The Hybrid Maternity Capsule Wardrobe

Congrats! You’re pregnant. And now…nothing fits. The in-between phase where neither regular clothes nor maternity clothes fit is inevitable. For some it lasts for the first trimester, for others it may last well into the 2nd trimester and sometimes the 3rd. Think of this as a time when a wardrobe capsule has been bestowed upon you.

If you’re the dangerous combo of frugal yet stylistically particular {note :: I’m totally not calling myself a fashionista!}, it’s probably pretty frustrating to browse the handful of affordable mainstream stores that carry maternity clothes. The selection is generally limited, the quality doesn’t match the outrageous price tag, and once a sale hits, nothing good is left. Plus, many of the cute maternity tops didn’t fit me until the last month of pregnancy. I found it hard to justify spending a small fortune on clothes I could only wear while pregnant. At the same time, I learned there really are some maternity pieces worth the investment.

With my pregnancies, I found a way to really stretch {yes, pun totally intended!} existing pieces already in my closet and also supplement with affordable non-maternity pieces from affordable places {like Target, Zara, and H&M} which I also repurposed for postpartum. And no, I’m clearly not super thin. I’m a real size 12 woman. {Yes, I did just reveal that to the world!} At the same time, there were some notable maternity pieces worth the splurge. Here’s some tips on how to optimize your wardrobe during your pregnancy without breaking the bank. The average price of pieces listed is about $25 with some outliers as low as $6 and as high as $75.

The Hybrid Maternity Capsule



  • Casual dress {a} :: I love Zara for fun dresses. Similar to the mustard dress pictured above here.
  • Flowy blouses {b} :: I lived in these. They can be dressed up for work, paired with a blazer, or dressed down with leggings. H&M and Zara have some great options.
  • Stretchy midi pencil skirt {c} :: Find your stretchy skirts that don’t have a zipper and are of a stretchy material. As your bump grows, just pull the waist a little higher for a high-waisted look. If you’re not ready to show the bump, leave your shirt untucked and/or pair with a blazer/cardigan. Skirt similar to the one pictured – Mossimo Pencil Skirt at Target.
  • Blazer
  • Flowy dress {d} :: I was surprised by this find at Target {Pleated Maxi Dress}. Any flowy dress will get a bit of use. Just make sure the inside lining is stretchy.
  • Business casual dress {e} :: I got a lot of mileage out of stretchy dresses that I usually wore with Spanx. I told myself, “You’re pregnant! You’re SUPPOSED to have MORE lady lumps! Embrace it!” Dress pictured is from a previous season at Banana Republic. Similar here.
  • Boyfriend tee :: Good ol’ Target boyfriend tees leave a bit of room to grow before switching over to those rouched maternity tees…and they’re cheap!
  • Maxi dress
  • Cardigan
  • Chambray button up :: Or really, any button up that you have in your closet. If you find your buttons burgeoning, just wear a tank underneath and leave the shirt unbuttoned, kind of like you’re wearing a cardigan.


For maternity gear, my favorite places for the below were Target, Gap, and Asos. Gap often has coupon codes for 40% off. Asos has many different trendy varieties and free, fast shipping and returns. And Target…well, it’s Target. Most of these pieces I wore to work so if you don’t have a use for business casual…that’s just more money in your pocket!

  • Black trousers :: I liked the full panel on trousers because it offers more support for the belly, and I found myself pulling my britches up less compared to the demi panel.
  • Jeans :: The new thing is the side-panel jean. They come with a REAL zipper, button, and functional pockets?? It’s the little things.
  • Pencil skirt :: It was strangely difficult to find a pencil skirt that wasn’t jersey knit, rouched, and didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I bought this tailored pencil skirt from Asos {and sized-up}.
  • Maxi skirt :: This Asos maternity maxi skirt was so versatile and allowed me to tuck-in regular shirts in my wardrobe that didn’t *quite* cover my entire pregnant belly.
  • Knit dress :: Target has great, affordable maternity t-shirt dresses. They’re like a blank canvas and can be dressed up or down. Plus, it’s a thoughtless outfit. Asos also has some great options. My favorite was this striped sweater dress.
  • Leggings :: These were the only maternity leggings I tried on that passed the see-through test. They also did not pill or stretch out. I know, $75 is a lot for leggings – but it’s worth it!
  • T-shirt(s)
  • A nicer dress :: I found myself going to Asos when I was shopping for my baby shower dress and/or dress for a wedding for something affordable and also complementing of the bump.
  • A few basic maternity camisoles – white, black, and nude.

What are your maternity wardrobe must-haves and how did you make your regular clothes work?

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Kristine grew up in Houston where she met her husband Richard. The high school sweethearts welcomed their daughter Kara {2014} after naturally overcoming infertility. Sixteen months later, their son Ray {2015} joined their family. She balances the allergy mom life as well as a full-time job at an oil & gas supermajor where she is the queen of PowerPoint. Her Houston roots run deep with her Bachelors degree from the University of Houston and MBA from Rice University. Kristine loves traveling, good food, and experiencing all things H-town with family and friends, especially drinks {bars, breweries, boutique coffee shops!}, museums, and of course, BEYONCÉ. You can follow her adventures on vu hu life, Instagram and Twitter {@vuhulife}.


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