Gone are the days of baby doll smocks and t-shirts announcing "Baby This Way." Today, we have a wide variety of clothes, from business, to dress/formal wear, and even maternity lingerie.
The one prohibitive part of maternity clothes continues to be the monetary investment for clothing that gets worn for such a short amount of time. There are some solutions to this problem:
Getting the most out of your purchases. There are clothes that you can buy that will take you all the way from pregnancy to nursing. There are also sets that can be purchased that when you add a few colored t-shirts you've got a whole wardrobe for a lot less than you'd spend on two really nice outfits.
- Beg, borrow and steal. Ask any friends or relatives if they have clothing that you can borrow. Clothing often gets passed around circles in these manners.
- Wear it big. Wearing plus size clothing can lessen the cost of the clothing you are buying, but will not fit as well as clothes made for pregnancy.
- Raid your husband's closet! If your mate is larger than you are feel free to help yourself to his clothing! Tell him I told you so...
- Discounts and more. Shop at yard sales, discount outlets, consignment shops, or even end of the year sales. I remember with my first pregnancy finding out in March and raiding the winter closeouts for my December due date. I saved a lot of money and had some nice clothes to wear.
- Make your own! If you're even slightly handy with sewing making your own clothes should be fairly easy to do.
Choosing a size is usually based on your prepregnancy weight. Though there are sizing charts available. Most stores will offer lengths and the like for online buying, and ensure that the stores have good return policies.
Underwear deserves some mention as well. My first pregnancy I shelled out the big bucks for some fancy (actually rather plain) maternity bikini underwear. The bands were just high enough to flip down over the underwear as my abdomen expanded, and by the end of pregnancy I had abandoned them for the delightful granny panties. With my third pregnancy I found that the regular bikini underwear that I bought in a size larger really worked the best, but occasionally nothing felt as good as my grandma underwear!
The bottom line is shop around, beg what you can from friends and relatives, and spend some money on a few well chosen pieces that make you look and feel better. Looking great will help your esteem when pregnant and make you more comfortable in the long run.