From lounge-wear to party style to street wear, here’s a COMPLETE guide to comfortable clothes during pregnancy. Plus, trimester-wise tips on what to wear when pregnant.
Hello to all you pregnant ladies! Honestly, I just gave birth nearly two months ago and I can’t tell you all how relieved I am that pregnancy is over. With heartburn on steroids, heavy nosebleeds, 5-month-long itching from cholestasis, just general discomfort of carrying two humans inside me, and excruciatingly painful weekly IV drips, my pregnancy was so difficult that even raising twin babies now seems easier than that.
Also check out: My C-Section Experience: What to Expect in a Caesarean Birth
But whether you cherish it or dread it, pregnancy is a very special time in a woman’s life. When our body changes forever, and everything’s uncomfortable, the thought that we’re creating a miracle makes it all worth it. And that’s why we want to feel as normal and beautiful as possible during this time.
But when it comes to pregnancy fashion, you don’t have to choose between stylish and comfortable. Here is your guide to comfortable yet stylish pregnancy outfits that won’t have you compromising your style for your bump.
Cute Pregnancy Outfits
Let’s begin with some basic comfortable clothes during pregnancy for every occasion. So that wherever you are and whatever you’re in the mood for, you’re always feeling and looking good!
Daily/Lounge Wear for Pregnancy
For me, I spent most of my time indoors during pregnancy, either working at my desk or lounging around. The best daily or lounge-wear to wear during pregnancy is whatever you’re most comfortable in, other than PJs!
Cute pregnancy outfits for summer include cotton maternity pants with oversized tee-shirts, or midi A-line dresses. You can throw on a faux-fur coat over a woolen dress and boots in the winter. Accessorize with tassel earrings, a fuzzy headband or a cute pendant piece.
If you’re home, it’s important to look good, especially if you’re having people over, or are working from home. Other than that, these outfits are perfect when traveling, casual-visiting a friend or just heading out for breakfast.
Party Wear Outfits during Pregnancy
Party wear is a really vague term these days, since there’s such a variety in parties. For a night-out clubbing, the most comfortable clothes during pregnancy could be knee-length bodycon dresses to show off your bump. Or try an LBD, either A-line or wrap. These can also be your pregnancy outfits for photoshoot.
Pair it with white sneakers or cute ballet flats. For a birthday party, go for an empire-waist dress in a nice pastel color, paired with an embellished headband and embellished ballet flats.
In the winters, go for a simple sequin mini-dress for a holiday party. Or a black full-sleeved gown, for a black tie event. Accessorize it with a statement necklace or a pearl pendant. Add black satin-finish flats and a glossy pink lip.
Comfortable Night Wear for Pregnancy
Night wear has to obviously be as comfortable as possible. Loose clothing in a soft fabric is your best bet. If you’re a dress person, go for a maternity night-dress. Avoid going too loose so you don’t have to keep adjusting extra fabric while sleeping and balancing your growing body.
You can go for an extra-large t-shirt if you’re a PJs person. Add cute printed pajamas or leggings, a pair of fuzzy slippers, and you’re ready for the bedroom.
Maternity Street Style
There are many options when it comes to casual and comfortable clothes during pregnancy. (Ooh, see the alliteration I did there?!) Anyway, my personal favorite is a simple pair of jeans with an empire-waist top and flat shoes. You can also go for an empire-waist dress, or a cute kaftan dress with sandals. Pair it with a nice statement neck piece or quirky earrings. You can try a nice pink makeup look to give off that happy pregnancy vibe!
For a more form-fitting option, try a little black dress and accessorize with tassel earrings, white sneakers and a glossy neutral-colored lip + eye makeup.
Maternity Fitness Wear
For your daily walks or if you’re able to do jogs, you can try a pair of pastel-shade gym shorts or simple cotton capris. Add white sneakers, a white tee over a comfy sports bra. For your prenatal yoga sesh, go for a pair of maternity yoga pants with a bright-colored sports bra and tee-combo.
How to Create Cute Outfits with Comfortable Clothes During Pregnancy
Actually, dressing well not just during this time but at any point is all about feeling good for yourself. And that means no rules apply. Only that you should dress however makes you happy.
However, here are some of the tips for maternity fashion that I learned during my pregnancy.
