Looking Good While Pregnant

Ever wonder what to wear when pregnant?
I have!

I don't claim to be a style expert, by any means.
But I do claim to have an obsession with figuring out maternity clothes.
I think its mainly due to the fact that, in comparison to the rest of life, its such a short phase. So it was really hard for me to get a handle on the whole thing before it was all over. Its especially tricky because you are constantly changing the entire time!
And, healthy or not, I have this way about me where I just want to get things right.
So I picked up a Maternity Style book at my new library (Actually I check it out electronically, even cooler!) to help me accomplish my mission of getting the most out of my new figure during this second pregnancy.

It was a helpful read, even if I didn't really agree with all her points.
(Example, she is all about belly bands, and I am not... I think its just my shape, but they do not stay on me. I go straight into maternity pants -- why not?
Also she suggests getting "transitional pants" after the baby, where as I think its better to just wear your maternity pants till the normal ones work. I tried buying some pants in that in-between phase last time, but I just thought it looked dumb because if it fit my waist, everything else was really baggy. So I just looked dumpy.)

Anyway, I thought I would share the knowledge I just acquired with you. Because I know there are others out there hoping to accomplish this same goal: Great fashion, with the least impact on the wallet!

*As with everything in life, go with what works for you. This is just a general guideline.
**I don't claim to adhere to all of this myself. But I do find it very insightful.

Here goes!

***This post has recently gotten a ton of views after blowing up on pinterest. I had no idea anyone would find it, and as a novice blogger (basically putting this post together for my own benefit, as I really didn't know what I was doing in the pregnancy wardrobe department) I didn't cite my photos. I am currently attempting to make that right -- But I put this post together almost an entire pregnancy's length-of-time ago, so I don't remember where they all came form. If you know of any, please let me know and I will cite it. (11/12/12)

First Trimester

Pack away your skinny jeans and all your (not-stretchy) form fitting clothes.

Your main objective for these first three months is to conceal.
(Not everyone is trying to keep their pregnancy under wraps initially. But what we are concealing is the random body changes and bloat, which is just not cute yet.)

Your new clothing silhouette should be: 
Drapey, flowy and ethereal.

Time to take the focus off the midsection and attempt to elongate your figure.

Its just not time to wear your adorable clingy maternity clothes yet. Wait on those until you have a real bump. (Usually around 19 weeks or so.)

Your Current Best Bets

Wrap Dresses
(Added bonus, size is adjustable)

Shift Dresses


Trapeze Dresses
(Which is just a dramatically flared A Line)

Empire Waist Dresses

In the way of shirts,
go with longer cut ones.

Tunics are perfect. 
(With the one caveat, that if you are pear shaped, having the fabric break at your widest point will be unflattering. 
Aim for above or below.)

Empire waist


 Or anything that floats away from the body.

The book highly suggests wearing heels. 
(It's pro heels for the entire pregnancy, as far as fashion goes.)
This gives you height, which will have the effect of elongating and slimming.

Its very true, and it does look really good --- 
but I will leave it up to you as to whether you feel comfortable with heels in pregnancy.

2nd Trimester

Now's the time to enjoy those cute stretchy looks,
and show off the bump!

It can be tempting to want to buy lots and lots of clothes at this point because its exciting and fun. But in order to save yourself some cash, you can invest in a basic few pieces and learn to accessories them to the fullest.

Here is an excellent 
"Pregnancy Uniform"
 that you can use as your staples in your wardrobe which can be easily accessorized and reworked.

A Long Stretch Black Maternity Tank Top

Dark Denim Maternity Jeans

Black Leggings 
(Either Maternity, or low rise enough to go below the belly)

To the Thigh Tee Shirts in White and Black
(Could be long or short sleeve, according to your due date, and personal preference)

Your choice of Empire Waist Dress 
(should be semi-neutral in color, 
so as to be able to adapt with different looks)

Basic Black Jersey Dress 
(Something like a sleeveless, tank dress)

Maternity Black Pencil Skirt

Or some other very versatile skirt, you enjoy

Above the Knee Shift Dress

 "Infinity Dresses" 
which have numerous ways in which they can be tied
 to look like many different dresses --
Can also be a nice addition.

