Having doubts about buying maternity outfits? Discover 5 myths and misconceptions about maternity clothes and learn the truth behind them.
“Mama, you’re wearing your zebra shirt!” my then-four-year-old pointed out. He was talking about my black and white striped shirt—the one I wear all the time. What he didn’t know was that the shirt also happened to be a maternity top.
Thing is, I wasn’t pregnant at that time. In fact, I haven’t been pregnant for several years. The crazier part? My “zebra” shirt was from my first pregnancy… over a decade ago.
Yep, I still wore maternity clothes, long past the time I thought I would be wearing them.
5 misconceptions about maternity clothes
When I was a first-time mom, I didn’t know how to shop for maternity clothes, or whether I even had to. I had been trying to cut costs, figuring I could get by without them.
I wasn’t alone, either. Many pregnant moms have misconceptions about maternity clothes, from what you need to how many to buy. We assume won’t need them or worry about the cost.
Rest assured mama, maternity clothes may not be as difficult or expensive as you might think. Take a look at a few of my earlier assumptions, and the truth about maternity clothes I later learned:
Misconception 1: You can get away without maternity clothes
When I learned I was expecting my first, I watched every penny, always careful to spend only on things I knew had value. At first, I didn’t see the value in maternity clothes, especially when I assumed I could get away without wearing them for most of my pregnancy.
And for a while, I did get away with it. I pulled every trick, from adding a rubber band on my jeans button to wearing my husband’s t-shirts around the house.
But reality soon crept up when I realized even those weren’t cutting it any longer. I thought I was saving money by not buying maternity clothes until the very end, but I ended up buying the same amount regardless of when I bought them.
Lesson learned: Your non-maternity clothes might not fit anymore, at which point it’s okay to grab some specifically for pregnancy. Forget the rubber band hack—might as well be comfortable in the maternity bottoms you’re going to buy anyway.
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Misconception 2: Maternity clothes are ugly
Maternity clothes get the short end of the stick. We look at a store’s selection of maternity wear, see that not everything is beautiful, and claim that maternity clothes are ugly.
But look at any store and we’ll likely find several pieces we’d consider ugly. But we don’t, because we see a wide variety of clothes and expect that not all can fit our style. With limited space and number of pieces within a store, the maternity section doesn’t get the same credit as regular clothes do.
It’s all about finding a style you like. Whether in store or online, you can likely find maternity clothes you’d wear. Various brands have a maternity line, creating clothes in the same style as the rest of their items in a maternity cut.
Misconception 3: You don’t need maternity clothes at home
One of the ways I figured I could get by without maternity clothes was to stick to those I’d only wear outside my home. Everything else, or what I call my “house clothes,” were low on my priority—things like yoga maternity pants, camisoles, and pajamas.
Boy, was I wrong.
Even though no one will see you at home, wearing your pre-pregnancy comfortable clothes throughout your pregnancy isn’t going to cut it. Roomy and flexible that they are, even yoga pants can only stretch so much.
In fact, because these comfortable clothes are a must-have because of how often you’ll be wearing them.
Thankfully, you can get the maternity version of many comfortable clothes. It might seem silly at first to buy clothes you won’t wear outside the house. But your body might need roomier clothes even at home, especially toward the end of your pregnancy.
Misconception 4: You need a lot of maternity clothes
One of the reasons maternity clothes seem like a big investment is we think we need a lot of it. We see our current wardrobe and think we need a maternity version of every item.
Truth is, you’re only going to need maternity clothes for a few months. Buy a few basic styles you can match with other pieces and use them over and over. Save fancier clothes for special occasions.
Get quality clothes that can last several months of constant use. You don’t need to buy high-end, but do get those that can stand constant use. For instance, spend more on a nice pair of maternity jeans, knowing you can wear it all the time without wear and tear.
And to truly save money, find secondhand maternity clothes. You can grab them from your local Buy Nothing Group, or for a great bargain at thrift stores.
Misconception 5: You won’t wear maternity clothes again
Besides my zebra shirt, I also have maternity leggings, a short-sleeve black sweater, maxi dresses, and several other tops. These still look good and fit me even though I’m not pregnant. Sure, I gave away a few, like those with a stretchy waistband that support a larger bump, but I still wear many of them.
And of course, you’ll probably wear maternity clothes after the baby is born. Your tummy won’t shrink right away, and you could always use a maternity cami during the nursing phase.
While you’re not buying maternity clothes to use them after you’re pregnant, it’s a nice perk to know several can be worn years down the line.
Buying maternity clothes is one of the most important and long-lasting purchases I’ve made. The trick is to get good-quality clothes, even those you can wear around the house. You don’t need to buy too many, especially if you wear them often.
And sometimes, as in my case, they become a good investment, especially you can wear your zebra shirt long after your pregnancy days.
Get more tips:
- 7 Postpartum Changes You Probably Didn’t Know
- Top 10 Tips on Surviving the First Trimester
- 9 Things to Do Before the Baby Is Born
- Frugal Tips for New Moms that Actually Save You Money
- Everything I Wish Someone Had Told Me when I Was Pregnant
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