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What Are the Best Maternity Clothes?

63 Best Maternity Clothes
It’s confusing. Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection/Everett Collection

Having a baby can be one of life’s most joyous occasions — but it’s probably also one of the most confusing. Before you can worry about raising a child in the world, you have to go through the confusion of learning how to dress yourself as the body goes through rapid changes. Are jeans still a possibility? What bras are the most comfortable? And do you need special shirts for nursing? To create a starter kit of great maternity clothes for expecting mothers, we polled doctors, maternity-shop owners, and (yes) moms about the best things to wear when you’re expecting. Below, 63 of their responses, with everything from bras and shirts and leggings to coat extenders and jeans and belly bands.

Photo: True&Co.

When it arrived, I discovered that, yes, it’s truly fugly (other reviewers on the site note the same), but I also discovered that I loved it. Unlike any bra I’ve ever tried as a larger-busted woman, it supports my chest without back bulges, strap-tugging, or quadraboob (when your bra cups are so tight, your boobs ooze over the top). Made of the softest fabric, it also gives the comfiest fit; it’s the sweatpants of bras. While truly an eyesore when worn on its own, it’s incredibly flattering under clothes (meaning 99 percent of the time).” —Kase Wickman


Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

“I’ve worn this bra from Boob every single day since giving birth. It’s just supportive enough, easily slips off for breastfeeding, and the supersoft cotton is soothing on my tender, gnawed-upon boobs.” —Laurel Pantin, editorial director of the Coveteur

“My obsession during and after pregnancy were the Cosabella T-shirt bras. These are not pregnancy bras, but they did the trick. I wanted something smooth that I could wear with all of my XL tees, but also I could continue to grow in as I got bigger. And they are really pretty, so that helped a lot.” —Jasmine Snow, stylist and founder of the Black Bib

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

“My nursing bras were from Anita. Not a brand I had ever tried before, but they had exactly what I was looking for: reasonably priced nursing bras that weren’t hideous.” —Caroline Cross

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

“This is my favorite sleep bra. It’s slick and seamless on the outside, with soft-as-silk cotton lining each cup for sore nipples. It’s the first thing you want to put on in the morning, and no need to mess with fussy clips for nap-time or sleep-time nursing. Plus the pink-petal color looks fantastic layered under a tank or cami, too.” —Adriane Stare, owner of maternity boutique Wild Was Mama

“My favorite nursing bra was sooooo comfortable. I actually bought four of them because I never took it off and had to rotate all the time since they get all milky, which is perhaps too much information.” —Gena Shingle Jaffe

“I had to get new bras immediately, so went with Spanx (both their regular bra that clips in the front, and strapless) and they’ve been lifesavers.” —Lila Barton Thomas

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

“This bra rocks. It has all the support of an underwire bra, but without actual wires that can interfere with milk production and cause plugged ducts. It goes up to an H-cup, too.” —Stare

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

“Underwire bras suck when your stomach starts right under your boobs due to your growing baby. I found the most comfortable way to go happens to be a no-wire T-shirt bra. These ones are pretty cute.” —Ali Sirota, founder of Sirota Public Relations

“Love Comma has been a game changer for new moms over the past few years. I lived in this brand during pregnancy and especially post. The discreet, easy-to-use breastfeeding access they build into each piece lets mamas feel confident and stylish nursing in public.” —Alexandra Zagami, founder and creative director of Piccolini

“I loved Gap maternity tank tops because they were the same ribbed tanks I wore before pregnancy, but just a bit longer. It was nice to have a feeling of normalcy when so many other parts of my wardrobe no longer fit. It didn’t look ‘maternity.’ The cotton was super stretchy and easy to breastfeed in after baby.” —Kate Pastore

“It was important for me to stay true to my style while pregnant, and I found that Thyme Maternity offered up chic pieces that mixed and matched well with one another. They kept my debt in check and my outfits on point.” —Vera Sweeney, founder of Lady and the Blog

