Are Maternity Clothes Necessary?

[the jeans and sweater here stopped fitting around my 6th month. 
I bought these way too early, because I was excited for my bump!
Little did I know, I had lots more growing to do, 
and should have just kept squeezing into my old clothes a little while longer!]

Now that I'm almost done with my maternity clothes (yippee!) I thought I'd post my thoughts on whether or not they're necessary, and my recommendations for what you'll need.

Personally, the biggest mistakes I made in terms of purchasing and spending money was on maternity clothes.

I do think that maternity clothes are necessary if you're pregnant, but the amount you buy is totally up to you and your financial ability. I think that you also need to think and plan ahead so that you don't buy too much, too early.

Here are some things to ask yourself:
1. What seasons will I be pregnant in?
2. If I buy too early, will I outgrow these clothes and have to buy again?
3. Do I really need this? Will I be okay with less clothes for a short while?
4. Do I know anybody who might be willing to lend/give me maternity clothes?

I would recommend the following maternity clothes as "must-haves":
- Maternity Bathing Suit (if you plan on swimming indoors, or will be pregnant in the Summer)
- Maternity Winter Coat (if you will be pregnant in the Winter)
- 2 dresses that cover your knees (in case you get stretch marks on your thighs)
- 1 warm knit sweater
- 1 zip-up sweater
- 3 nice tops (t-shirts or long sleeves, depending on your needs)
- 1 plain casual t-shirt (I'd recommend just white or black)
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 pair of dress pants (maybe 2 if you work in an office)
- 7 pairs of maternity underwear (one size bigger than you'd buy normally)
- 1 comfortable nursing bra (you will probably have to upgrade your bra at least twice, so don't splurge)

I would say that this is all you really need. Personally, I was not able to find the above clothes in a non-maternity store that fit well and looked nice on me. Lots of people told me to just go to Winners and buy a nice, flowy dress from there. I tried on about 30 dresses, and only ended up frustrated and really tired.

I found maternity clothing stores to be really expensive though. I tried to wait for sales, especially from Thyme Maternity, since that is the most expensive chain. I also bought clothes from Motherhood Maternity, since there are better sales there and a wider variety. If I had to do it again, I'd buy a lot less clothes, and buy only what I love and looked fabulous on. I'd also buy later in my pregnancy, since I ended up outgrowing a lot of clothes and needing to go back and buy bigger sizes. 

I would also recommend the following non-maternity clothes, if you don't have them already:
- 1 pair of stretchy yoga pants (I have a pair of Small MEC yoga pants that STILL fit me!)
- 1 pair of loose sweat pants/pajama pants
- 1 pair of slip-on shoes (you'll probably outgrow your shoes at some point)

Please know, this is my opinion on maternity clothes, and I'm sure lots of other women have different experiences. I am in the 75th percentile, which means I'm much larger then most other pregnant women.

If you have an opinion on this please share in the comment section! Would love to know if other pregnant mom's agree or disagree! 


  1. I bought all of my maternity clothes at a thrift store and borrowed a lot from my sister-in-law. Personally, I needed work clothes so I did need a little more than what you listed. Also, I didn't buy a maternity bra OR maternity underwear. And I didn't buy a winter coat. I just wore mine open with scarves. But I agree ONLY buy what you LOVE because you already don't feel like you look that great so clothes that are only so-so don't help. And wait as long as you can. I didn't have to buy any summer maternity clothes because I fit into my regular clothes until about 26-27 weeks and then summer was over. Oh, and CARDIGANS are the best. thing. ever!! because you don't have to do them up.

    Definately some good points though Brianna!!

    1. Hey Kirsten -- for sure more work clothes may be necessary! I kinda just wore the same pants everyday when I worked and changed up my top...lol!!

      Also -- I personally found I just LOVED my maternity winter coat, it was a birthday present though and not cheap. I can for sure wear it when I'm not pregnant though. I had to keep upgrading my bra because I went from 30C to 36DD (and my current bra is in major need of another upgrade but I'm waiting to see what happens once I start breastfeeding)...that was a major expense though!!


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