You may feel overwhelmed during the period of time right after your positive pregnancy test. Whether surprised or overjoyed, every decision you make suddenly confronts you with an array of potential consequences.
Is your brand of prenatal vitamins the best for you and baby? Does your favorite herbal tea contain any first trimester no-nos? How can you have a green pregnancy? When do you need to start buying maternity clothes? Is it even possible to create a sustainable maternity wardrobe?
The truth is, depending on your body, you may not need to change your wardrobe until your second trimester. Even with the “fourth trimester” and adjusting to your postpartum body, chances are you will wear maternity clothing for no more than a year. Only planning for one child? Suddenly the expense of building a maternity wardrobe, both financial and environmental, seems extremely high.
Do you feel out of control during early pregnancy? You’re not alone! Luckily, you can control some things, including how much you invest in outfitting yourself for the next nine months. Follow these easy steps to create your own sustainable maternity wardrobe, on a budget!
My first batch of maternity clothing brought me back to my childhood days of hand-me-downs. My good friend offered to let me go through two bags she accumulated over the course of her own two pregnancies. At first, I worried nothing would work for me as my friend is a smaller size than I am. The result surprised me!
Not only does maternity clothing fit differently, it is also designed to accommodate a growing baby bump. Go ahead and try on articles that are marked a smaller or larger size than you would normally wear. They may work great for your changing body!
Embrace the Belly Band
Did you recently spend a lot of money on a great pair of all season jeans from an eco-conscious company? It probably doesn’t feel good to consider replacing them with a cheaply made pair just because they have elastic sewn into the waist. Enter, the belly band.
The belly band is a maternity accessory that bridges the growing bump between pre-pregnancy jeans and tops. When worn, it looks like a layered camisole. The belly band covers the open fly of your jeans, and helps to keep pants in place. While several brands offer the wardrobe adapter, you can also make your own, with lots of online tutorials available.
Browse Second Hand Sites
One of the principles of the slow fashion movement is to opt for higher quality clothing that will last longer as opposed to cheaply made brands designed to be worn for only one season. Unfortunately, higher quality clothing costs more. When you are investing in an item you may only wear for a year out of your life, it can be harder to justify the expense.
Luckily there are plenty of second hand clothing sites that now offer maternity wear. Of course, they still carry some brands that may stretch or pill easily, so keep your eyes open for higher quality brands and clothing made from natural fibers. Bonus? When you no longer need your own maternity wardrobe, you can sell it back through the same websites!
Sew – or Cinch! – Your Own
Skilled with a sewing machine? Visit Pinterest and you will find several patterns for adorable maternity shirts, skirts and dresses. There are even some patterns that upcycle non-maternity clothing into new, bump-friendly pieces!
If you’re like me, cinching may be the closest you get to creating new pieces out of your pre-pregnancy closet. Still, you’ll be amazed how cute a free-flowing frock can become when you belt it right above your bump. Since adding a belt does nothing to permanently change the clothing, you can continue to wear it post-pregnancy as well. And dual-use clothing really is the ultimate goal for a sustainable maternity wardrobe.
If you have more flexibility with your finances, you can buy organic clothing made from sustainably grown fabrics from many websites. These can offer both beautiful and eco-friendly additions to your maternity wardrobe. But with a pre-baby budget, and desire to avoid extra waste, use these steps to create the next best thing.
Do you have tips on how you created your own sustainable maternity wardrobe?