Parenting Pregnancy Style

Maternity Fashion Guide

sources are listed at the end of this post

Maternity wear can throw even the cutest gals for a loop. It is possible to maintain your sense of style through pregnancy though, and below are my tips. Tomorrow I’ll post the companion guide: Nursing Style. Let me know if you have any questions or tips of your own in the comments!


  • Don’t bother with maternity cardigans. Any that you already own will still fit, charmingly unbuttoned or open to show off the belly.
  • You will want maternity tanks — they’re nice and long, so they’re perfect for layering. They’re inexpensive too. I like mine to be thin and stretchy.
  • Simple long-sleeved maternity tees are cute with a bold necklace.
  • Loose, blousey tops will likely continue to fit, though you may want to use a skinny belt to create an empire waist.
  • Horizontal stripes are adorable on pregnant ladies. Find a good striped maternity t-shirt or two.
  • Maternity sweaters are nice if you’re going to be very large in the winter. They’re longer and they hug your shape, so you feel cozy and warm without looking like you’ve been swallowed by a huge sweater.


  • These two words together are so completely unsexy, but so completely awesome during pregnancy: maternity jeggings. Get yourself a pair that resemble actual denim and they will be your go-to wardrobe staple. I’m in love with this pair.
  • Low rise, medium panel, or full panel? Low rise pants feel like they’re falling off once you start to get bigger, and as your shirts cover less and less area, you’re going to be showing some belly. Maybe that’s cool with you, and if you’re a fan of low-rise pants in general, you may like them in a maternity option. Some of your old favorites will also likely fit for a long time. Medium or demi-panels can be nice if you’re going to wear pants when it’s warmer, but I prefer the full panel pants. They aren’t tight (so there’s not much extra support, contrary to a lot of manufacturer’s claims), but they do feel more secure, and I like that my tummy is covered in case my shirt isn’t long enough. The extra layer can help camouflage your belly button too when it starts showing through your clothes.
  • I wore a lot of skirts and dresses throughout my pregnancies, so I wore a lot of tights. You can find maternity tights, but typically only in brown, black, and gray. I just bought colorful tights in a larger size with no control panel and that worked out fine.
  • A maternity pencil skirt looks best. A flowy jersey skirt is not as polished, but it’s still cute and it will be super comfy.


  • Some dresses will work throughout your pregnancy, though they will get shorter and shorter in the front as your belly expands. They do tend to tent in a pretty unflattering way towards the end, so if you wear a lot of dress (like I do), you may want to buy a couple of maternity versions. They’ll be cut to hug your belly instead of just hanging from it.


  • This is awful, but I mostly wear sports bras when I’m pregnant. Yes, your boobs are smooshed and the look is normally not the most flattering, but I don’t mind the silhouette coupled with a baby belly. You’ll be tender in the early stages of your pregnancy and then you’ll be quite busty toward the end. Sports bras feel the best to me, and I’m all about comfort when everything else can be so uncomfortable.
  • Even if you give in to comfort (like me) in this department, you’ll probably want at least one normal bra that makes you look good. Pick your favorite style, but you’ll have to size up (so trying them on is a must).
  • If there was ever an acceptable time for granny panties, pregnancy is it. Low-rise is good too, but whatever style I pick I do like to feel like my rear is covered and they’re not going to fall off. I like these. I work my way up the sizes as I get bigger, then back down as I return to my pre-pregnancy shape (or an approximation of it).


  • Enjoy your regular-sized purses now. You’ll soon need something much larger for toting diapers.
  • Big, bold necklaces look cute with more basic tops. Giant corsages are fun too. Basically, wear it all while you can before you have an adorable little baby that wants to grab everything!


from the style board above

  1. Short Sleeve Scoop Neck Maternity T Shirt
  2. Liz Lange for Target Maternity Long-sleeve Basic Tee
  3. Merona Maternity 3/4-Sleeve Tunic Dress
  4. Ultra Soft V-neck Sweater
  5. Maternity Wrap Nursing Dress
  6. Elegant Drapey Top and Maternity Straightleg Jean (paired with a non-maternity cardigan)
  7. French Pouf Corsage
  8. Future Memories Necklace
  9. Wrap Dress
  10. Maternity Jersey-Stretch Tank
  11. Maternity Fold-Over Skirt
  12. It Jeans Secret Fit Belly 5 Pocket Maternity Jeans
  13. Take a Dip Necklace

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  • Reply
    February 10, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    I’m loving this post! Very timely for me — finding cute maternity stuff can be a headache. Congrats on baby August!

  • Reply
    February 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Fantastic post! I’m 22 weeks and starting to really need maternity tops. Those Old Navy tank tops are heaven sent… I have 2 and just ordered 5 more. And full panel jeans? I don’t know how hippy gals survive without them. The below the belly kid are a joke on my curves.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Thanks for posting this and congrats on the new baby! I just found out I’m pregnant with #2 and need all the help I can get right now!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Cute clothes! But I do have to LOL at the high heels in these photos, especially those 5-inch ones with the jeans :) I was in flats from about 4 months onward.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Great tips. I’m 31 weeks now and have definitely found long, thin maternity tanks and long-sleeved maternity shirts (I have two of the shirts you show in #2) to be extremely helpful with layering. I also prefer full-panel maternity jeans (esp. skinny ones) and Hanes undies in larger sizes to avoid my butt hanging out (Hanes low rise bikini cut). And I, too, have worn sports bras for much of my pregnancy. I agree that they are most comfortable and the silhouette w/ belly is not bad in most shirts.

    One thing I found is that many clothes labeled “maternity” are horribly huge tents. I stuck to regular (but long) clothing in a larger size instead.

  • Reply
    monday: best of last week | The Misadventures of Kelly and Kelly
    February 14, 2011 at 7:02 am

    […] maternity fashion guide & nursing fashion guide […]

  • Reply
    February 14, 2011 at 10:56 am

    If you’re in the UK and need maternity tights, then try:
    – JojoMamanBébé
    – H&M
    – New Look
    I got purple/plum and grey merl tights from them. My New Look maternity jeans are also awesome.

    I did a post on the same thing last year on my personal website:

  • Reply
    Lovely Maternity Fashion Guide | Family Style
    February 18, 2011 at 10:58 am

    […] was pulled together by the lovely and stylish Nicole Balch from Making it Lovely.  Head over to Making it Lovely to get all the details! Related Posts :Princess Leia is Everywhere this Halloween! Tres Chic! Kids […]

  • Reply
    April 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and really appreciated that I could go back to these types of posts now that I’m preggo with baby #2. I’m trying to find a pair of maternity jeans that last… the link above for maternity jeggings doesn’t work. can you tell me what brand you liked? thanks!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      April 30, 2012 at 10:25 am

      Shoot, I don’t remember. It was something with a J, maybe? Or the full link said “It Jeans Secret Fit Belly 5 Pocket Maternity Jeans”, so maybe “It Jeans”?

      • Reply
        April 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm

        Awesome – thank you! Anything is better than the maternity jeans I wore last time. :)

  • Reply
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