wikiHow to Dress when Pregnant

Three Methods:Dressing for Different Pregnancy StagesPicking the Right Fabric and FeelChoosing the Right Colors and Accessories

You can still look stylish and feel good when dressing for a pregnant body if those things are important to you. Don't abandon your sense of style! It's important to know what works well when pregnant, though, and what doesn't feel right.

Method 1
Dressing for Different Pregnancy Stages

  1. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 1
    Dress differently depending on pregnancy stage. When it comes to dressing during pregnancy, comfort and style are key. What feels right in week 9 may feel downright wrong by week 14.
    • What perfectly flatters your curves during the second trimester may become rather indecent by the tail end of your pregnancy. Buy the right size for your changing body. Do not buy larger clothes then you need unless you like how they look.
    • Purchase clothing designed for maternity wear when you start to show if you wish. This clothing will be built for greater comfort, and it’s usually a better idea than purchasing regular clothing in bigger sizes. If cost is an issue, check thrift stores. You can usually wear regular clothes for the first three months.
    • Avoid the temptation to just buy much larger clothes unless you want to. The problem with just buying larger clothes is it can make you look, well, larger. Maternity clothes will be fitted in the right places while allowing room for the bump, so they can help you retain a sense of shape.
  2. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 2
    Know your body type and shape. Different people carry their babies different ways. Some people have high pregnancies, for example, and some people carry the baby lower.[1]
    • For those carrying their babies low, clothing that’s soft on the waistline will be more comfortable. Shirts cut below the bump can look attractive.
    • If you’re carrying high, you can try to create a line between the breasts and bump by adding high belts and ties.
    • Don’t give up. Just because you’re pregnant, doesn’t mean you can’t retain your typical style. You don’t always have to go for the sweatpants, either.[2]
  3. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 3
    Dress for the first trimester. In the first trimester, the challenge for many is to keep the pregnancy under wraps. Many people don't want to divulge their growing secret until at least the second trimester. Thus, you can usually stick to non-maternity clothing for the first three months.
    • What to do: Go into your closet and put aside anything that feels too tight or clingy. Stick with silhouettes that flow over belly, hips, and thighs that can camouflage the few pounds you may gain in the first months.
    • Wear soft knits, A-line skirts, empire-waisted tops and frocks, wrap shirts and dresses all work well. Another great piece for the first trimester: a "blouson" style top – that is, one that has a fitted waistband at the bottom but some roominess above the band. The fabric falls loosely over your belly while the fitted waistband keeps the look more tailored.
    • Throw on a pair of boot-cut stretch jeans for a comfortable, pulled-together look. Most maternity clothes have too much fabric for your barely there bump, but you've grown enough in other places that your pre-pregnancy clothes just don't fit. What to do: Stretch your wardrobe with a couple of key additions.
  4. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 4
    Dress for the second trimester. The challenge: You feel like every few weeks you're a new size and don't want to blow your budget on new clothes every month.
    • What to do: Invest in a few items that will grow with you. Look for pieces that have details like ruching, tie-backs, buttons or gathering at the sides, and wraps, which will all let you adjust your clothing as your body grows and changes.
    • What's more, they will let you flatteringly flaunt your bump, which usually pops out during this time.
  5. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 5
    Dress for the final trimester. When you're further along in your pregnancy, try buying fashionable t-shirts, only a couple sizes larger.
    • Maternity pants are go-to super comfortable, and fashionable during pregnancy. Consider ditching heels, as they may lead to back problems. Try comfortable flats or boots instead.
    • If you're feeling self-conscious about ugly maternity wear, try adding scarves or jackets, belts, necklaces, etc.
    • It’s all about the pants. Find comfortable pants that fit well. You can wear your shirts for most if not all of your pregnancy as long as you like how they look, they and won't be stretched so you cant wear them again. If you do buy pregnancy shirts, make sure that they work for nursing so you double or triple the amount of time you use them.
  6. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 6
    Consider buying one of those stretchy bands. You can place this band at the top of your jeans, over the waistband that will no longer button or zip. This will work for earlier stages of pregnancy before you transition into maternity pants.
    • The band will keep your pants up, and no one will know they're unbuttoned.
    • In a pinch, you can also use a rubber band looped over the button and through the buttonhole to do the same thing, minus the smoothing effect of the band. You could use a big safety pin too.[3]

