Maternity fashion has come a LONG way! We are now spoilt for choice when it comes to dressing comfortably and stylishly during pregnancy. Long gone are the days of oversized tents and unflattering smocks, concealing the baby bumps. Now, baby bumps are celebrated, accented, and displayed. A quick search of the hashtags #maternityfashion, #stylethebump and #bumpinspo will literally turn up hundreds of thousands of pregnancy pics on Insta. In this post I’ve got you covered with a guide to maternity clothing essentials.
I have never gone crazy with buying maternity wear as it’s for such a short amount of time and it can get very expensiv, very quickly. But after three pregnancies I knew which items were essential, and which items were not, and so this pregnancy I selected a few maternity clothing essentials, which combine comfort and style. Many of these items can be worn beyond pregnancy and some are breast-feeding friendly.
7 Maternity clothing essentials:
A comfy pair of fitted jeans
No matter what season you find yourself pregnant in, you’re going to need a nice pair of fitted jeans. Admittedly, this pregnancy saw me in preggy jeans A LOT sooner than previous pregnancies, but the positive spin on that is it means I’ve got more bang for my buck. I always opt for the elasticised tummy band, which I wear folded down in early pregnancy and stretched out over my belly towards the end. These jeans have a skinny leg profile and a super stretch deep indigo denim. The beauty of a fitted pair of jeans is you can continue to wear them post pregnancy. In fact, they’re so comfortable I am always rather reluctant to get out of them! The jeans pictured are from Jeans West.
2. Maternity leggings and Tube Tee
Maternity leggings are a must in any pregnancy wardrobe. I have worn 3/4 maternity leggings in Summer and full length leggings in Winter. Paired with a skirt or tunic, they are the perfect maternity staple. Also, given I’ve had terrible Varicose veins this pregnancy, I have been able to wear my SRC support leggings underneath a pair of maternity leggings. Extra support and extra warmth in the cooler months. Win/Win. The leggings and elbow sleeve maternity tee ( super-stretchy with side ruching) are both from Ripe. Boots not maternity, but in case you’re wondering, they are from Witchery.
3. A tunic
I absolutely love wearing tunics when pregnant. In fact I don’t know why I limit them to pregnancy. I really ought to wear them outside of pregnancy as they are so comfy and stylish. I paired a couple of tunics this pregnancy with jeans or leggings. The tunic pictured here is from Ripe maternity.
4. Maxi dress
Maxi dresses – every preggy woman’s best friend, particularly if you’re pregnant over Summer. I have been pregnant over three Summer’s and worn maxi dresses to the max. This time, I’ve been pregnant in Winter so I haven’t needed a maxi but the weather finally got warmer in Melbourne recently so I’ve been enjoying wearing an old favourite plus a new addition. The maxi pictured here is from Ripe and is the Cold Shoulder maxi with pockets. Featuring an on-trend cold shoulder neckline, a soft gathered waist and splits in its maxi length skirt. I LOVE the pockets.
5. A bump and beyond dress
We all know our bumps don’t just miraculously disappear in the delivery suite. Just what shape I’ll be left with after this fourth pregnancy, I don’t know. But I do know that my shape changes every single time. I get a little bit broader, my kangaroo pouch pronounces itself a little more, and my boobs get bigger. The latter change is definitely the highlight. So a dress that can take you from pregnancy through to breastfeeding and beyond is an essential part of your maternity wardrobe. The dress pictured here is a navy and silver striped number by Eve of Eden. I bought this from Blossom and Glow. I love the versatility of the dress – easy and discreet nursing access, matching belt that can be worn under the bust when pregnant and at the waist post-pregnancy and it’s a lovely, flattering shape that definitely celebrates the bump!
6. Comfy nightie
A comfy, breastfeeding-friendly nightie is essential as you near the end of your pregnancy. You want one that can take you from the end of your pregnancy through to breastfeeding during this many nighttime feeds. The one pictured here is from Target.
7. Maternity tank top bras
The maternity cami is designed to support the changing needs of your body during pregnancy and nursing. I started wearing them in the third trimester as my boobs and belly required extra support and the cami kept my tummy extra warm in winter. The downside of these tank tops is that can get very hot if you’re breastfeeding in summer, but they allow for discreet breastfeeding. The one pictured here is from Target and features a built-in wirefree nursing bra and easy release clips for drop cup nursing. And in case you’re wondering, yes, I am into stripes this pregnancy!
Finally, when putting together your maternity wardrobe, avoid buying maternity clothes until you actually need them, instead of in one fell swoop. A better bet is to purchase a couple of things here and there throughout your trimesters. It will save money, certainly, but it’s also very difficult to predict how–and where–you will fill out.
What have you found to be an essential item in your pregnancy wardrobe? Did you feel good in maternity clothes?