Why Maternity Clothes Are So Ugly – What You Can Wear Instead!

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Something that many of us find really hard to work out during pregnancy is finding things to wear. Looking at purchasing a whole new wardrobe seems hard work, stressful and can also be extremely overwhelming. This on top of everything else quickly moves further and further down the line until you have no choice but to face buying new clothes.

Maternity clothes are often deemed as ‘ugly’ or unfaltering because the styles are often to accommodate a growing body, large chest and many even are made to be practical for pregnancy and postpartum for breastfeeding etc. This can be limiting and often unattractive for many women.

I found working out what I wanted to wear and finding something to wear when I got bigger and more uncomfortable hard as I was needing things for now but also had to think about later when I got much better and to the end of my pregnancy. I ended up just working with a select number of things that I knew would see me through the full term and then added as I went along with smaller things that I might need.

Here are some of the most budding questions when it comes to maternity clothes, alternatives for you to dress in and some helpful places to shop if you felt overwhelmed and defeated like me!

Why Are Maternity Clothes Ugly?

Firstly I will say that not all maternity clothes are ugly, there are plenty of brands and companies who are trying to make maternity clothes look less ‘mumsy’ and a little more stylish. As style often changes over the years it can be hard to keep up with the trends and with so many requirements for a pregnant woman’s body to contend with you can often look at clothes and think they look frumpy.

Maternity clothes often span over into post-partum and breastfeeding friendly clothes so they will be structured to have hidden zips or pockets that allow you to breastfeed while staying relatively modest.

The style of these usually comes with a wrap over chest or an overlapping pieces on the chest which can look decorative but if like me, you prefer plain and uncomplicated clothing this might seem a little frumpy or too much.

You can however find tops that have a secret zip in the side of under the bust to allow you to breastfeed and still have a simple and sleek looking top. If all else fails wear a vest top that is easy to access your breast and layer over it with a jumper, shirt or alternative item. That way you can still wear the clothes you want and feel good in but still have access to your chest for breastfeeding.

How To Dress Nice During Pregnancy?

There are of course a couple of ways in which you can still look nice, yourself and just overall feel good about what you are wearing while pregnant. One important thing to remember is comfort is key, especially once you get into the last part of the second trimester and into the third trimester.

In the beginning, you will more than likely just be able to wear your normal clothes, only once you start to feel more rounded and uncomfortable in those you might want to look at upgrading your wardrobe. Remember not to buy too much early on as you don’t know how big your bump will grow and so you may end up having to buy more clothes later on if those don’t fit anymore.

This is me in my jersey dungarees and stretchy top at 21 weeks pregnant.

Once you start to grow you might find that you simply swap out some items such as leggings and jeans for maternity jeans and leggings. These are great staples as you can then wear generally your style that you had before but in maternity comfortable clothing. I found in the second trimester I was happy to wear stretchy tops and maternity bottoms or loose dresses that would fit over my bump.

I would look for clothes that you personally like to wear and is comfortable and within your style and comfort zone because then you can feel better knowing you aren’t wearing something totally different and feel it doesn’t suit you or your new shape.

Here are some items I bought which I found comfortable, easy to wear and cute;

  • jersey dungarees or cotton dungarees
  • stretchy tops
  • materntiy vests
  • large jumpers for winter
  • loose fitting summer dresses
  • Ribbed jersey tops and dresses as they expand and retract over your bump – they are also great for wearing after birth as they are stretchy and easy to wear.
  • Jersey style jumpsuits that are easy to pull up or down and don’t require too many fastenings to get in and out.

Where To Buy Maternity Clothes?

There are a number of places you can shop for maternity clothes from online stores to high street stores. One of my favourite places was either Primark as it was affordable for items such as maternity vests and undergarments. Though I also found supermarkets such as Asda had a nice range of clothing that got changed with the season which was helpful.

There are online places such as BooHoo, Jojo Maman Bebe, H&M and more that have a maternity range.

Also don’t be afraid to look in charity shops and reuse shops as there are plenty of markets for mums and parents that you can find bargains for and many people buy maternity clothes and never wear them and might be perfect for what you are looking for.