Minimalist Maternity Wardrobe: Simple, Stylish & Sustainable

As busy moms, we know that taking care of ourselves often takes a back seat to taking care of our families. This is especially true when it comes to our maternity wardrobes. It’s easy to neglect to put together a maternity wardrobe until our regular clothes no longer fit. Then we make a random purchase and buy something we don’t really like at full price just to get something that fits our growing bodies.

Investing a little time and effort into building a minimalist maternity wardrobe can pay off in the long run, both in terms of saving money and reducing waste. Plus, it really saves time and mental energy! In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of a minimalist maternity wardrobe and share tips for building a maternity wardrobe on a budget.

So whether you’re a first-time mom-to-be or on your second or third pregnancy, read on for tips and ideas on how to put together a simple, minimalist maternity wardrobe.

Benefits of a Minimalist Maternity Wardrobe

When it comes to maternity clothes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of options available. But do you really need all of those new clothes? A minimalist approach to maternity clothes has many benefits, both practical and emotional. Here are some of the key benefits to encourage you to be a bit more mindful about your maternity wardrobe:

  1. It can be cheaper: Maternity clothes can be expensive, and you may only wear them for a few months. By focusing on a few versatile pieces, you can save money and stretch your budget further. Even if you want to buy more pricey, affordable pieces, it can still be affordable compared to buying a bunch of cheap pieces that may not last. To save further, you can also look for sales, buy secondhand, or borrow from friends.
  2. Reduced decision fatigue: When you’re pregnant, there are already so many decisions to make, from doctor’s appointments to baby names. Some days you’re just trying to survive! Having a simplified wardrobe can take one thing off your plate and reduce stress. With fewer options to choose from, you can spend less time deciding what to wear and get on with your day.
  3. Sustainable and eco-friendly: A minimalist wardrobe can be more sustainable and eco-friendly. By choosing quality over quantity, and buying secondhand when possible, you can reduce your environmental impact and make more conscious choices about your consumption. Plus, when you buy second or buy pieces that can last through multiple pregnancies, you can extend their lifespan and minimize waste.
  4. Saves time: Did you know a minimalist wardrobe can also save you time? With fewer clothes to care for and organize, you can spend less time doing laundry and managing your closet.
  5. Makes getting dressed easier: When you’re pregnant, the last thing you need is to spend a ton of time deciding what to wear each day. You’ll have a few key pieces that you can mix and match to create different outfits.
  6. Look put together with little effort: With a minimalist wardrobe, you can still look pulled together and stylish with little effort. And by shopping smartly, you can create a wardrobe of pieces that fit your current size while also anticipating future needs.

By embracing a minimalist approach to maternity clothes, you can enjoy these benefits and more. Whether you’ve been practicing more minimalism in your life or this is your first time considering a more minimalist approach to life, a minimalist maternity wardrobe is a great place to start.

What Maternity Clothes Do You Actually Need?

When it comes to building a minimalist maternity wardrobe, it’s all about focusing on a few key pieces that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. Here are the essential pieces that every minimalist maternity wardrobe needs:

  1. Maternity leggings: Let’s be real, pregnancy can get uncomfortable and you can’t get any more comfy than leggings. Look for comfortable, stretchy leggings that can be dressed up or down. They’re perfect for lounging at home or running errands.
  2. Maternity pants or jeans: If you prefer to look a little more put together when you’re out running errands, enjoying a day at the park, or meeting up with friends, maternity jeans can be a great choice. Try on different waistbands. Some have a full belly band which can feel supportive as your belly grows, but some people prefer an under belly waist. Figure out what works best for you. One good pair of jeans may be all you need!
  3. Maternity dresses: Surprisingly, dresses can be one of the most comfortable pieces in your wardrobe when you’re pregnant. Why? Because there are no waistbands that dig in or slide throughout the day down. Invest in a few comfortable maternity dresses that make you look good and good. Depending on when you’ll be pregnant, look for styles that can be layered with leggings or a cardigan when it’s colder.
  4. Maternity shirts: Choose a few comfortable maternity tops that can be mixed and matched with your other pieces. Look for styles that can be dressed up or down, and that can be layered with a cardigan or jacket. I loved having just a handful of short sleeve, vneck, solid colored tops that I wore almost daily. The kinds with the ruched sides really grew with my belly and even helped my belly pop when I was in my first trimester and helped me feel a little more pregnant and less like I ate too many waffles.
  5. Maternity bras and underwear: Don’t forget about the basics! Invest in a few comfortable maternity bras and underwear that will provide the support you need. This is hands down my favorite maternity and nursing bra. I’ve been wearing it for the better part of 5 years!
  6. Work or special occasion clothing as needed: Depending on your work situation or if you have any special occasions coming up, try to find versatile pieces you can wear during your everyday life. For example, a simple black dress can easily be worn to many offices as well as cocktail parties or wedding receptions.
  7. Seasonal clothing: Depending on when you’ll be pregnant, consider what items you might need for the season. If you’re going to be pregnant through hot summer months, a few pairs of shorts might be helpful. If you’re going to be pregnant and live in a place with freezing winters, you want to make sure you have jackets that will fit around your growing baby bump.

