Stay Calm Pregnants, Here’s A Shopping Guide Of Regular Clothing That Can Double As Maternity Clothing


Buying clothes you will only wear for a few months is the absolute pits, unless you’re so rich and fabulous that you buy designer stuff off the runway and only wear it long enough to blog about it. But assuming you’re a normal person who likes to hang onto her clothes for more than a few weeks, buying maternity clothes is the worst.

You find yourself thinking things like, “If the maternity jeans are $40, can I get away with owning just one pair of pants for four months? How long can I reasonably expect it to take before I can wear my normal pants again? And by the way, fuck all those new fancy-mom blogs telling me about the ‘must have’ $300 maternity jeans.”

But there are some regular clothes out there that will still work for you. You can buy them now and it feels just like normal, fun shopping. And they’ll still be normal, fun, wearable clothes once you’re no longer full of small children.

Zara Eye Print Dress

maternity2Lena Dunham wore this dress to a fashion event, and The Gloss office was torn on whether they were awesome or horrible. (I am Team Awesome.) If you are pregnant, this dress is perfect. Not only is it flattering and roomy, the weird print will make you feel like people are staring at you because you are quirky and fashiony, not because you’re in a bar drinking a virgin mojito and they’re two shots away from slurring a drunken lecture at you.

H&M Jersey Top


Any of these long, loose fitting tops should work just fine. They might not look as slouchy and ironically oversized as on the teenage models, but just call them normcore.

Zara Baby Doll Dress


This tunic looks so nice and flowy over those impossibly white jeans. It would be stylish and adorable even if you did not have a small child wedged inside of you.

H&M Cotton Maxi Dress


After this crazy winter, you know summer is going to be hot and disgusting. Let’s be honest, this is all anybody is going to want to wear, knocked up or not.

Linen Blend Maxi Dress


This will totally make you look like one of those cool pregnant ladies who just look like they have a basketball under their dress while the rest of them looks all normal by comparison.

Pop Pier Embroidered Dress


You might have to wear this as a tunic for a while, but throw it over some leggings and you will be the cutest pregnant lady at Coachella. (Until Mila Kunis shows up in a bra top and jean shorts or something.) As a bonus, the embroidered neck is perfect for showing off your awesome pregnancy boobs.
Free People

Mashup And Coming Leggings in Grey


These gray leggings are so nice they look like real pants, and check out those stretchy side panels like on fancy maternity jeans. How long they’ll work will depend on your particular anatomy, but be warned: These might be a gateway drug to yoga pants.

Fringed Gradation Scarf


Get yourself like 20 big, cool, Anthropologie-esque scarves to wear now with little jackets and tailored blazers, and in a few months you’ll be able to use them as nursing covers too.

Men’s Tank Tops


Men’s tank tops are way longer than ours, and the stretchy material means they can take a lot of expansion. Best of all, you can buy them in 5-packs from Duane Reade. These cool, colorful ones come from American Apparel.

Low-Rise Leggings


Even if you were never a leggings person, you’ll want to have a pair for when all your dresses turn into shirts. A pair that sits below the waist will let you roll down the waistband as much as you need. Dancer brands like Danskin and Capezio are often sturdier and less likely to turn see-through.

(Photos: As linked above)

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    • Kaitlin Reilly

      Ooh that Pop Pier dress is so pretty!

    • Lindsey Conklin

      mens American apparel tanks…good call

    • JJ

      Men’s tank tops are the best. I never understood why women’s tank tops are so short and they shrink up even more when washed and worn. I get camisoles under blouses being designed short so you can’t see it but just plain cotton stretchy tank tops worn alone can we get some made specifically for women that aren’t practically belly tops. or ones that don’t ride up when you move especially if you don’t have a super flat, ripped abs stomach.

    • koolchicken

      I only had a few “real” maternity things. Those were from Isabella Oliver (totally recommend even if the UK shipping takes forever). Everything else was from Michael Kors and I just went up a size or two. I was comfortable and received endless compliments. Really I don’t think most maternity clothes are necessary. I went into a Motherhood Maternity store and just cried in the dressing room. Those clothes are SOOOO unflattering, uncomfortable, ugly, and poorly made- yet they cost a bloody fortune! I’m glad I realized I could do better before I plunked down my credit card. MM is the devil.

