If you’re pregnant, congratulations! Or maybe you’re planning to try for a baby and you’re doing your due diligence ahead of time to ensure that you’re able to stay stylish yet comfortable throughout the pregnancy (congratulations on your ability to plan ahead!).
Whatever the case, you’ll find that pregnancy fashion is a far cry from what it once was. Sure, you can still find those tent-like blouses and boring-as-anything stretch pants. But why would you want to?
With the wealth of maternity outfit options available today, you can keep your sense of style all the way through the third trimester!
In this guide, we’ll walk you through maternity outfit ideas to suit each stage of your journey. We’ll also cover some important tips for staying comfortable and stylish during all four seasons so no matter when your baby’s due, you’ll have the guidance you need.
You’ll find that the first trimester is probably the easiest when it comes to maintaining your fashion aesthetic. At least at first. Toward the end of the third month, many women begin to show a little bit of a baby bump, so you’ll find those weeks a bit more challenging in terms of finding clothes that both fit and look good.
Another challenge is that many mothers-to-be prefer to keep their impending bundle of joy hush-hush, at least for a few weeks longer. If that sounds like you, there are some simple but effective ways to stay comfortable (and in style) without telling the world about the pregnancy just yet.
Our recommendation for those in this situation is to avoid super-form-fitting garments, particularly close to the end of the first trimester. Instead, go for looser fitting tops, such as a blouson-style. The elastic band at the bottom keeps everything neat, while the loose fabric above helps keep you comfortable (and your secret safe).
Toss in a pair of stretch jeans and you’re good to go. Loose, flowing dresses and skirts can also help you hide the baby bump while looking great and feeling comfortable in a variety of situations, from the office to Sunday brunch.
But wait, you say! I’m not worried about keeping my pregnancy under wraps, but my clothing just doesn’t fit well anymore. Maternity clothes are just too big, though! If you find yourself in this situation, you’re not alone and not without a wealth of options.
For many women, the first trimester is marked by less of a defined baby bump, and more of a general thickening of the body – your sleeves will feel a little too tight, tops will fit differently around the bust and waist, and bottoms will feel strange, too. The solution?
Loose-fitting garments with a little more room than your previous everyday wear items. Go for tops with deeply scalloped or V-necks, as well as roomier sleeves. You’ll probably want to avoid curve-hugging clothing, but it’s important that you find maternity clothes that still have some shape to them.
We do want to offer up one exception to the now-cling rule: tanks and other clothing worn under your outfit. These can provide a surprising amount of support and if you purchase maternity tanks or camis, they’ll help to create the smooth, put-together look that you want.
During the second trimester, you’ll face increasing challenges with comfort and fit. Many of your previous clothes will probably not be usable at this point, although you will probably be able to carry forward garments bought near the end of your first trimester. You have several potential options for creating a stylish wardrobe at this point.
Adjustable clothing can be well worth the investment (at least a few pieces). You’ll find these garments marked with buttons and ruching, tie-backs or belts, and other options that help them expand as your baby grows and your body changes. This is also the time your bump will probably start showing very well, and these types of garments are often designed to help you flaunt it (cue your “big reveal” music).
For those who’ve found that their bust is much ampler than previously, you’ll need to take things in a different direction. The first thing to do? Ditch your old bras and invest in high-quality maternity options that’ll help keep the girls in line. Won’t bigger bras do the same job? Technically, they might. They won’t provide the support you need, though. And if you’re planning to nurse, now’s the time to start reworking your bra collection.
Finally, you’ll be juggling your work and relaxation wear. As your baby bump grows, you’ll be faced with a choice – do you repurchase both work and leisurewear? Or do you opt for a few items that can pull double duty for both needs? Unless you’re independently wealthy, reinventing your entire wardrobe is out of the question.
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the home stretch. Just one more trimester and you’ll be holding your little bundle of joy and happily contemplating downsizing your collection of maternity clothes. In the meantime, though, you’ve got a growing problem (quite literally).
For most soon-to-be-moms, the third trimester is the most uncomfortable physically. Your cute little baby bump has probably grown quite a lot. Your body has also changed a great deal. The clothes that fit you very well during your second trimester may now be too small. Even elastic waistbands are just a huge hassle.
There’s good news! You’ve got plenty of options here. You can be comfortable, stylish, AND in the middle of your third trimester (no, those are not mutually exclusive concepts, thankfully!).
What choices do you have? There’s plenty to choose from. You just need to know what’s out there. For instance, empire waists offer plenty of room and if you choose an ankle-length dress, you get a flowing, stylish option that you’ll want to keep in the closet even after you’ve given birth. A stylish tunic dress can be worn on its own or paired with maternity leggings for more versatility and comfort.
One thing that you might notice is a lot of third trimester maternity clothing is a little dull. There’s black, white, and some other muted, solid colors (brown and burgundy, ugh). It doesn’t have to be that way, though. You’ll find plenty of bright, lively maternity options for women in the third trimester
We explored some of the many options available to you in terms of maternity outfit ideas. However, we do need to say a few words about seasonality – the time of year makes a major difference in your outfit and comfort level. As a note, make sure you listen to your body first and foremost. If you’re comfortable in shorts and a maternity V-neck tunic in the middle of February, rock that choice.
Depending on where you live, you will probably need a range of different maternity outfit options during spring. Early spring is usually pretty cool, so make sure you have stretchy jeans, as well as leggings. You’ll probably want a mixture of short and long-sleeved tops, too, and you certainly can’t go wrong with a maternity cardigan for those cool mornings.
As summer rolls in, the mercury climbs and so does your discomfort. That’s particularly true if you’re in the late second or third trimesters! Flowing, light clothing should be the rule here, but make sure that you’re comfortable, too. A basic maternity T-shirt could be a great choice, but a cross-front maternity tunic could also be a stylish option. Ruched shorts, maternity overalls, and capri maternity leggings are also available.
Colorful leaves, the hint of woodsmoke on a crisp October morning – fall is in the air and you’ll need the right maternity clothes for the season. Now is the time to break out the long-sleeved maternity tunics and maternity Hacci tunics, as well as putting away your shorts in favor of pants (including oh-so-comfortable yoga pants!).
Whether you’ve just learned about your impending little one or you’re months into your pregnancy journey, it’s never too late to consider your wardrobe. So many things have changed in the maternity clothing industry!
Long gone are the days when you had to shop from a single rack at the back of the plus-size section and the monochromatic choices of yesteryear. Today’s moms-to-be can choose from an incredible (and growing) range of maternity outfit ideas that don’t force them to compromise between fit, comfort, and style.