How to Style A Bump Using Non-Maternity Items
During my pregnancy I wanted to purchase essentials in maternity sizes, then work in items that were already in my closet or from non-maternity brands I love. Why? There are a few reasons but the two biggest motivators were:
- Plus size maternity clothes are hard to find, so finding ones that are on-trend is like finding a needle in a haystack!
- Being pregnant during a pandemic meant I wasn’t going out much (if at all) so I wanted to get creative with what I had instead of spending a ton on maternity clothes no one would see.
This idea was a bit of a challenge, but I’m glad I did it because ultimately I saved money, gave myself more time to enjoy the items I purchased and it made shopping as a plus size pregnant woman a little less stressful because it opened up more options for me. Read on for my tips and tricks for styling a bump using non-maternity items.
shop the look
First, stock up on all the maternity essentials that really can’t translate to a growing pregnant figure. The essentials I suggest include:
- tank tops (black, white, nude)
- everyday leggings
- activewear leggings
- bike shorts
- work pants (if you work in an office that requires it)
- basic t-shirts (black, white, camo – because that’s a neutral for me hah!)
- basic dresses (to wear alone or for layering)
shop maternity basics
From there, I layered in non-maternity pieces that were already in my closet or new items that caught my eye online (I did not feel comfortable shopping in-store during the pandemic). The KEY to working non-maternity clothing into a look is understanding how the items fit and if you will need to size up.
I recommend looking for tops, skirts and dresses with flowing silhouettes, trapeze shapes, empire waist, oversized fit or items with plenty of elastic (like this smocked dress). Knits are usually a safe bet because they naturally have some “give” to them. Woven fabrics are trickier – I stayed away from these unless I knew that it had plenty of room to grow or was a button front shirt that I could wear open with a tank underneath. If you’re shopping your closet, it’s a little easier to try something on and see if you can make it work without any risk. If you’re buying new, then it’s always safer to go ahead and order a size up. This will help accommodate your growing belly and bust. See below for more outfit inspiration and links to non-maternity items I recommend.
Flowing tiered dresses are an easy silhouette to wear with a bump – but if it’s woven (like the one above) you may want to size up! Original dress sold out, but shop a similar style here.
This sweatshirt is a perfect example of an item that you can wear both during and after your pregnancy, but it’s non-maternity. It’s cross-over front detail makes it easy to wear with a bump and later on will make it nursing-friendly. With non-maternity pants, know that you have to be prepared to wear them below the belly, so tops need to be longer.
The smocked bodice detail makes this dress not only comfortable, but also gives you room to grown in case you go up a bra size or two during pregnancy.
shop the look: dress
This knit spaghetti strap dress has plenty of stretch to accommodate a growing belly. The straps make it great for nursing later on, too!
shop the look: dress
Oversized shirts and dresses are great to wear before, during and after pregnancy! I was able to wear this shirt dress from See Rose Go my entire pregnancy, but if it got too snug I would have worn it unbuttoned over a basic black knit dress or jeans and a tank for something fresh. Don’t be afraid to think out of the box like this!
This dress I definitely had to size up – it was a fashion item I knew I wanted, but that I probably would only be able to wear for a limited time because it’s woven and in the last month or so of pregnancy your belly will grow more than you might think!
shop the look in my blog post: COMFY + CUTE FINDS FROM CHIC SOUL
Trapeze and swing knit dresses are THE easiest thing to style with a bump, even if they’re not maternity sizing. They have plenty of room and are oh-so comfortable whether you wear them in the house or out running an errand. I got it from Chic Soul, which has a ton of comfy + cute items – check out my blog post for more!
shop similar items to those shown in this blog post below!