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How To Dress During Pregnancy Without Maternity Clothes

Being pregnant can alter your entire life, including your wardrobe. While most people will be donning maternity clothing by the time they hit the five-month mark, there are some people that will never opt for maternity clothing.

When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, my stomach never got big enough to fill out the belly pouch in maternity shorts. I was sixteen, and maternity clothing was less than stylish for a teenager.

Sometimes, it can be impossible to find maternity clothing that you love. That’s okay. I’ve lasted entire pregnancies without maternity clothing, and you can still both look and feel great. 

Dresses Are Your Best Friend

For your pregnancy wardrobe, you’re going to need stretchy clothing that can cover your belly. This is especially important if you have to go to work or to run errands.

Dresses will help you look your best with minimal effort regardless of how far along you are in your pregnancy. 

Avoid Dresses With A Fixed Waistline

Some styles, such as A-frame dresses, have what is called a fixed waistline. It helps give the illusion that your waist is slimmer by creating an hourglass figure, even if you don’t have one.

These styles are not baby bump-friendly. There is not enough room in the waist for your stomach, and they do not stretch like other styles do to support your growing belly. 

Maxi Dresses Are Ideal For A Pregnancy Wardrobe 

Maxi dresses are a great idea because they are longer. As your stomach gets bigger, you’ll find that the front of the dress pulls up. This can make mid-length dresses inappropriate.

Maxi dresses that are made from a stretchy fabric can last throughout your entire pregnancy, helping you both look great and save money. 

Wrap Dresses Are Great Non-Maternity Pregnancy Clothing

Wrap dresses are an outfit all by themselves. They do not need leggings, the energy to put an outfit together, etc. Instead, simply put on your wrap dress and a pair of shoes. 

Not only are these great for those days when you don’t want to pick out an outfit, but they are also perfect for pregnancy.

The top of a wrap-style dress offers plenty of room for when your breasts grow. Dresses in this style never have a fitted waistline. Wrap dresses are naturally roomy to accommodate a baby bump. 

Maxi And Midi Skirts Are Great Non-Maternity Pregnancy Clothes

Skirts will go nicely over your baby bump provided that you put them over your head instead of trying to pull them up from the bottom. These skirts will easily pair with T-shirts, cardigans, and most other shirts.

You can find them in prints or solid colors. Various materials are always available to guarantee that you can stay cool during the summer months and that your bump is warm during those frigid winter months. 

Opt For Sweater Like Skirts For Winter

Not only are these warmer, but they are also stretchy. You can trust that a nice, knit skirt will last your entire winter as your belly grows.

These look exceptionally nice with a pair of leggings underneath. For a top, consider wearing a nice blouse or one of your favorite cardigans. 

You Can Wear The Waistline Under Your Baby Bump Too

Depending on how long your shirt is, consider wearing the waistline under your baby bump. This is a great idea for moms that have just discovered that their skirt is not as stretchy as they originally thought it would be.

Remember to look in the mirror to make sure that your shirt adequately covers your belly, though!

Pregnancy Wardrobe Essentials (That Aren’t Maternity Clothes)


There are certain things that you need in your wardrobe for your pregnancy. These clothes are comfortable, will fit you with your baby bump, and you will look stylish. They pair well with other items that you’ll pick up along the way. 

Stretchy Waist High Leggings

Some leggings are designed to sit lower along your waistline, but this can make them bunch up below your baby bump. Instead, opt for leggings that are waist-high so that they provide the same support that you’ll find in maternity clothing.

Owning a pair of leggings in grey, black, and white will guarantee that you have a pair to wear with everything. These also make a great substitute for pants during the later stages of pregnancy. 


Your breasts are going to get larger as your pregnancy goes on. I couldn’t justify spending a lot of money on maternity bras that I would never wear again during any of my pregnancies or my daughter’s.

Maternity bras are not as cute as other bras, either. Instead, I opted for stretchy bralettes. The sizes are more flexible, the material is stretchy and they are unbelievably comfortable.

After your pregnancy, you can slide them to the side to use bralettes as nursing bras. Some say that sports bras are the way to go. While these do offer more support for your breasts than bralettes, they are less forgiving when it comes to sizing.

The material is designed to provide support instead of comfort. If you’re on the fence, consider picking up one of each to determine what your preference is. 


Cardigans, also called mom sweaters, are a must-have if you’re going to be pregnant during the fall or winter months. You can also wear these during early spring.

Most are designed to be a bit baggy, so they will be comfortable over your baby bump. Pair a cardigan with a cami and your favorite leggings for a look that is both cozy and chic!

Black Yoga Pants

These are not quite as stylish as leggings, but they pair well with any other color.

These were my go-to pants when I was pregnant, did not want to wear a dress, and simply did not have the energy left to think about what cute outfit I wanted to wear.

Yoga pants are designed to be flexible enough to exercise in, which means that they will stretch to accommodate your growing belly. 


