Gone are the days when maternity fashion meant tent-like tops and four-sizes-too-big skirts – with more choice than ever before and many high-street favourites jumping on the expectant bandwagon, pregnancy has never looked better.
But dressing a growing baby bump can still be tough, even with more options. That’s why we’ve created our edit of the key pieces that will serve you from the moment you spot that blue line right until after your little one is in the world and no longer quite so small.
Nailing your pregnancy capsule wardrobe is all about choosing the right hard-working pieces – items that can be dressed up and down and mixed and matched to create a whole host of looks, each as stylish as the next. Here are a few dos and don’ts to get you started:
DON’T buy your favourite clothes in larger sizes. Maternity ranges have flourished in the last decade. Invest in a few, carefully chosen pieces that fit well and glide over your curves and you won’t regret it.
DO go for classic, versatile items that will complement and harmonise with other things in your wardrobe, to create a new look every time.
DO go for block, neutral colours. Black and grey are safe, smart options for trousers, skirts and dresses. Then add splashes of colour with camis, knitwear and accessories.
DON’T go crazy – pregnancy only lasts for nine months. Consider the longevity of items and if they will work after your baby is born.
1. The Jeans
Topshop Maternity Indigo Under the Bump Jamie Jeans, £40 – best for everyday wear
The right maternity jeans are the ultimate item in your capsule wardrobe – you can glam them up or dress them down and they go with just about everything – in other words, they’re your pregnancy BFF.
The hotly contested debate of whether under-the-bump or over-the-bump jeans are better rages on, but whichever camp you’re in, Topshop has a pair for you. We’re head over heels for these Indigo Jamie jeans – dark enough to be smart, yet still casual enough to be teamed with a tee, they’re just the ticket for effortless pregnancy dressing.
Available from: Topshop
2. The Bra
Marks and Spencer Cotton Blend Full Cup Nursing Bras 2 Pack, £20 – best for support
Your outfit is only as good as its support system, which makes the right maternity bra worth its weight in gold – fact. Marks and Spencer are the ones to beat when it comes to affordable, excellent underwear on the high street, and the brand doesn’t disappoint in the maternity bra department.
Supportive, stylish and smooth, these non-wired, non-padded bras work out at just £10 each, a very good deal. They also have nursing clips, so they’re ideal for breastfeeding once you’ve had your baby – simply unclip for easy access.
Available from: Marks and Spencer
3. The Vest
New Look Maternity Grey Nursing Vest, £7.99 each or 2 for £12 – best for layering
It’s the type of wardrobe essential that we almost take for granted, but get the right maternity vest for your pregnancy (extra-long, stretchy and comfy) and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. The type of item that’s lived in, day in, day out, it’s worth getting a couple to see you through.
This New Look number is available in grey and black, has adjustable straps and works out at a bargainous £6 when bought as a set of 2. Made from 90% cotton, it’s gloriously accommodating for burgeoning baby bumps and it has nursing clips, so you can get even more mileage from it once your baby is here – bingo.
Available from: New Look
4. The Wrap Top
Happy Mama Women’s Maternity 2-in-1 Top, £17.99 – best for pregnancy and beyond
When it comes to versatility, this Happy Mama 2-in-1 Top really ups the ante – made from stretch fabric that will grow as you do, it can be worn before, during and after pregnancy.
It feels supportive and soft to wear, it’s available in 16 (yes, 16!) different colours, and once your baby has arrived, it offers really easy breastfeeding access – you can simply untie the wrap part of the top.
Earning every penny of its reasonable price tag, this clever top is a maternity classic that will remain in your wardrobe for years to come.
Available from: Amazon
5. The Dress
H&M MAMA Crepe Dress, £39.99 – best for versatility
We’re not sure if it’s the very-now mono print, the cute double slits at the front or the super-simple, yet chic silhouette, but one thing’s for sure – this H&M MAMA dress is the epitome of effortlessly stylish maternity fashion.
With a low v-neck (great for breastfeeding – an added bonus), buttoned cuffs and a flattering seam under the bust, you’ll feel as comfy as you do stylish as you swish around in this beautiful dress.
Wear with tights, boots and a chunky knit for laid-back luxe or throw on a wow necklace and strappy sandals for nonchalant glam. It’s an investment buy, but it can be teamed with a belt and it should have legs for your postnatal wardrobe, too.
Available from: H&M
6. The Cardigan
JoJo Maman Bébé Drape Maternity and Nursing Cardigan, £39 – best for warmth
There comes a time in every pregnant woman’s nine months when all you want to do is wrap up in swathes of cosy fabric and feel snuggly. A soft waterfall cardigan like this beautiful JoJo Maman Bébé one is a winner on many levels – throw it over jeans and a top and you’ll feel instantly comforted and it looks gorgeous, too.
It’s designed to adapt with you – it has a belt and shoulder buttons so you can change up its look and it also works post-pregnancy as a breastfeeding cover-up.
At the pricier end of the scale, this stylish chunky knit is worth the spend for something that can be worn so effortlessly and stylishly throughout pregnancy and after your baby is born.
Available from: JoJo Maman Bébé
7. The Dungarees
Style Dome Women’s Dungarees, £18.99 – best for comfort
The comfiest thing you’ll probably ever wear – tick. Stretchy enough to see you right through pregnancy – tick. Seriously bang on trend – tick. There’s a reason dungarees have taken maternity fashion by storm and we’re crushing big time on these best-selling Style Dome overalls.
They’re everything we want in our pregnancy wardrobe – cool, cosy, neutral and super-easy to wear. Bump or not, they offer a certain stylish swagger to anyone who wears them. Pair with ballet pumps and oversized earrings for a girl’s night out or with trainers and a basic tee for off-duty chic.
Available from: Amazon
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8. The Leggings
Mamalicious Basic Maternity Leggings, £25 for 2-pack – best for lounging
Leggings are the ultimate pregnancy wardrobe staple, whether you’re yoga-posing in a pregnancy class or boxset-bingeing on the sofa.
Super-comfy, supportive and made from 81% organic cotton, these Mamalicious Maternity Leggings have a stretchy jersey feel and will work just as well paired with a long evening tunic top for going out, or a hoodie and slippers for lounging at home – talk about versatile.
They work out at £12.50 each, which, considering the quality and the wear you’ll get out of them, is an absolute steal.
Available from: Mamalicious
9. The Shirt
Seraphine White Stretch Cotton Maternity Shirt, £45 – best for the office
Pregnant or not, there are certain fashion rules that are always considered gospel and a crisp white shirt is definitely one of them.
This go-with-everything maternity shirt by Seraphine is slightly pricier than the average shirt, but its quality is something else – made from stretch cotton, it’s super-soft and comfy to wear and has plenty of room for blossoming bumps.
The sash belt stylishly sets it apart and makes it perfect for post-pregnancy waist-cinching, plus the classic button-up front will ensure breastfeeding is a walk in the park.
Available from: Seraphine
10. The Skirt
ASOS Design Maternity Plisse Column Skirt, £18 – best for versatility
A key piece in your maternity wardrobe, this ASOS midi beauty will be your pregnancy secret weapon. So much more than a simple black skirt, it’s practically a style chameleon – team it with chunky boots and a sheer shirt for statement office style or throw on a vibrant slouchy jumper and loafers for fashion-forward daytime chic.
At under £20, it’s an excellent deal for such an all-rounder. We love the over-the-bump band, go-with-everything black colour, flattering column shape and trend-led midi length.
Available from: ASOS