Dressing while pregnant can be challenging, especially since the target is constantly moving. That tunic that slid over your bump last week? It’s stopped short at your bust this week, and if it’s that tight before you leave for work, don’t kid yourself—you WILL burst those seams after a few hours of eating and fighting with your colleagues (hormones?). So it’s important to remember a few things when shopping for your
maternity wardrobe: 1.
Do NOT worry about the sizing. The rule of thumb is generally to take the same size you would before you got preg, but what if your hips or thighs expanded? Or maybe your ribs widened and the thought of wearing a bra that isn’t completely composed of microfibre seems as likely as
Kim Kardashian becoming a recluse (I’m asking for a friend). So you’re normally a size 8 but the 12 feels comfortable? Buy it, rip the tags off, and get on with your life. You’re growing a human being in there, not shedding for the wedding.
Be open minded about the silhouette. I was certain that I’d have to default to stretchy, form-fitting pieces, but I found that items that were constructed properly—like several of these pieces from the newly launched
Gap Maternity—were just as flattering, and pretty exciting to wear, since the bump wasn’t taking centre stage ALL THE TIME. Gosh, this kid is already developing a complex! I was sure this wishbone printed dress from
Gap X Rosie Pope would look strange with the self-tie at the waist—but it’s actually the cutest piece, from the cheerful print to the sporty piping down the side. Every single person that has seen me in this has given it (me?) a round of applause.
Give yourself room to grow. And I don’t necessarily mean going oversize. But allowing for pieces that are floaty will save you on the days when you don’t want anything touching your body. This
bright white shift from Gap Maternity is sweet but structured, landing in that perfect above the knee spot and feeling covered up enough for the office. 4.
Invest a little. I know money is tight when you’re buying for baby, but treating yourself to a pair of jeans that fits and flatters is essential. Those $15 jeggings will not cut it, and since you’ll be wearing them multiple times per week, you’ll want to set them on fire by the end of your pregnancy. I’ve worn these
Gap Forever Stretch Legging Jeans ($89.95) to death, and still don’t hate them! In fact, I’m sure I’ll wear them well into the 4th trimester. Need a little help? Check out our
amazing contest with the Gap—we’re giving away TWO $500 gift cards. 5.
Don’t buy into marketing. I’m sure you’ve seen maternity pieces promoted as "perfect for your entire pregnancy" but really, I don’t believe this. Cotton black leggings aside, your body changes so much (as does your preference for specific cuts around your belly) and so will your wardrobe. Certain pieces will only work for specific trimesters—and that’s OK! I loved this
laser cut tank SO much that it nearly broke my heart when it wouldn’t budge over my bump (and yes, it was the morning). Gap does an amazing job at making smart suggestions by allowing customers to
"Shop by Trimester" which I found immensely helpful. So what did I miss? What’s your best maternity shopping tip? READ MORE
Win $500 from the Gap!
Kate Middleton’s celebrity style
My maternity wardrobe surprises
Pregnant celebrities with incredible style
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.