When it comes to pregnancy and fashion, women tend to fall into one of two camps.  There are those of us who embrace our new figure with gusto and rush out to buy a wardrobe designed to flaunt our fabulous new accessory—our growing belly–before we even have the equivalent of a beer gut.  Then there are those of us who awkwardly try to dress this-thing-that-was-formerly-our-body with our existing wardrobe until we’ve exhausted all the wrap and empire waist dresses we own. While the former would happily skip from one pricey maternity boutique to the next, the latter can’t fathom spending money on clothes that are only going to be worn for a few months.  Regardless of which camp you claim allegiance to, the following hints will make sure you don’t lose your sense of style just because you’ve lost sight of your feet.
Designer Denim: The good news for anyone without a budget is that you can find all of the designer brands with maternity waistbands.  Sevens, Citizens, Joes Jeans, True Religion, Paige—the list goes on and on!  A more wallet-friendly option is to send your favorite pair (well, maybe second favorite pair) to a company like Belly Jeans where they will convert them to maternity jeans for a fraction of the cost of a new pair.
Locals Only: Charleston is fortunate to have several stylish maternity boutiques just waiting to outfit the blossoming bellies of the Lowcountry.  Sprout is a chic boutique for anyone West of the Ashley, while Mt. Pleasant boasts A Pea in the Pod and From Here to Maternity.  For trendy yet budget-friendly pregnancy clothes, you can’t beat Target.  Marshall’s and T.J. Maxx are worth a look for non-maternity clothes that could fit the bill.
Online Finds: The beauty of online shopping when you’re pregnant?  You don’t have to venture out into public when all you feel like doing is nibbling crackers and lying on the couch.  If you want to dress like a celebrity, Isabella Oliver and Seraphine make the A-list of fashionable online boutiques.  Luckily for pregnant women everywhere, many of our favorite chains have jumped on the maternity bandwagon and now offer great looking clothes at reasonable prices.  Some to check out are LOFT, GAP, and Old Navy.
Staples: Just like your pre-pregnancy wardrobe consisted of a few key pieces, your maternity selection will be much more versatile if you keep the same thing in mind.  Buy a good maternity tank top in black and one in white to layer under non-maternity shirts (they will ride up) or pair them with a long cardigan from your existing wardrobe.  In addition to a great pair of jeans, make sure you own at least one dress, one skirt and one pair of dress pants that you love.  Remember you are going to wear things over and over again, so be sure to pick items that you can dress up or down and that aren’t a pattern or color that will make it obvious that you are wearing it for the third time—that week.
Accessorize: While your stomach may triple in size and your feet swell to unrecognizable proportions, your ears, wrist and neck should stay roughly the same.   Adorn yourself with all manner of bling while you can!  Once that little angel of yours in on the outside, your baubles only serve to spark up a game of tug-of-war.  Buying something without a size will do wonders for your self-esteem late in pregnancy too!

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