How to Build a Maternity Capsule Wardrobe for a Texas Mom

close up shot of pregnant belly white shirt blue jeans
I’m nearing the end of my third and final pregnancy, and I’ve been thinking a lot about how to build a maternity capsule wardrobe. Because this pregnancy fell into a much different time of year than my previous two, I’ve leaned on the wardrobe I already had but also had to add in some summer maternity items. 
I don’t know many women who could skate by without maternity clothing but if you’re like me, the thought of buying a whole new wardrobe makes you cringe. As if pregnancy — and getting dressed on a normal day — wasn’t difficult enough, your changing body, not knowing what it’s going to do, can be really challenging. Here are some tips for building a maternity capsule wardrobe that will last.
>> JOIN TODAY :: Subscribe to Fort Worth Moms <<

Examine a Few Factors

A great capsule wardrobe starts with the items you already love to wear. Then, sprinkle in neutral basics like tanks, tees, leggings, and jeans. Next is the fancy apparel for special occasions such as receptions, vacations, and holidays. Taking stock of what you own and noting your upcoming events will help you plan your capsule closet. Ask yourself these questions to get started: 

  • When will you be the most pregnant? The months when you will be most pregnant (months five through nine) are the season to focus on for buying maternity clothing. A third trimester that falls in the summer will want shorts, tanks, and flowing dresses, while a winter third trimester will need leggings, jeans, and oversized sweaters.
  • What do you spend most of your days doing? When I was pregnant with my first two, I had my own photography business and mostly worked from home, with the exception of photographing sessions and weddings. I got away with a pretty casual maternity wardrobe but also needed one or two dressier outfits for sessions. If you work in an office, you may need a lot more professional attire and fewer pairs of jeans and leggings than I did.
  • What can be repurposed from your current wardrobe? I’ll be honest, I did not have a lot of non-maternity clothing that worked once I became pregnant (high-waisted jeans and fitted tees are not bump-friendly!). But if you have oversized sweaters/sweatshirts, leggings, or stretchy dresses, you may not need to buy maternity-specific versions.

Pregnant woman in a bright orange sweater dress shops for maternity clothes.

>> RECOMMENDED RESOURCE :: Spill the Tea :: Guide to Tea Shops & Cafes in North Texas <<

Create a Shopping List 

I know this sounds a bit extra — pregnancy is such a short period of time, after all — but any time I’ve really examined what I want to be wearing and made a plan, rather than shopping blindly, it’s always yielded better results. Take note of outfit combinations you’re drawn to and start your list from there. Hint: a good place to look is your Pinterest board.
It may also help to look at non-pregnancy outfits that you love and ask yourself are you a jeans and t-shirt girl? Sweaters and leggings? Wear lots of dresses? Don’t buy something just because you think you should have it. If you don’t wear jeans in normal life, you likely won’t wear them when pregnant.  
If this is your first pregnancy, it’s helpful to think about what you may want to wear in future pregnancies (not just what’s hot this season). I found that building a capsule of basics has carried me through three pregnancies over the course of six years.

Shop Mindfully and Slowly

Borrow, browse secondhand, buy quality over quantity; look for pieces that do double duty i.e., not maternity-specific nor designed for pregnancy and postpartum.
There are several thrift stores in the area that carry maternity clothes, as well as Facebook marketplace and other buy/sell groups. What you’ll save in money, you may spend in time searching but it can be well worth it. I purchased a few items from Poshmark and Facebook with great success. You can also size up in “regular” clothing, though depending how much weight you gain and where you gain it, that may not be the best option. Maternity clothes are, after all, designed to fit a pregnant body and grow with the pregnant body.
It seems like a lot of retailers are now creating garments that fit both the pregnant and postpartum body (like these leggings, these bike shorts, these linen pants, this nursing-friendly dress, and this nursing-friendly jumpsuit). You will get the most bang for your buck buying items that can be worn during pregnancy and beyond. 
>> RELATED READ :: Best Swimsuits for Moms <<

Don’t Be Afraid to Borrow

The first time I was pregnant, pretty much all my friends were too, so I did not have the luxury of borrowing any maternity clothes. However, my best friend got pregnant shortly after I had my first child, so she borrowed my wardrobe and added some pieces of her own. When I got pregnant with my second, she sent it all back to me.
My third pregnancy fell in a different part of the year than my first two (namely, summer), so I desperately needed summer clothing — that I did not want to buy! I was fortunate to borrow from a friend or two. If you have friends with a stash of maternity clothes, don’t hesitate to ask!
A pregnant woman wearing a maroon summer dress sits on a picnic blanket holding her belly.

>> JOIN TODAY :: Fort Worth Moms Community Group <<

Buy This!

If I were doing it all over again, this is what I’d buy:
  • T-shirts (2–3)
  • Tanks (3–4) if you will be pregnant in the summer. This includes layering tanks and nursing tanks
  • Long-sleeve shirts (2–3)
if you will be pregnant in the winter
  • Jeans (2) if you will be wearing jeans a lot. If this is your first pregnancy, I highly recommend buying a high quality pair of denim. I did not, therefore, I can’t wear them this time because they are falling apart. You can shop secondhand for good denim. Just search for brands like Madewell or Hatch Collection, to name a few.
  • Black pants/jeans (1)
  • Shorts (2–3) if you will be pregnant in the summer
  • Colored denim/pants (1) olive or white are great classic staples
  • Leggings (2)
  • Blouse/button down (1–2)
  • Sweater (look for oversized, non maternity option)
 if you will be pregnant in the winter
  • Dresses*
  • Exercise outfits (2)
  • Bathing suit if you will be pregnant in the summer
*You may have non-maternity dresses that will work throughout your entire pregnancy, but if you want to buy maternity-specific, go for it! The number you need will depend on your lifestyle.

If you work in an office or professional setting, consider adding the following pieces:

  • Blouses
(a few more than listed above)
  • Trousers
  • Midi or maxi skirt
  • Hosiery
  • Dresses
(a few more than listed above)
Chelsea has been a writer for as long as she can remember. She blogs about sustainable fashion, clean beauty, sewing, and intentional living. A Northeastern native, Chelsea now calls the mid-cities home with her husband, Travis; son, Logan; daughter, Alba; and rescue dog, Argos.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here