Expecting a baby is a blessing, but those little side effects that come with the territory (weight gain, painful breasts, varicose veins, hot flashes)—especially when you’re nearing the home stretch—can really make picking “pregnancy outfits” friggin’ painful.
On the flip side, maternity clothing has definitely come a long way—no longer do expectant mamas have to rely solely on baggy overalls and smock-like tunics (although that look will always be heavily appreciated)—now that we have things like elasticized skinny jeans, leather leggings, and chic off-the-shoulder dresses. You can pretty much get anything that your nongestational self would normally buy thanks to ASOS, Topshop, and Hatch Collection. How far we’ve come.
But still, there comes a point in just about every woman’s pregnancy—and I can personally attest—when those skinny maternity DL1961s just don’t cut it anymore.
Either the zipper gives out, or there forms a tear, or you outgrow them, or—you get the picture. Bottom line is that eventually most of those adorable maternity pieces you bought when you were sixteen weeks just don’t look and feel the same. On my page?
So here’s what: In lieu of the fact that I probably could, I don’t want to resort to the “I’m nine months pregnant” excuse and live in worn-out leggings and my baby daddy’s old sweatshirt. I actually still want to look good and put together. But comfort needs to come first, because at this stage in the game, I’m experiencing a rampant flooding of rather uncomfortable side effects, and squeezing into a pair of tight trousers (even that elastic waistband starts to get uncomfortable), or wearing a sweater that’s more or less become a belly shirt (if maternity crop tops are your thing, you go girl. Me? Not so much), is just no longer a reasonable option.
Natalie Martin dress, $297; Steve Madden boots, $102; Zara cardigan, $60
An airy silk maxi dress may not seem like the most obvious choice for winter, but everything’s warmer when you’re nine months pregnant—I’ve had to excuse myself for some “fresh air” during our last snowstorm. When paired with cozy coordinates (an oversize cardi, knee boots), the look is actually adorably boho and just the right amount of warm. On the plus side, a superflowy dress like this one is great for wearing after the baby’s born—it won’t irk you since it isn’t actually a maternity piece, it allows for easy access if you’re nursing, and works wonders at hiding that leftover baby bump. Plus, it’s totally work-appropriate.
Isabel Marant sweater, $493; MCQ Alexander McQueen pouch, $124; Converse sneakers, $35; H&M imitation leather maternity pants, $17
An oversize sweater is an easy go-to when you’re in your ninth. Dress one up with a stretchy pair of leather leggings and a graphic pouch, and add sleek white sneakers to keep the look crisp and still super comfortable.
Asos maternity dress, $68; BaubleBar ear jackets, $32; Manolo Blahnik mules, $895
Attending a wedding or other black-tie occasion when you’re super preggers isn’t exactly easy, plus who really wants to spend a whole bunch of money on a dress that you’ll more than likely never wear again? This was actually my reality, so I ordered a cute but inexpensive dress from Asos and paired it with pretty midheel pumps. I’ll probably give the dress to a friend in need but will most definitely be wearing those shoes again.
Gap maternity leggings, $30; Doen top, $198; Sam Edelman ankle boots, $150
Here’s the perfect outfit for the days when you really just want to stay in your cozy lounge leggings: Wear them with a flowy printed blouse and suede ankle boots, and you’re all set. You will certainly use the blouse again after the baby’s born.
Topshop maternity dress, $75; J.Crew flats, $110; Clare V. Clutch, $275
If your baby mama, daddy, or significant other wants to wine and dine you, opt for a flattering black knit dress paired with bright accessories. Swap out your usual pair of heels for a comfortable pair of lace-up flats—they’re just as sexy.