Children are a blessing and being pregnant is a truly wonderful time of life. That said, it can be super difficult to find clothing to wear while your stomach starts to get out of control, your body bloats and all your hormones start to go haywire. Not only will you have trouble finding clothing that fits your ever-changing body, you’ll also find yourself in moods where certain fabrics, colors and styles just make you angry, or sad, or upset for no real reason. During this time of massive ups and downs and sweeping changes all over your body, you need clothing that can make you feel comfortable and attractive…but it also needs to be occasion-appropriate, fashionable and easy for you to get into and take off. Maternity dress styles can help you solve any fashion issue that may arise for you during this time of both joy and pain. When you’ve got the right clothes, you’ve got one less problem to worry about while you’re trying to handle everything else.
Types of Maternity Dresses
Any style of dress can be a maternity dress style, if it’s made to give the belly room. If you like, you can wear a tight-fitting tube dress in a mini style and pair it with strappy heels. It has been done. But most days, you’re going to want to wear something that feels comfortable, looks stylish and makes you feel like you look great. Pregnancy can create a lot of different emotions due to the hormones and all the symptoms associated with being pregnant, so you will have days when you need to remember that you’re beautiful and you’ll want to dress that way. Some types of dresses are more suited to maternity wear than others. Look for these specific styles and you’ll be ready to dress that belly so that you and it always look gorgeous. After all, you can’t wear maternity jeans all the time.
1. Baby doll
Baby doll dresses are short dresses, usually above knee-length, and they’re made with an empire waistline that sits high up on the body. The waistline falls just under the busts, which leaves plenty of room for that baby belly. Baby doll dresses and empire waistline dresses of all kinds are your best friend at this time. Best of all, you may still be able to wear the dresses even after the baby arrives and you no longer need maternity wear. Baby doll dresses are non maternity dresses that are perfect as maternity dresses.
Baby doll dresses can be styled in any number of ways to be casual, semi-formal or possibly even formal, with the right dress and the right accessories. Try wearing one with knee-high boots or sneakers for a cute casual look. Choose ballerina flats or flat sandals for a more semi-formal or date night ensemble. And if you dare, you can try high heels (better yet, low, square heels) for a fancy evening out. You can pair a shorter babydoll dress with maternity leggings to add warmth.
2. Maxi dress
Maxi dress styles work beautifully on most body types and they’re a great way to capture pretty, bohemian style. This flowy dress design is ankle-length or floor-length and t’s made in a loose-fitting style that provides plenty of room for growing baby bellies. Maxi dresses are typically made in lightweight, airy designs that are very comfortable to wear. These dresses are perfect for casual or semi=formal wear. Sometimes, you may even be able to get away with a maxi dress in a professional setting with good styling.
The light, loose design of the maxi dress is great for pregnant women because it’s airy and easy to wear. It’s also super stylish. Maxi dresses are still all over the runways and celebrity Instagram feeds. This trendy dress isn’t going away anytime soon, so it’s a great go-to fashion option. The style of the dress makes it easy to wear this one even when you aren’t carrying a child.
A tight-fitting sheath dress might seem like the very last garment you’d reach for when you have a protruding belly, but plenty of women carry this look off well while pregnant. The trick is that you need a stretchy fabric with a lot of forgiveness to it, such as a knit. The sheath really shoes off that baby bump, rather than hiding it. The only problem is, you won’t be able to wear this sheath post-pregnancy, in most cases.
The sheath dress is meant to be tight-fitting all over. It’s often worn in mini dress styles and it can be paired with anything and styled any kind way. Sheath dresses can be worn as casual wear, office wear, semi-formal or formal wear. Because the sheath fits and hugs your curves all over, your bump will be very much on display. However, your other assets will be highlighted as well.
The loose-fitting shift dress does not have a defined waist. It hangs straight down the body. The straight-fitting sheath is still seen often in modern fashion. This dress is synonymous with 1960s fashion, when it was paired often with knee-high boots. Now, shift dresses are a classic. Early pregnant bellies will have breathing room inside shift dresses because they’re made to be a little loose. To suit a growing belly, look for shift dresses made with stretchy fabric or get them in larger sizes to provide a little extra room.
5. Shirt dress
The shirt dress is a great go-to for any pregnant lady because these dresses are meant to be loose. They fit in a straight style and they’re often slightly oversized, which is perfect for a swelling baby belly. When you aren’t pregnant, you can always wear a shirt dress with a belt to add some definition. Otherwise, the loose-fitting shirt dress will provide enough room for women in all but the biggest stages of pregnancy. For the later weeks, you may need to go up a size or two.
Shirt dresses are available in many different styles, from designs that are button-up and collared to resemble a man’s dress shirt to casual looks meant to look like oversized T-shirts. There are many ways to style a shirt dress as a casual look, but it’s hard to pull this off as a professional or semi-formal look even with very good styling. Shirt dresses are just meant to be casual, which makes them perfect for running errands, going out with the girls and taking on all sorts of day-to-day tasks.
