If you're pregnant like me, finding things that 1) fit comfortably, 2) are not ugly, and 3) don't cost a lot of money can make you feel like you hit the jackpot. From what I've heard, the warmer weather months are in some ways an unenviable time to be in the later stages of pregnancy, but I'm in the case of the clothing matter I'm finding that there's a lot more flexibility in terms of wardrobe. The timing of things have allowed me to plan and realize the comfy/cute/cheap triumvirate. Note: Everyone's experience of pregnancy is different, and those reading reflect a host of different and beautiful body types (and bumps). Knowing that, I share what I have found is working for me so far as the temperature rises, and hopefully some part of it can be helpful to someone else.
1) Shrug off maternity clothes in lieu of more forgiving cuts and fabrics that can be bought up a size or two (and still likely be worn again later!) Maternity clothing can be horrifically expensive (and a lot of it, truthfully, is very ugly). Cotton sundresses, tunics, and shift dresses are a godsend in the summer and can be layered with a knit shirt, wrap or even cardigan in the spring. That led me to Garnet Hill, a beloved catalog store...
2) Shop off-season or check the clearance sections to get Garnet Hill at Wal-Mart prices. I adore Garnet Hill. It's one of those rare clothing lines that has true versatility and appeal across a range of ages. A Garnet Hill dress can be rocked by anyone, whether you're 24 or 64. Late this winter as I got towards the end of my first trimester, I scoured their clearance section and managed to score three flowy, embroided cotton tops for $9 each (similar tops here for $28), a gauzy pair of drawstring palazzo pants in pewter for $8, and two sundresses for $9 and $18 respectively (now $28). All of these are pretty pieces that I can and have been layering until it gets warmer, but they'll all be extremely comfortable in the summer (and provide my adorable freeloader with room to grow).
3) Don't underestimate the power of the "rubber-band and jeans trick". Enough said. When that whole gets old, you chip in for a very inexpensive alternative to the fancy belly bands at Target. At $16.99, the Ingrid & Isabel BeBand does the trick for a fraction of the cost of other belly bands. At the middle of my pregnancy, I'm now in a place where can't stand the sensation of the thick, coarse quality of jean fabric. Cute but cheap "jeggings" by Hue will hopefully get me through the next half!
4) For those questioning their sanity, there's always the #LillyforTarget launch. After narrowly securing a quarter of my attempted online-only purchase overnight, I braved my way to the South Setauket Target at 7:10 this morning, played nicely but decisively (no comment on those line cutters!) and managed to walk away with more things than I expected in the two minutes of craziness. Going into it with a sense of humor and low expectations helped. The drawstring palazzo pants and flounce dress are a pregnancy dream. Ordering up a size, I found the strapless maxi dress very comfortable. What surprised me the most was the shift dress, which I managed to score in one size too big for my current figure. I was afraid that a shift would overemphasize the middle of a pregnant woman, but it actually had the opposite effect. It's so cute and the fabric is thick, so I will probably just get it altered post-partum. Was it worth it? Sure. Will I ever do something like this again? No.