With just a few essential pieces, you can create a versatile wardrobe that will carry you through your pregnancy. But how much of each piece do you need?

Recipe for a Minimalist Maternity Wardrobe

For a simple minimalist maternity wardrobe, start with 10 core pieces:

  • 2 pairs of leggings
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 5 tops
  • 1 dress

Of course, enough underwear and maternity bras to make it through are important as well. Make sure to find comfortable shoes that have a little give in case your feet start to swell. Then add seasonal or special occasion items as needed.

You know what’s also really useful? A belly band for your pants. This will help your regular pants stay up when they still fit, but don’t quite close.

This isn’t to be confused with a supportive belly band which I also highly recommend to support your belly as it grows. I bought this one twice because I lost it after my 2nd pregnant and knew I needed it for my 3rd. It really helped me back and hip pain!

However, how much of each item you need will depend on your lifestyle and your current wardrobe. As a work-from-home mom, I’m able to wear bottoms a few days before washing them, so I don’t need a ton. My husband is also great at keeping up with the laundry, so I don’t need to worry about having a full week’s worth of clothing to get me to laundry day. Plus, I have plenty of loose fitting dresses and t-shirts that fit me fine until almost full term! Figure out what will work best for you and go from there.

In the next section, we’ll discuss how to build a minimalist maternity wardrobe on a budget because it can get expensive!

Both of these are dresses I already had. Any stretch dresses you have = perfect for pregnancy!

Building a Maternity Wardrobe on a Budget

Have you been browsing maternity websites or even brick and mortar stores? It can get expensive to build a whole maternity wardrobe! Luckily, building a minimalist maternity wardrobe doesn’t have to break the bank. Especially if you’re smart and plan ahead. Here are some tips and strategies for building a maternity wardrobe on a budget:

  1. Use what you have: I know this isn’t really building your maternity wardrobe, but consider what you already have that you can wear well into your pregnancy. I was able to wear a lot of my looser t-shirts and dresses pretty much until I delivered.
  2. Start with basics: The first thing you’ll want to invest in are basics. Start with pieces that you need and can get a lot of wear out of. I could live in tank tops and leggings if needed. My favorite maternity basics (tank tops and short sleeve tops) were all from Old Navy.
  3. Choose versatile pieces: When choosing maternity clothes, focus on pieces that can be worn for multiple occasions and seasons. For example, a black maternity dress can be dressed up for a special event or dressed down for a casual outing. A pair of leggings (in my opinion) can be worn around the house, to Target, and even to a quick dinner out with friends.
  4. Prioritize quality over quantity: It can be tempting to just buy whatever because you’re only going to be pregnant for 9 months. But buying items you actually love, or items that are better quality, may save you money in the long run. High-quality clothes will last longer, can be worn for multiple pregnancies, and can have a good resale value, so you can get some of your money back when you’re done having babies. Even if you’re not buying higher quality, simply focusing on items you actually like and will wear is key because you don’t want to feel gross and will avoid items you bought even though you didn’t like it that much just because it was cheap.
  5. Take it slow and shop sales: I know this is probably obvious, but instead of running out and charging up your credit card with $500 worth of maternity clothes as soon as you find out you’re pregnant, be patient and keep an eye out for sales. Many stores have regular sales or discounts, and you can often find good deals online as well.
  6. Buy secondhand: Buying secondhand can be an amazing way to save a lot of money and build a sustainable wardrobe. Look for gently used maternity clothes at thrift stores, consignment shops, and online marketplaces like Poshmark.
  7. Borrow from friends: Ask friends or family members if they have any maternity clothes they no longer need or would be willing to lend you. This can be a great way to save money and build a supportive community.
  8. Keep building until you’re done having kids: With my first pregnancy, I started out with very little. But knowing I wanted more kids, I always kept an eye out at thrift stores for more pieces to add to my wardrobe. By my 3rd pregnancy, I had a well-rounded minimalist maternity wardrobe that I looked and felt good in!

By following these tips, you can build a minimalist maternity wardrobe on a budget that’s both functional and stylish. In the next section, I’ll talk a bit more about buying secondhand maternity clothes.

