Pregnancy in Style
Hey Momma! You are (hopefully) past the nausea and extreme exhaustion and are thinking about what in the world you are going to wear for the next nine months of your pregnancy. Let’s talk about how to rock a pregnancy in style – WITHOUT breaking the bank.
You might be in the very early stages still, where it feels like your body is changing almost daily, but it looks like you’ve just eaten a huge dinner instead of growing a baby in your belly… I hate that phase…
Or your belly is growing bigger and bigger and you can’t fit into your old clothes, but you are hesitant to buy much since you will only use it for a short time. And maternity clothes can be so darn expensive that you just can’t justify spending the money.
Take heart, Momma! I have you covered!
You CAN feel confident as your body is changing. You DON’T have to spend a ton of money to make that happen! And, you CAN look cute and be comfortable (so important) while you are pregnant.
This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure for details.
What Should I Wear While Pregnant?
It can be confusing to figure out what to wear during pregnancy, especially if you are pregnant for the first time!
I remember feeling so hesitant about buying maternity pants because I didn’t know how the sizing worked! Do I buy for the size I am now, or do I size up expecting to gain weight?
Some people talk about just buying bigger size clothes instead of maternity clothes. Does that actually work or will I just look frumpy?
Don’t worry, we will cover ALL of that, but lets start with the first and most important factor: COMFORT.
Girl, you have enough aches, pains and discomfort to wear anything that is not comfortable. If it’s not cozy or comfy don’t spend money on it. DO spend some money on items that will make you feel more comfortable during pregnancy.
Undergarments for Pregnancy
First, lets talk about maternity intimates! This is the first step to comfort. Amiright?
It is likely that your ladies are sore and possible that they have already gone up in size.
Don’t try to stuff yourself into your current bra.
When I was pregnant with my first, I didn’t want to spend money on a bra that I would only wear during the pregnancy, so I tried to wear my pre-pregnancy bra during the pregnancy…
After my daughter was born I realized that I wouldn’t be going back to my old bra in a loooong time (or ever) since I was going to be nursing my baby for at least a year.
So, might as well invest now and be comfortable during pregnancy and after!
When you are looking for a bra to wear during pregnancy, here are a couple things to look for:
- Comfort – if it pinches or pokes anywhere, skip it.
- Cup size – not only your cup size, but look for a cup that has more coverage. This will help avoid spillage even if you go up in size.
- Wide bra band – try to avoid a bra that has a narrow band or a band that is too tight. This can add to unnecessary back rolls that make you feel uncomfortable or self conscious.
- Nursing bra – get a nursing bra NOW. This is the best way to avoid spending extra money. I know you are not nursing currently, but if you are planning on it after baby is born, this is will save you money in the long run. (If you’re looking for a great breastfeeding class check out this super comprehensive, cheap, and online one!) Look for a bra WITH padding. This helps prevent any milk leaks postpartum if you forget a nursing pad.
- A “lifting” bra – okay, this one is debatable, and totally up to YOU. In fact, I am typically a no underwire bra type of a girl. Buuut, real talk here…. after having a baby or three, my “ladies” need help staying up, and this is very noticeable while I’m pregnant. Getting a bra that gives some extra lift can help you look more lean.
I got this bra after my first kiddo was born and I wore it All. The. Time. It ticks all the boxes that I talked about except for the “lifting” part. But you probably don’t want to buy an underwire bra without trying it on first anyway.
You will find bras online that look very similar to this one but for way cheaper. Don’t get sucked in by the price tag. The quality is definitely subpar-the fabric is cheap (not the good kind), and the bra pads are noticeable under your shirts. Trust me, I’ve tried them!
Do you really NEED maternity undies? Well, no, you can probably get away without them, but do you want to?
I didn’t think I needed them either, until I went to Motherhood Maternity and the cashier was saying that she has moms come in looong after pregnancy and postpartum to buy more maternity undies.
Well, they are super comfy and stretchy and there’s just no going back!
Pregnancy Wardrobe Must-Haves
While everyone will probably have different items to add to this list (If you have one that I should add, please let me know in the comments!), I think these two items are priceless!
A cami is a must in any wardrobe, but do you have to spend the money on it for just a few months?
Yes, IF you are going to be nursing.
I honestly live in nursing tanks for months after my babies are born.
Get a tank that has a built-in bra, that way you don’t have to mess with fastening and unfastening multiple garments and you can turn any flowy shirt into a nursing shirt. And honestly, this saves SO much money. Who doesn’t like the sound of that?
There are so many cute pregnancy outfits with leggings that are perfect for any season! And the comfort is unbeatable!
Pair these leggings with a tunic, a dress, a casual shirt and you have a really cute and comfy outfit.
These leggings are not too thick (mostly cotton), so they will work even during summer heat and will get you through in comfort from your first trimester all the way postpartum.
Make sure you buy your pre-pregnancy size!
How To Look Stylish When Pregnant
We talked about the importance of comfort during pregnancy, but that doesn’t add much to having a stylish pregnancy.
So, what can a girl do to rock pregnancy in style? Let’s dive in!
