Things have changed. These days you don’t have to compromise on style if you happen to be expecting (thankfully!). From high street names to higher-end brands, there are all manner of outlets offering trendy togs to suit your bump, whether that’s an on-trend midi dress or timeless classics such as a Breton tee and a pair of dungarees
On top of maternity-specific garments, many retailers have also created styles that can be worn beyond nine months, such as wraparound tees for those that are breastfeeding or coats and hoodies with kangaroo pouches for keeping little ones close.
What should I look for when buying maternity clothes?
Ultimately, as your body develops and changes to accommodate your growing bump, you’re first and foremost going to be looking for comfort. Think loose leggings, floaty dresses and clothes that will keep you cool as your body temperature can rise during pregnancy.
To get the most bang for your buck, you may also want to consider longevity and look for items that will help you transition different seasons; think floaty shirts and dresses that can be teamed up with cardigans and leggings when the weather cools, as well as clothes that can be worn postpartum, from tops designed with easy access for breastfeeding, to loose waistbands, which are particularly handy if you’re having a C-section.
What types of maternity clothes do I need?
You may feel like you need to update your whole wardrobe when pregnant – who doesn’t want to treat themselves when their bodies are working so hard? – but in reality, there’s no need to go overboard. Focus your attention on purchasing some key ‘capsule’ items; so a couple of pairs of jeans and leggings, some long and short tops, and a few dresses would be a great starting point, as well as a sturdy and reliable maternity bra or two.
When should I start wearing maternity clothes?
All women develop differently, but bumps tend to start to ‘show’ at approximately twelve weeks – sometimes earlier if it’s not your first pregnancy – but you can start wearing the clothes whenever suits you, and whenever feels the most comfortable.
Shop the best brands below.
With clothes endorsed by the likes of Jessica Alba, The Duchess of Cambridge and Mylene Klass, it’s easy to see why this online and high street retailer, which specialises in maternity wear, is such a hit for mums.
Whether it’s hoodies and tracksuits or formal dresses or pencil skirts, Seraphine offers a broad range of items. Stand-out pieces from the brand include their skin on skin tops as well as coats and parkas with built-in kangaroo pouches that accommodate your baby when they’re worn in a sling – both of which are also available in men’s sizes for new dads.
While clothes are pricier than the ranges from high street stalwarts such as H&M, we found them to be well-designed and of great quality.
JoJo Maman Bébé
A go-to retailer for baby and toddler clothing, toys and accessories, JoJo Maman Bébé also has a great range of maternity wear. Many of their items have been designed with nursing and accessibility in mind, so the styles offer longevity well beyond the initial nine months of pregnancy.
They’re a great brand if you’re looking to stock up on comfy yet stylish basics, and the retailer offers a good selection of maternity dungarees, which come in all shapes and sizes. Look out for JoJo Maman Bébé’s maternity and nursing cardigans too – comfy and spacious, these will see you through maternity and beyond thanks to their adjustable ties.
Providing pieces for expecting mamas as well as little ones, Frugi’s clothes are made with certified organic cotton and are celebrated for their bright and bold prints.
Designed with fashion as well as functionality in mind, Frugi has some fantastic pieces for mums-to-be, and many styles that are suitable for when your bundle of joy has arrived, too.
Key pieces to look out for include the Alex Maternity & Nursing Jumper (£59) which is a new-season style and comes with sleeves adorned with rainbow stripes and stars.
If you’re nursing, you’ll be glad to hear Frugi also has a dedicated breastfeeding range, Frugi Bloom Nursing, featuring everything from button-down denim dresses to cord pinafore dresses.
For guaranteed cute factor, don’t miss Frugi’s ‘twinning’ items, where you’ll find matching prints for you and your little one. Adorable!
H&M MAMA range
Swedish high street retailer H&M is loved for its trendy togs and their MAMA range is no exception. Last time we checked, H&M had close to 500 pregnancy-specific items listed on their website, covering everything from staples such as strap tops and stripy tees to on-trend styles and dresses - all at an affordable price.
H&M’s sustainable ‘Conscious’ range also extends to maternity pieces and features nursing tops, leggings, bras, jeans and more, with their leggings being a must-buy, in our opinion.
New Look Maternity
Proving that maternity wear doesn’t have to be stuffy or frumpy, New Look’s maternity range is filled with up-to-date styles, from peplum tops to gingham shackets - and it’s a great option if you’re looking to keep up with fashion trends as your bump grows.
We particularly rate New Look’s range of maternity jumpsuits – from casual to dressy, short and long – as well as their range of maternity jeans, offering both ‘over bump’ and ‘under bump’ waistband styles.
Selling bump-friendly fashion at an affordable price, New Look is a great option if you’re looking to update your wardrobe. We found many of their non-maternity specific items, such as scoop neck tees and shirts great for maternity dressing, too.
Tu at Sainsbury’s
As with children’s clothes, many of the larger supermarket chains offer some great options when it comes to maternity clothing, but TU’s range is one of the best we found for basic staples. What’s more, you can pick up some clothes for little one while you’re having a browse, too!
Tu has a great range of patterned leggings, as well as basics such as t-shirts and dresses in packs of two, which are fantastic value for money. On top of Tu’s own range, you’ll also find options from popular brands such as Mamalicious.
Beyond maternity wear, Tu also has an ample selection of dedicated breastfeeding-friendly attire, from dungarees to shirts – which you could wear during pregnancy too to get the most for your money.
For pregnancy clothes and maternity wear, online marketplace ASOS has a fantastic range of styles and options, including own-brand designs as well as maternity pieces from the likes of Topshop, New Look, Mamalicious, Lindex and Missguided. The range is updated regularly, and handily, many of the items are listed with videos demonstrating what the item looks like on.
On top of maternity activewear from brands such as Adidas, ASOS also offers an extensive range of loungewear and nightwear – because, let’s face it, you’ll need to factor in plenty of rest time during maternity – so why not do it in style?
From collaborations with celebs such as Holly Willoughby, to partnerships with high-end brands such as Ghost, M&S continues to keep up with the trends when it comes to their clothing range, and is a trusted place for comfortable classics.
While M&S may not have the largest maternity collection out there, it does cover all of the basics, from over-the-bump leggings and boyfriend jeans, to cotton t-shirts and dungarees.
We particularly rate M&S’ maternity underwear selection for some of the softest and well-fitted pieces we’ve come across. You’ll find all styles of nursing and maternity bras at affordable prices too, plus there are plenty of non-maternity specific styles to choose from if they suit you more.
Providing Scandinavian fashion both online and as a retail store, Lindex has fast become a destination for bold, patterned children’s clothes – and they also happen to stock maternity clothes.
Their Leopard Print Nursing Bra (£12.99) proves that dressing a bump doesn’t have to mean frump, while their Mom Long Nightshirt (£24.99) is comfy, slinky and is ideal for wearing while pregnant, in hospital, or postpartum.
Also look out for the MOM Merino Wool Leggings (£39.95) which are guaranteed to keep you and bump snug and cosy this autumn and winter.
For a wide range of specialist maternity and nursing clothes, Seraphine is well worth checking out, while H&M is a fantastic option for affordable, high street favourites as well as a sustainable maternity collection.