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The best dresses for your pregnant body shape

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It can be a challenge to find dresses that feel and look great without having to worry about your pregnant body shape. Please do let us know if you’re the type of gal who can literally walk into a shop or order online and fit it perfectly. Because if you are, you’re a rarity! If you’re like us, and are known to battle a few dresses in a changing room each time, you are not alone.

Having a clear understanding of your body shape can help you choose pieces that enhance your best features and help you feel better about what you’re wearing. This is especially important during those pregnancy days when you might have put on a bit of weight or a lot (like I did), or when you’re carrying extra low or high.

Body types

Understanding body types or somatotypes as this is known is important for discovering where your body sits on a spectrum as well as which types of diets and exercises work best for you. These categories are not specific to gender, but are typically linked to genetics.

Body type categories:

Ectomorph: Women with this body type tend to have smaller, leaner bones and are usually  both thin and lean. They could have a harder time putting on muscle or weight because they often have a lower body fat percentage. Ectomorphs frequently resemble rectangle shapes.

Mesomorph: This body type is characterized by having a muscular and athletic build. They often have lower body fat percentages and more noticeable amounts of muscle mass. Mesomorphs may have a more hourglass or inverted triangle shapes. 

Endomorph: Endomorphs often have a higher body fat percentage and a rounder, softer appearance. They might have larger skeletons and find it a little easier to put on weight.

However, it can be the case that some women might have a combination of body types. A pear-shaped woman can be a combination of an ectomorph in the upper body and an endomorph in the lower body, accumulating more body fat in the latter, according to WebMD.

This info can be handy when realistically considering your health and fitness goals. It’s important to remember that during pregnancy, your body may respond in different ways, or align itself naturally to its type when baby weight is added.

Body shapes

Knowing your body shape might be important to you if you’d like to learn more about the different types of clothes that would complement your shape and curves. You don’t need to fear online shopping because you think certain pieces might not look good on you. Well, after reading this article, feel confident to go on a shopping spree with the dress types that you’ll absolutely love on yourself.

The main body shapes include an inverted triangle (or apple), a rectangle, an apple, an hourglass and a triangle (or pear) shape.

Inverted triangle or apple body shape: Women with this body shape tend to have shoulders that are wider and larger than the hips, and the waist might be less defined.

Rectangle body shape: This body shape is characterized by a less defined waist, with the bust and hips measuring closely together.

Hourglass body shape: This body shape exhibits a well-defined waistline, with the hips and bust measuring almost the same.

Triangle or pear body shape: Women with this body shape usually have hips that are wider than their busts, and the waistline is well-defined.

Types of pregnancy belly shapes 

Round belly: The most common shape, where the belly is round and projects forward, is one with a round belly. It typically has symmetry and gets bigger as the pregnancy goes on.

High belly: Some pregnant women may carry their babies higher, which causes their bellies to stick out further towards their chest and ribs. This can create a higher, more “upward” impression.

Low belly: In contrast, some pregnant women may carry their babies lower, with the belly appearing to sit lower on the abdomen and nearer the pelvis.

Wide Belly: When a woman acquires pregnancy weight more uniformly over her tummy, it can give her a wider appearance and cause a wide belly shape.

Narrow belly: Some women may put on more weight towards the front of the abdomen, creating a narrow belly.

Maternity dresses suggestions for your pregnancy body shape

It’s completely natural to gain weight during pregnancy. Whether you’re carrying high or low or have more of a round belly, your body shape will result likely result in the accumulation of fat in specific areas. Some hourglass-shaped women lose waist definition during pregnancy, some bellies just stick out, some just look like they’re smuggling a basketball with no other changes. Others may struggle with injury, sickness or other ailments and find that they put on more weight than intended.

Yes, your shape can change during pregnancy, so make sure you know what shape you’ll be dressing for.

Maternity dresses suggestions for your pregnancy body shape

Bodycon

No matter your body shape or stage of pregnancy, everyone can rock a bodycon dress. From mermaid styles to off-the-shoulder options, choose what makes you feel confident and radiant. Celebrate your unique silhouette and embrace these dress styles with pride.

Fits Everybody Maternity Long Slip Dress | Onyx
Credit: Skims

Fits Everybody Maternity Long Slip Dress | Onyx

Red Ribbed Side Slit Maternity Plus Maxi Dress
Credit: PinkBlush Maternity

Red Ribbed Side Slit Maternity Plus Maxi Dress

Green Ribbed Knit Maternity & Nursing Midi Dress
Credit: Seraphine

Green Ribbed Knit Maternity & Nursing Midi Dress

Wrap dresses

There’s a reason wrap dresses are a pregnancy wardrobe staple. Wrap dresses are the most flattering style for just about any figure. Your curves look unstoppable if you have an hourglass or a triangle body shape. They will accentuate your waistline and make it look more defined if you have an inverted triangle shape. Additionally the V-neck will make your upper body appear longer and draw attention to your growing bust. 

Shayla Wrap Midi Dress In Chocolate Combo
Credit: Free People

Shayla Wrap Midi Dress In Chocolate Combo

Mama Tie-Detail Nursing Dress Denim Blue
Credit: H&M

Mama Tie-Detail Nursing Dress Denim Blue

Pink Brushed Knit Wrap Fitted Maternity/Nursing Dress
Credit: PinkBlush Maternity

Pink Brushed Knit Wrap Fitted Maternity/Nursing Dress

Fit and flare dresses

A fit-and-flare dress work well on an inverted triangle shape because they are fitted around the waist and then flare out at the hips. Maxi dresses can elevate your style game and offer a similar flattering effect, which is also appreciated by rectangle shaped bodies.

