Step One: Start By Canvassing

There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to pregnancy, but one thing is certain: your belly’s only getting bigger, and a lot of the clothes you wear now will probably stop fitting over the next nine months. But that doesn’t mean you need to buy a whole new wardrobe! Here’s our gem of a closet curation strategy, so you don’t have to start with an empty rack.

And because every brilliant idea deserves an acronym, here’s ours: CCE or Canvass, Collect, Enhance (...then of course, pass-On)

The first step is canvassing, and it’s actually pretty fun. Set aside some time and take a good look at your closet and the pieces you wear the most. While it’s true that your number one jeans probably aren’t long for this pregnancy life, you likely have a number of items that are, even though they’re not deemed “maternity” clothes. You just need to look at them with your new mama-to-be eyes, and see which items can make room for a little growth.


Here are a few items that make especially good transition pieces:

Maxi dress: The empire waist of most maxis make this type of dress especially reliable for easing into your pregnancy style.

Loose or boxy button-down: These beauties are great for getting dressed early in pregnancy (and you’ll rely on them again, when you’ve got a baby to breastfeed!). Any button-down that’s on the loose or boxy side can probably be worn untucked until you just can’t button it any more.

Sack dress: You probably rock a sack dress when you’re going out for a big meal, right? Which is what makes it absolutely perfect for dressing a brand-new bump, especially if you want to keep it under wraps for a while.

Drapey tee/knit: Tees that aren’t tight or knits that have some stretch to them will be some reliable go-to’s as your belly starts to grow.  

Aline dress: Cute, comfy, and usually with just enough room for a belly that’s popped.

Loose jumpsuits: A one-piece makes dressing for the day so easy, which is exactly what you want during pregnancy. A loose or flowy jumpsuit fits this bill to a tee, and depending on the cut, you might be able to wear it right through to the end!

See? You probably have more maternity options than you thought, and now you know exactly what you need. But you still don’t have to hit “add to cart” yet. The next steps in CCEP are just as important, so click here to read about them!


Ingrid & Isabel was born when its founder, Ingrid, was newly pregnant with her daughter Isabel and could no longer button her pre-pregnancy bottoms. She fashioned the first prototype of the Bellaband and spent three years perfecting the design before it hit shelves in 2003. To this day, every piece we make, we design with, on, and for moms. Shop our full line of maternity wear.


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