3/4 length sleeves - There are very few maternity shirts with ruched sides that I like but this one? I love. I was wearing it in yesterday's post and ordered the next size up for the third trimester.

6. leggings - these aren't maternity but any of their high waisted styles have been my best friend (they fit kind of like a demi panel or you can roll them down - I don't love full paneled anything so I'm not help there) this entire pregnancy. I love how soft Zella leggings are but if you are in the market for support and leggings that won't sag, fall down, or lose their shape - I'm all about Fabletics. I DO have a pair of thick/dressier leggings from Loft (currently not in stock) that I like a lot and wear with tunics on occasion and if they come back in stock I'll let you know! Also, lots of my friends love their Blanqi leggings and maybe one of these days I'll hop on the full panel train ...

7. tanks - I've been a fan of these ever since Sebastian's pregnancy and still wear a couple that are 5+ years old. They've held up really well and sometimes I even wear them when I'm not pregnant because I love how stretchy they are.

8. basic tee - this "sleep top" is my favorite everything/every day top. It's super soft, long but not tunic length, and doesn't stretch out like some maternity t-shirts tend to do. I've washed and dried it over two (three?) dozen times and it still looks like I just bought it. I keep hoping it will come out in different colors but beggars can't be choosers. 

9. dresses - my favorite place to buy dresses for special occasions is ASOS (and they also have a great outlet inventory) because they make returns super easy (return label IN the box) - I have the navy version of this black dress and have gotten a ton of wear out of it. A lot of them are nursing friendly too. I do have to say that while not exactly budget-friendly this wrap dress is one of my favorite maternity dresses I've ever worn.

honorable (not pictured) mentions:

shapewear - I've found this generic/less expensive version to be every bit as great as the pricey one. Maybe even better? (I also found a great $8 pair at Target on clearance that's not online at the moment)

cardigan - not maternity but these often go on clearance (often as low as $6.99 in store) and look great with dresses and tunics.

That's all (lol) for now but I would LOVE to hear your favorites (especially in the swimsuit department!!!) if you've got them!


  1. bless you for this!! just this last week, i feel like grew out of all my clothes. i already have a pair of motherhood maternity jeans that i feel "eh" about but DC is going to be hot as hades all summer so i'm just going to survive until dress seasons. speaking of which, i was thinking today that i wanted some pregnancy spanx, since i wear regular spanx or bike shorts basically every time i wear a dress in DC.
    my only contribution to this conversation is that--after being hounded by facebook advertisements for four months--i finally caved when i got some 75% and subscribed to le tote. they do a maternity tote and it's incredible. basically netflix for clothes--they'll send you a bunch of stuff, you wear it as much or little as you want, send it back and they send you more stuff. since i'm finicky and also like to wear most things 3 times before forgetting about them completely, this has been really cool.
    okay, novella done! thank you, grace!

  2. Last year our gap maternity in store selection folded so I got some stuff on super sale...4 sweaters and 2 pair of jeans (in the $2-$5 range) and I love them!! Those pants are amazing for sure.

  3. I did two pregnancies in Hawaii and I just wore my regular bikinis with a SwimZip over it. The long sleeve regular shirt (not dress) swimzip was long enough to fit over my belly and then I didn't have to worry about lotioning the belly. (When I didn't wear my swimzip while pregnant, the underbelly and belly button would always burn ☹️.)

  4. I bought a rash guard tunic from Land's End and wore it with a bikini top for my entire pregnancy. They have side ties so as I got a bigger I could just let it out a little. I find they run a little big so if I bought my normal size and it fit my entire pregnancy.
    The only maternity brand of swimwear I've found that I really liked is Mermaid Maternity but they are pricey. They have bottoms that are like a demi panel and they were the most comfortable thing ever to wear under the rash guard or a tankini.

  5. these are great, but I LOVE the look of those shorts!

  6. My youngest is 4 and I'm sitting here wearing one of the Target maternity tanks under my tunic. I love them!

  7. Just had my 3rd baby and my Gap maternity jeans are the only leftovers from my previous pregnancy that I was able to wear.

    Gap maternity really does get it right.

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