Pregnancy Style Tips
1. Don’t buy something that you wouldn’t buy if you weren’t pregnant!
I remember buying some maternity clothes that I found just because they were a “good deal.” Well, I never wore them, because I didn’t like the style.
If you wouldn’t wear the style non-pregnant, then you won’t want to wear it when you are pregnant!
There are plenty of cute options for maternity clothes now days, so we don’t have to settle for something that looks frumpy or outdated!
2. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!
There are many different ways to make the same article of clothing look different.
One way to do this is by accessorizing. You can choose different scarves, jewelry, belts, handbags and shoes to change up the look of an outfit.
So instead of buying a bunch of pregnancy outfits that you will only wear for a while, you can spend money on accessories (that you will wear long after baby is born) to help you rock your pregnancy in style.
3. Shop your closet
Before you run out to the store and buy anything (or binge shop on Amazon…. please tell me I’m not the only one), check your closet to figure out what might still work for your baby bump.
Many cardigans, sweaters, blazers, maxi dresses, skirts, athletic pants and shorts will still fit.
Remember, you don’t need to zip or button your cardigans, blazers or fleece. Just put a maternity shirt as your bottom layer and you have a lot of maternity outfit options!
4. Buy a little at a time
It might be tempting to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe as soon as you find out that you’re expecting. Don’t!
Buy what you need, when you need it. This way you are less likely to purchase things that you won’t actually wear!
How Can I Look Stylish During Pregnancy?
Your body is changing rapidly, so you need different clothes for the trimesters, but the seasons are changing too, so you will need at least some variety of clothes for warm and cold months.
Lets break it down by the season and each trimester of pregnancy so that you can achieve that stylish pregnancy you want without breaking the bank!
Maternity Style Ideas
In each trimester and season you want to make sure that you have some key items that you can dress up or down. Once you have those, you can can add other super fun maternity pieces, but the majority of your outfits will stem from those key items.
In each trimester you have different goals for your pregnancy wardrobe, but a lot of the key items are really interchangeable between seasons.
For example, most of your pregnancy outfits for summer will include shorts, but you still want to have a nice pair of jeans for fancier outings or chilly days. A lot of your pregnancy outfits for winter will include long sleeve tops, but you can also throw a cardigan on over a short sleeve shirt that you already had from the summertime.
So lets talk about the goals and maternity clothes must haves for each trimester.
First Trimester Maternity Clothes
Goals: In the first trimester you want to hide the bloating and the belly that is starting to change, but does’t look very pregnant yet. You want to choose items that are flowy and loosely fitting.
Keep in mind that what you buy in your first trimester, you will also use postpartum. It’s okay to spend some money to find some pieces that you feel confident in, because you WILL wear them after pregnancy. This is the perfect time for buying non-maternity items that fit loosely.
Pregnancy in Style Must-Haves: When you are frantically trying to figure out what to wear when you are 3 months pregnant, just come back to the basics. You don’t need much. Get that new bra, undies and leggings that we talked about and just a handful other items:
A belly band will extend the life your your pre-pregnancy jeans by keeping them together when they are unzipped. Maternity jeans are notorious for not staying up (especially in the first trimester), and wearing a belly band will allow you to wear the jeans or shorts that you love longer.
This one is perfect because it does a fantastic job of holding your pants up and not sliding down. If you don’t want the full panel up all the time, you can just fold it over (I did this early on in pregnancy and it worked great)!
I mentioned earlier that you will want to invest in some flowy tops to hide the early pregnancy belly and also the postpartum tummy.
Something like this is perfect for all seasons because you can wear it under a knit sweater or cardigan even if it’s cold outside.
I got one in the first trimester, wore it during much of my pregnancy and now still wear it even after baby is born! And it comes in many different colors, so you can choose the one that you love most!
You may want to buy a handful of other loose fitting shirts to wear right now and after the baby is born.
Comfy joggers are a must for every pregnancy. Cute for going out, comfy for staying in and PERFECT for postartum.
Might as well get them now so you can wear them all the way through pregnancy and recovery!
Second Trimester Maternity Clothes
Goals: In the second trimester you want to show off that cute baby bump with some form fitting clothes.
Form fitting maternity outfits give you a cute shape and show off your growing bump, which is a good thing! Celebrate it!
With my first pregnancy, I made the mistake of mostly choosing flowy clothes in my second and third trimesters. I thought that this made me look smaller, but looking back at pictures I definitely regret that decision.
This is the trimester where you will probably be doing the bulk of your shopping.
Pregnancy in Style Must-Haves: So, what are the key items that you want to buy at this point?
You will probably need to buy several pairs of maternity pants.
And at least one great pair of jeans is a MUST (even in the summer)! A pair of pants can make or break the entire outfit. So invest some money here. You won’t regret it.
You have several options here. There are three styles of maternity pants that are the most common:
- Side stretch panel – This was my favorite style of pants for the majority of my pregnancy. You can barely tell that they are even maternity pants and I LOVE that! They are super comfy. These are great for pregnancy outfits for summer time because they do not cover your belly.
