From keeping on top of hospital appointments and preparing for birth, to researching the best pram and making sure you’re getting the right supplements, there’s a lot to think about as soon as you see an extra line seep into view on that pregnancy test.
Finding out you’re expecting can be a time filled with myriad emotions, stresses and anxieties – and dressing for your changing shape can only add to some of those worries.
While there are undoubtedly plenty of options when it comes to maternity fashion – just searching those two words throws up more than 190 million results on Google – it can sometimes be a reminder of just how much your life is changing.
After all, if bodycon jersey dresses and floral wrap dresses weren’t your thing pre-pregnancy, it’s unlikely you’re going to want to embrace them now.
While there might be a wealth of maternity lines out there, it can often begin to feel like you’re going to have to completely sacrifice personal taste in favour of anything that fits.
But don’t lose hope. There are a number of brands – whether available in-store or online – that might suit your style, even if they don’t offer dedicated maternity fashion.
It is also important to note, however, that you don’t need to succumb to pressure to purchase a whole new wardrobe. A handful of key pieces, from elasticated trousers to flattering dresses, should see you through nine months, along with other versatile pieces already in many a woman’s collection.
After all, you don’t want to waste money on clothes you’ll wear for less than a year, so you might as well invest in pieces you’ll likely get some wear out of once the baby’s here, too.
So, if stereotypical maternity style isn’t your thing, we’ve pulled together a list of some more minimal, contemporary brands with offerings suitable for pregnancy.
This Scandi-influenced brand, a big sister to high-street favourite H&M, might not have a dedicated maternity line, but plenty of its collections will see you through pregnancy. From oversized linen shirts and generously elasticated tailored shorts to fluid, voluminous dresses, Cos is known for its relaxed tailoring that can accommodate a changing shape. Some of the brand’s pieces can, occasionally, run smaller than expected, so try on in-store when possible.
This Swedish-born lifestyle brand, which offers international shipping, has become a favourite for many thanks to its high-quality fabrics, classic separates and laid-back aesthetic. Much like Cos, Arket doesn’t specifically offer maternity wear, but plenty of its line will suit a growing bump. From oversized prairie dresses and shirred (and therefore uber stretchy) sundresses to slouchy loungewear, there are many options to get you through pregnancy and beyond.
The e-commerce giant has a sizeable pregnancy offering, bringing together its own Asos Maternity line with other brands, such as Topshop Maternity, Nike Maternity and Wednesday’s Girl Maternity. There are options for a range of tastes, as well as a healthy selection of basics, from nursing bras and over-the-bump leggings to breastfeeding-appropriate tees. Even better, the purse-friendly selection means you can stock up on the essentials without breaking the bank.
This dedicated maternity brand, sported by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge during her pregnancies, might not be up everyone’s alley, but it’s one to check out if you’re in need of something more formal. With eveningwear and wedding-ready dresses alongside a selection of staple separates (think hardy dungarees, bump-friendly sportswear and undies), there’s something for every occasion.
Luckily for those expecting at this point in time, oversized, flowing dresses are in, meaning there’s plenty to choose from at myriad womenswear brands that don’t offer maternity wear. Case in point: Olive, a UK label that offers worldwide shipping. The vintage-inspired collection is rich in loose, louche dresses, from gingham midis to capacious smocks. The size offering is, admittedly, limited, with some pieces offered in one size or merely XS-S and M-L, but the site is still worth a scour as the relaxed proportions can be relatively versatile, depending on the fit you require.
The high-street favourite caters for a variety of tastes, whether you’re in the mood for sequinned party dresses, office-ready blazers or summer holiday staples. While it doesn’t offer maternity wear per se, the Spanish-founded brand routinely offers an affordable range of boho-influenced cotton dresses, voluminous shirts and basic tees that could work well into pregnancy.
If you’re look to splurge on some investment pieces that you can wear during and post-pregnancy, add this fashion-editor-beloved brand – available at sites such as Net-a-Porter – to your must-shop list. Often cited by style bloggers reticent to purchase dedicated maternity brands, this womenswear line is rich in Americana-inspired floral midis, Parisian-style cotton-voile mini dresses and breezy smocked blouses that will flatter a range of figures.
Much like Asos, this is one of the first places to head when you need to pick up the essentials: leggings, pyjamas, T-shirts and so on. The brand’s budget-friendly maternity line is also packed with timeless jersey dresses, easy-to-wear jeans and figure-flattering blouses that will easily complement your off-duty style. H&M’s main womenswear line often features a number of relaxed, summer-ready dresses that would also accommodate a bump, too.
This UK-launched company, which offers international shipping, has a wide range of options for expecting families, from nursery furniture and sleeping tools to toys and babywear. It also has a maternity range that’s worth a peruse, particularly when you’re shopping for staples or separates that need specialist design – thinking nursing bras, bump bands, denim onesies and swimwear.
This US brand offers dedicated maternity and postpartum fashion, as well as a range of baby essentials. It’s a go-to for pieces such as heat-of-summer relaxed rompers, gingham swimsuits, ditsy-print sundresses and underwear that’s bump-accommodating without being frumpy.
Another upmarket, non-maternity option for those looking to invest is this Copenhagen-founded brand. Available on sites such as Net-a-Porter and Ounass, the Nordic womenswear label is all about carefree dressing, which translates into effortless midis, colourful maxis and adaptable silhouettes that will flatter in both pregnancy and postpartum.
This British high-street institution offers everything from womenswear and children’s clothing to freshly baked goods, so of course it has a maternity line, too. The more trend-led pieces might not be to everyone’s taste, but when it comes to the pieces everyone needs during pregnancy – nursing bras, stretchy leggings – it’s a no-brainer.
This Indonesia-based brand, much like Doen and Ganni, is a womenswear line that will easily work in wardrobes whether pre-pregnancy, postpartum or in between. Available on sites such as Net-a-Porter and Ounass, the hand-dyed, hand-printed label boasts a range of relaxed summer dresses and artisanal, oversized shirts.
This US maternity label, which offers international shipping, specialises in pared-back pregnancy staples, such as cosy jersey overalls, minimal T-shirt dresses and printed bike shorts. It’s a small but well-curated range that could be a first port of call when you’re in need of basics.
This US-headquartered brand, which markets itself as a purveyor of modern essentials, is stocked with seasonal collections of timeless separates and dresses. While it doesn’t have a maternity line, plenty of pieces – from billowing midis and voluminous shirt dresses to draped knits – could work well into your third trimester.
There are a ream of maternity jean options out there, from under-the-bump to over-the-bump styles but, if you plan on spending most of your pregnancy in jeans rather than stretchy leggings, it could be worth investing in a pair that will last. Paige, a popular celebrity-worn US denim brand, has a small but staple collection of maternity jeans that are designed to grow with you. Using elasticated patches built into the waist, rather than expansive swathes of chest-grazing jersey, these are more subtle than the styles you’ll find on most maternity sites.