Choosing clothing when you’re pregnant can definitely be a challenge. Your body seems to change daily, and it’s not always easy to know what pieces will flatter your new curves. However, pregnancy doesn’t have to mean that you lose your sense of style. You can still look cute while you’re waiting for your little one to enter the world — it just takes the right pieces to get you through those nine months in style.
Pregnancy can be a stressful time for your body as symptoms like nausea, headaches, back aches and fatigue start to rear their ugly heads. That’s why dressing as comfortably as possible is key when you’re expecting — you can’t look good if you don’t feel good. Choose pieces made of soft, natural fabrics like cotton and viscose, which are breathable and can help keep you cool. Because your skin may be more sensitive, avoid man-made fabrics like acrylic and polyester that can cause irritation.
Don’t Hide Your Bump
In the past, maternity clothing usually consisted of shapeless tent-like dresses and loose-fitting tunics designed to hide a growing belly. However, wearing oversized pieces can actually make you appear larger than you are. Instead of concealing your belly, choose pieces that flatter it. Fitted clothing made of stretchy materials like cotton spandex help showcase your bump and accentuate your shape so you don’t get lost in your clothing. If you’re slightly self-conscious about your belly, though, skip skintight pieces in favor of clothes that just skim your tummy for a flattering look. An empire-style dress or top that gathers under the bust still gives you shape, while gently flowing over your baby bump.
Dress Your Body Shape
It may seem obvious, but not everyone woman has the same body shape when they’re pregnant. Dressing to flatter your specific shape can make you look much more stylish. If you’ve gained weight all over, choose outfits that emphasize length, not width. A head-to-toe black outfit can do the trick, as can a long, drapey sweater over a body skimming top or dress. If you’re carrying your baby low, try to re-balance your look by drawing the eye away from your bump. Opt for V-neck tops in bold colors and dangling earrings that direct attention upward. If you’re carrying your baby up high so your breasts seem to merge into your belly, try a color-blocked dress that separates your chest from your belly. You can also opt for a top with ruching below the bust line or wear pants with a flared cut to balance your larger upper body. If you’re small all over except for your stomach, play up your curves in a top with side ruching.
Cover the Basics
No matter what type of pregnancy body shape you have, there are certain pieces that are sure to look good on you. Make these items the foundation of your maternity wardrobe so you can pull together outfits in a hurry. A wrap dress is a flattering pregnancy style because it’s a forgiving shape that contracts and stretches as your body grows. It’s also very versatile — pair it with a denim jacket and ballet flats for shopping or a structured blazer and kitten heels for the office. Jeans made of comfortable stretch denim in a dark rinse are also ideal for multiple occasions. Look for styles that have a hidden adjustable panel to give your stomach extra support. A couple of loose, flowy cardigans in neutral shades come in handy for layering over tees, tanks and dresses, and will nicely take you through a few seasons.
References and ResourcesChannel 4: What to Wear When You’re Pregnant
Baby Center: The 4 Pregnancy Body Types and How to Dress Them
The Sun: From Here to Maternity
In Style: How to Dress Your Baby Bump
Parents: 16 Staples for Your Maternity Wardrobe