6. Sweater dress
The classic sweater dress is a perfect way to hack any pregnancy. Sweater dresses are made in knit designs, which means the fabric will stretch with your body and accommodate you. The only problem is that once a baby belly stretches the dress, it may not go back to its original shape the way your body does! You may need to go a size or two up from your normal size if you want to wear a sweater dress in later months.
Sweater dresses are made to slip on and off over the head and they are typically made without zippers or closures. You simply pull them on and they fit like a long, form-fitting sweater. Because the dress does fit around the body and conform to your shape, sweater dresses do not hide the baby belly. Instead, they help to put it on display.
Wrap dresses are just about universally loved. They can be worn by any body type and they are worn by women of every age. The great thing about wrap dresses is that they literally wrap around the body and then they’re tied around the waist. That means that they will change shape with you as you change shape. As long as you’ve got enough fabric, your wrap dress will fit. The belt that holds it all together can be tied up high on the belly to give your bump plenty of room.
Wrap dresses are extremely popular and highly stylish and they can be worn for every single occasion. These dresses can be worn casually, they can be worn as semi-formal or cocktail attire and it looks great for formal wear, too. Wrap dresses are very fashionable in a professional setting. There are many ways to style a wrap dress and lots of options out there if you’re shopping for wrap dresses.
Best of all, you can wear your wrap dress many times even after the baby has arrived and you no longer have to worry about the baby bump. The most elite fashionistas and glamourous ladies in the world have been seen in wrap dresses on red carpets around the world, so you don’t have to worry about going wrong with this dress. It’s a classic and it’s a great staple to have on hand, whether or not you’re pregnant.
Celebrity Maternity Style
Celebrities clearly have the help of wizards when it comes to dressing while pregnant. They strut around on high heels while wearing high-end designers clothing until you could just about throw your phone right on the ground. But while it may be hard to relate to the glamorous lifestyle of the celebs, there are some stars who you can take inspiration from or get tips for dressing that growing baby bump. There are lots of fashionable maternity clothes to try.
Chrissy Teigen balances out her bump by wearing dresses that emphasize her shoulders while she’s out and about on the red carpet and eating at fabulous restaurants. She also often layers her pregnancy looks, donning long blazers or trenchcoats that help to hide her belly as she goes about her day.
Cardi B has also developed her own distinct maternity style, becoming a fashion superstar while doing so. She’s known for her bright colors and fashion-forward looks all the time. But while pregnant, Cardi seems to prefer large shirt dresses that give her plenty of moving room and lots of comfort.
All expectant mothers shave questions, whether they’re expecting their first child or their tenth! Your mind is going to be full of questions and possibilities and scenarios. you don’t want to worry about style on top of all the rest. Unfortunately, getting dressed every day is pretty much inescapable. Once you’re armed with some basic ideas of what to wear and how to wear it, you may still have plenty of questions about getting prepared for your pregnancy fashion-wise. We’ve got the answers to all the most common questions about maternity dresses to help you get all the info you need to plan for all the months ahead. As for everything that happens after, style can only help so much!
How many maternity dresses do you really need?
You’re only going to need your maternity clothes for a few months and you’ve definitely got enough stuff to buy and enough to plan for in those months, too. You probably don’t want to spend a ton of money stocking up on maternity clothes that you may ever wear again…or at least, not for another couple of years or so. Which means you want to get only what you know you need to have. So…how many maternity dresses do you need to have?
Get at least one maxi dress that you can wear to casual and dressier occasions where you want to look stylish but stay comfortable. This can be worn to lunches, the theater and other casual to semi-formal events. Invest also in a “little black dress” that will grow with you as your belly grows, such as a stretchy shift or a baby doll dress. This will take you far and help you dress for dinners, cocktail parties, after-work events and other semiformal activities.
Look for an oversized shirt dress that will give your belly plenty of room, something you can slip into as a quick go-to option for any casual day out. This makes it very easy to dress for the day and look stylish even when you haven’t got time to worry about fashion at all. Finish out your maternity wardrobe with a wrap dress that will grow with your belly as it gets bigger. Look for something that can be worn on the job and out to evening events of all kinds.
Which maternity dress styles are good for the office?
Being pregnant is a challenge. Being pregnant and going to work is even tougher. Being pregnant, going to work and finding professional and stylish clothing to wear while you’re doing it? Forget about it! Like you haven’t got enough to worry about and do already. Unfortunately, women are expected to not only carry children but to do it without breaking stride and without breaking fashion rules and dress codes everywhere they go, including when they go to the office.
Get ready to be a working woman while with children by relying on some basic styles that look great in a professional setting. Wrap dresses always work well and they can be paired with flats and low heels to complete a professional look you can take anywhere. Lightweight sweater dresses in simple knits can’t do you any harm, either, as long as they’re stretchy and at least knee-length.