Method 2
Picking the Right Fabric and Feel

  1. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 7
    Wear clothing that is flexible around your mid-section. Your belly will have lots of action as your baby moves and grows. It is best to leave behind constricting belts and waist bands.
    • Leggings can be your best friend. Buy leggings a couple sizes larger than your normal size or a pair of maternity leggings. They look great with long sweaters and shirts.
    • Avoid stiff fabrics. Instead choose stretchy fabrics. Yoga pants will also be a great choice because they are loose and comfortable. Avoid zippers and buttons. Wearing pants or skirts with elastic or ties instead of zippers or buttons is a must.
    • Jersey knits and other soft, stretchable garments are both comfortable and easy to wash and wear.
  2. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 8
    Steer clear of too tight clothes. You don’t want to pick loaded-with-Lycra clothes. While these curve-hugging tops will show off your bump later, right now you'll feel too much like a sausage in a tight casing.
    • At the same time, buying clothing fitted for a pregnant body is actually going to make you look slimmer than encasing your body in a huge too-large shirt. Satin is not considered a good pregnancy fabric by some, and bright colors are not usually a great idea, either.[4]
    • Avoid tops that are too billowy and tent-like, unless you prospectus look. Look for ones that flow gracefully over the extra pounds beneath while still having a bit of shape. Tunics are a great choice. While fitted across the shoulders and arms, a tunic flows gracefully across the middle, disguising extra weight. V-neck or scoop-neck shirts are a good choice as they draw the gaze to the neckline.
  3. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 9
    Try a tank top and layered look. An exception to the anti-cling rule: tank tops and other garments with built-in shaping panels.
    • These can help smooth out the sudden pooch or contain your growing breasts. Top these tanks with a body-skimming top or cardigan made of a smooth jersey fabric.
    • Stock up on such layering tanks. Wear them under tops that no longer button all the way. Throw one or two on under an oversize cardigan or blazer.
  4. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 10
    Dress for the workplace. You need a few workhorse items that will go from work to weekend without sacrificing comfort.
    • What to do: Embrace the wrap dress, if appropriate for your work place, or rather, let the wrap dress – in a sleek solid color or a color-blocked pattern – embrace your curves. You'll look perfectly pulled together for the office and be comfortable and stylish for running weekend errands.
    • As your bump gets bigger and higher, simply change where you place the tie, eventually making the frock into an empire-waisted garment, giving much-needed definition between bosom and belly.
    • Another faithful, versatile item to choose: a pair of dark denim maternity boot-cut jeans with the stretchy fabric built right into the waistband. The cut and color will flatter you throughout the entire pregnancy and work for almost any work or social situation.
  5. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 11
    Pick the right skirt and dress. Other than wrap dresses, wearing skirts and dresses can be tricky during pregnancy. In particular, you will want to avoid too-short skirts.
    • Dresses and skirts that are designed to show a longer length in the back (similar to a gentleman's morning coat) are often in fashion and, as your abdomen expands with your growing baby, still look as if they were meant to look that way. A shift or maxi dress is a good choice.[5]
    • If you choose to wear a skirt make sure it is slightly form fitting and low volume. Try for A-Line skirts, pencil, sarong, godet, or a thin low volume gypsy style.
    • A high-waisted skirt in comfortable material is a good idea if it falls at the knees or below them. Wrap dresses are perfect for pregnancy. They are comfortable, stretch over the stomach, and still retain a bit of sex appeal.[6]
  6. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 12
    Purchase special maternity pants. Maternity pants are basically pants with an elastic waistband so you don't have to worry about not fitting.
    • You can get them at many department stories. Maternity pants also come in blue jean style but with a stretchy waistband. Don’t be afraid to rock a pair of maternity blue jeans. Blue jeans can be a great way to start a pregnancy outfit.[7]
    • You want to avoid anything with zippers or buttons.

Method 3
Choosing the Right Colors and Accessories

  1. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 13
    Work with slimming and solid colors. Black is very slimming, so wear as much black as you like. Go for the long line look.
    • White shows off your belly and will make it more obvious. Some abstract colors like a neon top with dark pants, also draw attention to your belly. You could try another solid color like soft gray if black gets too boring. Try wearing a single color from top to bottom.[8]
    • Vertical stripes are much better than horizontal, ideally with darker vertical colors at your sides and lighter vertical stripes in the center.
    • Avoid garish or in-your-face bold and big patterns. Keep in mind that darker on the bottom and lighter on the top brings the eyes of the beholder up towards your radiant face.
  2. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 14
    Wear comfortable shoes. Shoes are important to consider because as your child grows, your blood and other fluid volumes increase, often causing swelling in ankles and feet (this can also permanently change your shoe size.)
    • Wear lower shoes with flats. High heels are just a bad idea during pregnancy especially because it would be dangerous if you fell. You also want to choose shoes with some extra room.[9]
    • Wedges are fun and beautiful to wear. Buying insoles for your shoes can increase comfort for sore feet. Flip flops can be useful as feet swell.
  3. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 15
    Accessorize for the right effect. Wear layered necklaces that are shorter than your growing baby bump to keep the focus up top.
    • Try wearing a great scarf. This can draw people’s eyes away from your bump.
    • Wear natural fiber undergarments. Sometimes during pregnancy one sweats more than usual. To look stylish, wear hoops and big sunglasses.
  4. Image titled Dress when Pregnant Step 16
    Invest in a good bra. Your boobs are probably busting out all over. What to do: If you haven't already, now's the time to invest in a few great bras.
    • While you may choose to go for bigger sizes of your favorite bra, you might want to consider the comfort and expanding nature of maternity or nursing bras. Cotton bras are a good choice. You will want one that supports your back.
    • Most women find that not only do their cups runneth over, but their band size (the circumference around the back) will grow too. Besides moving up a band size (or two), you can also find inexpensive bra extenders at most lingerie stores.


  • Don't abandon your own personal style just because you are pregnant. Embrace your new body!
  • Wear scarves to look stylish.
  • Say no to uncomfortably tight clothes.

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