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I’m so ready for the summer heat and so excited to leave behind my heavy coats and winter boots and step into the sun wearing lighter layers. I’m also 24 weeks pregnant as I write this. It’s comforting to know that as my baby and body grow, I’ll be able to shed a bit of the bulk in my clothing.

I’m not naïve about the fact that summer plus pregnancy equals overheating. But as someone who was born and raised in Hawaii, and went through my first pregnancy there, I feel well prepared to handle New England in July. For those of you seeking a low-budget upgrade to your maternity wardrobe this summer, find a shopping list for your next thrifting trip below. These items will help you keep your cool over the next few months.

Biker Shorts

I try to buy apparel that I know will get a lot of use. With maternity clothing, this usually means something I’ll wear frequently throughout my pregnancy and be able to wear postpartum, as well. Biker shorts fit the bill. Even if you’re not a fan of wearing them on their own, they’re a perfect piece to layer under skirts and dresses to help with the chafing that is often unavoidable in the sweaty summer months.

An extra layer

I know it seems counterintuitive to wear more clothes in the heat, but a lightweight outer layer might be just what you need to maximize your time in the sun. A breathable long-sleeve top will keep the sun off your skin without heating you up, leaving you cool and protected. You can easily use a prepregnancy button-up top for this purpose (unbuttoned, of course!), but lightweight shawls and cardigans are great items to thrift while you’re pregnant, as you’ll be able to use them postpartum, as well.

Natural materials

When getting dressed for a hot day or shopping for summer maternity clothing, I gravitate toward natural, breathable materials. Cotton is my favorite, but I also love linen and some silk options. If an item of clothing is made from material that lets a breeze pass through it, I’m likely to grab it from my closet on a hot day.

Shoes that grow
with you

Swollen feet in the summer heat are a total nuisance, but during my first pregnancy, a friend gave me advice that led to the best purchase of my pregnancy: Buy a pair of slip-on sandals with adjustable straps. It felt great to loosen the straps as my feet grew wider and wider. And because they were slip-ons, I didn’t have to bend over my belly before I left the house every day. If you want a different style, look for a pair of shoes a half-size larger than you usually wear to give yourself some wiggle room in that third trimester.

Sun hat

A wide-brimmed topper is at the top of my thrift list for the summer. I remember dying for shade during the last months of my first pregnancy, and it often meant planting myself under a tree. This time, I’m taking my shade with me everywhere I go. If your skin is sensitive to the sun, this will be a key summer accessory for you, as the protection will allow you to enjoy those outdoor summer barbecues a bit longer!

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