As an expectant mother, comfort, and style are likely two of your top priorities when it comes to choosing clothes during pregnancy. But shopping for maternity clothes can be overwhelming, especially if it's your first pregnancy. In this article, we'll provide tips and advice on how to buy maternity clothes that fit well, look great, and make you feel your best.

When to Start Buying Maternity Clothes

It's important to note that there's no hard-and-fast rule for when you should start wearing maternity clothes. Every pregnancy is different, and some women may need to switch to maternity wear earlier than others. As a general rule of thumb, you may want to start shopping for maternity clothes once your regular clothes start feeling too tight or uncomfortable. Some early signs that it may be time to switch to maternity wear include:

  • Your pants won't zip or button up
  • Your shirts are too short or don't cover your belly
  • You feel uncomfortable in your clothes
  • Your breasts have grown, making your tops too tight

What to Look for in Maternity Clothes

When shopping for maternity clothes, there are a few key features to look for that will help ensure a comfortable fit throughout your pregnancy. These include:

  • Stretchy waistbands: Look for pants and skirts with elastic waistbands that will stretch as your belly grows.
  • Adjustable straps: Dresses and tops with adjustable straps will allow you to customize the fit as your body changes.
  • Breathable fabrics: Choose clothes made from lightweight, breathable fabrics such as cotton or bamboo that will help you stay cool and comfortable.
  • Room to grow: Look for clothes that have room to grow, such as tops with ruching or dresses with empire waists.

It's also important to find the right size when shopping for maternity clothes. Don't assume that you need to size up - many maternity clothes are designed to fit your pre-pregnancy size. Try clothes on whenever possible, and make sure to consult size charts when shopping online.

Maternity Clothes for Different Occasions

As you shop for maternity clothes, consider what types of clothes will be appropriate for different occasions. For work, you may want to invest in a few key pieces such as maternity pants or a blazer that you can mix and match with other items in your wardrobe. For casual outings, you can't go wrong with a comfortable pair of leggings and a flowy top. And for formal events, consider a maternity dress that flatters your bump.

It's also worth noting that some maternity clothes are more versatile than others. For example, a maxi dress can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, while a pair of maternity jeans can be worn with a variety of tops and shoes.

Where to Buy Maternity Clothes

There are several options for purchasing maternity clothes, each with its own pros and cons. Here are a few to consider:

  • Maternity-specific stores: Stores like Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod specialize in maternity clothes and offer a wide selection of options.
  • Online retailers: Shopping online can be convenient, but be sure to read reviews and consult size charts before making a purchase.
  • Secondhand options: Consider shopping for gently used maternity clothes at consignment shops or online marketplaces like ThredUp or Poshmark.

Making the Most of Your Maternity Clothes

One of the best ways to get the most out of your maternity clothes is to invest in versatile pieces that can be worn throughout your pregnancy. Layering can also help extend the life of your clothes - try pairing a cardigan or jacket with a maternity top or dress. Accessories like scarves, statement necklaces, and earrings can also help you switch up your look without having to buy new clothes.

Mixing and matching is another great way to make the most of your maternity wardrobe. Try pairing maternity tops with your pre-pregnancy bottoms, or vice versa. You can also layer a non-maternity sweater or cardigan over a maternity dress to create a new look.


Shopping for maternity clothes can be a fun and exciting part of pregnancy, but it can also be overwhelming. By keeping a few key tips in mind - such as looking for stretchy waistbands, considering versatile pieces, and shopping at a variety of stores - you can build a maternity wardrobe that makes you feel comfortable, confident, and stylish throughout your pregnancy. Remember to prioritize comfort above all else, and don't be afraid to experiment with different styles and looks. With the right clothes and a positive attitude, you can look and feel your best throughout your pregnancy journey.