If you’ve ever been pregnant you know that finding cute clothes to wear is a struggle. Maternity styles have come a long way but I feel like there’s still a lot of room for improvement. Honestly, I found myself wearing a lot of non-maternity clothes during both of my pregnancies because I felt like those were a lot cuter. Plus, I wanted to buy things that I could wear post-pregnancy as well.
And I’m going to go ahead and make a bold statement – you should only wear dresses while you are pregnant! I’ve been pregnant during both the summer and winter months and during both seasons I found the most comfortable thing to wear was dresses. So in today’s post I’m going to be sharing the dress styles that I wore during pregnancy and beyond!
Dresses to Wear During and After Pregnancy
Knit or Sweater Dresses
My number one dress style to wear while pregnant is a stretchy knit dress. This style is the best because it stretches and grows with you! Plus, I love that these types of dresses show off your curves. Luckily, you can find styles that work during summer months and winter months. For summer I chose light knits like this summer silk knit dress from Naadam (I have it in black and ginger). It’s is a non-maternity style but I wore it all the way up until I gave birth! And it still fits now that I’m not pregnant. Win-Win!
For cooler months I wore heavier knit dresses like this one from H&M. I also layered it with blazers, jackets and boots when I had to go outside.
Tip: I wore pregnancy spanx underneath these dresses to smooth everything out!
Shop Knit Dresses
Or muumuu, kaftan, trapeze…whatever you want to call it, these oversized, roomy dresses are PERFECT for pregnancy. There is tons of room for your bump to grow and they can be belted to accentuate your waist so that you don’t feel like you are just wearing a bag. I loved this linen dress from DOEN during the summer months. It could be worn with a belt or without one but I always preferred a belt.
During cooler months I wore this non-maternity tent dress from H&M. It didn’t come with a belt but I just added one of my own! This actually had TONS of room and I had no problem wearing it during my third trimester.
For special occasions I LOVED this dress from HATCH. It’s absolutely stunning. And when you are super pregnant and feeling a little down, this dress will make you feel like a million bucks. And the great news is, it looks just as beautiful when you aren’t pregnant!
Tips: I like to pick longer non-maternity dresses because I’m on the taller side and the bump always makes clothes a little shorter.
Shop Tent Dresses
Shirred or Smocked Dresses
This is actually a style that I just discovered (I know, where have I been?) but I’ve seen lots of pregnant women wearing these types of dresses and they look amazing! Since the shirring/smocking stretches, this is a style that can be worn during and after pregnancy. I just ordered this shirred dress from Rachel Pally and the great thing about it is it comes in a maternity version as well! Although, I think the non-maternity version would also accommodate a bump.
Also be on the lookout for empire waist dresses. These dresses have a fitted bust that ends right under your breast with a loose skirt. I like to call these “Jane Austen Dresses” because they feel like something out of the 1800s.
Shop Shirred Dresses
Non-Maternity Brands to Shop that Work During Pregnancy
I also want to share the non-maternity brands that I love where you can find clothes that work while pregnant, breastfeeding, and beyond!
DÔEN is a female-founded, ethical and sustainable clothing brand based out of Los Angeles, California. Yes, these clothes are a little pricey but these pieces are made to last a lifetime! It’s also the price you pay for clothes that are ethically made by people earning a fair wage.
I love that this brand has a section on their website for pieces that work for pregnancy and nursing so it helps take some of the guess work out of choosing the right clothes. I bought the Mariposa dress last fall when I was a couple months pregnant and I love it. It’s so comfy and I’m able to wear it now that I’m not pregnant. I was able to stop by their flagship store at the Brentwood Country Mart to try on some pieces and everything was so gorgeous.
DÔEN does have a cult following and things sell out FAST! Pay attention to launch dates and times because if you see a piece that you love you’ll need to buy it right when it’s released. Usually, pieces are launched at 6am PST time and you literally have to wake up that early to snag a piece. Since they are a slow fashion brand, pieces are slow to come back in stock and/or are not restocked when they sell out.
DÔEN also sells exclusive styles at Net-A-Porter and sometimes they have sales so you might be able to get a DOEN piece there! And be sure to check out resell sites like The Real Real and Poshmark to see if you can get a used piece on sale.
Christy Dawn is another female-founded, ethical and sustainable clothing brand based out of Los Angeles, California. Again, their clothes are pricey but there is good reason for it. They recently shared a breakdown of their pricing on Instagram which was really helpful for understanding the true cost of making an ethical piece of clothing.
Christy Dawn also has a section on their website for maternity friendly pieces. I don’t own any of their pieces but I did get a chance to stop by their flagship store to try on a few pieces. I didn’t love the Christy Dawn dresses as much as the DÔEN pieces but they still have beautiful pieces.
Christy Dawn has collaborated with Madewell in the past so you can sometimes find their pieces there!
Rachel Pally is a female-founded brand that ethically makes their clothes in Downtown LA. Rachel Pally is a really cool brand because they make maternity versions of their non-maternity styles! I’m not exactly sure how the sizing is different between the non-maternity and maternity versions but it’s nice to have that option. Honestly, a lot of their non-maternity styles will still work when you are pregnant.
I bought the stretchy gold dress you see above for the holidays (similar) and its was perfect! I bought the maternity version but there’s enough stretch in this garment that I probably could have bought the non-maternity version.
I guess technically this is a maternity brand but they have great styles that transition to after pregnancy. Like I mentioned above, one of my favorite special occasion dresses is the Riviera Dress. It actually a One-Size-Fits-All dress which means you don’t have to guess your size. I couldn’t find a lot of information on how ethically made the HATCH pieces are but a lot of styles are made in the USA. HATCH clothes are pricey but very versatile for before/during/after pregnancy so you should be able to get a lot of use out of them.
More Affordable Dresses
I know that the brands I listed above are more expensive but you can find a bunch of non-maternity styles at more affordable price points from brands like H&M, Mango, Zara, Asos, and Target. Some of my favorite non-maternity dresses to wear while I was pregnant were Who What Wear Collection dresses that I got years ago from Target. You can usually find nice stretchy knit dresses at H&M and Mango. Zara has lots of oversized dresses as well that will accommodate a bump. And recently I saw some beautiful shirred dresses from Asos that work for baby bumps too!
(Non-Maternity Who What Wear Collection Dress (old))