Everything Pregnancy

Maternity Clothes: The Do's and Don'ts of Dressing Your (Growing) Bump

I remember vividly the day my favorite jeans stopped buttoning when I was about six or seven months pregnant. I even teared up (thanks hormones!). My response may have been overly dramatic, but a good fit, nice color, and pretty silhouette go a long way to making you feel like a million bucks.

When you're pregnant, dressing can be a major fashion challenge even for the trendiest mom-to-be because your body is always changing, and you don't know which clothes in your closet are going to fit from day to day. Suddenly, you're dressing this body that seems totally foreign to you, and you have no idea what's going to look good on it. Olivia Capone Myers, Design Director for A Pea in the Pod, to the rescue! Olivia's pregnant herself, and due in about two weeks. So not only is she a fashion expert, but she knows firsthand how to flatter a woman's new curves. Here are her six tips to dressing—and feeling—like the goddess you are.

DON'T MAKE YOUR OVERSIZED SWEATS YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT."When you're pregnant, being comfortable is key," says Olivia. "I see so many women wear their sweatpants everywhere, or even worse, their husband's clothes, because they fit and they're comfortable. There are so many other alternatives! Leggings, jeans, dresses! Jersey knits are the best."

Maternity Clothing Dress
DO EMBRACE YOUR BUMP. "Sometimes women think that if they wear bigger clothes—like buying a size or two up in a regular [non-maternity] dress—they will be able to hide their bump," says Olivia. "Instead, the stomach may fit, but everything else is baggy and it just makes you look larger. You're better off buying a maternity dress that fits you everywhere—like this Isabella Oliver Vivian Print T-Shirt Dress—and that accentuates your tummy, and still shows off all of your best assets."

LAYERING DOESN'T MAKE YOU LOOK LARGER—IF DONE THE RIGHT WAY. "Scoop, boat and V-neck tops are all a good choice for pregnant women, because they help frame your face," says Olivia. "I live in camisoles that I can throw something over." The only rule: watch your proportions. A long tunic with skinny jeans will help elongate you.

DO INVEST IN A GOOD PAIR OF JEANS. "If you only splurge on one item, make it a pair of designer jeans that make you feel fantastic," says Olivia. "Jeans, like these 7 for All Mankind Secret Fit Belly 5-pocket jeans, can be dressed up and down, so you can wear them just about anywhere."

Maternity Dress Clothing

DO WEAR PATTERNS AND STRIPES. "Women worry that they can't wear patterns or horizontal stripes anytime—especially when they're pregnant," says Olivia. "But as long as you have an all-over print without a lot of negative space, or you have a simple stripe, they really flatter a pregnant woman's body."

DON'T BE AFRAID OF COLOR."The instinct for pregnant women is to dress in dark colors, like navy or black, because they think it makes them look slimmer," says Olivia. "But color actually really flatters your body, especially if you have ruching details around your stomach," like in this Isabella Oliver sleeveless maternity dress.

TELL US: What have been your go-to maternity pieces? Do you have any style tips to share with your fellow moms-to-be?

Images courtesy of A Pea in the Pod.