Staying stylish while pregnant isn’t always the easiest feat — but is it doable? Totally! It just takes a little imagination and a few versatile pieces (though not nearly as many as you think!) to make it all work.
Whether you opt for lots of maternity-specific pieces or simply choose to size up in ‘regular clothes’, these simple tips from Jeannine Adams, the super-stylish founder of Ready Pretty (who just welcomed a baby!), will help you stay chic as ever through those 40-ish weeks.
Many of us will spend the first few months of pregnancy looking, well…about the same as we did before that positive test. But there are certain things that may take you by surprise: Your bump may make an appearance. Bloating is super common in those first few weeks, so you may find your waistline feels a little different. Some women actually drop a few pounds in the first trimester thanks to morning sickness. And then there’s one super common change that can kick in during early pregnancy…and it just may have you needing a new bra.
Shop your closet
According to Jeannine, you don’t need to run out and splurge on a maternity wardrobe just yet. “You’d be surprised how far your current wardrobe can stretch!” she said. “I recommend taking a new look at old pieces. Are there items that can totally work for those earlier stages – maybe an elastic waist jogger? A looser fitting tee? Or an A-line dress tucked away in your closet? These are the items that you can still wear – sometimes well into your second trimester – without heading out and spending a ton on maternity wear that essentially has the same result.”
But consider investing in this!
The caveat? Now might be the time to snag a pair of maternity denim. They’re comfy, stretchy, and will get tons of wear during (and, let’s be real, after) your pregnancy. And if you get them early on, you’ll get serious bang for your buck!
Or you could try this hack instead: “I would hook a hair rubber band around twice in order to close my pants! You can also purchase a belly band which essentially works the same way and offers a bit more coverage,” Jeannine shared.
“Early [on in your] second trimester you may still have that ‘did you eat a burrito or are you pregnant?’ look. It’s that awkward, ‘haven’t really popped’ phase that makes getting dressed tricky,” Jeannine shared. Her solution? Layers! Embrace dresses and add a fun jacket to flatter your changing shape. “[This helps to] add visual interest but to also create a longer shape and silhouette,” Jeannine explained.
Keep it comfy
This is the perfect time to start stocking up on comfortable, functional pieces. “Get yourself a great pair of stylish sneakers that are not necessarily for the gym, but instead can make a simple dress look cool,” Jeannine suggested. “In addition, a great pair of maternity leggings that are great for running around and working out. I didn’t get on board with maternity leggings until my third trimester and wish I would have done it sooner!”
Avoid this trap
What you don’t need to buy? Maternity-specific tees. Instead, do what Jeannine did and go up a size or two in regular tops.
Struggling to find the creativity (or motivation) to stay stylish at the end of your pregnancy? You’re not alone. “Third trimester style can be tough,” Jeannine admitted. The trick? Work with — not against — your changing bod.
Flaunt that bump!
Jeannine is a fan of fitted pieces (especially midi dresses) at this stage. “By hugging your curves (you’ll actually look more polished, longer and leaner,” she shared. “Look for ruching in dresses that can accommodate a larger belly and also serve as a bit of extra support.”
Mix it up
But the most important rule of third trimester dressing is simple: Get creative (oh…and invest in a good bra. Just do it).
“Add a side-tied shirt over a maxi dress for a completely new look or use accessories and shoes to completely change the vibe of that denim and tee combo you’ve been wearing on repeat the last few weeks. You’ve got more options than you might think right in front of you, you just need to take the time to reconsider your existing pieces.”
The bottom line? Look for comfortable pieces, shop within your own closet, mix it up, and show off that beautiful bump. You may even miss it once it’s gone!
About the expert: Jeannine Benoit Adams has always had a passion for style. As a marketing and PR professional for more than a decade, Jeannine also worked as a fashion editor and writer for several publications both local to Chicago, as well as nationally, on the side. In addition, Jeannine was an on-air style correspondent for NBC 5 Chicago in 2015. At the start of 2016, Jeannine decided to pursue her love of helping women to look good and feel good in their clothing full-time, launching Ready Pretty, an online styling and shopping destination that connects personal stylists to real, busy women. In addition to Ready Pretty, Jeannine is also a contributor for The Everygirl and newly launched The Everymom. She’s been featured in Chicago Magazine, Refinery29, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Woman, Make it Better Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, The Everygirl, NBC 5, WGN News, WCIU and many other local and national media outlets.