...because home doesn't happen overnight.

I gave away all of my maternity clothing. ALL of it. I had thought we were finished having babies. Not so. I had lots of good stuff too. My maternity wardrobe had been purchased nearly 8 years ago on a D.I.N.K. budget which means I probably had more than I needed and spent more than I should have.

I’m starting from scratch this time around and working on a much tighter budget. In general, I find that maternity clothing is overpriced. Maybe it’s the extra belly fabric? Maybe it’s the fact that pregnant women don’t really have time on their side when shopping for clothing? I mean, it’s not like we can wait a few months until stuff goes on sale. Typically, we’re at the store looking for something because our pre-pregnancy wardrobe is starting to cut off circulation to essential body parts. Whatever the reason, buying for the sole purpose of dressing a growing bump can get pricey. If you let it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This week I’m sharing how I’ve created a practical, versatile and comfy maternity wardrobe without breaking the bank…and without sacrificing style.

Of note: I had hoped to take higher quality photos outdoors but the midwest December weather isn’t cooperating this week. Oh. And my iron is in storage…we’re living with only the necessities you know. Not that I would have ironed anything anyway.

I’ve found a few great ‘maternity’ pieces in the regular ol’ women’s section. One of them being casual dresses with a high or empire waistline. Since the baby bump tends to lift the front of non-maternity dresses a tad, I like to pair them with cotton tights for more coverage. Here I’ll show you three different women’s dresses that I’ve been able to fit into my maternity wardrobe.

This olive dress with charcoal tights is super comfy.

I layered a striped non-maternity tank underneath and accessorized with a colorful necklace and leather boots.

I wore this outfit to Thanksgiving dinner just a few weeks ago. I’m pleased to say it passed the eat-as-much-food-as-you-can-with-a-baby-bump test. Hopefully, that means I’ll get a few more months out of it.

THE OUTFIT:

  • olive dress – $14 {on clearance at Target}
  • charcoal cotton tights – $6 {Macy’s last winter}
  • gray and white striped tank – $4 {on clearance at Target}
  • wood bead necklace – $3 {on clearance at Kohl’s years ago}
  • leather boots – $50 {on sale at Macy’s a few years back}

This next high-waisted dress was a recent non-maternity purchase too.

The dress is showing much darker in the image than in real life. In reality, it’s a medium navy color.

The studded belt detail is attached and the dress ties in the back.

I chose patterned tights along with the same boots from the first outfit. I accidentally came across this dress on Black Friday when Handy Hubby and I stopped at a local shopping mall on our way out to Pennsylvania for his 15-year high school reunion. It was a steal!

THE OUTFIT:

  • navy belted dress: $9 {Rue 21}
  • patterned tights: FREE {a past Christmas gift from my mom}
  • leather boots: $50 {on sale at Macy’s a few years back}

Finally, I have another dress that was a purchase over the summer when I had no plans of wearing it with a baby bump in tow. In fact, I wore it to a friend’s wedding reception just a couple of weeks before I found out I was expecting. It was never meant to be a maternity dress but I’ve found its elastic chest band, high waist and layers of ruffles to be very forgiving.

It’s a strapless dress, so on colder days I add a plum button-up sweater. The sweater also hides the shoulder straps of a much needed supportive bra. My boobs are a little ridiculous {HH would say awesome} right now. One of the true ‘perks’ of pregnancy!

I didn’t get a shot of my shoes but I wore lavender flats. My center of gravity is off-kilter nowadays and I have a history of losing my balance during pregnancy, so I steer clear of heels.

THE OUTFIT:

  • strapless dress: $25 {Old Navy}
  • sweater: $15 {Target a while back}
  • leather flats: $20 {Target}

The best part about all of these outfits is that I can see myself wearing each piece post-pregnancy. Like all things home decor, I’m a sucker for clothing that does double duty. And while I showed the price of each item, the only pieces I’ve purchased since becoming pregnant are the olive dress {$14}, the stripe tank {$4} and the navy belted dress {$9}. That’s $27 spent on three maternity outfits. Not too shabby. {Btw, have you entered to win the Shabby Apple giveaway yet?}

Have I mentioned that taking pictures of myself to put on the internet is weird? And strange? And it makes me nervous sweaty? And I can’t figure out what to do with my hands? If I didn’t know any better, I would say that the last image looks like my water just broke and I’m holding myself staring into the puddle. I guess I’ll keep trying though…I still have more everyday maternity ideas to share.

