Maternity fashion has come a long way. Gone are the days of wearing oversized clothes which make you look frumpish and hide your belly. These days it’s perfectly acceptable for a women to show off her body and growing belly all through her pregnancy.
While you might get away without maternity clothes during the first few months of your pregnancy you’ll soon become too uncomfortable in normal clothes and appreciate the soft, stretchy fabric of maternity wear. "My number one piece of advice is to buy some basic pieces early on" (mamamia.com.au).
The important thing to do is get yourself some comfortable and fashionable maternity clothes. However, with so much maternity clothing available these days how does one choose which items to buy?
We’ll we’ve saved you the hassle, by reviewing all the major blog articles on the web in relation to “essential maternity clothes” and summarized them here in the remainder of this article. The following table shows the main categories of maternity wear and who mentioned them as an essential item.
Invest in these seven key maternity wear items, and you'll have the perfect outfit for any occasion:
And the winner of the most popular maternity clothing item as judged by maternity bloggers is………maternity jeans. WHAT? I hear you say, aren’t jeans stiff and tight? Nowadays Jeans are made in all sorts of fabrics, some of which are very soft.
You’re probably also wondering do I need a specific jeans from a maternity clothing store or can I just wear normal jeans in a larger size. Well the real benefit of pregnancy jeans is that you can still wear something that still looks fitted given this type of maternity clothing comes with an expandable waistband.
Here's what others had to say:
- “Mediocre maternity jeans will have you feeling like a hippopotamus…..Splurge on one amazing pair of maternity jeans, and it will be so worth it” (idealistmom.com).
- “If there’s one definite maternity wardrobe essential, it’s a great pair of maternity jeans” (whattoexpect.com).
- “The beauty of a fitted pair of jeans is you can continue to wear them post pregnancy” (notanotherslipperydip.com).
Below the bump vs over the bump waistbands?
Under the bump maternity jeans have a wide, elastic waistband that is made to sit below your belly. They tend to work well in the early stages of pregnancy, particularly when you won’t want things touching your stomach when you are feeling nauseous. Over the bump pregnancy jeans generally work better in the later stages of pregnancy, or if you’ve had a c-section when the low band on below the bump starts to put too much pressure on your lower stomach. Over the bump maternity jeans are pulled up high over your belly which allows the pants to stay up and in place, no matter how big your belly is. The panel is soft and comfortable, and doesn’t dig in anywhere.
Fitted Jeans, Bootcut Jeans, Skinny Leg - with so many styles how do you choose? Maternity jeans are just like pre-pregnancy jeans in that each brand fits a little differently. So if you like a skinny leg in pre-pregnancy then buy maternity jeans with a skinny leg. Ultimately, the key is finding a great jean that looks and feels great on you.
No surprises that maternity leggings maternity leggings rank highly as essential maternity wear.
Maternity leggings are neither pants nor tracksuit pants but somewhere in between and super comfy. They can also be super stylish maternity wear if matched up with a maternity tunic, maternity shirt and boots.
Maternity leggings are definitely one of the most important maternity clothes items in your wardrobe. But before you start thinking you can get away with just using non-maternity leggings, bear in mind that specially designed maternity leggings have a waistband which is more forgiving and won’t push on your tummy.
- “Leggings can be worn with long t-shirts and converse trainers for a relaxed casual maternity look, while they also can be dressed up with a maternity shirt or blazer and ankle boots” (rockmama.com.au).
- “Darker coloured leggings, such as black, brown or navy, are the perfect addition to any maternity wardrobe” (thefashionablehousewife.com).
- “They’re versatile and chic and should definitely be sitting in your closet somewhere” (charminglymodern.com).
3. TUNIC TOPS
Tunics are good option when considering a maternity top. Tunics tend to be longer than a maternity shirt and slightly shorter than a knee-length maternity dress.
A good, well cut maternity tunic will show off all the right curves while hiding everything else, because they are fitted across the shoulders and arms, while its length will cover your expanding hips, belly and bottom.
Maternity tunics come in a variety of shapes, colours, and materials making them an ideal maternity top, whatever your style. Others said:
- “I absolutely love wearing tunics when pregnant. In fact I don’t know why I limit them to pregnancy” (notanotherslipperydip.com).
- “A maternity tunic is flattering on every body shape and size and can be worn in just about every season” (expectantmothersguide.com).
Maternity T-Shirts are a great stable to have in your wardrobe, whether you’re pregnant or not. T-shirts come in a array of shapes, patterns and colours but we recommend going for a v-neck style which will make breastfeeding more easy.
Make sure there's a bit of stretch in the material so it'll grow with you and even better if its shirred and side-ruched. Others said:
- “A classic tee goes with everything” (babycenter.com).
- “A statement t-shirt can enhance any outfit, and can be thrown over a pair of leggings or skinny maternity jeans for instant chic maternity style” (rockmama.com.au).
- "Maternity tees are also a great staple in your pregnancy wardrobe" (sevengracesblog.com).
5. MAXI DRESSES
Maxi-dresses have been a consistent maternity fashion item since the 1970’s. The great thing about them is that they’re comfortable, versatile, while still being flattering.
Maternity maxi-dresses come come in a variety of lengths, cuts, fabrics and prints that cater to every style, so you can wear them as a casual maternity dress, a maternity dress for a special occasion, or maternity work dress.
If you’re looking for pregnancy clothes that are flattering, then the maxi-dress fits the bill. Unlike bag-like shift dresses, which hide you’re figure, the maxi-dress highlights your curves drawing the eye vertically rather than horizontally, while still downplaying trouble spots such as unshaved legs.
No wardrobe of maternity wear is complete with at least one cardigan.
Cardigans are the quickest way to turn an average maternity t-shirt into something special and they’re so easy to pull on and off as necessary.
They’re versatile, comfortable, cozy, and compared to other types of maternity knitwear, the inclusion of front buttoning make cardigans the perfect clothing for breastfeeding.
7. LITTLE BLACK DRESS
Maternity dresses are clearly the most popular items found in maternity clothing stores and the Little Black Dress consistently features as a must have maternity dress item.
They say a little black dress is a woman’s best friend and with the choices available in black maternity dresses these days there’s no reason to stop wearing one just because you’re pregnant.
This classic Little Black Dress will take you anywhere for just about any occasion from formal maternity dress to a special occasion maternity dress.
It also has great slimming effects, because of its colour, which will highlight your growing baby and accentuate the silhouette of your new pregnant body.
Here's what others had to say about the Little Black Dress:
- “Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean this timeless and classic fashion staple is off-limits” (babycentre.com).
- “The right dress can be worn a dozen different ways to generate a dozen different looks“ (whattoexpect.com).
- “I wear it every chance I get” (momitforward.com).