- Underbelly waistband – These provide a little more support than the side stretch panel and are so comfy because the waistband is so soft. These are also a great option for a summer pregnancy.
- Full panel – This style of maternity pant provides the most support. I really loved these for pregnancy outfits for winter time especially during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Maternity shorts have the same band style options as maternity pants.
However, if you are pregnant in the summer you may want to stay away from full panel because of the extra added heat.
Before my summer pregnancy I underestimated just how HOT I would get. I am the girl who is always cold, so I thought that being pregnant in the summer wouldn’t really bother me that much… I was wrong.
So you may want to avoid full panel for that reason and just stick with these types of shorts:
You can make many different pregnancy outfits for summer with some basic tanks and t-shirts. Choose some solids and a couple patterned tops. I know some people disagree, but I loved wearing stripes during pregnancy.
In the same way, many pregnancy outfits for winter can be made with just a couple basic long sleeve shirts. Choose ones that you can dress up or down. And again, have some solids and and a couple patterns.
Be on the lookout for cute nursing shirts too. A lot of nursing tops are made for mommas to wear during pregnancy too. Save some money by having your shirts serve two purposes!
I love this cute option:
Now, remember the rule we mentioned earlier: if you wouldn’t wear it before pregnancy don’t buy it! This applies to nursing tops too! There are a lot of tops that scream “My boobs have milk!!!” You probably don’t want that…
Dresses are a really great option for pregnancy. They are comfy and cute. Go with styles that you can dress up or down.
I love this casual dress. I know you might be thinking, it’s not for me. It’s too form fitting! I had those thoughts too, but I tried it and LOVED it.
A little black dress is also a must. You get a lot of use out of it because you can wear it to run out to the grocery store or dress it up for a fancy date night.
Soooo, before moving forward from the dress section, let’s have another moment of truth… My thighs are usually friends, but y’all, they are BEST friends when I am pregnant. So when everyone was talking about how comfortable dresses are for a pregnancy, all I could think about was my thighs chaffing… Not fun and definitely not comfortable.
It wasn’t until my third pregnancy that I discovered this MUST-HAVE product. If you have the same struggle, here is your solution: maternity shapewear. I felt super weird ordering my first pair because I normally don’t use shapewear and honestly didn’t even know it was a thing for pregnancy.
But y’all, I truly hated wearing dresses until I purchased this.
If you are looking to smooth out some bumps, great! But even if you are not, and you don’t want your thighs to chafe, this product is worth the investment.
Third Trimester Maternity Clothes
Goals: In the third trimester you will be wearing a lot of what you wore in the second trimester. However, at this point, you want to maximize comfort.
For example: swipe out pants for pregnancy outfits with leggings.
You will probably also want to trade out heels for flat, comfy shoes (if you haven’t already done so).
Also, now is the time to think ahead for birth and postpartum.
If you are having a home birth, what will you be comfortable in? If you are at the hospital, will you wear their gown or bring your own? What do you want your go home outfit to be? – I know you have baby’s all figured out already 😉
Do you have nursing clothes prepared? You probably don’t need much, but there are a handful of breastfeeding items that you may want to prepare in advance.
Pregnancy in Style Must-Haves: So lets talk about some of these less commonly talked about items that you will need for birth and after.
Labor Robe or Comfortable Outfit
Alright, Mama, YOU are in charge of your birth. I feel strongly about this. And with you being in control of your birth, you are also in control of what you wear as you labor.
If you want to wear the hospital gown, go for it, but if you don’t, that is okay too! Wear what you will be comfortable in!
Here are a couple things to look for as you are choosing what to wear:
- Easy access to your spine (if you are planning on getting an epidural)
- Easy access for nursing
- Something you don’t care about getting messy (birth is not the neatest thing ever…)
- Something that is easy to take on and off if you are having a non-medicated birth (you might be getting in and out of the shower or tub).
- A nursing bra or swim top that you don’t mind getting wet if you are planning on a water birth.
Here is a really great option if you are looking for something that is really similar to a hospital gown, but you don’t want to wear the one the hospital provides. You can also use this as a nursing night gown after baby is born!
A maternity robe is great too, if you are getting in and out of water and want to stay warm. You can nurse in it easily after baby is born and cover up and look cute for any visitors.
I have this one and I still wear it even though it’s been six months since my little girl was born. It is amazingly soft and stretchy.
Even if you don’t normally sleep in a bra, you need something to keep those nursing pads in, while at the same time having easy access for breastfeeding during your middle-of-the-night feedings.
These are really soft and are made out of organic cotton.
When you are feeding your sweet babe in the middle of the night every two hours you want to have something comfortable and with easy access to nursing.
Lifting up a loose shirt doesn’t count!
If your baby is due in the summer, this is a great option:
If your baby will be born in the winter, this is a really cozy option:
Pregnancy in Style
Dressing your bump might feel intimidating or frustrating at first, but with a few key pregnancy items you can create a maternity wardrobe that you can feel comfortable and confident in!
What is YOUR favorite maternity clothing item? Let me know in the comments below!