FYI – I was not compensated in any way to mention any item shown above. I just love sharing good stuff!

images: all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

35 Comments

06.December.2011

You are so beautiful; but it does look like you are waiting for the puddle, lol! But, that’s one of the beauties of being pregnant! The rest of us will just say “oh, how cute is she” . . . . maybe a few behind the back hand shots? Or crazy, out to the side dancing moves?

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06.December.2011

the ruffle dress is super-cute! those dresses look like they would work post preg. too – baggy clothes are back in fashion, no?

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07.December.2011

That ruffled dress is absolutely adorable on you! Man oh man! Your legs are skinny minnie :) You look very cute, such a beautiful preggo!

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07.December.2011

The third outfit is so cute! I love the girly look!

http://MyersMaison.blogspot.com

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07.December.2011

What does D.I.N.K. Stand for?

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replied on December 7th, 2011

JennyB – D.I.N.K. = Dual Income, No Kids

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07.December.2011

I’m not a huge fan of commenting, but I thought I should after your last little sentence. I think you look great pregnant and really enjoyed the photos of the outfits. ttc and it gives me inspiration for when I do! Thanks for all of your great ideas.. from house to preg!

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07.December.2011

jesus woman, you are SO PRETTY!! and I love your maternity outfits! Great ideas. I find that maternity clothes just aren’t that cute anyway. I’d much rather pull a Tim Gunn and make it work with regular clothes.

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07.December.2011

Love these beautiful and comfy dresses.

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07.December.2011

Love the gray dress!!! Great find.
(You have such beautiful legs – kinda like the legs I used to have pre-5 kids. haha. I hope to find them again someday if I ever hit my weightloss goal.)

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07.December.2011

great outfits, especially like the last one–even though I’m not a ruffles-type-of-girl, there’s something very light and pretty about the combo of the summery dress and cardigan, especially in a vibrant colour.

when i was preggo in australia, we didn’t have many shopping options, so I did a lot of non-maternity things (lots of stretchy skirts pulled up over my belly with a longer shirt on top!) The bonus was that I could wear them whilst losing the extra baby weight afterwards without looking like I was still pregnant!

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07.December.2011

Soooo cute ! About your hands, I have ONE advice : hold/carry something (a book, a magazine, a vase with flowers, a basket, a kitty, a broom – just kidding for the last one !). Pictures will seem more natural and it will give you something to look at (and keep your hands busy).
Take care !

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replied on December 7th, 2011

Kelly & Ariane – Thanks for the tips on how to handle my hands. I felt like such a goofball! I’ll definitely try out some hands-behind-the-back and carrying something poses…what do you think about jazz hands? Just kidding on that last one.

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07.December.2011

Oh my gosh, this is one of my favorite guilty pleasures every day when I get to the office. You totally crack me up! I love reading your posts, you’re spectacularly glam yet totally relatable. The simple fact that you relish in scoring a dress for $9 makes you so real to me.

Your comments about the pics are hilarious! Good thing I sit in an office b/c it actually made me laugh out loud….

Keep up the good work little mommy, you’re very gracefully juggling a great deal of things and have a lot of fans cheering you on!

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07.December.2011

Cute! The navy blue dress would be great with a t-neck or scoop neck shirt underneath, too.