“Boob Design’s top has ruched sides at the hips, so you can wear it both during and after pregnancy. The slightly longer length covers your belly a bit more than other tops, and the nursing panel makes it the only base layer you’ll want to wear in the immediate months after having your babe. We’ve been selling out of this style top for the past seven years for a reason. It’s just that perfect.” —Stare

“Old Navy had some great tank tops because they fit wonderfully when I was enormous, but didn’t look like maternitywear after I popped. Actually, my son is turning 3 in April and I’m wearing that tank top right now.” —Elisha Colter

“I love ASOS maternity, especially for dresses and tops. Their maternity tops are stylish without being $$, and they have great nursing tops, too. They’re my biggest go-to.” —Asher Fogle Paul

“My mom was pregnant in the ’80s when maternity clothes were apparently hideous, and she was SO excited for me to have more clothing options than she did that it was practically all she talked about for my whole pregnancy. I still wear some of the Pea in the Pod tunics she got me even though baby is now 21 months. They didn’t have that scrunching on the sides, so they just look like flowy tops now.” —T.C. Burnett

“I was able to not spend a fortune on maternity clothes thanks to a belly band. I used this one from Target. There are tons of other brands, but this one held up through both my pregnancies.” —Jessica Lynne McElroy

“Around my eighth month, I caved and bought a belly band. I was starting to get back pain when standing, and the support, along with sneakers 24/7, was immensely helpful.” —Christine Cheng, co-founder of Glow Recipe

“I’ve found some cute stuff from Pink Blush. It seems to be the go-to for those floral maxi wrap dresses you see in a lot of baby-shower or maternity-photo-shoot pics. I have this one and some similar ones pinned for my maternity shoot and baby shower.” —Stephanie Shore Fisher

“When you are plus-size, it can be really hard to find maternity clothing in your size (and often harder to find some that are cute). My favorite dress for both pregnancies was from ASOS — one of their ‘body-con’ dresses. I think for my first pregnancy they had some outfits up to size 18 or 20.” —Robyn Smith

“ASOS was awesome for more dressy items. I wore this one a ton for an event and also for more casualwear after. It was affordable, but also more on trend than most other brands at its price point, so it made wearing clothes fun at a time it doesn’t feel fun.” —Aline Leon

Photo: Camilla Svensk

“Boob Design’s new sleep dress has a built-in bra for extra support, and the cross-neck V-top easily moves to the side for effortless, clip-free nursing bra. The weight is a bit thicker than other sleepwear, making it great for transitioning from in to out of the house.” —Stare

“Séraphine is the best brand to make you feel good and pretty while pregnant. It’s also a fave of Kate Middleton. I bought one black dress from there and wore it over and over again, dressing it up or down with jewelry.” —Caroline Cross

“My work uniform was a jacket over a stretchy maxi dress that flattered my shape while still having the kind of style I’d wear even if I weren’t pregnant.” —Cheng

“Hatch is an incredible maternity brand that takes a fashion-forward take on dressing women’s new curves. It’s comfortable and a bit trendy. The Eliza is the kind of silhouette I’d want to wear even if I weren’t expecting.” —James Kicinski-McCoy, co-founder of Mother magazine

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“I wore the hell out of this one. I’m not one to go body-con, but for the first time in my life I had a hard stomach, so I didn’t mind showing it off in something clingy. And it’s really the most comfortable dress ever.” —Monica Freeman

“Old Navy has great dresses for super-low prices. I needed something pretty conservative for work and was able to easily pair these with a blazer. I got the same one in three colors and put it on rotation during the week.” —Cara Petonic

Photo: PADRE

“R13 has an urban-chic, roughed-up, punk-rock personality that’s as far away from empire-waist-bow dresses as I can get. Their sweatshirt dresses have dropped shoulders, big pockets, and they’re cool and edgy whether you’re pregnant or not. I invested in a second one for this pregnancy and I basically live in them.” —Tal Winter, co-founder of BKR