Fabrics to look for:
Jersey Knit = Awesome: Stretchy and non wrinkling and totally comfortable.
Spandex/Lycra = cute and clingy

*Not everything you buy needs to come from the maternity section. Just ensure you could fit a big belly (and boobs) into it. You'd be surprised by how much you can actually find to fit off the rack of in the regular sections, if you look for the right silhouettes.

Now you take these fundamental pieces (or ones equally multi-functional, that you enjoy) and accessorize them to the max.

Layer these up with jackets, sweaters, leggings, cute shoes/boots, jewelry, scarves, belts, pops of color and prints, and fun vintage accents.

Your jackets and sweaters don't need to be maternity sized. They can be what you have just layered over your new pieces.


Using large bags during pregnancy is a great way to create a balanced look when paired with your bump.

Scarfs are great in pregnancy. 
They can hide the bloat durning First trimester, and elongate durning Second and Third.

Change a plain look up with a belt

Don't forget your jewelry!
It really pulls your look together...




Work toward "seasonless dressing."
This is the idea that your wardrobe basics can be rather summery, regardless of your due date, 
because with the addition of layers, 
you can have great looking outfits ready for any season.





After looking at enough pictures, it gets pretty easy to see that you really can create gorgeous outfits by layering. And doing that will enable you to make the most of the least amount of clothes.
Because really, you are only pregnant for so long, you don't want to overspend on clothes you won't get that much wear from.

The book also suggests being willing to
some of your prepregnant attire.

Such as...

turning a skirt into a strapless dress by pulling up over your chest. 

Wearing pre-pregnant dresses as tunics

Borrow your man's shirt and belt it over leggings

Belt a large scarf or wrap over a tank top

Get creative with what you have!

3rd Trimester
Third Trimester is basically the same as second trimester. 
Only now you have a really large bump.
Just keep enjoying your "uniform" while layering and switching it up.
With your bump getting bigger, you have more license to really amp up your outfits with accessories to even out the overall drama. 

4th Trimester
You thought you were done!
Now its time to conceal again.
We are basically back to being in the First Trimester, only with more weight to hide.
But all those same cuts and styles are still perfect for your recovering figure. Go back to those basics.

Drapey, flowy and ethereal.

For Winter 
Sweater Dresses and Shirt Dresses are great.

For Summer 
Sun Dresses are perfect

And something the book didn't mention, but I will tell you: patterns are your friend right now. They can hid a multitude of wet things. (Spit ups, leaks, spills, boogies, ect.)

If you are nursing, you will want to find things you feel comfortable nursing in. (Personally, I like things I can pull down from the neck.)

Here are a bunch of looks 
that should help you feel more confident
while recovering your figure.

 Gathering over the belly
Ruching over the belly
 Draping over the belly
 Fabric over the belly

Ruffles can comoflauge


A-line Floating Away From Belly

Loose Button Downs

 Any looks that are gathered over the midsection

Big Bags again 
(can help cover the "left overs" up)

Scarves are still your friend.

They can distract from the belly. 

Or cover the belly.

Or cover the baby 
when nursing.

Want more outfit inspiration? I've been collecting some looks on Pinterest here.

If you'd like even more shopping advice, here is another post of mine where I talk about how I, personally, shop for, and save money on, my maternity clothes.

**If you've found this article helpful, I hope you will check out my healthy pregnancy section. There were a lot of things I wished I had known the first time I was pregnant, that could have aided in a better pregnancy and perhaps a better delivery. I've been so excited to share what I learned along the road of my second pregnant on my way to a really great VBAC. 

I also have more of my blog projects pinned on Pinterest here.


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