As your belly grows (and your closet seems to shrink), it can be tempting to load up on a bundle of cheap, oversize items because, well, you need to wear something. But if we might make a suggestion: What if you... didn’t?
Instead, take that new, beautiful belly as an opportunity to create the perfect capsule wardrobe of quality maternity pieces you can use now and for any other pregnancies to come. Here are the 11 items that made our cut.
You officially have our permission to buy as many tops as you need to feel beautiful, but if you’re on a budget, opt for a well-made wrap top (we love the on-trend stripes of this one from A Pea in a Pod) that will stretch to accommodate that growing belly. The style is comfortable enough to cradle your newly curvier parts, and the look can even work as a nursing top when your babe is born.
Pro tip: Don’t shy away from patterns! Stripes, plaid, florals—everything is on the table.
The best maternity wear is the kind you can keep rotating post-baby. A chambray button-down shirt is perfect for pregnancy and for when you need accessible boobs post-pregnancy. (Just keeping it real, mamas.) This version from Everly Gray will be in style for years (and other pregnancies) to come.
Pro tip: Look for cotton shirts that won’t require lots of ironing to keep looking neat. Because who has the time, right?
At some point, everything is going to stop fitting. (Embrace it, mama; it means you’re almost done!) When that day comes, you’ll want a comfy wrap sweater—like this one from Ingrid and Isabel—that you can throw over anything and look instantly put-together. Or, at the very least, like someone who can still fit into her best office dress.
Pro tip: Summer pregnancy? Opt for an open-weave style to keep the look breezy.
A great trench is always a worthwhile investment, but that goes double when it comes to the perfect maternity jacket. (Remember: There are few things worse than having to squeeze your overheated pregnant belly into a too-small coat.) A trench is the ideal solution because it matches everything, is suitable for any occasion, and you can even wear it post-birth. This style from HATCH nails it.
Pro tip: This is the one thing we recommend buying in your pre-pregnancy size. As your belly grows, just skip a few buttons to make it fit.
Wedding season doesn’t stop just because you’re pregnant. Buy a bold little number you can re-wear by switching up the accessories, like this side-knot maternity dress from ASOS, and you’ll be ready for any invitation.
Pro tip: Hiding the belly is so 20 years ago. Show off your best new curve with a bright hue and a fitted silhouette.
There is no time in your life when you won’t benefit from having an LBD handy. Treat your pregnant self to a classic dress that will stand the test of time and look great everywhere from the office to date night, like this adorable number from Seraphine.
Pro tip: Pick a shape that you prefer even without a belly, whether that’s an A-line skirt or a sheath. You’ll feel more comfortable and be more likely to wear it again later on.
Sure, you might not be feeling exactly, well, skinny right now, but the right pair of jeans will make you feel like your old self and pair perfectly with a flow maternity top. We love this pair from Madewell.
Pro tip: Order a few sizes and pairs (or actually take a trip to the store to try them on) and return the ones that don’t work. You want these jeans to fit perfectly.
The right cropped pants can easily take you from your morning meeting to (nonalcoholic) drinks with the girls after work. This Pixie from J. Crew are those pants. Plus, they’re so comfortable, they might even make it through your ninth month.
Pro tip: Stick with basic black—it goes with everything!
If you ask us, the fancy sweatpant is the fashion trend pregnancy has been waiting for. We live for this tuxedo pair from Stowaway, which are dressy enough to wear to dinner. The best part? You can even wear them when you’re not pregnant. (We won’t tell that they’re maternity.)
Pro tip: Dress ’em down with a baggy sweater and sneakers or go glam with heels and statement jewelry.
You didn’t think we’d create the perfect maternity closet without including a great pair of black leggings, did you? Embrace this #momlife staple in style. We love the Belly Bandit leggings from Mother Tucker for their chic shape and compression panels in all the places you want them.
Pro tip: The best thing about quality leggings is that you can throw them in the wash without worrying they’ll lose their shape. (That’s why they call them an investment.)
Don’t let a fear of swimsuit shopping keep you from taking that babymoon! (Also trust: That belly looks amazing in a swimsuit.) May we suggest a stunningly classic suit like this little number from Figleaves?
Pro tip: Feeling bold? Flaunt that beautiful bump in your favorite bikini—no extra shopping required!
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