Bye bye maternity clothes – a journey through my maternity wardrobe

My maternity wardrobe and things I learnt about maternity clothes along the way…

8 weeks post-labour and I can fit into (most of) my pre-pregnancy clothes so it’s with mixed emotions that I pack away my maternity clothes.

Initially I was hoping not to buy ANY maternity clothes as I just planned to buy everything a size bigger than normal, that I’d be able to wear post-labour too… (thought maternity clothes were a waste of money)

Then a friend lent me a big bag of maternity clothes and I learnt my first lessons:

  • how comfy maternity jeans are
  • how flattering maternity tops/dresses can be around your bump (as opposed to just buying bigger sizes in non-maternity)

That was around January (5 months pregnant) and in Feb we booked a late deal to Tenerife. Panic ensued as:
-I didn’t fit into any of my shorts or summer dresses!
-Shops were only just starting to sell summer-wear eek!

So my first experience of buying maternity wear was a few holiday items….

Maternity holiday clothes - Tankini and Denim shorts from JoJo MamanLeBebe
Maternity holiday clothes – Tankini and Denim shorts from JoJo MamanLeBebe
Maternity bikini bottoms vs pre-maternity!
Maternity bikini bottoms vs pre-maternity!


Tankini from JoJo Maman LeBeBe on babymoon in Tenerife!Tankini from JoJo Maman LeBeBe on babymoon in Tenerife!
Tankini from JoJo Maman LeBeBe on babymoon in Tenerife!Tankini from JoJo Maman LeBeBe on babymoon in Tenerife!

While I was shopping for these, I decided to bite the bullet and get some maternity items and here’s some of my faves…

My maternity essentials - jeans from H&M
My maternity essentials – jeans from H and M

It’s lucky I bought the jeans as when I left for Tenerife I was still in my ‘normal’ jeans, but by the time I left (helped by all-inclusive food!) I couldn’t get into them! I wore these for about 95% of the rest of my pregnancy days (my workplace has a casual dress code)… love them!

My fave maternity tops - (L) New Look, (R) Red Herring at Debenhams
My fave maternity tops – (L) New Look, (R) Red Herring at Debenhams
canal-side Bean at 38+1 weeks
Bean wearing Red Herring butterfly top, canal side!

These were my staple tops to go with the jeans, both very flattering, comfy and functional and to mix it up I could accessorise with different scarves etc.. the one below I loved as well, I’m a fan of Hello Kitty and loads of people thought I’d bought a Hello kitty top! I also bought some basic vests from H&M which I could wear with various non-maternity cardies.

Cat print maternity top from Red Herring @ Debenhams
Cat print maternity top from Red Herring @ Debenhams
Red Herring maternity top - fabric close-up
Red Herring maternity top – fabric close-up

I loved these prints at Red Herring – as well as the butterfly print top, I got the dress in the same print – the fabric on the dress was much thicker, so very good quality – would last a long time and wish I had worn it a few more times now….

Red Herring (Debenhams) butterfly print maternity dress
Red Herring (Debenhams) butterfly print maternity dress
butterfly dress from Red Herring
butterfly dress from Red Herring

Those items are the only new items I bought (I did buy a few non-maternity items in larger sizes too)… total cost of those items was probably about £150 but then did get slightly addicted to eBay as I was too tight to buy any more new items! I spent about £60 on the following items…

Here’s some of my fave eBay items:

Fave eBay purchases (L) Mothercare jumper (R) T-shirt from New Look
Fave eBay purchases (L) Mothercare jumper (R) T-shirt from New Look

This summer dress was a perfect beach/cover-up dress for our babymoon – very comfy! I had packed it in my hospital bag as a comfy coming home outfit but wore my pj bottoms in the end!

Summer maternity dress from Mammas and Papas via eBay
Summer maternity dress from Mammas and Papas via eBay

This Dorothy Perkins dress was fine for work… I loved the fabric (you can’t see it in this bad photo sorry!) but always had to wear a cardie over it as I didn’t like the puffy shoulders. The Red Herring dress was a fave, perfect for our holiday and I wish I’d worn it more post-holiday 😦

Maternity dresses from eBay - L (Dorothy Perkins) - R (Red Herring at Debenhams)
Maternity dresses from eBay – L (Dorothy Perkins) – R (Red Herring at Debenhams)
I LOVE the fabric and sequin detail on the Red Herring dress
I LOVE the fabric and sequin detail on the Red Herring dress

This T-shirt is another fave – I ended up wearing it throughout my labour! Excellent quality, love the print and the cut was not too tight.

