Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Affordable Fall Maternity Fashion {My Top Tips and Picks}

After slumming it in an old t-shirt, stretchy capris, and flip flops for the better part of a week, I realized that it may be time to transition into Fall clothes. Virginia's weather has been unpredictable lately, but I've always loved dressing for Fall. And regardless of size or uterine status (I'm currently expecting), I always feel better about myself when I make a little extra effort with my appearance. I wanted to share a few cute Fall Maternity Wardrobe Looks today...looks that are versatile and affordable.
Affordable Fall Maternity Fashion, at Serenity Now

Although this is my third pregnancy, I've had to start from scratch with many of my wardrobe pieces. Styles have changed since Michaela Byrd was born five years ago...and so has my size. Enough said. There are plenty of options out there, but my go-to spots for this pregnancy have been Old Navy, Target, and Motherhood Maternity (not my fave because I think they tend to overprice things, but they are convenient because they are in so many malls and shopping centers). Remember, I'm a stay-at-home mom, so my daytime wardrobe will look a lot different than a working mom's!

My top tips?

Mix It Up
When possible, I try to purchase items that can mix and match with other wardrobe pieces.

Use What You Have
I also try to use existing pieces of my wardrobe. I have a bunch of cute, long sweaters from last season that I can pair with a cami and be good to go. Sometimes, especially in the summer, flowy tops, stretchy sundresses, and maxi dresses can do double duty for maternity.

A Critical Eye
The key is to give yourself a critical look before heading out. I've seen some expectant moms try to squeeze into pre-pregnancy dresses or skirts that are either too tight or way too short. Thankfully, gone are the gag-reflex inducing pastel baby doll tops with florals and giant bows. There's nothing wrong with showing off your baby bump, but let's leave a little something to the imagination, n'est pas?

Be a Borrower
Borrow big ticket items like nice coats or dresses for events when you can. A friend from MOPS gave me a big bag of maternity clothes, and some of the tops and sweaters are my favorite maternity pieces I own. Don't be too proud to accept help!

Don't Break the Bank!
In the grand scheme of things, your maternity clothes won't be needed for long. I never felt like it was worth it to spend a lot on items I wouldn't wear for a long period of time, especially if I could work in current items.

Now let's go shopping! 

Here's my list for a comprehensive Fall Maternity Wardrobe:


  • Supportive bra- This is especially important if the "girls" have already been through the trauma (yes, I said "trauma") of previous pregnancies, births, and nursing of babies. If your chest is on the large side, all the more reason to splurge on a decent bra. 
You may want to ask your OB/GYN about his/her thoughts on underwire as your pregnancy progresses. I usually sacrifice my look for a few months after baby arrives in order to avoid clogged milk ducts, etc.

My favorite bra for large chests comes from the Elomi line from Nordstrom. They also offer free shipping.

  • Underwear that fits- Nothing is more uncomfortable than ill-fitting underwear that doesn't cover what you need it to cover and slides around. For me, pregnancy is a nice occasion to get away with wearing comfy stuff. I personally don't like stuff that sits under my belly, so I just buy cute underwear in a larger size to accommodate my expanding belly. 

Pajamas and Loungewear:

  • PJs- I get hot, so I stick to camisoles or tanks and stretchy shorts or capris. Short night shirts or night gowns also keep me cool. The weather will be cooler soon, meaning the rest of the family will want the heat on while I roast.

  • Loungewear- I have a super cute hand-me-down comfy track suit from a mom friend, but I wouldn't go out and spend a lot on something you'll wear around the house and to pre-school pick up. Comfortable stretch yoga pants/workout pants and a few tops will carry you through your pregnancy just fine, and you'll probably end up spending some time in them after baby arrives!


  • Tunic tops or sweaters- I plan on wearing some of my long sweaters from last year, but there are lots of new options out there in maternity and non-maternity lines. These are great for mix and match!

  • Camisoles or Tank tops- These are great for layering or wearing under long, open sweaters. Old Navy makes some fab stretchy ones, and I just ordered a few from their maternity line. My sis recommended them and loves that they are longer...more coverage!

  • A few cute tops- I go for solids. Can be dressed up or down with your favorite jewelry. I love the ruching on the long-sleeved tops I just picked up from Old Navy.

  • Jean jacket- This should be a staple for any wardrobe, I think. Jean jackets are cute with fun little dresses, layered over tanks, paired with some pretty colored pants and black flats. A very versatile wardrobe item, and worth the expense, in my opinion. I go with a regular style, non-maternity.
  • A couple of cute dresses- I got away with mixing and matching with stretchy sundresses and maxi dresses that I already owned over the summer, but Fall is a whole new ballgame. I ordered two plain dresses from Old Navy that can be dressed up or down with different jewelry, accessories, a jean jacket, leggings, tights, boots, or flats.

Your Bottom Half
  • 1 or 2 pairs of jeans- I like to have a pair of maternity jeans for "play" (going to the pumpkin patch, running around town, etc.) and a nicer pair (girls' night out, dinner date, etc). I loved my Target maternity jeans with my first two pregnancies, but went with a pair of skinny jeans and a pair of bootcut from Motherhood this time around for fit. Dark wash.

  • A pair of khakis or other pants- Sometimes it's nice to have an option beyond jeans.

  • Leggings- Please, whether you are pregnant or not, listen to Tim Gunn. Leggings are not pants! If you're going to wear them (because they are warm and comfortable!), cover your hind end. Pair them with a cute tunic top or a long sweater, or even under a cute short dress. 

Let's play Footsie

  • Comfortable shoes- If you're like me, you may be having trouble squeezing your swollen feet into anything besides flip flops. Look for some cute flats that will work with jeans, pants, or dresses.

  • Boots- Again with the swollen legs/feet for me, but I love the look of riding boots for the Fall and Winter. If you don't want to spend a lot, check out Payless. They always have sales running and/or a BOGO promotion.

  • Something impractical- Sometimes you just want to forget about being swollen up like a blowfish and you want something cute on your feet. I say, go for it!


  • Cute jewelry- Charming Charlie and Target are my favorite places to hunt for fun pieces that will liven up an otherwise plain outfit. Jewelry is a great way to diversify those wardrobe pieces!

  • A fun handbag- Like jewelry, handbags are great because they'll work no matter what size you are. I love my Coach and Dooney and Bourke bags, but I also like to throw in adorable, inexpensive bags from Target, Payless, or other shops when I see one I like.

  • Pretty make-up- Hands down, I always feel peppier when I take the time to do my make-up in the mornings. When I can't afford to go out and buy new stuff, I hit my stash of free gift sample items in my bathroom vanity. This is where hoarding those lipglosses and mini eye shadows from Clinique comes in handy.

So, that's my list of must-have maternity wardrobe items for this Fall.

What's on your list for Fall fashion this season, maternity or not?

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  1. Great tips!! I just had my first and was able to wear a combo non maternity and maternity clothes through my regnany. Take the time to figure out what looks good n your bump and you will feel much better!! Love that polka fit sweater you featured from old navy!

  2. I love your picks! I bought a lot of work clothes from Gap Maternity and they were such nice quality and wore and lasted much better than any other brand. I still wear a few of the open cardigans regularly.

    Also, I'm moderately obsessed with the polka dot top.

  3. So many great outfit ideas. Even down to the accesories. Thanks for the fantastic post.


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