When you’re expecting, your body is put through the ringer. You’re tired, oversized and feeling all-around crummy. The idea of putting together cute outfits for work, social gatherings or your baby shower just doesn’t feel as fun as it used to. But when you get ready and see yourself all dressed up with that adorable little bump, you’ll feel just like the boss mama you were meant to be! But how do you nail maternity style so you feel like your old self? Don’t change a thing besides the size!
The key to pulling together a cute, true-to-you maternity style is to take your non-pregnant wardrobe and update it for the bump. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to sprinkle in some looks made for pure comfort. In other words, just because you’re prego doesn’t mean you have to compromise self-expression through fashion. It actually opens the floodgates for more creativity—you finally get to pick out a cute diaper bag and you have free rein to buy all those ridiculously cute baby clothes you’ve been eyeing! Here are some fun, bump-friendly style ideas to consider.
1. Go Comfy: Easy, Breezy Styles—Rule number one of pregnancy fashion (and really, fashion in general) is this: If you don’t feel like forcing yourself into something, don’t do it. Maybe your maternity style is hair up, sweats on. Who cares? You are literally making a human being. Put a bit of your style budget towards comfy clothes that you’ll actually feel good in, like some updated patterned leggings or a department store hoodie. All stretch everything for nine glorious months!
2. Go Personal: Monograms Everywhere—When you’re trying to find looks that suit the pregnant version of yourself, it always feels like you’re making some sort of compromise. It’s cute and flattering, but is it you? To combat this issue, pick out looks that celebrate exactly who you are with monogrammed clothing. From flowy tanks to cozy pajamas to soft sweaters, there’s no maternity-friendly style that can’t be emblazoned with your initials. If you have besties who are also expecting, personalized styles make awesome gifts.
3. Go Form-Fitting: Showing off the Bump—For many ladies, the pregnancy instinct is to cover up the bump. It’s probably some protective, evolutionary thing. Go up an extra couple of sizes and maybe no one will notice. But then there’s the other side of the story—your bump is something to be celebrated and showcased. It’s like a badass accessory! You’ll be surprised to discover how empowered and fabulous you feel when you sport the skin-tight look when you’re expecting.
4. Go Daring: Statement Necklaces—One of the things we love about mama-to-be style is that it gives you a chance to try something new and exciting, like bigger, bolder jewelry. The beauty of the statement necklace is twofold: It draws attention up and away from your belly (if that’s something you want to do) and it dazzles up even your most plain and basic styles. On top of that, jewelry doesn’t come in maternity sizing, so there’s no limitations, and you can wear it all again and again after your bundle is born.
5. Go Royal: Classy, Knee-Length Styles—If we can learn anything from the trailblazing royal Kate Middleton, it’s that no silhouette looks as smashing on a pregnant figure than the knee-length dress. The high-fashion heiress is the model of sophisticated maternity style, and she has totally revitalized the world of tea-length maternity, right down to her collection of stunning wool coats. Try a midi for your dressier occasions, like your shower, if you want to feel like a princess for a day (as you should).
6. Go Frugal: Don’t Invest Much—At best, you’ll get to wear your maternity clothes for a few months in total, so it’s wise not to shell out a whole bunch of money for pieces labeled “maternity.” The best piece of advice we can dole is to hold out on shopping for as long as you can, and then once you do have to buy some new items, try to pick out styles that can be worn again after you deliver. Don’t succumb to the pressure to redo your entire wardrobe! Stylists say there’s a way to avoid maternity wear altogether, and it’s not a bad approach.
7. Go Printed: Don’t Fear the Patterns—There are all sorts of myths out there about what prints and patterns look best on certain body types. First things first: Toss these out with the bathwater. If you like the preppy look of navy and white stripes or the retro look of all-over floral, be sure to showcase your preferences while you’re pregnant. The only thing to consider here is that your bump may stretch or alter the pattern, so it’s best to try on in person.
8. Go Sensible: Know Your Silhouettes—Just like your non-pregnant body, the pregnant version does not fit into one-size-fits-all clothing. Yes, there are absolutely pregnancy body types! On the other hand, there are certain shapes and silhouettes that just seem to perfectly complement the pregnant figure, no matter where baby’s sitting. Try out A-lines, maxis and empire waist styles, as they seem to be universally flattering on mamas to be.
When you’re inching towards your due date, the only thing that matters is that you feel good and that your baby is healthy. Having a couple of good maternity outfits goes a long way but stressing over what you wear is not worth the strain on yourself or your little one. It’s important to make your pregnancy style convenient, comfortable and reflective of who you are so that you can enjoy every single second!