Shopping for Maternity Clothes can be amazing fun!

When to Buy Maternity Clothes

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Written by

Louise M

Whether you just found out you’re pregnant and you’re excited for everything that comes with it (including a new wardrobe) or you are months into your pregnancy and beginning to struggle to fit into your clothes (sweats and oversized jumpers have become your only option), finding maternity clothes that fit your specific needs can be a whirlwind.

Understanding when to buy maternity clothes can be tricky to navigate. As you may know, feeling good in your clothes is more important now than ever. So, finding the right clothes is essential for both confidence and comfortability.

We are glad to let you know that in recent years, maternity clothing brands are popping up all over the Internet. These are often founded by mothers who understand the struggle.  Many brands are also recognising the demand there is for trendy maternity clothes. Instead of generic white t-shirts and black midi-dresses, there are now clothes available to fit almost every style preference.

There are also a variety of ways to purchase maternity clothes. So, if you’re eco-conscious and concerned about buying a bunch of new clothes that you will only wear for less than a year – we have got you covered. 

With that in mind, here is the full breakdown of what to know when considering purchasing maternity clothes.

What are Maternity Clothes?

Maternity clothes are clothes worn by mothers usually at some stage of their pregnancy. The transition usually occurs after their regular clothes start to make them feel uncomfortable or just simply no longer fit.

During your pregnancy you will inevitably gain weight and your body will grow in various places. – Maternity clothes are made to make that experience a pleasant one.

These clothes are made with slight adjustments. As your body grows and little baby gets bigger and bigger, you may need more flexibility in certain areas. Often the alterations look something like looser fabric, stretchy elastic and bigger sizes.

Maternity clothes can also be worn after pregnancy whilst women are adjusting to how their body feels.

Plus, some maternity clothes can also come with breastfeeding qualities that provide easy access for breastfeeding your baby (like these). Which means women may continue to wear maternity clothes for a long time after giving birth.

When to Buy Maternity Clothes?

Unfortunately, as much as we would love to, we can not give you a specific date of when to buy maternity clothes. All bodies are different and each pregnancy journey is unique! You have to gauge your own body and how you feel.

Also, some women choose not to buy maternity clothes. They can either fit into their regular clothes or choose to simply buy clothing in bigger sizes.

Whereas other women may not have that option and need to purchase maternity clothing to fit their growing body. Either decision is great!  (Although, having the excuse to kit yourself out with a new wardrobe to celebrate this new stage of life is always fun).

With that in mind, there are a few signs to look out for that may indicate that maternity clothes will be a good option for you.

  • Your skin is irritated (often around the stomach area) from clothing that digs in.

  • Your shirts and jeans no longer button up.

  • Your baby bump is peeking out of shirts.

  • You bloat more when wearing items such as jeans or leggings.

  • You feel uncomfortable.

If you are experiencing any of the above then it’s time to go shopping!

How Should You Budget?

Deciding your budget for maternity clothes can be a tricky task.

Oftentimes, maternity clothes are not worn longer than a year, so spending a lot of money seems unnecessary in most cases.

A general guide is to buy two quality pairs of maternity jeans that go with everything. Then, a couple of T-shirts that stretch across your bump and a few ‘fancier’ options for special occasions such as dresses, cardigans, blazers, and jackets.

Depending on where your pregnancy falls in the year, you may need some seasonal items. Remember to purchase summer dresses to keep you cool or a winter coat and a few sweatshirts if your pregnancy falls heavily in winter.

The most important thing to remember when buying maternity clothes on a budget is to try to pick pieces that are interchangeable and versatile. – The type of items that match everything. For example, stray away from bold patterns and colours and opt for neutral, everyday pieces instead.

How to Find the Right Maternity Clothes for You?

Fashion styles are subjective. This means finding the right maternity clothes for you is highly dependant on your style preferences. – You will probably have to do some searching to find the brands you love.

That being said, there are a couple of factors to look out for when purchasing maternity clothes. (And you may have to make a style sacrifice in the name of comfortability.)

Quick tip! Always choose the clothes that feel right to your body. Do not feel as though you have to live up to expectations that you see online. If you want to wear sweats all day, go for it! If long dresses are your vibe, rock that instead!

What Should You Look for in Maternity Clothes?

Maternity clothing businesses really have broadened their horizons over the last decade or so. You can now easily access almost any item you are searching for.

From maternity underwear, over the bump jeans, dresses, workout clothes, and even nightgowns. – You will be spoiled for choice.

There are a couple of key questions to think about whilst trying on maternity clothes in order to maximise longevity and get the most out of your budget.

Keep in mind, if you make the correct purchases, these clothes can be stored and used again for baby number two or given to friends and family (but more on that later).

Question one: Is it stretchy?

Maternity clothes should be stretchy in almost all areas. You never quite know how your body will grow and the last thing you want to do is have to buy more maternity clothes at the end of your pregnancy.

The material to look out for is jersey fabric, which is an extremely flexible yet flattering fabric.

Question two: Is it see-through?

Due to the stretch that comes with maternity clothes, this can sometimes lead to the material appearing quite transparent. If you are shopping in store, bring a friend who is happy to double check for you. If you’re trying on clothes at home, be sure to check the mirror before heading out – just in case!

Question Three: Can I still Wear These Clothes After Pregnancy?

Maternity clothing brands are ever-expanding and some high-quality pieces have nursing features built in. If you plan to breastfeed, searching for specific designs that have breastfeeding access will be ideal for you. (Although potentially more pricey.)

Question Four: How do I Feel Wearing These Clothes?

If you tried a new dress on whilst in the changing room before you were pregnant and you didn’t fall in love with how you felt in it, you would have not purchased it.

