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Pregnant woman trying maternity clothing.

Wardrobe solutions for pregnancy and beyond

Learn to adapt your existing wardrobe and weave in basic maternity clothing on a budget.

Now that you're pregnant, you might be wondering: How do I buy maternity clothing to accommodate my growing belly? If you're shopping on a budget, read these ideas for creating a wardrobe by buying the essentials and converting your existing clothes.

Buying the essentials

Some things you need to buy are maternity bras and intimates: They provide appropriate fit and support. Add to your wardrobe during sales, and buy some items a few sizes too big for when you grow larger. Also frequent Walmart's website for special offers like Rollbacks and Value Bundles.

Try adapting some existing clothes by wearing them differently. For example, if you wear a suit jacket, unbutton it to provide room for your growing belly.

Converting your clothes

Converting existing clothing into maternity apparel is relatively easy. Just remember, once you convert a piece of clothing, you can't change it back.

Converting bottoms

Most fabric stores sell a maternity panel, or pants with a built-in maternity panel, a U-shaped piece of cloth with elastic on the top. Decide which skirts, pants or shorts you want to convert. Trace the maternity panel's shape in the front of them, leaving about a 1/2-inch allowance for the seam.

Cut out the traced shape, and turn your garment inside out. Place the maternity panel over the cut hole. It should overlap onto the pants. Pin the panel onto the pants, then sew it on. Remove the pins, and you'll have a functional maternity bottom.

Converting tops

This method works best on shirts like T-shirts. Remove the side seams by cutting a straight line from the bottom of the shirt to the underarm. Do the same on the other side of the seam, and repeat the process on the shirt's other side.

Turn the shirt inside out and pin a fabric strip to the area you cut open. Sew the panel in, remove the pins, and you've got a DIY maternity shirt.

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