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07.December.2011

you are gorgeous! my goodness – I wish I looked that good when I was pregnant…and now, 10 months later! ha! :)

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07.December.2011

All I can say is you look a HEAP o’ lot better than I did when I was preggo. I WISH I looked as put together and cute. I basically wore my hubby’s tshirts and sweatpants the entire pregnancy. And when I wasn’t wearing those, I opted for scrubs at work…because working around dogs is messy and I’d rather dirty scrubs than the hubby’s clothes…lol.
And I looked like I had just swallowed one of those blueberry flavored gum pieces from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…BLOATED…and BLIMPY…lol. You look cute and soooo NOT bloated…*sigh*. Of course…it was probably those banana splits I HAD to have every night in order to keep from tossing my cookies…lol…;)

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07.December.2011

I have always thought you were very pretty, but pregnancy just enhances it 10 times more; you look beautiful!! I love the last look; I would never have looked twice at that dress in the store, but seeing how you’ve made it work makes me want to find one like it. So cute and breezy for when the weather warms up. And those legs…How do you get them? I have little bitty skinny chicken legs; please share your secret to scoring awesome calves!! :-)

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replied on December 7th, 2011

Lindsey – Hmmm…maybe a post on what I do for pregnancy fitness?

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07.December.2011

You look gorgeous! What is your secret to wearing cotton tights under a dress and not having the dress static-cling to the tights?

Jen

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replied on December 7th, 2011

Jen – So far, I haven’t had any problems with static and the cotton tights. I usually have static problems when/if I wear nylons and I can’t even remember the last time I did. If I did have a static problem, I’d probably try rubbing a dryer sheet along the top of my tights to cut down on the static.

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You are so adorable!!! I love that you are sharing these outfits!! I love ‘maternity wear’ that you can wear post pregnancy and these are such cute finds!! Thanks for the great ideas now if only I could look that cute pregnant!!! Can’t wait to see your other everyday maternity ideas!

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07.December.2011

Oh thank, you thank, you thank you! We are expecting our first and every morning now starts with me scratching my head wondering, ‘so what can I fit into today?’ These are some great tips and I try to find a few things to add to my wardrobe!

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07.December.2011

Love the navy dress with the belt. So awesome!

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07.December.2011

You are one of the most beautiful pregnant women I’ve ever seen. One of my pregnancy tricks was buying jeans that were 3 sizes larger than my regular size. I was able to wear them while pregnant AND after delivery!

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07.December.2011

Seriously, you are the cutest ever! I love your style and you make everything look absolutely fabulous! :)

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07.December.2011

I bought my first round of maternity clothes 5+ years ago on a DINK budget and even though I have them still, they are in such bad shape (and not even really my style anymore) that it’s painful to wear them this time around. And I have no budget for new stuff. Le sigh. At least pregnancy has a definite end point, so my wrecked self won’t have to live with this wardrobe forever. :P

BTW, you look lovely.

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07.December.2011

All 3 outfits are just perfect. You are too cute and look great pregnant. I am sure there are a lot of us gals who wish we had your genes. I love that you are finding pieces non-maternity because I agree that the maternity clothes are way overpriced. Even better that you’ll be able to use each piece after being preggo too!

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07.December.2011

Dana- you are a ridiculously adorable preggo lady and it shows in every picture! love your style and your honesty about ironing!! love it :)

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07.December.2011

cute pics!! i scored a ton of stuff at goodwill, most of it with the tags still on. now my friends are all passing the clothes around as my planned-baby-having-days are over.

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We’d have fun shopping in the non-maternity section together–it’s my goal this pregnancy! I am wearing almost an identical outfit to your #1 today–ha! & Rue whatever dresses can be found at marshalls/tjs for about $10–they fit my 30wk preggo body like a glove. Go figure…! :) Congrats! Love your blog–& will be linking you in a couple of weeks, as I just built barn doors inspired by yours. LOVE them! :)

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replied on December 7th, 2011

Shawna – Oooooh! Can’t wait to see the barn doors!

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07.December.2011

Love the tips…I have also scored some high-end/name-brand maternity items {jeans especially} at our Salvation Army. Most have barely been worn and are no more than $5! :)

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08.December.2011

Love your blog! Such great tips, and cute outfits!! I’m pregnant with my first; also due in April. :) You’ve convinced me that I need to look for a few dresses with an empire waist. They’re so flattering on you! I agree with the others…you look beautiful!

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08.December.2011

You are the cutest! I am 10 weeks pregnant and i have been wondering what to wear, and you have given me so many good ideas.

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