Tempted to shell out all your cash on cute maternity clothes? We get it. Once you sprout that baby bump, it becomes virtually impossible to resist clothing made to fit and flatter a pregnant body. But here's the thing: pregnancy is pretty short. (Not that it feels that way when you're in it!) And you only need a few essential pieces (plus some mix and match creativity) to sail through those ten months in comfort and style. Here’s where you’ll get the most bang for your buck:
Loose sweaters and breezy dresses might work well into your third trimester, but your go-to jeans will stop working at some point during your pregnancy. Pro tip: Invest in maternity jeans before you have an actual baby bump. You'll happily avoid dealing with that week of 'I can barely breathe' discomfort when pre-pregnancy pants first start to feel snug.
A fitted, stretchy dress
Some of your pre-pregnancy dresses might take you through your second trimester, but as the months go on they might start to fit awkwardly (tight around the belly and loose everywhere else, or uncomfortably short). The classic maternity silhouette (think: tight and stretchy with ruching through the midsection) will help define your cute new shape.
A dress that'll keep you warm
Dresses are just easier when you're pregnant—all hail the one-piece option that allows you avoid pants! Since most pregnant women have to dress through a few cold months, we're in favor of investing in (at least!) one dress that'll keep you nice and cozy. A sweater style is perfect: You can wear it through the spring and fall and add some tights or tall boots for warmth in the winter.
No matter how much you love your maternity jeans, you'll likely reach a point in your third trimester where you just want to live in your maternity leggings. Pick a pair that are as cozy for lounging as they are for working out.
We love: Luxe Essentials Secret Fit Belly Ultra Soft Leggings ($38), Blanqi Belly Support Leggings ($64, pictured), Pea in the Pod Maternity Compression Leggings ($42).
A simple tee
Your partner's oversized T-shirts are perfect for bed, but for day-to-day outings you'll want a T-shirt that covers your bump with room to spare. Pick up a few neutral basics and you might even be able to wear some of your pre-pregnancy jackets and blazers through your third trimester.
An oversized cardigan
Style this cozy open sweater over a bodycon dress to frame your bump without adding lots of excess fabric or bulk—then keep it on hand for the postpartum period, when you'll want easy pieces to throw over your loungewear for errands or visits with friends. Bonus: Breastfeeding mamas can easily use a cardigan for a bit of extra coverage while nursing on the fly.
We love: HATCH Airplane Cardigan ($378, pictured), Seraphine Cotton and Cashmere Waterfall Maternity Cardigan ($105), Motherhood Maternity Pullover 2-Button Closure Cardigan ($34.98).