Here we are, starting with the first trimester. Most women don't show most of their first trimester, which, for me, was annoying because at the same time my pants and jeans were too tight to wear comfortably. My solution to this was the combination of a homemade pants extender and a knockoff bella band.
That worked well for most of my first trimester. The other trick was to wear the right top. Anything, really, that would conceal my stomach area. Flowy, blouson, tunic, and generally any top that is not "body conscious"-that floats away from the body. Ruffled tops also are concealing and popping on a long scarf will also conceal the stomach area. Below are some examples of the types of tops to pair with your jean/pants (with the bella band and/pants extender)
By the second trimester most women have a baby bump, and by the third, it's more like a basketball. The second and third trimesters are the time to show off that, yes, you are pregnant! Jersey material dresses are generally very flattering. Instead of concealing the stomach, we are revealing it. This is also the time when the bella band and pants extender are not going to cut it anymore. If you are a working mom who needs to dress professional, you are going to need to invest in one or more of a pair of dress pants or khakis, a pencil skirt, and a long or short dress. These will be your boring neutral staples. You will grow very tired of them, so add interest with accesories from your closet. In the second trimester you may be able to pair these maternity bottoms with some tops from your "non-maternity" closet. By the third trimester you likely will need to buy longer tops to cover that growing belly. I found it easiest to buy a handful of realtively inexpensive maternity tank tops and pair these with jackets, cardigans, and sweaters that I already had. Below are some examples using the "staples". Also, of note, your staples should be seasonless-that means go neutral and midweight fabric, and you can wear it all year long. The staples below (in order): black maxi dress, maternity khakis, maternity pencil skirt, and short blue jersey dress.
Your casual staples are going to be just a little different. Dresses can still be casual and comfy, and add to that a pair or two of maternity leggings and/or jeans. These are very easy to find, and are sold almost everywhere. I personally found that jeans were not comfortable. I could not find a pair that actually stayed up, and I really hate constantly having to pull my jeans up, so I gave up wearing jeans early in my second trimester. Leggings are comfortable and can also be layered under dresses and long tunic type tops in the colder months. Below are some more casual looks for the second and third trimester. The "staples" from left to right below are: 1.maternity jeans, 2.maternity leggings and empire waist dress, 3. maternity maxi skirt and long maternity (or not) t shirt, 4. leggings, 5. maternity maxi dress
Lastly, postpartum is also a time of clothing confusion. This is when you go back to the bella band and tops that conceal the stomach area. Basically you dress like you did for your first trimester. Overall, when buying maternity clothes I would suggest you buy lots of neutrals that are seasonless, it's the best (stylish) bang for your buck.
There are more and more stores now selling maternity clothes, below are a some of my favorites:
Pink Blush Maternity
Ingrid and Isabel
Ann Taylor Loft