Maternity clothes vs regular clothes – modify or buy?

No matter if you want to look nice and sexy or just need clothes that actually fit you’ll probably have to acquire some maternity clothes. Most of us get pretty round in the end. But what is smart to buy and when is it possible to to use the clothes you already have? When to modify and when to buy?

If you have the time you can scour the web for bargains or search the stores for sales. There are some DIY tips online if you want to sew your own clothes. Although, in my experience that’s usually not cheaper. This list doesn’t cover that. It’s for time savers and impractical people (like me). Here you will find easy fixes and smart purchases.

The hair tie trick – use your old jeans

Believe it or not but with two hair ties you can work magic with your jeans and postpone the pregnancy pants purchase. If your belly doesn’t get too big and you got a pair of low cuts you might even be able to skip the pregnancy pants all together if you want to. It’s super easy, check out the image for instructions.

I didn’t really love the hair ties, but I know a lot of other pregnant ladies who preached it. It probably depends on body type and preferences. I just thought it meant a lot of pulling-up-the-pants-dance as the belly got bigger.

maternity clothes_ the hair tie trick

It probably works just fine until at least mid second trimester. But after trying on your first maternity pants/jeans with the soft panel (over the tummy) there’s probably no going back. At least not for me. Those pants are too damn comfortable and they look like regular jeans or whatever style you prefer. They’re also perfect after child birth when your body’s slowly changing back to normal.

If you want to give the hair ties a go, but worry about showing of unbuttoned pants or skirts the solution is called the Bella Band. It’s a stretchy fabric band (much like the panel on pregnancy pants) that you wear around your waist over the buttons and zippers. It also helps keeping the garments in place. Hide it or use it to create a layered look like any other tank top.

Bring back the knot

After a while all your shirts will start to feel/be a bit short. Instead of buying new shirts try tying a knot over a tight dress or a high cut pencil skirt. You will look great (even with a little bit of extra weight).

Plan your purchases

Even if you don’t want to spend any money on maternity clothes I think you can make your life a lot easier (and a lot more fun) if you give yourself a small budget. If you just plan your purchases right you’ll get a lot of variation.

My advice is to invest in some stretchy skirts, pregnancy jeans and long t-shirts or tank tops. Choose basic colors that goes with the coats, shirts, blazers, and jackets that you already have. Then start mixing and matching! Don’t forget to check your partners wardrobe, he or she might have something you can use. Especially if he/she wears a bigger size than you. Larger shirts and blouses looks great as tunics. All of this will obviously not set you back that much.

You won’t survive without maternity leggings

I didn’t include the maternity leggings in the previous paragraph because they deserve a separate section. In the battle of Maternity clothes vs regular clothes the maternity wear definitely win here. If you don’t want to buy anything else, just buy some maternity leggings. You can use them throughout your pregnancy, they look awesome mixed with tons of outfits and they are soooo comfortable.

Maternity leggings

Check out Destination Maternity if you want to look for a pair of leggings. A Pea in the Pod has really stylish leggings and Motherhood Maternity more basic priceworthy ones.

Indulge in accessories instead

This is a continuation of the last two paragraphs. If you don’t want to buy a lot of new stuff but still want to look nice and a little trendy – focus on the accessories! When you wear basic clothes and colors it’s super neat with big necklaces, earrings, bracelets, watches, colorful shoes, handbags, shawls, glasses, purses, etc. Mix and combine and you’ll get a fresh look every day. And you can keep wearing everything even after the baby is born and you’ll start wearing your regular clothes again. Zero waste!

If you don’t know my friend stretch, get acquainted

If you already own a lot of clothes with stretch just keep wearing them. Most of your stretchy shirts, skirts and dresses will do absolutely fine throughout your pregnancy. If you don’t, use this thought when you’re shopping. It means that you are not confined to the sometimes narrow shelves of the maternity section in the store. Just opt for clothes with lycra and spandex and you’re home free.

Another tip is buying fit and flare dresses. You know the empire silhouette. They’re perfect for pregnancy bellies, I-just-gave-birth-bellies and regular bellies.

Go big or go home

While on the subject of buying “regular” clothes instead of maternity clothes – a lot of mams-to-be prefer shopping regular clothes one or two sizes larger. I have to say I’m not a fan of this idea myself. The pants I bought only fit me for a short period of time (I guess I got bigger than I expected) and some of the other clothes just made me look huge. To look nice one has to dress according to the shape of the body, not just think of sizes. The apple and the pear needs different clothes! If you still want to try it I recommend going for clothes that still are a little tighter and fitted (to avoid the tent look).

Belts, belts, belts

Using belts is one of the best and cheapest tricks to transform your clothes when you’re pregnant. Wear it under or over the bump over dresses and long sweaters/tops/tanks. It will give you i nice shape and a stylish look.

Bra and money extenders

Did you know that it’s not just your boobs that get bigger during your pregnancy, your torso or rib cage can also expand. The growing baby and the hormone relaxin that loosens the ligaments in your body causes the widening. Both these facts will probably force you to buy or alter your bras. New lingerie will obviously cost some money and you don’t want to make the investment twice, as you get bigger.

bra extender

The solution is a nifty little thing called bra extender or bra-back extender. They are cheap and comes in different colors and number of hooks. And they’re really easy to use and swap between your bras.

This works until your cup size has grown as well. This could be a few months or never. Whenever it happens I strongly recommend finding super comfy well fitting bras that doubles as nursing bras. If you’re new to the nursing bra world, check out my guide

Nursing bras – how to choose the right one

Got some tricks up your sleeve?

So, maternity clothes vs regular clothes? What do you prefer? Do you have any smart tips to share with the rest of us? Write a comment and let us know. If you want to check out some more money saving hacks for maternity wear take a few minutes and watch this great video.

Stay cool ladies!