Consider Buying Secondhand

I know a lot of people are weird about buying secondhand clothing. I get it. But I’m also glad it’s becoming more mainstream! One of the best ways to save money and build a sustainable maternity wardrobe is by buying secondhand. But if thrift stores aren’t your thing, you’re in luck!

If you’re looking for higher quality pieces, I highly recommend keeping an eye out on secondhand marketplaces like Poshmark, Mercari, and eBay.

Want a free $10 credit to shop with?

My favorite pair of maternity jeans was a pair of Paige skinny maternity jeans that I definitely wouldn’t have shelled out $100+ for, but I got them at a thrift store for around $10 and then sold them when I was done with them for about $40. I got a good deal, got to wear them for a good 4-5 months, and then I sold them to someone who got a great deal as well!

Places to buy secondhand maternity items:

  1. Yard sales: When people have yard sales, you’ll often find like items. Many people will throw all of their maternity clothing into a yard sale when they’re done having kids and if you can find one that has a lot, you’ll be able to get a steal on a bunch of it all at once!
  2. Thrift stores: The most obvious place is probably thrift stores. It can be harder to find if your thrift store doesn’t sort out maternity items, but if they do you can just pop in regularly an check out their maternity racks to see if there’s anything that interests you.
  3. Facebook marketplace: Some people will list their maternity clothing on places like Facebook Marketplace. You may even get lucky and find a bundle for cheap. I sold over 20 pieces for $60 after having my last baby.
  4. Facebook groups: Search facebook for groups specifically for buying and selling maternity or baby items.
  5. Online marketplaces: eBay, Poshmark, and Mercari are great places to regularly search and build up a quality minimalist maternity wardrobe. If you find a certain brand you like, you can search for that brand and see if you can find pieces that you love for much less.

Remember, when buying secondhand, it’s important to inspect the clothes carefully and make sure they’re in good condition. Look for stains, tears, or signs of wear and tear that may affect the quality of the clothes. By buying secondhand, you can save money and build a more sustainable maternity wardrobe.

Tops on the left and right are from old navy. Top in the middle is something I already had. Bottoms all thrifted or hand me downs from my sister!

How to Dress for Each Trimester: Tips and Ideas

Dressing for each trimester can be a challenge because your body changes so much throughout pregnancy. Even though in your first trimester you might not be showing much, you’ll often feel bloated and be thankful for a stretchy waistband or a top that’s a little more forgiving. I know that I tend to wait as long as possible to move over to maternity clothes, then I’m kicking myself because I could have been much more comfortable had I given in sooner.

Here are some tips and ideas for how to dress for each trimester:

First Trimester: During the first trimester, many women can still fit into their regular clothes. But it’s ok to move to maternity clothes if you feel a little uncomfortable or restricted. This is also a good time to start building your minimalist wardrobe even if you don’t need it yet so you’re not rushed to build it later when nothing fits. I also recommend investing in a belly band so you can wear your regular pants for a while without struggling to close them.

Second Trimester: At this point, it’s likely that most of your clothes don’t fit your pregnant belly. It’s a good idea to invest in a few more maternity essentials. This is when I usually move into maternity clothes full time, other than anything I have that’s baggy and still fits. Maxi dresses, long tanks, and shift dresses can all be great options.

Third Trimester: By the third trimester, your belly will likely be much bigger, and you’ll probably start getting uncomfortable. At this point, your loose regular clothing may not fit and you may be full force in only maternity wear. I know for me, I can only wear maternity clothes or my husband’s shirts during those last couple of months. Forgiving waistbands and loose-fitting dresses will be your best friend at this point!

Postpartum: It’s totally ok to continue wearing maternity clothes postpartum! Focus on healing and comfort as you transition into your new role (even if you’re not a first time mom), and don’t put too much pressure on getting back into your old clothes. Those high, over the belld belly bands in my leggings and bike shorts are so nice for the first few months after having a baby.

Remember that it’s important to prioritize comfort and practicality during pregnancy. Look for stretchy, breathable fabrics, and invest in comfortable bras and supportive footwear. With a few key pieces and some creative styling, you can feel confident and stylish throughout your entire pregnancy.


Creating a minimalist maternity wardrobe on a budget is all about focusing on what you really need and making smart choices about what you buy. By investing in a few versatile pieces and buying secondhand when possible, you can save money, reduce waste, and build a wardrobe that’s both functional and stylish to get you through your pregnancy.

Remember that it’s ok if building a minimalist maternity wardrobe takes some time. By building a wardrobe that truly works for you, you’ll be able to enjoy your pregnancy and feel confident and stylish throughout this exciting time in your life.

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