A loose-fitting shift dress, paired with a blazer or a sweater, is a great look for the office. You can add a belt or not and continue to wear it even to an after-work event because shift dresses fit in so well everywhere.
Are there boho-style maternity dresses?
Want to capture a boho look while pregnant? The easiest way to do this is with a lightweight maxi dress. Look for a maxi dress made in lace or in a floral pattern and you’ll find something that will style easily with boho pieces. Boho fashion often has ruffles and little embellishments. Overall, the look is loose, lightweight and flowing. Any dress that captures this vibe is perfect for the boho style.
Which maternity dress styles can be worn for special occasions?
If you’ve got to have a new dress for a special occasion while you’re pregnant, don’t panic. Designers like Tiffany Rose actually specialize in creating beautiful maternity fashion. There’s a huge selection of dresses to choose from for every special occasion, to a casual work party you must attend to a formal wedding that you can’t talk your way out of going to. Tiffany Rose even makes maternity styles for bridesmaids and wedding guests, so you can cover every single base and get all the maternity stuff you need.
Can you wear a maternity dress if you aren’t pregnant?
If you absolutely adore one of your maternity dresses and don’t want to stop wearing it after the baby comes, don’t! If a dress is a little too large, particularly around the waist or the belly, add a belt. You can even get creative and add a scarf and wear it as a belt instead. If you’re handy with a needle, you can even alter the dress to add laces on both sides to make the dress fit around your waist and belly.
After all, they’re your clothes. Wear them when you’re pregnant, when you’re not and whenever you want.
Can maternity dresses be altered?
Most clothing can be altered to some extend. Hems can be shortened and small changes in fit can be made, such as letting a dress out a little here and there or taking it in a little here and there. With maternity clothing, you may want your dresses to fit a little better around the waist and chest. In many styles of dresses, the way the dress fits in these areas can be altered slightly to be bigger or smaller. Major alterations, such as changing the neckline or the sleeves entirely, is possible in some designs. However, a lot of this depends on the fabric and the existing styling of the dress.
When should you start wearing maternity clothes?
You don’t have to start wearing maternity clothing the minute you find out you’re expecting. You still have time to plan ahead and prepare yourself for everything that’s to come. You don’t need to start wearing maternity clothing until your belly begins to grow and it starts to need a little more room inside your clothing, which is right around the time you’re three to four months pregnant. When you find your clothes feeling tight, you need to start thinking about getting your maternity wardrobe out of the closet.
How do you choose the best maternity dresses?
There are lots of different styles of dresses and cute maternity clothes you can try and many different maternity dresses available on the market. It can be difficult to shop for maternity clothes because your body is no longer your own. It doesn’t feel the same, it doesn’t look the same and you definitely can’t dress it the same. So how can you choose the right maternity outfit and dresses?
The right maternity dress for you is the one that feels comfortable and looks good. You will discover your pregnancy style as you explore more styles and mix and match each maternity piece. Your body may feel alien and strange but remember that you should still basically stick to the rules of style that you’ve always followed. Continue to wear the same colors and the same basic style that you know suits you well. Search for the things that you like in your clothing in maternity clothing. If you like V necklines, you can still wear them in maternity dresses. If you prefer sleeveless looks, there are plenty available in maternity dresses. Seek out the styles that you have always worn and try to get them in designs that offer plenty of belly room.
How much does the average pregnant woman spend on maternity clothes?
The maternity clothing industry is big business. There are about four million births annually in the U.S. and maternity clothing purchases total around $2 billion every year. According to Vox, women spend around $500 per pregnancy on maternity clothing.
So what is a nursing dress?
After you have the baby but before your body is back to normal again, you may still be in your maternity clothes. There’s just one issue: you’re also nursing. When the baby is born is when you’re going to be at your busiest. You may feel tired and you may feel all sorts of emotions as your hormones start to attempt to balance themselves out and your body heals from the trauma of giving birth. As wonderful as it is to have a new baby, it definitely does a number on your body.
Wearing a nursing dress with a nursing bra is a great solution. You still get the comfort and the ease of slipping into a dress instead of picking out an entire outfit and nursing dresses are specifically made to provide easy access to the breasts in order to make nursing easier. You need some transition clothes after the baby is born and before your body has recovered. Nursing dresses are the perfect solution.
- The Bump – Maternity Clothes 101: Your Complete Buying Guide
- The Every Mom – Our Favorite Nursing-Friendly Tops and Dresses for Summer
- Harper’s Bazaar – Chrissy Teigen’s Best Maternity Style
- Us Magazine – Cardi B’s Maternity Style Is Obviously Dripping in Finesse
- Who What Wear – I’m Pregnant—These Are My Favorite Looks to Wear to the Who What Wear Office