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How to dress for each trimester – without buying a whole new maternity wardrobe

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It’s finally happening. Your pre-pregnancy wardrobe no longer fits your growing baby bump, you’re feeling bloated and let’s be honest, your mojo’s taken a massive hit. Worse still, you don’t know how big you might get or how your body will change!

Pregnancy causes your body to change in many ways, and at a sometimes very confronting pace, especially if you’re on your second or third bebe. It can be more than frustrating to find that your regular clothes are suddenly too tight or uncomfortable. It’s natural to be self-conscious about your changing figure and struggle with what to wear, especially when it comes to events or workwear, where we agree there are less options for pregnant women. 

The good news is there are plenty of clever hacks that some of the most stylish women we know have used to not only extend your regular wardrobe as long as possible, but drastically reduce the amount of new maternity specific clothes you need to buy. Here, we’ll go into how to dress for each trimester without buying a whole new wardrobe. Let’s jump in.

How to dress for different stages of pregnancy?

Dressing for each trimester of pregnancy can be a challenge, but fear not! As a fashion stylist, I’m here to guide you through the process and help you create stylish and comfortable looks without having to buy a whole new maternity wardrobe. Let’s dive into some helpful tips for each trimester:

First trimester

During the early stages of pregnancy, you can still make use of many of your regular clothes. However, it’s important to prioritize comfort and accommodate any bloating you may experience. Here are some do’s and don’ts for dressing during the first trimester:

Do:

  • Opt for looser-fitting tops that can accommodate your changing body shape.
  • Choose pants or skirts with drawstring or elastic waistbands for added comfort.
  • Embrace fabrics like silk, bamboo, cotton, and linen, as they provide breathability and can be worn even after pregnancy.

 

Don’t:

  • Wear high-waisted jeans that may become uncomfortable as your belly expands throughout the day. Instead, opt for leggings that offer flexibility and comfort.
  • Be afraid to wear your regular clothes in a larger size if you’re not ready to invest in maternity-specific pieces just yet.
  • Forget to invest in a few maternity bras for added support and comfort.
Linen Shirt Light Beige
Credit: Arket

Linen Shirt Light Beige

Women'S Ribbed Tank Top, Black
Credit: Boody

Women’S Ribbed Tank Top, Black

Never say never maternity mommie nursing bralette Rani Pink
Credit: Cosabella

Never say never maternity mommie nursing bralette Rani Pink

Second Trimester:

As your baby bump grows, it’s time to start incorporating some maternity-specific pieces into your wardrobe. Here are some tips for dressing during the second trimester:

Do:

  • Continue wearing your workout clothes, but consider investing in a crop top with nursing access for later use.
  • Embrace bodycon styles to show off your growing bump and celebrate your pregnancy.
  • Choose high-quality investment pieces that you can wear beyond pregnancy, thinking ahead to what you might want to wear in the future.
  • Focus on finding clothing pieces that make you feel self-confident that give you a boost every time you wear them.

Don’t:

  • Spend too much on fast fashion maternity clothes, except for jeans. Maternity jeans are worth every cent as they provide the necessary comfort and support.
  • Panic about weight gain. Remember, healthy weight gain is a normal part of the process. 
Essence Maternity Bra Black
Credit: DK Active

Essence Maternity Bra Black

Night Out Midi Dress Black
Credit: Storq

Night Out Midi Dress Black

Third Trimester:

Hello, beautiful baby bump! In the final trimester, it’s all about finding clothing that not only offers comfort but also boosts your self-esteem. Here are some tips for dressing during the third trimester:

Do:

  • Opt for flowy pieces in summer and breathable materials to keep you cool
  • Embrace your stretchiest or oversized regular tees, but consider investing in maternity tees for added comfort.
  • Treat yourself to something special, like beautiful jewelry or a fabulous pair of sneakers (currently OBSESSED with Golden Goose), that will make you feel amazing.

Don’t:

  • Neglect varicose veins and swelling. We recommend SRC Health products for physio-approved support during pregnancy.
  • Forget to plan for postpartum and stock up on comfy joggers
  • Feel like you have to dress a certain way at all for any events – your comfort is paramount and people will understand.
Ball Star Sneaker In Light Silver, Black, White, & Silver Light Silver Black White  Silver
Credit: Golden Goose

Ball Star Sneaker In Light Silver, Black, White, & Silver Light Silver Black White Silver

Letter Necklace yellow
Credit: Mejuri

Letter Necklace yellow

SRC Pregnancy Shorts - Over The Bump
Credit: SRC Health

SRC Pregnancy Shorts – Over The Bump

Maternity Hoodie With Nursing Access Putty
Credit: Boob Design

Maternity Hoodie With Nursing Access Putty

Remember, pregnancy is a beautiful journey. Your body will change but you can retain your style and dress comfortably during every trimester. You deserve rewarding yourself with a treat so make sure you do, mama!

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Author

Maternity Editor and first time mama with lots of experience and tips. Lives life to the fullest! South American by nature, based in Melbourne Australia. Mum to Mila, my life and soul.