Maternity clothes were once bedecked with large polka dots and oversized bows. Gone are the days of frumpy and embarrassing maternity outfits that screamed "I'm pregnant, embarrass me some more!" You don't have to look like a shower decoration at your baby shower any longer. Your body may betray you at the worst of times and the last thing you need is to leave the house looking like a house decorated by your tackiest nightmare. Luckily, maternity clothes have received a much-deserved makeover.
Modern maternity clothes are just as fashionable and hip as your normal clothes. Most are replicas of normal ready-to-wear, shaped differently to accommodate your new shape. They are designed taking into account the areas that need some extra stretch and room.
The main difference in maternity clothes is that they adjust to fit your body as your belly grows. Most maternity pants and skirts have adjustable waist bands that increase or decrease as you grow and shrink. Inside the waist band is a length of slotted elastic that attaches to a button. As your belly expands, you pull out an extra length of elastic so you can increase the stretch in your pants or skirts. Shirts are often shaped with extra room in the belly or use a tie across the back that loosens the shirt when you go through a growth spurt.
Maternity clothes are made with support panels to help support your belly. Pregnant bellies can be heavy. You may not like the look of that different colored, large stretchy panel across your belly, but there will be days that you will be grateful it's there. Luckily, there are a variety of support options in maternity pants and skirts.
Real waist pants look like normal pants, with the extendable elastic hidden inside the waistband. The all-around elastic waist band sits low on the belly or at the middle of your belly offering lightweight support throughout your entire pregnancy. Full panel pants have a soft, stretchy, knit panel that wraps around your entire waist. The waist band sits above your belly offering maximum support during the last two trimesters without constricting your belly. Side panel pants offer two stretchy panels at the sides of the pants that cradle your belly offering support best suited to your second trimester.
Most maternity clothes are based on the same size as your normal clothes. If you wore a medium pant before pregnancy, you will wear a medium maternity pant, it's that easy. No more measuring tapes to measure your girth or trying on stacks of the same pair of pants in 4 different sizes. Shopping for maternity clothes is just as easy as shopping always has been! It took maternity designers a long time to understand that frustrating hormonally charged women was a bad idea. Thank goodness they finally got it.