This is probably one of the most common questions I get asked when pregnant — can you wear regular clothes when pregnant? — and the answer is absolutely. In fact, I make it a point to wear non-maternity clothes while pregnant. Not only is it total possible to wear non-maternity clothes while pregnant, but I actually prefer it. You can find regular non-maternity clothes that will accommodate a bump, are just as comfy and supportive as maternity clothes, and that you can continue to wear postpartum.
Personally, I have found there are very few brands making cute maternity clothes, and you wear them for such a short period — you usually don’t really need to start wearing them until 3-5 months into your pregnancy so it’s only a 4-5 month span (plus a month or two postpartum) that you’re going to wear them. So spending a lot of money on a whole new wardrobe of maternity clothes doesn’t make sense IMO. Now, I will invest in a few maternity pieces for that period and just wear them on repeat, but I find most maternity clothes are pretty expensive and not that cute. So buying too many pieces I probably won’t wear again just doesn’t make sense to me. That’s why I love finding creative ways to wear non-maternity clothes while pregnant.
The maternity staples I do invest in include: a couple good pairs of maternity jeans, maternity t-shirts, and a couple good maternity swimsuits (I bought this one, this one, and this one when I was pregnant with Charlotte during the summertime). And I like to invest in a few maternity items from my favorite maternity brand, Hatch. (My last pregnancy with Charlotte, I bought this jumpsuit (which is legit the comfiest thing ever), this striped shirt, and a sweater I found at a sample sale and am in love with. And for my first pregnancy with James, I bought this dress, which I wear pregs and not. I love how their clothes can be worn before and after pregnancy, don’t scream maternity, and are so comfortable yet chic. No one wants to be uncomfortable when pregnant, and everything they make is so comfy without looking sloppy. Plus, Hatch has great resale value on places like The Real, Real for after you’re done having babies. I am also a huge fan of my friend’s line Frances Hart, and have picked up a couple special pieces for each pregnancy and am looking forward to doing the same this time around.
Other than that, I stick to non-maternity dresses that can accommodate a bump, shirts a couple sizes up, and longer sweaters. I’ll also use the bellaband to expand my regular jeans and shorts and pants. I’d rather spend money on things I will actually wear again and really like rather than maternity clothes that aren’t terrible but that I don’t love, which is basically all maternity clothes. Plus, a shirtdress or shift dress a size or two up, or a dress with an empire waist line or tent dress is basically the same as maternity dress, so why not invest in one you love and will wear again post-baby? At least that’s my philosophy when it comes to dressing the bump.
Look for dresses that don’t confine at the waist will fit you your entire pregnancy and make you feel pretty and put-together with minimal effort. Plus, they’re perfect for dressing up for work or a party and dressing down for weekends. I try to invest in a few really cute dresses like this that can be worn a million ways and find they will get me through my pregnancy in style.
Now that I’m in my third pregnancy, I have found that wearing non-maternity clothes while pregnant is much easier and more economical than I thought my first time. I think when you first become pregnant, you’re a) excited to check out the maternity clothes options and b) you feel like you’re not sure how your body will change day to day and how you feel about it, so it can be hard to dress. I’ve found it’s easier to dress my changing body the second and third times around and that with some creativity, it’s a lot easier to wear non-maternity clothes while pregnant.
Shop more of my pregnancy must-haves and non-maternity favorites that work with a bump: