First of all, you should know that the maternity clothes industry and I have a fundamental disagreement. When I am pregnant, I am totally uninterested in showing ANYONE my goodies. I don't want to wear low-cut shirts or flowy tops or tunics or floral patterns or bunchy gathers or polyester or ribbons or bows or a cape or a funnel neck or anything I wouldn't normally wear if I wasn't pregnant. And I don't want to spend trillions of dollars on something I'm only going to wear for seven or eight months.
Since the last time I was pregnant, either I have resigned myself to my fate, or the maternity clothing industry has improved slightly, and I've managed to pull together a fairly decent collection of non-horrendous, affordable basics, as well as a few more pieces of advice:
1. I'm not a fan of the Bella band. It never felt secure to me and it was just one more thing to fuss with and adjust. I'd just go right to the yoga pants.
2. Speaking of which, yoga pants are your new best friend. Get them in as many flavors as you can find -- fleece, cropped, black and blue. There's going to come a time when the mere thought of jeans -- maternity or otherwise -- makes you want to laugh hysterically (and then burst into tears) and you're going to be very happy you have all these stretchy pants.
3. Even though it might make you feel like you're trapped in 1975, I recommend the full belly panel. My stomach muscles were SORE when I was pregnant, and all those demi-elastic waistbands were really ridiculously painful AND hard to keep up.
4. If you can't find maternity sweaters you like, just buy two sizes up from what you'd normally wear in the regular women's section. Clothes now run longer anyway and in something stretchy like a sweater, you'll be OK choosing some non-maternity stuff.
5. And finally, get yourself at least one pair of shoes that don't need to be tied or buckled or laced.
And now, finally, here's a basic affordable maternity wardrobe that should take you through the next nine months and beyond. I got all this stuff in my online shopping cart for less than $200, and that's before any kind of promo code. That's not too shabby for nearly an entire wardrobe worth of stuff.
Clockwise: 1. Cable knit hoodie 2. Perfect Khaki Boot Cut Pants 3. Full Panel Flared Leg Jeans 4. Women's Roll Over Wide Leg Loungs Pants 5. Fleece Zip Hoodie 6. Women's Yoga Pants 7. Cross Front Tie Sash Dress 8. Active Capris 9. Fold Over Skirt 10. Kick Pleat Denim Skirt 11. Crew Neck Tee 12. Real Waist Drawstring Capris