Tuesday, August 18, 2015


When I found out I was pregnant, I rushed out to the nearest Destination Maternity store since surely I would need multiple pairs of shorts with giant elastic bands that covered my (at the time) barely noticeable bump, a maternity swimsuit, and countless other clothing items that had specifically been designed for the next few months.

I perused all my favorite haunts for maternity sections and even checked out online retailers.  I did all this before anyone else could even tell I was pregnant, but I just knew I should be prepared.  Here's what I've learned looking back at each purchase now that I'm 36 weeks along.  Some items have been real winners and others I wish I would have put back on the rack.

I've broken the purchases out into two sections: Maternity and Non-Maternity, since some of the best buys were not geared toward those of us who are preggo.

The thing I've been most surprised about during this pregnancy (in terms of clothing that is) is that I could get away with wearing some of my pre-pregnancy clothes and even clothes from the non-maternity section of my favorite stores.  The key is to find the right pieces that have enough elastic to fit my expanding belly as the months progressed.  The plus is that a lot of these items will still be cute after I give birth.

Lucky for all the pregnant ladies out there, elastic is IN!  Take your pick of elastic shorts in cute colors, skirts with elastic waistbands, and dresses that have a nice amount of give.  It really has expanded our options.  The key is to find a piece of clothing that has a nice amount of stretch and then size up.  Here's what I've been wearing during my 3rd trimester.

  • Elastic waistband shorts--Great Buys
Blue // Striped
The key on the elastic waistband shorts is to find ones that have elastic waistbands around the ENTIRE waistband.  Some of them may just have elastic in the back, and I haven't found those to work as well for me as my stomach has grown to the size of a basketball.  

I picked up these two pairs of shorts in a size larger than what I normally wear for $5 a piece when they were on sale at Old Navy.  Talk about a steal!  For now, I'm wearing them lower so they hit under my big belly, but I'm hoping they'll still be cute next summer.

The most fun shorts I've been wearing were a find at TJ Maxx for $10.  They are super stretchy, and I loved the fun pattern.  I've really been loving the pom pom shorts trend this summer, so I decided to add my own pom pom trim.  I'll be back later in the week with a super simple tutorial.

I liked having a few options for shorts that were comfortable but still fun to wear this summer.

  • Romper--Great Buy
Who says you can't wear a cute romper while pregnant?  While they do make some maternity rompers, I found this one at Old Navy (on sale again) and was surprised that it was a little longer in length than other rompers and fit just below my belly.  It's a little harder getting a one piece off for my frequent bathroom breaks, but still a fun buy.


  • Traditional Maternity Shorts (Over the belly band)--Regret
I bought a pair of over the belly band shorts early on, thinking that they were really loose fitting and would last throughout the pregnancy.  However, I didn't realize there were a lot more options out there that didn't include pulling an extra giant piece of fabric over your belly in the hot summer months.  Also, while these started out loose, they are now tight in the thighs and uncomfortable.  They would be my one item that was unnecessary.

  • Updated Maternity Jean Shorts--Good Buy
A few stores offer a different form of maternity pant that has a side panel extender.  These look like regular pants, but have a lot of give in the waist.  I wore these through my 5th month.  They were super cute and made me feel stylish, but as I got into the 3rd trimester, they just got too tight.  I've always had a preference towards loose fitting clothing, though, so I could see others really loving these until the end of pregnancy.  For me, they were a nice in between stage 


  • Maternity Dresses--Good Buys
Asos has a great maternity section.  There are some pricier things, but a lot of inexpensive items as well.  A lot of other maternity websites were so overpriced, I felt.  I ordered two maternity dresses from here--one for a wedding (that I also wore for my baby shower) and a casual one.  Both were on sale and fit well.  

I also bought a few tank tops and shirts for work and just know that my wardrobe is fairly limited right now.

My biggest takeaway was how I really didn't need a ton of maternity options to get me through.  I know other people told me this, but I was a little bit skeptical.  It helped that stretchiness is in right now and that I don't have a formal dress code at work.  My biggest challenge has been finding a pair of jeans.  I just gave up on that hunt since I was pregnant mostly in the summer.  I'm sure fall jeans shopping will be fun:)  

Anything that you found super helpful you would add to the list?  Anything you bought and then regretted?


  1. I have those Old Navy shorts in black and they are so comfortable!! I wish I would have thought to tell my sister about them when she really needed them. Oops. You get cuter and cuter by the day. I still need to give you your gift!

    26 and Not Counting

  2. I agree, it's best not to buy too much. You look fantastic, healthy and happy, and you've chosen your clothes wisely. It's lovely to see you looking so well. Look after yourself Kari, CJ xx

  3. I've preemptively bought maternity clothes :) but I think I've been pretty smart. I had some reward money at Gap from using my credit card and combined with a 40% off everything sale day, I was able to get 3 maternity tank tops (white, grey, black), a short sleeve white maternity tshirt, long sleeve white maternity tshirt, 2 pairs of black maternity leggings and maternity jeans in the same style I normally wear at Gap for super cheap. You can buy maternity basics anywhere, but I think the Gap stuff is a nice happy medium of style and price especially becuase they often have 40% off days.

  4. saving this for later! good to know :) my friend just had her 3rd a few months ago and donated me two huge bags of maternity clothes (not that i'm pregnant haha) that i'll need to go through one day!

  5. Amen to the elastic waist shorts! Great for before and after the baby arrives. I've lived in about 3 pairs for the last 3 months. You look amazing and so happy!

  6. Loving the tips- these are great for moms-to-be! Going to send it to my ol' college roomie; she's expecting and has no idea what to shop for!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  7. Good tips, i'm 38 weeks now and I've managed to get through my pregnancy with very few additions to my wardrobe other than maternity leggings and a few dresses. I spend my life in dresses any way so just stuck to those with lots of room/lots of stretch. I'm now starting to think about what to wear after, especially since i'll be nursing and dresses in public just won't cut it! I've bought a few nursing tops and stretchy skirts which i'm hoping mixed with skirts, tops, shirts and cardigans I already own will get me through autumn with a newborn! Have you thought about what you'll be doing?! x


I truly appreciate each comment! I love hearing from you guys and treasure every one. I respond to comments via e-mail if you have yours enabled. This is going to be a great day!