Maternity fashion: what to wear when you’re expecting

You pregnant ladies are SO lucky! When I was pregnant, at least with my first two kiddies, being pregnant wasn’t cool, there weren’t any cute maternity clothes, and the world did not bend over backwards for pregnant and nursing women.

Now that all the celebrities and teen moms are getting pregnant and pregnancy is so mainstream and celebrated, it is a lot easier to find fashionable and comfortable maternity duds. I ended up mostly buying regular clothing in larger sizes which only worked about half the time.

I also did the old rubber band around the button and buttonhole at the top of my pants for as long as I could. I tried to maintain some style, but it was really difficult when all that was on offer at Motherhood Maternity were tent-like shirts and awkward lime green swim dresses (mistakes were made).

I also was the first one of my friends to have a baby so no one my age could advise me or give me gently worn hand-me-downs. So you can learn from my mistakes and hard won wisdom. I give you: what to wear when you’re expecting!


Rock that belly bump, girlfriend! Nothing is cuter than a pregnant lady in a bikini at the pool or beach.

I bought a disgusting swim dress that had way too much material and totally stroke blocked me when I tried to actually swim in it. Less is more with a bathing suit when you’re pregnant.

You feel hot all the time anyway and your one piece won’t fit over your baby bump so it’s the perfect excuse to wear that two-piece.

Fancy schmancy

Now, what to wear if you are going out on the town? Do you really want to waste money on a dress that you will probably only wear once or at most twice?

Your body is changing so fast and you might not have a formal occasion next time you’re pregnant or in a different stage of your pregnancy.

I was in a wedding around each of my three pregnancies. The first time I had just had the baby a week or so before and I was still in the postnatal marshmallow puffwoman phase.

The second time I was six months pregnant. The third time I was eight months pregnant. Every time I had to order the dress way too big and have it tailored a few days before the wedding. It was a huge pain and I wasn’t happy with the results. I wish www.rentmaternity had been around when I was having babies.

You can rent a designer dress from them for a week for only $35-69. The dresses are all really beautiful and tasteful. There is a variety of styles and lengths and fits – really something for every pregnant woman in any stage of pregnancy.


There are few things more uncomfortable than being pregnant in the heat of summer. I spent the last couple of months of my first pregnancy marooned on a raft in the middle of my in-laws’ pool and rolling myself into the water like a beached whale to cool off. Modesto, California come summertime is very dry and very hot – not the ideal place to be pregnant and wearing polyester.

Ladies, go for comfort over style in the heat of the summer months. Wear stretch cotton and linen. Go sleeveless. Wear shorts and skirts and dresses.

You will thank yourself when you don’t almost pass out at the Sacramento Zoo because you are wearing a black top and black Capri pants in 106 degree weather (true story).

And don’t try to add height by squeezing your swollen feet into high heels during high temperatures. (Your mate already thinks you’re sexy or you wouldn’t be in this situation now, would you?)

DIY bellyband

Sometimes you need something between your too-short shirt and the top of the waistband of your jeans that is being held together by a rubber band.

Make yourself an adorable fabric band to cover up that space here: “”>

Sources for inexpensive pregnancy wear

Motherhood Maternity has grown in leaps and bounds in style. You will find very inexpensive and trendy clothes for each trimester here: maternity.

The Liz Lange Maternity collection at Target probably is my favorite when it comes to inexpensive maternity wear that is still very fashionable: .com/c/liz-lange-brand-shop/-/N-5q6o6.

You really can’t go wrong with Liz Lange. And last but not least, the old standby, Old Navy maternity. It’s very inexpensive, comfortable and still pretty stylish, check it out at .com/browse/

Make your own baby bump basics kit

The now defunct Belly Basics company used to sell these cool little maternity basic wardrobe in a box deals for pretty cheap. They can still be found on, but making your own tailored to your needs is even better. You’ll need a black stretchy maternity t-shirt, black leggings, and a little black dress.

From these three items you can build your maternity wardrobe and mix and match them with other maternity items.

Good luck! Dressing for style and comfort is the easy part of pregnancy (the hard part comes at the end). Make sure to get your push present hints in early!

If you want more ideas on fashionable maternity wear and other DIY style ideas, follow me on Pinterest under Tara McKinney, DIY Style Column board: pinter

McKinney’s column is published on the second Friday of each month as part of the Lifestyle section’s “Fashion Friday” features. She can be contacted by emailing