Maternity clothes are a necessity for every pregnant woman. But sometimes trying to figure out what to wear for the limited time of your pregnancy can be a challenge. After all, you don't want to spend too much money on clothing you'll only be wearing a short time. At the same time you don't want to buy something dowdy and ugly that's going to make you feel bad about your beautifully expanding body.

The good news is that clothes for pregnant women are no longer the frumpy garments of days gone by and now come in many fashionable and classy styles, even for maternity plus sizes. And you don't necessarily need to spend a ridiculous amount of money to make your mummy tummy look yummy. There are many affordable maternity styles available by various designers. Expect to pay a little more than you might for your regular sized clothes, but you can find bargains with most maternity clothes designers if you know when to shop for sales.

There are so many fabulous maternity styles out there that you could easily buy everything in sight. But you don't want to waste your money. Here's a list to help you narrow down the absolute essentials for maternity clothing.

Keep in mind that fabric choices will rarely affect fetal development in a typical healthy pregnancy. As far as accessories and jewelry are concerned, you can wear what you wore pre-pregnancy unless otherwise directed by your health practitioner.

Maternity Underwear

You're going to need maternity underwear. Don't cringe. Maternity underwear doesn't have to be dowdy and look like something your great grandmother might wear. Modern styles include maternity thongs, bikini cuts and full briefs in a variety of attractive colors and patterns with lace accents. The type of fabric you choose for your underwear won't be harmful to the developing fetus, but you might find that you're more comfortable wearing fabric made out of natural materials like cotton.

A good bra is crucial. You'll find that you're a cup or more larger during your pregnancy and this added weight can be uncomfortable. You'll no longer fit your every day bras so invest in a flattering maternity bra that'll fully support your enlarged bosom and help reduce back strain from your breast weight. The weight of your growing baby is going to cause enough strain without adding the discomfort of an improper fitting bra. You may want to consider investing in quality nursing bras so you can wear them after your baby is born.

The Little Black Dress

Get yourself the maternity equivalent of the little black dress. It should be comfortable and easy enough to dress up or down. Olian maternity has a nice selection of beautiful black maternity dresses that'll look flattering on any body type.

Jeans and Pants

Purchase a couple of pairs of attractive maternity jeans. They're available in a variety of styles that can sit above or below the belly. During the end of your last trimester you might find ones with a stretchy middle to be more comfortable for your expanding belly. Wearing tight jeans won't affect fetal development or even restrict fetal movement but they will get increasingly uncomfortable and you grow larger. That said, some women have the body type to get away with skinny maternity jeans right through to the ninth month. While you're shopping for jeans, buy yourself a pair of flattering stretchy slacks that can be dressed up or down. Gap maternity has a nice selection affordable jeans and slacks.


Buy yourself a classy white button shirt. It can also be dressed up or dressed down. Also get yourself a couple of stretchy t-shirts (long sleeved or short sleeved depending on the season) and a sweater. Mimi maternity is many mothers-to-be favorite shopping spot for these items. Last, but not least, invest in a pair of stylish lower-heel shoes. You don't have to get flats, but you'll probably need to give up those high heels as your balance changes.


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