Maternity clothes: What to wear when you are pregnant?

Maternity clothes: What to wear when you are pregnant?

It can be hard in general finding that perfect outfit for a special occasion or on a daily basis. But when you’re pregnant it’s even more difficult because your body changes and your old clothes don’t fit anymore (goodbye favourite jeans). You may even feel a little overwhelmed by the maternity section at a clothes store and not know what to wear or what pieces of clothing are suitable for different trimesters, but don’t fret, as we’ve put together a shopping guide to consider during pregnancy that will make your trip to the department stores easier and more efficient.

Comfort and style

Just because you’re now pregnant, that doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish. Luckily, there are a wide selection of maternity clothes in store or even online these days, which can be styled with your favourite shoes or new accessories.

Pregnancy go-to pieces:

  • Harem pants
  • Good quality denim (not too tight)
  • Tunic
  • Poncho
  • Oversize tees
  • Dresses
  • Maxi dresses
  • Maxi skirts
  • Shirts

Pregnancy shorts and leggings

Pregnancy shorts and leggings are created for treating multiple conditions that may arise while pregnant, such as:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pelvic girdle pain
  • Leg varicose veins
  • Posture
  • Support of pelvic floor region
  • Lower disc pain

Although a little pricey, they’re made from quality fabrics that won’t ruin after a few washes (like a number of cheaper options). Their high waist feature also provides comfort and support to your pregnant tummy while walking or doing daily activities – and they can be worn long after a pregnancy to help shape your body again.

You definitely want to look for clothes (whether it’s a formal or casual piece) that are comfortable but look nice at the same time. Carrying a baby can put extra strain on your body, so you want to be sure that the clothes you wear accommodate for your baby bump, and don’t place too much pressure onto it. You can even opt for larger sizes of non-maternity gear.


Dress for your trimester

You’ll probably find yourself changing outfits quite often as your bump grows and develops. The three trimesters are different for a number of reasons – one of them being the effects they play on the body, the size of your stomach and possible baby weight.

First trimester

During the first trimester or first few weeks of pregnancy, it’s quite common for women and couples to keep their pregnancy secret until the second trimester. This is usually because of any possible complications that can occur earlier on during this period. If you’re trying to keep your pregnancy under wraps, here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing what to wear.

  • Avoid overly tight tops
  • If your first trimester falls during the winter season, you can layer clothes
  • Soft knits are a good choice
  • A-line skirts are recommended
  • Go crazy with wrap dresses
  • Loose shirts are a popular choice (can be worn underneath a sweater for a stylish look)
  • Peplum tops are a nice addition to your work wardrobe


Basically, you want to take the attention away from the lower part of your stomach, without wearing typical maternity style outfits that may give your pregnancy away. You can still wear most bottoms during this stage to conceal the bump during the first few weeks.

Second trimester

By this time you’ve probably revealed that you’re pregnant to family, friends and co-workers, which will give you the flexibility to wear what you like. However, this is when you’ll notice that a lot of your older clothes no longer fit. Don’t let it get you down, as it’s normal and expected during pregnancy. Instead, see it as an excuse to go on a shopping spree!

  • Find quality items that you will get a lot of wear out of
  • Try and find pieces that don’t date – you might keep them for your next pregnancy
  • Stock up on basics that can be styled with a variety of colours or designs
  • Consider buying new shoes as well, as your feet can swell during pregnancy
  • Don’t get too fixated on maternity clothes – you can still shop at other stores and purchase larger sizes instead
  • You will want to purchase new maternity bras as well
  • Be careful not to blow your budget in one go, as your weight may increase
  • Consider buying clothes that are versatile for the workplace and the weekends


Third trimester

By the third trimester, you’ll most probably be feeling heavier and a little uncomfortable, which can affect your self-esteem and confidence. Buttons, zips or waist bands will become your enemy, so you’ll want to purchase clothes that are loose fitting and flowy.

This is easier if the weather is warmer and you don’t have to layer as many tops.

However, if it’s winter, leggings will be your best friend, as they can be matched with a flowy top or knit, even dressed up with nice boots or dressy shoes with a small heel. If you feel a little bored with the range of clothes and monochromatic colours like blacks and greys, consider:

  • Bold accessories like larger earrings, a nice necklace or statement bangles
  • Layered scarves that add oomph to your overall outfit
  • A manicure or new set of nails can also add to your overall chic look
  • A fresh stylish haircut
  • A brighter bag that will contrast the darker colours that women usually wear during this time (darker colours give a slimming effect)
  • Good quality ballet slippers or slip on shoes (although you can still wear any type of shoe, laces or buckles can get annoying with a bump in the way if you’re having to bend over to adjust them often)


Maternity fashion do’s

  • Experiment with different styles of clothes, patterns and designs
  • Embrace your baby bump – (you might be feeling a little sluggish or unattractive, but try to look at the positives of the experience)
  • Invest in a good pair of jeans or quality pieces that can be dressed up and down
  • Do wear patterns, shapes and designs like stripes or prints (they can bring a stylish edge to your outfit)

Maternity fashion don’ts

  • Don’t make your tracksuit your everyday outfit just because you’re pregnant (women think that many outfits won’t be comfortable or won’t look right while pregnant – don’t fall into this way of thinking)
  • Don’t be afraid to layer clothes – if styled right, they won’t make you look larger
  • Don’t be intimidated by colour – women tend to avoid colours because darker colours are believed to be slimming

Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean that you can’t dress well and look good. Luckily, women are spoilt for choice with a large variety of clothing stores and online outlets that provide a stylish range of outfits. Although you’ll want to make comfort a main priority when shopping for outfits during your three trimesters, don’t be afraid to experiment with diverse looks and styles that will show off your baby bump – and can be kept if you’re considering becoming pregnant again.