Are Maternity clothes really necessary?
by Martina Minarik
Do I really need to shell out on new clothes that I’m only going to wear for a few months? Can’t I just muddle through with what I’ve got? Maybe buy a few sizes up?
Of course you can opt for regular oversized and loose fitting clothes during your pregnancy, or just stretch out your normal clothes - but doing so often limits what you can do with your outfits and how comfortable you feel.
Maternity clothing is there for a reason, and it’s not just to make you look great - it tends to serve a dual purpose. Maternity leggings and jeans, for example, often come with a supportive band on the waist to make your bump feel secure and supported. And some maternity tops double up as breastfeeding tops for once the little one arrives.
The main reasons why some women avoid maternity wear altogether and many more keep their maternity purchases to a minimum are: 1. Maternity wear is considered poor value for money because you can only wear it until the end of the pregnancy, so “cost per wear” is high, 2. Some pregnant women feel uncomfortable with their changing bodies and don’t see the point in spending money on something that they’re not going to feel great in anyway, and 3. Many women think maternity wear is frumpy.
Let’s address some of these misconceptions and also look at the benefits of wearing maternity clothes.
Misconception #1. “Maternity wear is poor value for money”
Not necessarily. Maternity wear doesn’t have to be more expensive than regular, non-maternity, clothes. If you choose carefully and opt for quality, you’ll only need a few pieces and they will last you throughout this and subsequent pregnancies. If you’re not planning on being pregnant again, you’ll be able to sell them on or give them to a friend.
Investing in more durable items is also wise because maternity clothes get used and washed more frequently (due to your wardrobe being smaller). The initial price tag might be higher but you will get more “bang for your buck” with clothes that last more than one round.
You can also lower the “cost per wear” by choosing pieces that can be worn postpartum or double up as breastfeeding wear.
Multi-wear Maternity and Breastfeeding tops are more cost-effective and sustainable.
Misconception #2. “Maternity clothes are unnecessary”
Now this is just my opinion, but regular clothes have a tendency to droop at the shoulders and pull in all the wrong places when pulled over a bump. They’re not hugely flattering postpartum either.
Maternity clothes, on the other hand, are tailored to accommodate your growing body, which means they should be more comfortable AND flattering to wear.
If you choose a maternity brand that uses natural fabrics, such as organic cotton and bamboo, the clothes should also feel softer and more gentle on your skin, which is a plus if you’re experiencing tender, super-sensitive and itchy skin that is commonplace with pregnancy. That’s because natural and organic fabrics are free of harsh chemicals like pesticides and fertilisers.
The use of stretchy waistbands and extra fabric not only gives you room in all the right places, so that you feel more comfortable, it also makes you look good too! Clothes are more flattering when they fit the body that they dress, right?!
For me, pregnancy was an exciting and exhilarating time of life and I loved my bump, but the extra weight, rounder arms and bigger breasts also meant my regular clothes didn’t fit as well as they used to and this made me feel self conscious. Finding maternity clothes that flattered my new shape helped me feel as excited on the outside as I did on the inside.
Over-the-bump, organic maternity leggings provide comfort and support for your growing bump.
Misconception #3. “Maternity wear is frumpy”
Yes, there are a lot of frumpy clothes out there, but the maternity market has also changed a lot in the past decade, mainly due to the fact that more women work throughout their pregnancy, disposable income is higher and there has been a rise in stylish celebrity mums(-to-be) happily sharing their pregnancies with the public. So these days, there is also a lot of stylish, well-made, maternity wear out there.
Most of my maternity wear came from H&M, Isabella Oliver and Seraphine. These brands have some great workwear options, such as black or white short- or long-sleeve tops, shirts and maternity trousers, which can easily be worn with a regular cardigan or unbuttoned suit jacket. They also have a huge selection of work dresses as well as more formal dresses.
My challenge was finding some low-maintenance, easy-to-rock casual and weekend wear. The kind of washed out, rock-cool tees that were my staple before the pregnancy. Speaking to other mums and mums-to-be, I also realised that I wasn’t the only one wishing there was something more exciting to wear during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding. And that’s where the idea for NINE+QUARTER came from.
NINE+QUARTER is a different kind of maternity wear. Our mission is to bring you on-trend, organic and easy-to-rock designs throughout your amazing journey and beyond. Rock-cool and retro-inspired looks that fit seamlessly into your pre- and post-pregnancy wardrobe - without compromising your style.
New life, same You!
Maternity wear does not have to be frumpy.
Interested in reading more? Check out these posts: "When should you start buying Maternity clothes?", "How Maternity Clothes Work?"or “Maternity Essentials" by journalist and fashion enthusiast Anna Bastiaenen.
Martina is the founder of NINE+QUARTER, a brand new range of maternity clothes and breastfeeding tops.