How can I dress nicely for work without spending a fortune on maternity clothes?

For the first three months or so, you'll probably be able to wear your regular work wardrobe. You may need to leave the top button undone on your skirts and pants, but you can camouflage that by leaving your tops untucked.

Try this trick: Loop a rubber band through the buttonhole and then wrap it around the button. This will provide that crucial extra inch or two of breathing room. There's also a handy accessory known as the belly band, a stretchy band that holds your pants up so you can leave them unzipped.

Then you'll enter the Awkward Zone: You may not look pregnant yet, but you will look like you've put on some weight – yet most true maternity clothes will still be too big. You may be able to get through this phase by buying a few regular skirts and pants with elastic or drawstring waistbands in a size larger than you usually wear or by picking up a couple of pairs of trendy low-rise pants that sit below your belly. And don't forget those stretchy yoga pants, which can look dressy enough for work if they're made from a reasonably thick rayon or cotton fabric.

Sweaters, long jackets and cardigans, tunic tops, loose shirts, and leggings also work well during this transition time, gracefully concealing your growing belly without accentuating it. And we can't sing the praises loudly enough of nonbinding fabrics like jersey, knits, cotton, and viscose – basically anything with stretch.

What about more formal occasions?

"I have three words for you: little black dress," says Lange. "Black is slimming, it's seasonless, and it goes with everything." You can also make a basic black dress suit any occasion by adding the right jewelry, shoes, handbag, and even a wrap – all items that you probably already own.

"A wrap is a must-have accessory during pregnancy," says Lange. "If you're self-conscious about your arms, a wrap allows you to go sleeveless without totally baring them." You can find simple and dressy beaded, silky, wool, and cashmere wraps in the accessories area of most department stores.

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