Hail Spot Dress White
Credit: Ripe Maternity

Hail Spot Dress White

Mama Puff-Sleeved Crêped Dress Green
Credit: H&M

Mama Puff-Sleeved Crêped Dress Green

Black Solid Flounce Trim Maternity Dress
Credit: PinkBlush Maternity

Black Solid Flounce Trim Maternity Dress

Light Blue Sleeveless Smocked Tiered Maternity Maxi Dress
Credit: PinkBlush Maternity

Light Blue Sleeveless Smocked Tiered Maternity Maxi Dress

A-line dresses

The A-line dress skirt gradually widens from the bust downwards in the shape of an ‘A’.This type of dress is usually stunning for all kinds of body shapes, especially for a triangle or pear shape, but it’s not the most favorable choice for an inverted triangle shape. 

Mama Sleeveless Nursing Dress Pink
Credit: H&M

Mama Sleeveless Nursing Dress Pink

Cotton Modal T-Shirt Dress Khaki
Credit: Seraphine

Cotton Modal T-Shirt Dress Khaki

Knife Pleat Dress Black
Credit: Ripe Maternity

Knife Pleat Dress Black

Halter neck dresses

A pear shaped body would appreciate a halter neck dress as it centers attention in the shoulders and upper body, balancing the wider hips. Halter necks also work well for athletic shaped shoulders and rectangle shapes.

Jasmine Halter Maxi Dress Deep Emerald Luxe Satin
Credit: Show Me Your Mumu

Jasmine Halter Maxi Dress Deep Emerald Luxe Satin

Halterneck Gathered Tier Dress Bright Green
Credit: & Other Stories

Halterneck Gathered Tier Dress Bright Green

Gold Criss Cross Back Maternity Midi Dress
Credit: PinkBlush Maternity

Gold Criss Cross Back Maternity Midi Dress

Sienna Halter Maxi Dress Lilac
Credit: Spell

Sienna Halter Maxi Dress Lilac

FAQs

How to look cute when pregnant and overweight?

Don’t we all put on lots of weight during pregnancy? Some women don’t, but I sure did! Let me tell you, the best thing you can do is to show off your curves and growing bump. I regret not wearing better outfits because I felt so overweight, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate my pregnancy. Our advice is to go out there, buy that dress you love, and proudly show your bump off. If you’re unsure, stick to darker colors or high quality fabrics that will make you feel like you’re investing in yourself. 

What dresses look good on a big belly?

Fit and flare and bodycon dresses will help define your waistline while still showing off that big bump we all want!

Are there specific colors that work well with different pregnancy body types?

When in doubt, opt for darker colors. If you’re feeling like your wardrobe is a bit too black-centric, try adding some navy or olive colors. If it’s summer or autumn, don’t be afraid to experiment with neutral colors or even a light yellow. I’m a big fan of colors, and it’s the perfect opportunity to try them all!

What accessories should I consider for different pregnancy body types?

Here are some accessory tips to enhance your body shape.

Hourglass Shape: Statement earrings or necklaces can add elegance without overwhelming your balanced proportions. Additionally, wearing scarves or wraps can help highlight your curves.

Pear Shape (Triangle): To balance out your silhouette, consider wearing statement necklaces and earrings that draw attention upward. It’s a good idea to avoid oversized or bulky handbags that might make your lower half appear larger.

Rectangle Shape: Use belts to create the illusion of a more defined waist (above the bump). Opt for nice handbags or clutches to add curves and visual interest to your outfit. Experimenting with layered necklaces can also add depth to your upper body.

Inverted Triangle Shape: Focus on statement earrings and necklaces to draw attention to your upper body. Avoid heavy or wide belts, as they may emphasize your broader shoulders.

How can I adjust my dress choices as my pregnancy progresses?

In the first trimester, you might feel bloated even though you’re not showing yet. Wearing stretchy fabrics and loose-fitting dresses can be a good idea to keep you feeling comfortable and stylish.

During the second trimester, maxi dresses and bodycon styles will definitely make you look stunning. You might feel your best, so really, wear whatever makes you feel amazing.

In the third trimester, you can try adding supportive pieces underneath your dress or opt for a wrap dress that accentuates your curves, showcases your bump, and keeps you comfortable all at the same time.

What’s the best way to balance style and practicality when selecting maternity dresses?

Make sure you wear pieces that match your style and make you feel good about yourself. Neutral colors are easier to mix and match, while stretchy fabric will adapt to your body throughout your pregnancy and beyond. Versatile basics like high-quality neutral dresses or tops will form the foundation of your wardrobe. All you’ll need to do is mix and match them with jackets and shoes, depending on the weather. Don’t forget to choose comfortable and breathable fabrics that will keep you feeling airy and comfortable, even in the summer. Remember, you’ll be pregnant for almost a year!

How to look hot without wearing bodycon dresses while pregnant?

Opt for a wrap dress that you might be able to make a bit tighter or a bit looser. You can also wear supportive pieces underneath your dress that will accentuate your curves. Patterns won’t accentuate the parts of your body you’re self-conscious about, and layers will make you feel cozy and covered.

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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.