The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Stylish Maternity Fashion Essentials On A Budget

Maternity clothing capsule wardrobe on a budget
Recently I got a question from reader Karen Morgan asking if I could do a post on pregnancy fashion staples, and I loved the idea! Throughout my two pregnancies (I'm currently 25 weeks pregnant with baby number 2) I've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't - mostly through trial and error. While every woman is different and your needs will vary by season and trimester, I put together this list of essentials that I think will work for every expectant mama. The list includes my favorite sources for affordable maternity clothes, too. Read on for my maternity fashion must-haves...and let me know what's on your list in the comments section below!

Maternity fashion clothing must-haves for the chic mama to be! And on a budget!!

1. Layering Tanks/Camisoles: Make sure they're looooong so they will cover the bump throughout your pregnancy. Start with basic colors - white, black, gray and striped (stripes are my neutral and I don't shy away from them while pregnant!) for the most versatility. You can also wear these after baby arrives - even while nursing. In fact I think most of the items on my list are baby-friendly, too!

2. Soft Pants: During my first trimester I craved comfort. I couldn't bare the feeling of anything tight around the waist, so I bought a bunch of slim joggers and drawstring soft pants (non maternity) from Target and Walmart. Black will be the most chic and versatile option, but I loved the fashion-forward check print on the pair shown above from ASOS, too. And they're just as versatile.

3. Maternity Jeans: You may be able to get away with wearing your regular jeans for a while with a belly band or a rubberband strategically looped through your button hole and around the button for a while but then reality hits and you'll need real maternity jeans. I got all mine from H&M for super cheap when they carried it in store (no longer available in my area - boo!). Pick a dark wash so you can dress them up or down. If you love straight legs, get straight legs, if you wear skinnies, stick with skinnies. To keep things simple, the trick is maintaining your pre-pregnancy style during your pregnancy (as best you can) with a few simple swaps!

4. Little Black Dress: Or a little gray dress. I love tee shirt dresses because they're so comfortable. You can wear them in the summer with sandals or in cooler months with tights and a sweater/scarf. You could even dress up this style with some pretty jewelry and heels for a night out.

5. Layering Tees: I love the ones I've purchased from H&M and the Liz Lange for Target line. They're longer in length and have side ruching that's super flattering. I haven't had much luck finding regular t-shirts that cover the bump (most drape over the top and then balloon out for a mumu effect that I don't particularly love).

6. Leggings: Ah, leggings! So comfy and perfect for layering under long tops, tunics and mini dresses that you might already own. I like the under the belly version but I think once cold weather hits I'll be all about the over-the-belly versions, too. They hold you in (especially important with baby number 2, so I'm learning!!)

7. Stripe Top: A Breton stripe top is so essential to my casual everyday wardrobe that I had to buy a maternity version. Maybe your long sleeve top would be a pretty printed style or button down. Again it's nice to keep wearing things you normally know and feel comfortable in, hence the stripe top made my list! Always so versatile and easy to style under a cargo jacket or vest, with a leopard scarf, the list goes on!

8. Maxi Dress: You will have many days when you just want to feel comfortable, and nothing beats a maxi dress for those moments. You can wear them all four seasons. Look for a midi style if you want to pair with ankle boots and tights in the fall/winter. I love my t-shirt dress styles but you could get something more feminine, flirty, in a bright color or print, too. Stock up!

9. Stretchy Pencil Skirt: During my last pregnancy I had a foldover waist jersey skirt I loved from Old Navy as well as a Liz Lange maxi skirt. However, I don't love my appearance when I see myself in these skirt styles in photos. Not the most flattering on me. Other moms can rock these styles, but I prefer a stretchy black pencil skirt. They're just as comfy but a bit more easy to style with different tees and tanks. Wear with trainers, ankle boots or flat sandals, even heels!

Maternity Fashion Essentials:
H&M Mama Jersey Tank, $9.95 // H&M Mama Jeans, $39.99 // H&M Mama Leggings, $12.95 // Liz Lange V-Neck, $14.99 // Liz Lange T-Shirt Dress, $24.99 // Lilac Maternity Pencil Skirt, $36.95 // Old Navy Maxi Dress, $12.99 // ASOS Maternity Stripe Top, $36 // ASOS Maternity Soft Pants, $45

So those are my mama-to-be essentials, what are yours?! I'd love to hear!

omg thanks so much! :-) GREAT information. You made my day!
#1 karen morgan on 2015-08-17 11:06 (Reply)
the H&M near me has a MAMA section. yay! Also I am now almost 23 weeks. Keep up the great work!! I recently bought a few dresses on the Nordstrom summer sale like the Socialite tank dress etc ones I can now wear during pregnancy and after but I love your suggestions!
#2 karen morgan on 2015-08-17 11:20 (Reply)
Old Navy is a good source for some things, but I hated their maternity tanks because the plastic elasticity they use in their ruching is so itchy. In my last pregnancy I discovered if I bought their non maternity tanks in the tall length one size bigger than normal, they covered the bump perfectly.
I also bought a lot of non maternity maxis and sundresses at Ross for super cheap. I just sized up and chose bump friendly silhouettes. Actually, except for jeans and leggings, I wore very few maternity items with my last pregnancy and felt so much more myself than I did in all maternity wear with my first.
#3 Heather on 2015-08-17 13:07 (Reply)
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