Jogger pants can be stylish no matter where you’re headed. Pair them with your favorite heels and a nice blouse for the office.

Slip into a baggy t-shirt and socks for a comfortable afternoon around the house. These pants are so versatile that they should be in your wardrobe whether you’re pregnant or not!

Button-Down Pajama Sets

These pajama sets are great for a few reasons. Because of the shirt’s button, they are easier to put on and take off when your baby bump is larger. You can also leave the belly part unbuttoned if the shirt starts to get too small. 

The pants have an elastic waistline that is ideal for your growing baby bump. You can wear pants with an elastic waist across your stomach during the early stages of pregnancy.

As your belly grows larger, you can position them snugly underneath of your belly. They’ll still be comfortable and look cute!


Whether you like wrap dresses or prefer long, flowing maxi dresses, you should have at least one dress in your closet.

Those of you that don’t like dresses can pick up a napping dress. They are so comfortable during pregnancy that you won’t want to wear anything else!

Flowy Boho Tops

These aren’t going to last you through your entire pregnancy, so it’s best to only buy one or two. Then, when you get further along, you can purchase a couple more in the next size up.

Boho tops are baggy, so they are wonderful if you have a baby bump, but have yet to make an announcement. Shirts like boho tops remain in style, so you won’t have to worry about not looking fashionable. 

High Waist Underwear

When you are pregnant, everything tends to get a bit bigger. During my pregnancies, I was simply not fitting into my itty bitty thongs anymore.

Pregnant woman in black tights

They also got pretty uncomfortable, and being pregnant is uncomfortable enough. Save the sexy underwear for sexy nights, and pick up some comfortable underwear.

A high waist will guarantee that they do not fall down during the day. Underwear that has the flexibility you need and maximizes coverage is the least sexy, but they are also the most comfortable.

I opted for Victoria’s Secret boy shorts. They are a little sexy, are still cute, and you can wear them when you aren’t pregnant. 

Baggy T-Shirts

Baggy T-shirts are simply comfortable. They are also versatile. You can wear them to bed, the store, or out to run a full day of errands. They can be worn with joggers or leggings.

Accessories for both of those outfits are easy to find. If you’re not a fan of dresses, this is your go-to option when you don’t want to plan an outfit. 

Non-Maternity Wardrobe Tips For Pregnant Women

If you’re trying to expand our pregnancy wardrobe, but are opting for non-maternity clothing, it can be a bit of a challenge.

There are only so many clothes that will accommodate your baby bump. However, these tips will help you look stylish every time that you leave the house. 

Wear Short Dresses With Leggings

Dresses that are too short to accommodate your baby bump might be inappropriate by themselves, but that all changes when you put on a pair of leggings with them.

Then, your shorter dress will look more like a tunic. The end result is an outfit that is both chic and stylish. 

Pick Up A Bellaband

A Bellaband is designed to support your stomach, and hold your jeans in place. You can unbutton your pants, which you will have to if your belly is larger, and then slide the Bellaband into place.

It gives a seamless look and helps you save money because you don’t have to buy more than a couple of pairs of maternity jeans. 

Buy Shorts And Pants A Couple Of Sizes Larger

These might not fit you for your entire pregnancy, but they will in the beginning before your belly gets significantly larger.

When you can’t button them anymore, use your Bellaband to wear them anyway. Then, after your pregnancy has ended, you can still wear them with a belt! 

Keep in mind that this tip only works for a couple of sizes larger than your normal size. If you go up too many sizes, the pants start to get bigger everywhere and can look a bit ridiculous. 

Opt For A Stretchy Waistline Or One That Ties

Pants with buttons are not your best friend when you are expecting a baby. Instead, select pants that have an elastic waistline or tie so that they can accommodate your growing belly.

These will last longer, and you can usually still wear them after you have the baby. 

Don’t Forget The Accessories

As your pregnancy progresses, it can be hard to feel good about yourself. Wearing a great outfit and having the accessories to pull it together can instantly help you feel better. Consider these tips when shopping for accessories: 

  • Avoid ankle bracelets and toe rings in case your feet swell
  • Scarves are a winter must have
  • Earrings, necklaces, and other jewelry can instantly make you feel great
  • Tying a ribbon between your breasts and your baby bump can highlight your baby bump
  • Don’t forget hair accessories!

You can still wear all of the accessories that you enjoyed before you got pregnant! Everything from hats to dangly earrings is a great idea.

While you’re shopping for your pregnancy wardrobe, consider what accessories you already have at home so you don’t break the bank. 

In Conclusion

Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with maternity clothing. In fact, wearing other clothing can be more affordable and stylish!

The clothes will also fit you after you have the baby. More and more moms are opting to say no to maternity styles and finding a way to make regular clothes work.

This complete guide on how to dress when you’re pregnant without maternity clothes is a great way to get started building your pregnancy wardrobe.