There's nothing worse than shelling out big money on an item you'll only wear a few months. We enlisted maternity fashion experts to share their best outerwear tips.

By Zara Husaini Hanawalt
January 22, 2019
pregnant winter coat

You've pulled out your winter coat, scarf, gloves and hat for the season and you're ready to go...but then you realize that your coat doesn't zip up over your growing belly anymore. What's a preggo to do?

If you don't feel up to shelling out hundreds for a brand new coat that'll only work for one season, fear not. We got style experts who have worked with pregnant clients to spill their best outerwear hacks to keep you warm and stylish this season.

Look for an Adjustable Waist

"Stay warm and chic all winter in a trench coat with waist cinch. The trench coat style is inherently adjustable as well as classically chic. Choosing a traditional shade and a classic silhouette allows you to pair your jacket with almost any outfit, while the cinch allows you to tailor the waistline as your belly grows...and shrinks! The timeless style and adjustable waist will be right at home in your post-maternity wardrobe as well," Liz Lange, a stylist who has dressed pregnant celebrities for over 20 years, says.

Challenge Your Notions of What a 'Coat' Is

"Capes and ponchos make the best maternity coats," stylist Maegan Watson says. "They are super stylish and can still be perfectly warm. Earlier in the pregnancy you can belt it to define the belly and then lose the belt when your belly gets too big. Since capes don't have to be maternity sized to accommodate a bump, you don't have to feel bad about investing in this piece as it will work after your pregnancy."

Stylist Stephanie Alexis echoes this idea. "Remember when ponchos were all the rage? If you've held on to a couple you're in luck, since they're a pregnant woman's dream—essentially a cozy blanket you can wear out in public. Ponchos and capes drape nicely around your baby bump as it grows, and you can layer with it during the colder months," she says.

Think About Fabric

"Wool blend can be your best friend," Alexis says."Look for comfortable cuts that accentuate your curves and baby bump in all the right places. The trapeze coat is great to use through your third trimester—the flare nature of this cut actually makes smaller in size and provides optimum levels of warmth. The great thing about both pieces is that you can use them post-pregnancy and still have them fit and look great!"

"Really stock up on knit [items.] They have that stretch factor," Stylist Candace Hanna says. "It's hard to work with stuff that's structured just because it doesn't have any give. When you have knit fabrics you can layer them on top of each other."

Use Accessories to Pick Up the Slack

"The other thing I love to do is place an [untied] scarf around the neck and belt it," Watson says. "This way you can wear your existing winter coat open while showing off your bump and keeping it warm."

Shop the Non-Maternity Aisle

"As your belly grows, buy something non-maternity that fits your bump that you will be glad to wear when you're no longer pregnant. Use [this] rule: If you wouldn't wear it [when you're] not pregnant, don't buy it," Watson says.

"When women are pregnant I don't always buy maternity for them," Hanna added. "I just go up a size or two. Typically when it comes to outwear, that gives them a little bit more room in the midsection."

Empire Waists Are Your Friend

"For my pregnant clients I'll pull coats with a empire waists. I actually have a couple [empire waist coats] and I'm not pregnant and have never been pregnant," Candace says. "They work really well for the baby bump and they're totally stylish for after the baby."

Layering Is Key

"I would actually recommend that [pregnant women] layer: Try long tee-shirts, actually anything that has a little bit of length because that's going to cover up the bump. Layer them with dusters or cardigans—stuff that doesn't really need to close," Hanna says.

Consider Renting — Really!

There's no need to shell out big bucks (or use up precious space in your closet!) for an item you may only wear for one season. Why not rent a practical coat—or cycle through a few different styles to give your maternity style game a boost?

Sites like Mine for Nine and Borrow for Your Bump offer up rentable looks that you can swap out easily.