Maternity t-shirt from ebay (Next)
Maternity t-shirt from ebay (Next)

And some poor decisions – dresses I didn’t wear as the weather wasn’t as nice as hoped by May!

Maternity dresses from eBay I didn't wear: (L) Asos (R) Mothercare
Maternity dresses from eBay I didn’t wear: (L) Asos (R) Mothercare

The cape- style coat looked awful on me and this was one lesson I learnt about maternity clothes:
Things that don’t suit you pre-maternity probably won’t suit you during maternity!

New Look maternity cape coat - lovely and great quality but would never suit me!
New Look maternity cape coat – lovely and great quality but would never suit me!

Other thoughts I had:

  • Why don’t retailers sell jeans in different length sizes? Do we suddenly all become the same height when pregnant? (No, I had to pay to get those H&M jeans taken up!!)
  • On all those dresses above, I found the bottom half unflattering, they all allowed plenty of room for my expanding bum but in doing so made it look bigger than it was! (Whereas the jeans were v flattering which is probably why I lived in them!)
  • I know I didn’t buy a large amount and there’s lots more available (at a price perhaps) but I did find the choices quite limited and boring… Lots of stripes, lots of plain stuff, not enough quirky/cool prints (more of those butterfly fabrics for example)… when some of the shops like New Look tried to use nice prints, I felt that the fabrics felt a bit cheap (you can’t win!). As you can see from above -I think Red Herring do this well, so more from them would be great!

So there we have it, end of an era, it’s all going up to the loft… Apart from those jeans ( still SO comfy!!) and my special purchase… The t-shirt I ended up wearing for labour… Has too many memories to go into the loft and still looks ok as a loose t-shirt!

How did you find maternity clothes? How much did you spend? What were your favourite maternity shops?!

27 thoughts on “Bye bye maternity clothes – a journey through my maternity wardrobe”

  1. I didn’t want to buy any either but they were so comfy. My best buys were new look jeans, ordered loads online then returned to store, cheap, easy and different leg lengths! I’m 5 ft and they fit me better than any others I tried. Also a pair of black work trousers for a fiver from Dorothy Perkins in a random sale search! I had to manage with a cold bump though as I didn’t buy a coat!


    1. Oh fab, to be fair to New Look I didn’t look there for jeans – great to know they do different lengths! I didn’t buy a coat either (there was no way I could wear ‘the cape’) so I had a cold bump too lol! xx


      1. Oh I love the look of that cape! No it was a bit random I only discovered their maternity stuff by accident during a fit of rage then bought a couple of things, so cheap I think the jeans were about a tenner on sale!


  2. I had a few trusted essentials too. My problem was that as a larger girl pre-pregnancy, I struggled to find maternity clothes in my size. I lost 2 1/2 stone in my 3rd trimester though, and the silver lining to that was being able to find nicer maternity clothes to fit. If I was ever to have another baby, I know I’d do most of my maternity shopping a Beebies as they’ve got some fabulous ranges in now


  3. I remember getting into my first pair of maternity jeans and I honestly felt like I had fallen in heaven! lol. So insanely comfy and I wasn’t in any rush to get out of them! lol! Great post hun and some gorgeous pieces there too! Thanks for linking up with #MMWBH xx


  4. You had a lovely pregnancy wardrobe. I regret not buying more maternity wear, I got quite a few nice bits and bobs but wish I had more, at the time it seemed like a waste of money and I just ‘made do’ with the items I had. But maternity clothes are definitely the comfiest around! #MMWBH


    1. I honestly was planning to ‘make do’ if my stuff had still fitted me! I am glad in the end though – it was nice just having those few key items for such a special time in my life! Comfort is key for maternity! xx #MMWBH


  5. I can only speak on behalf of my partner here and I know she had similar jeans-based frustrations! On top of this, so many high-street retailers claim to sell maternity wear, but when you go in it’s usually one or two racks of unflattering and ghastly items. So, to combat all of that, Nikki did the majority of her maternity shopping online! It was still more expensive than she would have liked, but at least she had comfortable clothes to see out pregnancy in 🙂 x