1. Dress for Comfort
The first and foremost tip is to be comfortable, as it’s imperative that you stay happy and stress-free. So clothing should help you be comfortable and not fidgety. Keep the silhouettes simple and easy-to-change, especially as you grow bigger.
2. Wear Soft Fabrics
Avoid itchy fabrics, bite-y jewelry, or anything else that will irritate you. Go for cotton in the summer; and wool, pashmina or cashmere in the winter. This will especially help in the third trimester when the growing belly gets very itchy.
3. No Heels
This one’s obvious, and one of the most important tips on what to wear when pregnant. No matter how used to you are to wearing heels, during pregnancy go for flats. The growing belly changes your body’s center of gravity, which means you have to re-learn how to walk every trimester.
Add pregnancy brains to that, which sometimes literally makes you more clumsy. And that means chances of losing balance or tripping are very high. So flats it is. Plus your swollen feet will thank you.
4. Be Hands-Free
Did I mention how exhausting it will feel? The first and third trimesters can put a lot of burden on your body, as they are rapid growth phases for the baby. So carrying anything (even yourself) gets so tiresome. Handbags can feel very heavy really quickly, so try to go hands-free. Invest in a nice belt-bag or phone-purse.
5. Avoid Unnecessary Layers
Same with clothing. Layering up can actually get annoying during pregnancy. Avoid dresses with too many pieces (or heavy fabrics/frills), and instead, just go for minimal layers. Like a single dress that you can throw on or a tee with comfy pants – easy to put on and take off.
6. Keep the Clothing Loose
When we think of daily pregnancy wear, we think frumpy clothing. And when you get pregnant, you realize why. We all know pregnancy fashion only looks good in maternity shoots and on celebs. And that’s because it’s only for the camera.
In reality, pregnancy is a very uncomfortable time for most of us. Itching all over the body was a big concern for me due to cholestasis, but even for every other pregnant woman, itchy belly is a big problem. So go for loose clothing that doesn’t irritate the skin, and avoid tight dresses. Another thing you can do to avoid belly-itching is to go for clothing without front vertical seams.
7. Select Pre-Pregnancy Clothes
Wondering how to dress during pregnancy without maternity clothes? Select loose tees, A-line tops or ponchos, and shift or kaftan dresses. Use your old pieces only if they fit well and feel good. Don’t try to fit yourself into a tight jeans or top as it’ll not only make you fidgety but also look bad.
During the first trimester, some of the pre-pregnancy pieces will fit well, or more, depending on your body. Afterwards, you’ll have to keep buying larger-sized clothing or maternity wear.
8. Avoid Over-shopping for Maternity Wear
The Covid times ensure we can work from home and not go out much, so I recommend limiting buying maternity clothes. In fact, there are plenty of silhouettes that you can still wear after you become a mom.
I bought a mix of such silhouettes and oversized comfortable clothes during pregnancy. So go for A-line maxi dresses, empire-waist dresses, oversized tees and elasticated pants (you’ll need them for postpartum dressing, too).
So avoid over-shopping, and try to buy pieces that you’ll really wear. You can do this by buying for occasion, as and when you need it, instead of buying a whole pregnancy wardrobe beforehand. I bought only 3 new dresses for going out, and lots of oversized night/lounge wear that I still wear now, 2 months post-partum.
Planning Your Pregnancy Wardrobe & Looking Good
1. Gain weight steadily and healthily
Wondering how to look stylish when pregnant? It’s all about maintaining a beautiful body.
The first trimester you usually don’t gain weight (in fact you may lose). The second and third trimesters you gain, but only to a certain limit. A healthy gain is about 1-1/2 to 2 kg per month, roughly about a total of 10-15 kg for singleton pregnancies. If you are expecting twins you should gain 13-18 kg during your pregnancy. I gained 11 kilos during the whole pregnancy, however I was hoping to gain about 15.
Anyway, the idea is to try to gain steadily, instead of all in your third trimester through overeating. The simple trick is to eat however much you’re hungry, eat healthy and avoid unhealthy sugary food. Keep your diet healthy so your bump grows but not the rest of your body.
This will ensure all your maternity wear looks great on you. It’ll boost your body image by a great deal, and your additional weight will be much easier to lose after pregnancy.
