Maternity clothes: 5 items to buy instead

When I go into the maternity section at many stores, I am frequently disenchanted. The selection is often small, the prices are too expensive and the overall fit isn't flattering. When I do end up purchasing maternity clothing, I feel wasteful. Those banded jeans simply aren't going to be something I wear in the future. These are all reasons why I limit my maternity clothing purchases. This is what I buy instead.

Tunics

Tunics are a great transitional piece. They can be worn before, during and after pregnancy. During the latter part of your pregnancy, they are big enough to look like a longer t-shirt. After you have your baby, they can help conceal post-delivery bulge.

Leggings

When your legs are tired, leggings are a lifesaver. Get comfortable cotton, spandex or viscose blends with a stretchy waist. Many yoga shops carry yoga tights that are breathable and expand without becoming stretched out. Wear leggings with long cardigans, under dresses and with tunics.

Belly Bands

These are bands of stretchy fabric that you can wear over pants or shorts. It is perfect for the first two trimesters when you can still wear regular jeans but don't want to fasten the top button. It's also good while you are losing baby weight. Finally, I like them because they are nice for wearing under shorter shirts.

Long Tanks

When I'm pregnant, I almost always start off with a long tank. Long tanks allow you to layer shorter shirts on top without having to worry about your belly showing if you reach up. Put a long cardigan on top for chilly days. Don't shy away from fitted tanks. Simply because you are pregnant doesn't mean you have to wear loose clothing. Again, pick fabrics that retain their shape so you can wear the tank post-pregnancy.

Empire Waist Dress

Empire waist dresses are roomy in the waist. Likewise, I love black maxi dresses in the warmer months. They show off your arms. In addition, they provide plenty of room for your belly to grow. In the colder months, leggings can be worn underneath with a cardigan on top.

Of course, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't buy any maternity clothing. However, keep in mind that you will not be pregnant forever. Thus, if you can borrow clothes, go for it. Also, try stores like Target and Old Navy for good deals. Overall, you don't want to spend a lot of money on clothing that you're going to be wearing for less than a year. The bottom line is to find clothing that makes you feel good, on the inside and outside.

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