The same rule applies here.

In this instance, try not to panic or impulse buy. Impulse purchases can often lead to a wardrobe full of clothes you dislike. Or even worse, a trip back to the store to return them.

If you have asked yourself these questions and are happy with the answers then, congrats! You have found the maternity clothes that are right for you.

How do You Find Your Clothes Size?

If you’re a first-time mama, knowing your size in maternity clothes will be challenging.

The general rule of the thumb is that if you are a size 8, then in pregnant maternity clothes you would typically be a maternity size 8.

However, of course, it doesn’t work out that way with every brand. (A particularly common issue for women whether you are pregnant or not).

It really comes down to where your pregnancy weight is.

If this is your first baby, it may be better to visit a store to try on clothes rather than purchasing online.

A great way to look at maternity clothes though, is to just go off of how you feel wearing them instead of searching for your size. Each woman is different with different proportions, you shouldn’t judge your body by a number.

Where do You Find Maternity Clothes?

Whilst you can find maternity clothes in regular High Street stores there has been a substantial increase in ethical and sustainable brands popping up all over the Internet. These are usually a little more pricey but if you can afford it, purchasing from these stores over fast fashion brands ensures that you will receive high-quality pieces.

That being said, not everyone can afford to choose that option. Therefore, some of the popular stores where you can find cheaper maternity clothes include H&M and Dorothy Perkins.

Should You Purchase Maternity Clothes Online?

If you don’t mind taking the risk of potentially returning the clothes, then purchasing maternity clothes online is a great option and fun activity to do whilst at home.

You can head to places such as Amazon and ASOS for maternity clothes that arrive quickly.

There are also often sales on websites such as ASOS where you can find yourself a good deal. Amazon tends to be slightly more expensive but next day delivery is a great feature if you’re in a pinch and need something to wear fast.

If you’re particular about not buying fast fashion brands, as unfortunately maternity brands are often clothes that end up in landfills, then you can head to eco-friendly brands that will likely be more expensive but will have less of a negative effect on the planet.

Some great examples of these include,  Nobody‘s Child and Isabella Olivia. These brands work really hard to make clothing that looks and feels good too. They also have items which are suitable to wear after pregnancy for easy breastfeeding access.

Should You Rent Maternity Clothes?

Another viable option if you are late into your pregnancy or looking for a sustainable option, is renting maternity clothes.

Some websites that provide a renting service include Isabella Olivia and Bellas and babes that have pre-loved maternity clothes that you can either buy or rent.

This process is actually more simple than it seems. It works similar to how you would normally purchase clothes online, you would just have to return them once you have finished using them.

An exciting aspect about this option is that you can switch out for different styles and sizes throughout your pregnancy and can shop without the burden of knowing that you have to keep these pieces.

What Should You do With Maternity Clothes After Birth?

After the baby is born, you can continue wearing maternity clothes until you feel comfortable enough to transition back into your regular clothes. Some people spend a year in maternity clothes whereas others mothers are eager to return back to their previous style.

When that time comes for you,  there are multiple options for you to choose from so that you do not have a collection of maternity clothes taking up valuable space in your wardrobe.

However, if you have a feeling that baby number two is on the way soon, then they might be worth keeping around for a while. Just so you do not have to go through the process of knowing when to buy maternity clothes again.

Aside from gifting maternity clothes to expecting mothers in your life. There are two other options.

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Selling Maternity Clothes Online

A great way to gain some of your money back after you have finished with your maternity clothes is to sell them online.

There are various websites where you can put your maternity clothes up for sale easily. Or, if you plan to potentially have another child and want these pieces to stay within your circle you could use a renting service where you rent the clothes to other mothers. Again, you can find websites online that provide this service in a non-hassle way.

This option can be time consuming as uploading multiple photos and descriptions is not a quick task. Depending on how many items that you brought, this could take several hours.

But you’ll have extra money to treat yourself with so it may be a task worth taking on.

Donating Clothes to Charity shops

A really amazing way to give back to mothers is to donate the clothes. You can do this in local charity shops or find specific women’s charities online.

With a simple Google search of, “donating women’s maternity clothes near me,” you can often find clothing banks that are accepting donations. However, it is best to ring them in advance as they can sometimes be overloaded with donations.

Not only is this option fulfilling but it’s also quick and easy to do!

This option is also a pleasant way to celebrate transitioning from pregnancy and embarking on the new journey of motherhood. 

Key Takeaways

To conclude, like anything with pregnancy, there is no way of knowing when to buy maternity clothes. There are, however, some tell-tale signs that may mean you may be more comfortable in maternity clothes than your regular items. For example, your bump is peeking through your shirt, you feel extremely bloated or you are struggling to fit into your regular clothes.

Maternity clothes are created in a way that is comfortable for women to wear throughout their entire pregnancy.  These clothes should adapt for all types of body shapes and baby bumps. The most important thing to remember when considering when to buy maternity clothes is how you feel.

Having confidence is important, especially as your body grows and changes and the clothes that you wear have a direct impact on how you feel. You shouldn’t buy into fashion trends that you see online or purchase items that you think a pregnant woman should wear.

Do you have any fun stories of trying to find the right clothes during pregnancy? Or did you just steal your Partners clothes?

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I'm the person who wrote this

Louise M

I have been writing Professionally in the ‘Family Field’ for 10 Years now, and have also published several Series of Children’s books…I’m hoping to publish many more! In my past life, I spent 10 years working in the UK as a Primary School teacher, and loved every last minute of it!

I made the decision to retire from Professional teaching upon the arrival of my Beautiful twins, and love writing about the challenges I have had with raising them!

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