Probably the number one question we are most often asked is "how do I even begin to start building a maternity wardrobe"? Fortunately - we know the answer to that question and can provide some very useful and basic tips to building a very stylish - but comfortable maternity wardrobe.
But before we give tips - the biggest hurdle to overcome is actually taking the leap and getting into maternity clothes. First time moms (including myself) are usually very hesitant to take the plunge and start wearing maternity clothes. I don't know if we are just scared to actually admit we are "growing" in the belly or if the maternity fashion world is just so unknown that we don't want to venture into it. Who knows - but for whatever reason so many first time moms are squeezing themselves into their old clothes to the point that we become so uncomfortable that we have no choice but to just "do it" - start wearing maternity clothes.
Here's the good news - maternity clothes are super cute today! Maternity fashion has come A LONG LONG way! And to let you in on a secret - we even have people shopping the store who are not pregnant because they see something in the window or the store that they think is so cute. Who would ever know it was a "maternity" outfit!
So - once you jump the hurdle of taking the plunge and starting to wear these cute maternity clothes that are designed to make your little belly bump even cuter than it already is - here are a few tips for getting started.
1. Maternity clothing, for the most part, is sized based on your pre-pregnancy size. That being said - always try everything on. But to get you started - shop looking for sizes as you normally would.
2. Invest in a good pair of denim jeans early on. Denim is hot and has been hot for a long time and will continue to be hot for a long time. It is worn in all seasons and does not go out of style. That being said - not all denim is created equal. Designer denim is a bit more pricey than other denim, but is worth every penny. We feature a denim bar with just about every brand of designer denim that offers maternity. You are guaranteed to find a pair of designer jeans that fit your body and your shape perfectly and just make you feel like you look really good - even with a baby bump! Designer denim also holds up very well. And because it does not go out of style you can wear it for subsequent pregnancies and stretch your dollar even more. We see so many women hesitate to pay the money for designer denim, only to come back either towards the very end of their pregnancy or early in the next pregnancy saying - "I wish I would have bought these earlier when I was thinking about it". This is a purchase you will use throughout your entire pregnancy, subsequent pregnancies and yes, even after pregnancy when you are working hard to get rid of that cute little baby bump you've had for 9 months!
When buying designer denim - the rule of thumb is to buy one size up from you pre-pregnancy size. But always try everything on. Different brands fit different ways. You want your jeans to fit you very well in the dressing room because they will stretch some as you wear them. If they are loose on you when you try them on - they will be very loose on you as you wear them.
2. Another great purchase early on is a great pair of pants - whether it be black, chocolate, white, winter white - whatever you seem to wear most. Pants (and denim) are the first things you will need as you begin wearing maternity clothing. You will notice that your pants are very uncomfortable - often before others even notice you are pregnant. You want to have a few good pairs of pants ready to go when you just can't squeeze into your regular pants anymore.
3. We suggest spreading out buying tops throughout your pregnancy. Your upper body changes the most during pregnancy, generally, and it's best to start with a few cute tops and continue buying along the way as your body grows and changes. That is also a great way to spread out your budget, while consistently updating your wardrobe throughout your nine months. The denim and basic pants you invested in early on look like brand new outfits as you mix and match new tops and colors and prints with them throughout your entire pregnancy.
4. Dresses are an essential to all maternity wardrobes. You will most likely have showers - so it's worth looking for a couple of really cute shower dresses. Many people like to look for dresses with some pink in them if they are having a girl or blue for boys. Others just look for fun shower dresses. Whatever the case - you can't go wrong with having a few dresses in your wardrobe. And the great thing is - dresses are the most comfortable of all clothing to wear when you are pregnant. Be sure to look for the maxi dress (floor length) again this season. It continues to be one of the hottest things out there right now - thanks to the celebrities, especially Angelina Jolie. This season look for them to be offered in a variety of fabulous prints!
5. Leggings are a mom-to-be's best friend! Whoever or whatever brought the leggings trend back - we are grateful! Leggings are so comfortable and are so versatile! Those cute dresses you got early on in your pregnancy that are a little too short now that your belly bump has grown - can become cute tunic tops when you throw a great pair of leggings underneath. Don't forget the leggings! They are offered in cropped length for spring/summer and ankle length for fall/winter.
6. Accessorize!! Don't forget your accessories. Handbags, jewelry,scarves,etc are a great and affordable way to add color and pizazz to any outfit. And let's be honest - accessories go on the only parts of your body that are actually not changing or growing, so sometimes it just feels good to buy them!!
7. Don't forget your intimates! Maternity pajamas are designed to be SO comfortable and very stylish. You can find adorable and/or sexy maternity pajamas. You can also find great pajama/robe sets that are perfect for the hospital. Don't' forget your PJ's! Also - nursing bras and maternity panties are a necessity as you grow in your pregnancy. Nursing bras, in particular, are very important. Be sure to ask someone to measure you to ensure you are buying the right size bra.
8. Try everything on and ask for help. That's what we are here for!! Everyone working in the store is there to help you. They are stylish and know what is in the store and can really help you find exactly what you need. They will give honest opinions about how things fit or how they work together. Take advantage of that. It's one of the greatest things about shopping a maternity boutique. They are there for you and are happy to help you!
9. The best "first purchase" and "last purchase" you will ever make. The Belly Band is a great "first purchase". This is a band that is designed to allow you to wear your regular clothes longer. You can wear your pants unbuttoned and put this over them so that it will hold them up and no one will ever know. It also creates a great layering look. And after the baby is born when you just can't quite fit back into your regular clothes yet - you can use it for the same purpose!
Also, the Belly Bandit is a great "last purchase". Let's face it. Even though you got some really fabulous maternity clothes - after your little bundle of joy arrives - you can't wait to get back into your pre-pregnancy clothes! The Belly Bandit will speed up that process!! This is a compression wrap that is proven to help get your stomach back to it's pre-pregnancy size much quicker. It has been featured on Oprah, Rachel Ray and other shows and is consistently ordered by doctors who perform surgeries on the stomach to help in the healing process. It can be worn by all women - whether you've had a C-Section or not.
10. Enjoy this time! I've been pregnant twice - I know it's hard to enjoy. Your body is changing , you feel funny, you don't think you look good! We encourage you to enjoy the miracle your body is performing! And trust me, when your little bundle of joy arrives - it will be worth every bit of it!!!