Shopping for maternity wear can be quite challenging, especially during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. Not only do your stomach and breasts grow, but your back and rib cage expand to support your frame and your legs grow to support the added weight. I’m now 19 weeks and at a style point I call “clothing limbo.” I’m not quite in maternity, but I’m also putting on some of my regular clothes for the last time until I welcome my baby because they are too uncomfortable. If you are in your second pregnancy you may have also noticed that you pop way sooner. I was looking back at my pics of 16 and 17 weeks with my first and I was barely showing. It was just a cute little bump.
I wanted to take some of the frustration out of searching for maternity wear by giving you label and shop suggestions that are not only comfortable, but also flattering. This includes tops and dresses that aren’t labeled maternity, but are flexible and curve-hugging enough to take you throughout your nine months and beyond. Just because you are expecting doesn’t mean that you have to adopt a love for flower-patterned jersey in bright colors that doesn’t fit your body (and there is a ton of that offered on maternity sites). Dress to accentuate your bump and one other part you’re proud of (like your collar bone, shoulders, neck-line, or legs).
Some Looks I’m Loving
Here are a list of essentials, suggestions on when to wear and some tips on dressing as you and your baby grow:
For Everyday Essentials:
- Non-maternity H&M long-sleeve scoop neck tees (1st & 2nd trimester)
- Non-maternity Three Dot crewneck (1st & 2nd trimester)
- Non-maternity H&M conscious collection short sleeved v-neck tees (1st & 2nd trimester)
- H&M maternity tees & tanks (2nd & 3rd trimesters)
- J. Crew sweaters (1st -2nd trimesters)
- Theory long sweaters (1st-2nd trimesters)
- The Urban Ma Denim (2nd & 3rd trimesters)
- Topshop Moto Lucas Maternity Denim (2nd & 3rd trimesters)
- Zara boyfriend blazers (1st & 2nd trimesters)
- BEMaternity by Ingrid & Isabel Over the bump leggings (2nd & 3rd trimesters)
- Athleta high belly Chatarunga Tights (2nd & 3rd trimesters)
- Sports Bras: Danskins (yep ladies, these are actually available at Walmart and are an incredible find) (1st-3rd trimesters)
- Non-maternity H&M long tanks (1st-3rd trimesters)
- Non-maternity H&M scoop neck short dresses (1st & 2nd trimesters)
- H&M maternity cap sleeve, short dresses (2nd & 3rd trimesters)
- Short, shift dresses (1st-3rd trimesters)
- Rosie Pope Maternity dresses (2nd-3rd trimesters)
- Hatch maternity dresses (2nd-3rd trimesters)
- Rachel Pally non-maternity maxi dresses (1-3rd trimesters)
Tips On Dressing & Transitioning Into Maternity Wear
- Embrace dressings to accentuate your shape. There won’t ever be a time when you are more voluptuous. Hug your curves, but don’t suffocate them. Nothing should be bunching or pulling.
- Don’t feel you need to shop maternity sites right away. Instead search for flexible material that will grow with your shape. Make sure non-maternity shirts are long enough. Avoid non-maternity dresses, jumpsuits and rompers with a seam that hits at mid-waist.
- Invest in seamless, supportive lingerie. It shouldn’t feel constricting. Some brands I like are Cosabella, Commando and Rosie Pope Maternity.
- Try to create separation between your bust area and your growing bump. It looks weird when breasts and tummy merge into one shapeless lump (although it totally works with the denim jumper shown above). Good lingerie can help, along with focusing on dresses that have a seam underneath the bust line. Rachel Pally is a great brand with Greecian-style dresses you can wear throughout pregnancy and post.
- Mix your wardrobe. Make a high/low salad of staple pieces along with less-expensive finds. For my first pregnancy I was in love with this scoop neck, black tunic from Maison Margiela that I wore all the time, but mixed it with maternity leggings and denim from Target.
- Avoid all over, bright patterns. Opt for neutrals and then pop your look with accessories like handbags, jewelry or hats.
- Opt for stretchy. If you want to stay in non-maternity denim longer think jeggings with a low slung waist.
Notes: Every woman is a different size and shape and each woman carries her baby differently. These are only my personal suggestions based on my body:). Also I didn’t pull from the common maternity sites like Destination Maternity and Pea in the Pod because I haven’t done much shopping from these places for either of my pregnancies.