Ah, the end of the second trimester. Hello. How are you? I see you’ve brought ten pounds and intense cravings for hot fudge and Redi Whip. Make yourself at home.

With Landon, this transition from aw, you’re pregnant! to WIDE LOAD COMING THROUGH didn’t happen until somewhere around seven months, at which point it was spring/summer weather and socially acceptable to wear maternity t-shirts and leggings all day err’day because I was in college and waiting tables. This time, it’s the dead of winter and I have to pull myself together every morning for an audience of third graders who have no filter.

You know, Mrs. K, your belly’s really getting big!

Here’s the thing– part of me would LOVE to wear sweatpants and oversized t-shirts every day for the next sixteen weeks because can I get an amen for elastic. However, dressing like a slob makes you feel like a slob which is sad. Sure, it takes a little more effort to look generally presentable, but when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror? WORTH IT.

I don’t have a zillion dollars to spend on a maternity wardrobe, nor do I really want to because (my dreams of a third/fourth baby/small tribe aside) when will I ever get to wear those clothes again? I spent some time over the weekend weeding through my closet to find what works for me at this point in my pregnancy, and just laying everything out was pretty motivational in itself to dress up The Bump. It turns out I actually have quite a few pieces that aren’t “maternity clothes,” but fit just right!

There are a couple of tricks to this whole thing that are worth sharing. First of all, most of the non-maternity tops I own are long and loose, which makes them great for accommodating a growing belly. Sweater and t-shirt style dresses are also perfect because they can easily be restyled and worn as tops (like the little green number I paired with a navy cardigan and gray khakis). I’ve seen lots of women restyle dresses by belting them above the belly, but I will not be jumping on that train because it makes me feel claustrophobic.

Trying to avoid maternity pants? Me too. My skinny jeans probably won’t see the light of day until sometime next fall, but I have quite a few pairs of boyfriend-fit jeans that are working out really well! They definitely don’t fit like boyfriend jeans these days (how ya doin, Redi-Whip?), but I’ll take what I can get. A lot of the khakis and dress pants I wear for work are on their last leg, but I’m making them work with a hair tie and a little MacGyver action. I have a Be Band, too, but I don’t wear it very often because I don’t like things that are that tight on The Bump.

Finally, I’m a hoarder. I have clothes hanging in my closet that I haven’t actually worn in forever but refuse to get rid of because you never know. I’m a sucker for things on clearance, which is how the cream top in the first outfit and the navy linen pants in the one below it ended up in my closet, even though they didn’t quite fit me when I bought them. I mean, if you saw pants at J. Crew marked down to $14, tell me you could resist.

This journey into my closet is what inspired the hashtag #stretchdontspend, because that’s exactly what I’m aiming to do– stretch what’s currently in my wardrobe so I don’t have to spend money I don’t actually have. The more The Bump takes over, though, the more creative things are going to have to get around here. If you’re also attempting to stretch your non-maternity wardrobe and have two minutes to take a poorly-lit mirror selfie, post with the #stretchdontspend hashtag to share how you’re making it work! More attempts at a non-slob bump to come 🙂

Author: Erica the Great

Wife, momma, teacher, and a twenty-something for a little while longer. Every day, I'm a lot of things for a lot of people. This space? It's just for me.

2 thoughts on “#stretchdontspend”

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