2. Plan postpartum grooming
You won’t get any time whatsoever to get your legs waxed, eyebrows done, hair trimmed or roots touched up once the baby is born. Forget salon visits for at least two months postpartum, even if you have help.
Don’t even think about spa visits, no matter how much you’ll need them. And you don’t want to meet your baby for the first time looking like a slob, or your visitors. So it’s best to do all that in your third trimester. Plus it’ll ensure you look well-groomed for your hospital visits and first few selfies with the baby.
3. Keep in mind your personal needs
Obviously, plan for the weather before you buy your maternity wear. The late second and all of third trimester is when you really need larger clothing, so make sure you buy according to the climate. Also keep your body type and skin type in mind.
2. Keep in mind general pregnancy needs
Simple minimal clothing feels best during pregnancy. Avoid frumpy silhouettes that’ll make you look larger than you need to. Don’t be afraid to show off your bump, but dress for comfort. Go for flats and lightweight clothing in minimal silhouettes.
3. Dress according to trimester
Here’s lots of ideas for comfortable clothes during pregnancy trimester by trimester.
First Trimester Pregnancy Fashion Ideas
The first trimester is infamous for its nausea. Along with that, it’s all about bloating and fatigue. You’re tired and sleepy all the time. And when you’re not feeling nauseous, you’re wondering if you’re just bloated or you already got a baby bump.
So let’s go over some tips on how to dress during your first trimester:
1. Most old clothes should still fit you at this time. Try non-skinny jeans with comfy tops that don’t show your torso. So avoid crop tops, and tight tops. Your first few comfortable clothes during pregnancy can be high-waist peplum, straight-cut or peasant blouses. But whatever you do, stay away from clothes that are too tight. The bloating will not only make it uncomfortable but also look unflattering in them.
2. If you’re throwing up frequently, you may sweat more than usual. So wear fabrics that dry easily.
3. Go for outfits that are easy to put on, because being tired all the time, you’ll want to wear fuss-free dresses.
Second Trimester Pregnancy Outfit Ideas
Increased energy marks the second trimester, and you start to show a bit. This is the time to feel good and focus on fitness and health.
So here are some ideas on what to wear during second trimester of pregnancy:
1. Low waist jeans may fit you below the bump. If not, go for unbuttoned jeans with long-line tops. Try empire-waist or A line tops. You can also wear A-line or loose shift dresses.
2. In the late second trimester, you may not be able to pull off any of your old clothes. Some of the comfortable clothes during pregnancy include jumpsuits, maxi dresses or midi dresses.
3. At home, you’ll also need some new clothing. Try larger size PJs with loose tees or sweatshirts, or tee-shirt dresses.
Comfortable Clothes during Pregnancy Third Trimester
The most uncomfortable time I’ve ever faced, the third trimester is no joke. Heartburn, fatigue, itchy belly, and overall size of it doesn’t allow for much movement. You’re just waiting for it to all be over.
1. There are frequent doctor visits, so go for flats, or as comfortable shoes as possible. Avoid shoe-laces or straps, as you won’t be able to get down and tie them anyway. So only go for slip-on shoes or ballet flats.
2. The belly is very itchy during this time, so the most comfortable clothes during pregnancy are loose pieces in soft fabrics.
3. You’ll be constantly out-of-breath, so avoid all accessories or jewelry so you don’t have to tire yourself out undoing chain clasps and what not.
4. You’ll want to wear basic clothing, and avoid extra hemlines, ruffles, and other embellishments that may cause itching.
5. Avoid pieces that are difficult to put on or take off, since you don’t want to be even more breathless. So instead of dresses with zippers or hook closures, go for stretchy dresses or loose ones that you can just put on in one go.
6. Your body is less flexible at this time because of the added bulk and swollen feet. So go for lightweight bags and easy to clean clothing. Go for dresses with pockets so you can avoid carrying a bag altogether.
All in all, pregnancy is a pretty special and memorable time. So it only makes sense that it has special fashion needs. I hope my guide to comfortable clothes during pregnancy was helpful. Let me know your favorite tip below. And don’t forget to tag me in your pregnancy style pics on Instagram @shilpaahujadotcom so I can ‘like’ them!
Shilpa Ahuja the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion. Other than defining the direction of the magazine, she also writes about fashion & beauty trend forecasts, industry analysis, and opinions.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University.
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