Around 20 weeks of pregnancy is a good time to shop for versatile clothes that you can wear in both the next months and for a few months postpartum. You’ll most likely be the size you are now for about the first two months after the baby’s born.
Good clothing buys include:
- Maternity t-shirts in neutral colors.
- Draping dresses that fit in the shoulders (pockets are a bonus). You can also go ahead and shop for nursing dresses and shirts in your second half of pregnancy, many are quite flattering and completely hide their nursing features.
- Jeans or pants with elastic in the sides. If you buy pants in early pregnancy, make sure you have at least two inches of room in the hips to allow for second-trimester pelvic spread. As you get larger, maternity pants or jeans with a tummy panel will become more comfortable.
- Comfortable cotton bras with a flap that converts them into nursing bras. If you’re large-breasted, look for supportive wide straps. Only buy one or two bras at a time, because your breasts will continue to grow. It’s better to pay a bit more for a quality bra at a store that offers personalized fittings and specialized maternity and nursing bras than to play hit-or-miss with the selection at a discount store or online. Or, try on bras at a full-service boutique, then see if you can find a better deal online for the brands and sizes that fit you best.
- Button-down shirts long enough to cover your pants’ elastic and panels. (You can unbutton bottom buttons if the shirt gets tight.) These shirts can also be used for nursing later.
- Bikini-style maternity underwear.
- Skirts with elastic waists and asymmetrical hems.
- Maternity hose or an adjustable garter belt with stockings.
- Small hats and sunglasses to protect your face from the sun.
- Flat-soled, slip-on shoes.
Bad buys include:
- Non-maternity plus sizes—they’ll fit your stomach, but will drape badly everywhere else.
- Thong-style and/or synthetic-fabric underwear; both can enable urinary tract infections.
- Over-the-stomach underwear, which tends to be too big for postpartum use.
- Bras made of synthetic fabrics, which can cause skin problems such as eczema and nipple irritation.
- Normal, non-pregnant panty hose or tights, which are sure to roll down at the waist and/or bag at your ankles.
- Shirts too short to cover expandable panels on maternity pants.
- Wide-legged pants, which will make you look wide all over.
- A-line tops, which will start to look like tents as months go on.
- Finger and toe rings, anklets, and cuff bracelets—if they fit now, they’ll be too small in a few months and too big after the baby’s born.
- New piercings or tattoos—they’ll bleed more and be more prone to infection.
ps. Check out our Pinterest page for maternity design, fabric and print inspirations!