How to Style Your Baby Bump Without Buying Maternity Clothes

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If we learned anything from Rihanna’s pregnancy, it’s that maternity style doesn’t have to mean wearing maternity clothes, and it certainly doesn’t mean looking frumpy or hiding your figure. Rihanna told the press she wouldn’t be shopping in the maternity section, and she kept her signature style while showing off her growing baby bump.

“When I found out I was pregnant, I thought, ‘I’m not going shopping in the maternity aisle,’ she said. Told vogue. “I’m sorry, it’s too much fun to dress up. I’m not going to let that part go away because my body is changing.

We can’t all show our belly at work or at the grocery store, but we can learn something from Rihanna fearless approach to the maternity bandage.

Getting pregnant is a wonderful and terrifying experience – at least that’s how I felt when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby last summer. There’s a lot to do: choose a hospital, decorate a nursery, not to mention morning sickness, heartburn and swollen feet. The last thing you need is to plan a whole new wardrobe and yet all of a sudden none of your clothes fit. Not only that, but what fits your first trimester bump won’t necessarily fit you in the third.

It can be a costly and stressful problem. But it doesn’t have to.

While I recommend buying a few basic items specifically for this baby bump (definitely leggings or bike shorts, depending on the weather), you can find plenty of bump-friendly outfits that will last beyond your pregnancy. Here are some suggestions for creating a bump-friendly wardrobe without buying the maternity section, so you can save your clothes and wear them through pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond.

Summer dresses

When you are pregnant, the dress will be your best friend. Pants are tricky because you may need a different size for each trimester. Dresses are versatile, comfortable and perfect if, like me, you like being able to look like you’re trying hard when you really aren’t.

Look for sundresses that are tight across the bust but loose around the waist. Gathered dresses are a great choice once in a while because they are very stretchy. Baby doll styles are designed to be flowy, so they should give you plenty of room. Pay attention to the fabric; stretchy fabrics such as spandex and jersey knit will allow you to stretch a regular dress over your growing belly

Bodycon dresses are always a fun option, but if wearing a bodycon dress isn’t your thing, pair it with a long sweater or blazer for added balance and class.

The Regency style takes off (thanks to Bridgerton and all those Jane Austen movies), so try an empire waist dress, another great way to give your figure some definition while accommodating your baby bump. You may be pregnant, but you’re a woman and you look good! You should feel it.

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Loose and stretchy skirts

In winter, knit bodycon dresses are a great way to feel pretty and really show off that bump. In warmer weather, find a longer knit skirt to wear over the bump with a crop top – there won’t be an exposed belly thanks to your baby bump covered skirt, but you’ll still have the chance to wear a set trendy match!

A good pleated midi skirt will also be your best friend. It’s a nice airy way to show off that bump and look super classy while doing it! Pair it with a light blouse or a collared shirt, tucked in or tied above the waistline of the skirt, which you can wear on your stomach if you take the waistline. If you already have a pleated skirt with a side zipper, you can wear it as you grow by keeping it slightly unzipped and wearing a slightly longer blouse over the top of the skirt.

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your old jeans

Yes, you can wear your old jeans throughout pregnancy! All you need is a belly band, basically a stretchy tube that you can put over your pants (unbuttoned) to wear as your belly grows. You can easily pick one up for $10 to $20 at Amazon, Target, or anywhere that sells maternity clothes.

Some women may find it works throughout pregnancy – for me it was a great hack that took me through most of my second trimester. But even if you have to increase the size of your pants to continue wearing the headband, you can keep your pants to wear after giving birth. Win-win!

You’d also be surprised how long you can get away with wearing any stretchy pants (without zippers) under your belly with a long top. A pair of fashionable ribbed sweatpants, a pair of cotton pull-on pants, or any pants with a tie waist can be flexible enough to get over a small bump or under a big one.

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Fun and flowy blouses

No, that’s not your mom’s big t-shirt. I’m talking about cute tops and blouses, the ones that are fashionable but have a bit of flexibility. These can be stretch knit tops or light, loose shirts. Or team a tight top with a wide neck shirt or blazer for a bit of structure and balance.

The important thing to know is that you don’t have to buy maternity shirts and sweaters. Any top or roomy sweater will do.

A baggy top goes well with skinny or mom jeans. If you’re wearing a skirt, opt for a shorter or tighter top: tie a t-shirt or collar with a bow, tuck your shirt into the skirt, or wear a cropped top.

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The last thing you need while you’re caring for and planning your unborn baby is to be stuck with a closet of indestructible clothes, or clothes that make you feel like becoming a mom should. mean giving up your style. With a little creativity, you can style the clothes you already have, and a few new ones (a size or two larger than normal), to create a unique maternity wardrobe that works just for you.

Elizabeth J. Harless