It’s true, to avoid feeling like a shlub, you’ll probably want to pick up a few new maternity pieces once your bump starts showing. The key to doing it without breaking the bank? Choosing pieces that adjust to fit your changing body and that can also work for day or night.
“Some women may splurge on maternity clothes that are expensive, and that they won’t normally wear once the baby arrives,” says Tawnee Madlen, Social Media Coordinator at BabySteals.com. “It’s really about finding pieces that are functional and versatile enough to last throughout your pregnancy and afterwards.”
Here’s a list of 7 budget-friendly wardrobe workhorses that’ll help you sail through the next nine months in style.
1. An empire waist maxi dress
The bigger you get, the shorter your dresses become, but a maxi’s length will keep up with your growing belly. An empire waist is the most comfortable cut because the waistband sits above your belly, rather than on top of it.
One to try: Old Navy Maternity Crossover-Jersey Maxi Dress, $35
Work it for day: A cozy knit cardigan and your favorite boots
Dress it up at night: A boyfriend blazer, strappy heels, and a statement necklace
2. A ruched-waist tee
Sick of wearing shapeless, oversized t-shirts? Yup, we hear you. Snugger fitting cotton/spandex tees will stretch around your pregnant belly, while the ruching camouflages any extra weight after you give birth.
One to try: Gap Pure Body Short-Sleeve Maternity Tee, $17
Work it for day: Ballet flats and a printed eternity scarf
Dress it up at night: Ankle booties and a maxi skirt
3. A thick elastic-banded skirt
Elastic-bands are a pregnancy staple, and nothing’s more comfortable (or cute!) than a stretchy skirt. Just make sure you choose flowing skirts or fabrics with a lot of give so they don’t end up looking too tight.
One to try: Target Liz Lange Maternity Pencil Ponte Skirt, $25
Work it for day: A cable knit sweater and a printed eternity scarf
Dress it up at night: Stretchy long-sleeve top and a set of gold bangles
4. A long, flowy tunic
Long tunics are long enough to wear with leggings during and after pregnancy and are super comfortable. You can pick non-maternity versions, too—just stick to loose, breezy fabrics and go up a size.
One to try:Modcloth Pam Breeze-ly Tunic, $35
Work it for day: Bright-colored pants and a vest with a trendy lapel collar
Dress it up at night: Metallic chandelier earrings, jeans, and a pair of peep-toe wedges
5. Smocked top
Although it seems like the extra fabric would add volume to your shape, smocked tops are actually a great way to look polished in loose-fitting clothes without appearing frumpy. After the baby comes, add a belt to make it more form-fitting.
One to try: Destination Maternity Sweet Pea Paisley Print Belted Mesh Top, $30
Work it for day: Leggings and a cute pair of ballet flats
Dress it up at night: A pencil skirt, heels, your favorite clutch, and a fashionable cocktail ring
6. A wrap dress
Anything with adjustable ties is now your new best friend. A wrap dress figure-flattering, super comfy, and is perfect for loosening and tightening during, after, and way after your pregnancy.
One to try: Burlington Coat Factory Maternity Wrap Dress, $15
Work it for day: Leggings and a long beaded necklace
Dress it up at night: Throw on a button-down trench and add a pair of heels
7. A great pair of jeans
Can’t forget these! A well-made pair of maternity jeans in a dark wash can get you through errands, nights out, and even days at work.
Work it for day: A colorful ruched t-shirt, a cardigan, and cute flats
Dress it up at night: A tunic and heels
Bonus: Your special-occasion secret!
Jeans, tunics, and maxi dresses work like a charm most of the time—but they’re still a no-go for weddings or special events. Instead of splurging on a dress you might never wear again, rent one. At MineforNine.com, you can rent evening wear, suits, coats, and more for up to a month at a time.