Maternity fashion can be expensive and many maternity items you can wear only while pregnant. And there are not always the easiest eco-friendly options especially when you’re desperate for something to wear that fits, looks great, and is comfortable. This post is about making some kind maternity-wear choices without spending a ton of money and while being environmentally conscious at the same time. Of course, if you have friends who have been pregnant and are willing to lend you their maternity clothes, that is a fantastic eco-option. But here are three other tips for kind maternity fashion:
Tip #1: Invest in Some Maternity Essentials
Let’s be honest—when you’re pregnant, you’re inhabiting a totally different body. Things don’t fit the same way they do when you’re not pregnant. Items that are your favorite go-to comfort clothes—we’re talking bras, tanks, pants, etc.—may suddenly feel like medieval torture devices. To celebrate and accommodate the changes to your body, invest in some essentials.
Get one or two really great bras. Bella Materna is an independently owned company local to Seattle that makes amazing maternity and nursing bras designed with comfort, function and aesthetic appeal in mind. Produced entirely in the U.S. using non-toxic fabrics, these bras are a kind choice. Women love these bras so much that the company offers to convert the bras to regular bras after your pregnancy so that you can continue to wear them comfortably when you are no longer pregnant.
Purchase a bellyband. Bellybands, like these from Baby Be Mine, come in different colors and serve two amazing functions during pregnancy. First, they allow you to wear your normal pants unbuttoned well into your second trimester by holding your pants up and in place. This saves on having to buy maternity pants that fit at different stages of pregnancy. Second, a bellyband is also great as a layer under tops. As your belly grows, your shirts may not cover your belly completely and the bellyband allows you to wear your pre-pregnancy shirts for much longer through your pregnancy.
Buy a few basic tops. I am a huge fan of long tanks or camisoles as a bottom layer even for non-maternity fashion. For pregnancy, some basic undershirts, like this eco-friendly No Limit singlet from Boob, or some long waisted short- or long-sleeved t-shirts are a great investment.
Tip #2: Raid your own closet
Just because you’re pregnant does not mean you have to run out and buy a whole new wardrobe. Many of the clothes you already have may work just fine through most, if not all, of pregnancy. Looser tops, A-line or empire-waist dresses or tops, workout pants, leggings, wrap skirts—these are all items that can look great throughout pregnancy.
Most of my wardrobe comes from thrift stores and more often than not, I get home, only to realize that I’ve purchased a maternity dress or shirt or skirt without realizing it was maternity. Indeed, I end up wearing a lot of maternity clothes for a non-pregnant woman and it’s become a running joke amongst my family and close friends. This is really to say there are a ton of great, on-trend maternity clothes at thrift shops. Often, Goodwill or Salvation Army will have a separate maternity section where you can usually find things that are obviously maternity, like maternity jeans. When you outgrow your regular jeans paired with the bellyband, pick up a pair of maternity jeans or dress pants from the maternity section at the thrift stores. In general, though, you can find tons of great clothing at thrift stores that will work for pregnancy and beyond.
What tips do you have for affordable, kind maternity fashion?
About Katie: Katie Gillespie is a PhD student in Geography, working on a dissertation that looks at the lives of individual cows in the U.S. dairy industry. In her free time, she writes the Seattle-based blog Serenity in the Storm, which features vegan news, recipes, fashion and animal advocacy-related topics, she is a contributor at Our Hen House and MindBodyGreen.
Photo source: Brooke Ashley Photography