      • preggers mcpregerton

        koolchicken, if you can afford $200 maternity dresses and were small enough to begin with that you can just size up some Michael Kors, then god bless you, but you are on a different plane than most pregnant women. That is the plane of having money.

        I’m right there with you on Motherhood Maternity, though. That place is the worst.

      • koolchicken

        Well I’ve always felt I couldn’t be alone on that plane. After all, I have one kid and if I were the only one then those retailers couldn’t stay in business. So there have to be others like me and there have to be a lot.

        And while I wouldn’t call myself small I was a 4-6, but I’m really tall 5’10″. Now I’m not saying you have to go with that designer, but just sizing up in a brand you know fits well. For me that’s MK.

        I feel like a person doesn’t need a lot of clothes in general. So when you only own six to eight pieces you can mix and match you’re saving a lot of money that way. My regular wardrobe only has 18 everyday pieces and I happily continued to wear some things like my cardigans the whole nine months.

        So for me I was happy to spend $80 on a single top the looked good, and made me feel good about myself (I had major self esteem issues while pregnant and I was sick). And I wore that top every third day without complaint. I could have spent $60 at MM for an ill fitting (you’d think they know what pregnant women look like) dress that takes care of top and bottom, but I would have been miserable in that polyester sack. So it’s about adjusting priorities. Shop sales and buy less.

    • preggers mcpregerton

      Elizabeth, I don’t know you, but – have you ever actually been pregnant? Because there’s some problems with this.

      This Zara thing, while cut generously, still has no shape. It might get you to month five or six, but past that, it will accommodate neither the belly nor the boobs of a woman with a foot long baby inside of her.

      Again, these long, loose tops will work for those first few months – but then you will find yourself incredibly pregnant and suddenly needing to go out and go shopping for more clothes exactly when you don’t have the time, energy, or money to do so anymore.

      The Zara Baby Doll dress might actually work throughout a pregnancy, as long as you sized up to begin with to allow what will be your gigantic boobs to fit in towards the end. Be warned, though, it will not be a dress for very long; it will be a tunic.

      Your boobs will fall out of this maxi dress before you can say “nursing bra”.

      Linen doesn’t stretch. ’nuff said.

      The embroidered neck is perfect for caging and then being rended in two by your awesome pregnancy boobs.

      It’s crazy how much my baby kicks when I have a waistband digging in. My baby would dig her way out of me if I tried to wear these.

      Scarves are not clothes. But I’ll let these count.

      No man’s tank top can stretch enough to allow you to go from not-pregnant to fully-pregnant. Bite the bullet and get yourself one of the tank tops with the ruched sides somewhere around week 20. This is literally the least-hideous piece of maternity clothing you will ever find.

      Buy low-rise leggings at your own risk. These might work for you if you were a yogi with a six pack to begin with. If not, see the waistband issue above.

      These also all only work if you are on the low end of straight sizes to begin with. If you’re even a size 10, don’t count on being able to go to Zara and be able to size up.

      Consider sites like ASOS – more affordable, but with a large variety – and look for styles like this trapeze dress: or swing tops:

      And Old Navy maternity jeans are GREAT.

      • koolchicken

        I bought from ASOS maternity line and it fit soooo badly everything had to go back. And so many people swear by Old Navy stuff, and the one piece I bought from them was worn once and I was so embarrassed by the way I looked in it, I tossed it. I never got super big (boob wise) while pregnant so why the heck were my boobs hanging out of a medium?

        I found wearing regular clothes just bigger to be the only way. Nothing else fit right (save for my few Isabella Oliver things). I wore real clothes in a Large throughout my entire pregnancy. Even after my son was born and my milk finally came in, I could wear those clothes. So unless you’re 5’4″ and under, with super short legs, and having the worlds biggest baby/boob I feel like a lot of maternity wear won’t fit. Normally I’m tall and shapeless, pregnant I was tall and lumpy. “Real” maternity clothes only made me more lumpy, and in weird places. :(

        So I think they only true way to know what you’ll need to to have been pregnant before. There’s no way to tell if you’ll get super big, hardly show, get kinda chubby all around, or some weird combo.

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    • Personal Injury Attorney in LA

      The Zara Baby Doll dress might actually work throughout a pregnancy, as
      long as you sized up to begin with to allow what will be your gigantic
      boobs to fit in towards the end. Be warned, though, it will not be a
      dress for very long; it will be a tunic.