Finding maternity wear is easier than ever– most major retail chains now have maternity lines, the Internet gives you endless choices of style and colors. But how do you pick shirts that will be a good value and serve you for your whole pregnancy? Here are some tips:
Start with the basics. You need some fashion in your life, of course, but start with the most important things: a shirt long enough to cover the maternity panel of pants, and that fits well enough in the bust that you don’t flash everyone when you go to tie your shoe.
Go for your pre-pregnancy size. Most maternity clothes are in small, medium and large, but what that means can vary by brand, so try stuff on first (or make sure the store has a liberal return policy).
Avoid synthetic fabrics. A little bit of spandex is good for stretch, but 100% polyester will possibly chafe, make you perspire and cause a rash.
Shop price. You need decent clothes but you’ll only be in maternity for about six months. Even maternity businesswear can be found in big-box discount shops these days.
Don’t be afraid to return. Keep the tags on clothes until you try them on at home, and keep the receipts until the item has been though the wash.
Go for high necklines. Your bust will expend as your pregnancy progresses, so a neckline that seems a little high now will help prevent over-exposure in the future.
Check the length. From the first trimester expect to grow out at least five inches — pick shirts that will still be long enough to cover your bump and any maternity panels in your pants.
Consider going straight to nursing tops. Today’s nursing tops are so subtle about their nursing technology that you really can wear them from maternity to postpartum and beyond. So if you find a nursing top you like even if you’re only 16 weeks you may as well go ahead and buy it, as long as it’s something that will work in multiple seasons.