When it comes buying maternity clothes in the early days of pregnancy, it can be hard to find your personal style, especially if you are still keeping the exciting news under wraps. And while the first trimester comes with a lot of physical changes on the inside, the visible ones (hello, bump!) don’t take shape until you are further along.

So how, exactly, do you dress a bump that’s not quite there yet? The key is to know what exactly to wear during this time to make you feel the most comfortable and beautiful.

Looking for first trimester clothes? Here are our fashion tips to remember during those early days of pregnancy, mama:

1. Opt for affordable maternity styles and items that can you can wear long-term

In the second trimester you’ll have a better idea where your weight will be distributed (other than the belly), so it’s best to hold off on spending loads of money on maternity pieces to ensure this investment takes you through the duration of your pregnancy. Or, if you do find a piece you love and it’s a bit higher priced, ensure that it’s a practical purchase that can be worn into the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. (The best buys are items you can enjoy even after baby arrives!)

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Motherhood Maternity


Essential Stretch Secret Fit Belly Maternity Leggings

A universal must-have, pregnant or not. Super soft and available in a range of colors, they feature a bump-friendly foldable waistband that lets you decide whether you want to tuck everything in or let it all hang out. (And at that price, you’re going to want one of each.)

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A Pea in the Pod


Side Ruched 3/4 Sleeve Maternity Shirt

Gorgeous layered or on its own, this bump-hugging 3/4 sleeve tee is a true staple. The side ruching allows it to grow along with you while a variety of colors offer a new look every day of the week.

2. Embrace your belly

The baby is coming and you may or may not be telling everyone yet. We get it, mama! But you have a long journey ahead when it comes to showing off the bump so why not start embracing it now? The beginning days can appear more bloating than true baby bump so some mamas want to hold off on the form-fitting belly enhancing silhouettes until the second trimester. But, we say go for it!

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Sadie Rib Knit Nursing Dress

We love this dress from Ripe which offers plenty of stretch for an emerging bump and comes back around in the fourth trimester with easy nursing access.

3. Invest in a very comfy bra

Your breasts will start changing as early as conception—in fact, it may be one of the very first pregnancy symptoms you get. As your breasts grow, it’s a good idea to invest in a few new bras to ensure the fit and support is complimentary to your new shape. Our pick? This style from Motherhood Maternity. It’s soft as butter and will double as a nursing bra later.

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Motherhood Maternity


Seamless Clip Down Maternity and Nursing Bra

Stretchy, soft and wire-free this full-coverage bra has you covered through pregnancy and the fourth trimester. The design ensures you won’t have to size up too many times throughout the journey and the clips make nursing a breeze.

(This style is better if you’re fuller chested!)

4. Prioritize how you feel

We know, leggings are comfortable and easy to wear throughout your entire pregnancy. We love wearing them, too but it’s easy to fall into the legging rut early in the game. As an alternative, consider a pair of classic joggers. Or how about some sleek pants that are just as comfortable but far more polished?

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Motherhood Maternity


The Maia Maternity Pant

If joggers aren’t your thing, Motherhood Maternity’s best-selling Maia Pant is a tried-and-true style that looks fab with everything from T-shirts to blazers. We love the way they effortlessly go from the office to date night to everything in between.

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Ingrid & Isabel


Fold Down Active Maternity Joggers

If joggers are your thing (because hello who doesn’t love them?), this pair with a fold-down panel option are a smart investment because you can wear them during your postpartum recovery too. (I mean, how comfy do these look?!)

4. Invest in practical, comfortable pieces that work as layers

Your body temperature will likely fluctuate as your hormones seem to shift to all corners of the universe. That means some days you’ll strip down to a tank and shorts. Other days you’ll want nothing more than to wrap up in a cozy sweater with a hot cup of tea. So, adding some layering options like a soft cardigan wrap sweater is a good idea.

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Ingrid & Isabel


Wrap / Maternity Nursing Sweater

A wrap sweater is always a good purchase as it goes with pretty much any pair of pants you feel comfortable in, and it will fit nicely around your belly whether you’re in week 8 or week 38.

5. Treat yourself to something cute and trendy, because you can

Gone are the dated, embarrassing maternity styles of years past. Todays’ pregnant woman gets to look adorable while tooling around town in the trendiest styles, including a roomy jumpsuit.

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The Nines by Hatch


Flutter Short Sleeve Maternity Jumpsuit

Everyone loves jumpsuits, but no one deserves this level of freedom and comfort more than a woman in her 1st trimester. This one’s another great choice for any time in your pregnancy, and will likely remain a mainstay in your close for a long time after baby arrives (because why wouldn’t it?)

6. Don’t forget to add a comfortable, practical pair of maternity jeans into your cart

Wear them to work, wear them to run errands, wear them out for date night, or wear them to sit on the couch binge-ing Netflix. Just pick a pair you love and you’ll be all set.

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Gap Maternity


Maternity Inset Panel Girlfriend Jeans

These maternity jeans are perfect for the first trimester as they have inset side panels that will stretch and grow right along with you. And, they’re loose and easy to wear with anything, which is exactly what a newly pregnant mama needs.

A version of this story was published November 16, 2021. It has been updated.