    1. You’re right – the shops are quite bad – I know New Look had a lot more online than in-store but I’m not a massive fan of buying clothes online, but I’m glad it worked out for her!
      I should have added to the blog – I know Top Shop and ASOS have a good range online but they were a bit too trendy and pricey for me! I like my classic stuff 🙂


    2. I did most of my maternity clothes shopping online because I found the selection on the high street depressing. It mostly consisted of garments that I would never have worn out of pregnancy. Why would I lose a sense of my style just because I had a bun in the oven?! Shopping online also meant I could try clothes on in the comfort of my own home. Seeing the size of my pregnancy bum in a changing room mirror sent me into a cold sweat. Hugs Mrs H xxxx


  6. I begrudged paying the prices for maternity wear, especially when you wear it for such a short time but I found some fantastic bargains on ebay and also in H&M. Maternity Jeans are so comfy it’s tempting to carry on wearing them afterwards isn’t it 🙂


  7. (Okay so that first comment misbehaved I think I hit enter before I’d finished writing!!!)

    I struggled to find maternity jeans. My Mum and I went off to Centre:MK thinking it would be dead simple. There must be a shop in the whole of Milton Keynes shopping centre that would sell maternity jeans. Well apparently it was too hard! We went to H&M they just had skinny fit (I don’t do skinny fit pre-pregnancy let along when I have to try and fit extra into the jeans too!) In the end we found a pair in Mothercare but they were the wrong size, we got maternity trousers while we were there and when we got home my Mum ordered me a pair from the Mothercare website for delivery to the local store. Top wise – minus one my Mum bought me and one I bought online, nearly all my tops were cheap T-Shirts from Primark about 3 sizes bigger than what I normally wear and they’ve all survived pretty well. (The baby pink one was a mistake though as I now look like a blancmange!)

    We went to an NCT nearly new and I bought a striped shirt (it was blouse sort of fabric but is sewn up rather than buttoned all the way down – if that makes sense!) which was perfect for work as I got wider! My Mum also treated me to a JoJoMamanBebe maternity dress (we later figured out that this was a ridiculous bargain as a new one would have been £40 and we got it for like £6 or something like that). It came in very handy at my Goddaughter’s dedication a couple of weekends ago when I wanted to wear something other than my maternity trousers but didn’t want to look like I was heading for Glastonbury in flip flops and a maxi skirt! I actually had quite a few comments about how nice I looked so that boosted my confidence a bit too when I was feeling hot and bothered!

    I didn’t invest in a swimming costume as I didn’t think I’d have use for it – part of me wishes I had bought one so I could have gone swimming more especially now I’m on maternity leave – then again once you’ve added the cost of swimming to the costume price, sitting in the bath with my eye closes works just as well hehe. #MMWBH


    1. Sounds like you did ok in the end – I also dislike skinny jeans and quite often these days it’s the only type they sell!
      And while the tankini was really handy for holidays, I had great visions of going swimming every week when I got back but of course I didn’t go once so I didn’t get a very good ‘cost per wear’ out of it!

      I’m off to my first NCT sale on Saturday, hoping to stock up on clothes and books for the little one 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your maternity clothing journey too 🙂 #MMWBH


  8. That butterfly dress looks really really nice! i have to admit that I didnt buy any maternity clothes as I fit to my normal clothes till the last time. I have to ditch the leggings tho as the waist expanded that the garter went lose! All of your clothes looks nice =) #mmwbh


  9. I had a mild panic the first time I went shopping for maternity clothes. I went to Topshop and my options seemed to be frumpy or leopard print with leather treggings (not really me). I then discovered ASOS Maternity, H&M, Gap and Bloomin’ Marvellous and my eyes were opened to how stylish and comfortable some maternity wear could be. I almost cried when I had to give up my maternity jeans. Hugs Mrs H xxx


  10. I loved the mat dresses in mothercare. They were so flattering as they were more fitted to the legs rather than swing or a line.
    I’ve put all of my mat wear away ‘for the next one’… we are crazy!
    I was in my old clothes by 11 weeks post-labour – but I have changed shape annoyingly! Less Jessica Rabbit, more Mrs Brown… lol


    1. Oh I’ll have to remember that about Mothercare dresses if I have a ‘next one’!!
      I have changed shape too – bigger thighs, hips and my belly is still not back to normal but I’m not bothered about it!x


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