“My favorite piece that I wore so much was a dress/skirt situation from Wolford. There’s a reason Kim Kardashian wore Wolford almost every day of her pregnancy. It’s insanely comfortable, you don’t feel like you’re wearing anything, and it’s still sexy. I wore this dress as a skirt with a size XL Madewell or Gap tee and some cute sneakers for work, or I could pull it all the way up and fold it in one of the ways they show you online to make it into a chic strapless cocktail dress with heels. It’s expensive, but SO worth the splurge. I still wear it a year after pregnancy.” —Snow

“Both of my sons were born in October, so I was heavily pregnant during the hot months. As a working mom, I was always on the look for dresses that would be at home in a work setting, but were light as air. My absolute favorites were from Ingrid & Isabel. I bought this one in multiple colors.” —Andrea Samacicia Mullan, founder of Victory Public Relations

“I just couldn’t see my way to maternity clothes. I invested in a few pieces from designers like Issey Miyake and Comme des Garçons — the technology of the fabrics and magical tailoring allowed the pieces to grow (and shrink) with my changing body.” —Jean Polsky, owner of children’s boutique Estella

“I was not a fan of jeans with over-the-bump panels (too hot and itchy), and Paige Verdugo with the side elastic stayed up and were very comfy. The fit and sizing was truer to the non-maternity jeans than other brands I tried.” —Kat Braun

“AG Maternity skinny jeans: I lived in them. They are kind of pricey, but well worth it in my opinion for the fit and flexibility.” —Lauren Muehlethaler Hildebrand

“Let me start by saying I do not normally spend a lot of money on clothes. I wanted to feel GOOD while my body was expanding in all sorts of ways, so I splurged on the AGs. I went with a denim that wasn’t too light or too dark, so they’d take me through any season. I wore them over 20 times before their first wash, and they kept their shape the entire time.” — Libby Ireland

“This is going to sound funny, but postpartum, Madewell’s ten-inch high-rise skinnies are my whole life. They suck you in, and keep all your jiggle at bay. They do have a maternity line, which I sadly didn’t learn about until after pregnancy, but I don’t know if they would’ve beaten these anyway.” —Sarah Golding

“Why spend $$ on a pair you’ll only wear for a few months? I loved the Old Navy Premium Rockstar Full Panel Jeans because the panel was hidden under a real waistband — you know, the part with the belt loops and a real button and fly. This made them look like normal jeans and meant I had more flexibility in what tops I paired with them. They were also ripped at the knees and looked like one of the designer pairs you’d get.” —Brigitt Earley

“Jessica Simpson maternity jeans were my jam for both pregnancies. I liked them because they were great quality (one pair lasted me a pregnancy and a half) and didn’t look like ‘mom jeans.’ They were also super comfortable. They also weren’t too expensive, as some maternity clothes can get.” —Arianne Mount

“I found the best styles that can last you into your last trimester and do not have buttons for show. Those with buttons will just start to dig in and be super uncomfortable. I recommend Séraphine’s.” —Sirota

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“I’m a denim girl, and I felt like if you can find a great pair of maternity jeans to invest in, you can basically wear a cute sweater and boots over and over but always feel cute. These have the stretch panels on the side, so you can still do a cute half-tuck and see a button and a fly, and it looks like a normal jean, but fits like a maternity jean.” —Snow

“One of the hardest things about being pregnant is saying good-bye to my cute, normal clothes for so long. A lot of options out there are truly frightening, and some styles look like they’re about two decades out of season. Hatch has some of the cutest breezy onesie designs. You can pair them with a long, chunky cardigan when it’s cold out, and you can definitely still wear them after you have your baby.” —Winter

“The Hatch jumpsuits are so chic and comfortable. The Taylor is comfortable, on trend, and so easy. It’s like cheating — you look cute and it’s flattering, but you also feel like you’re in pajamas.” —Maria Duenas Jacobs, director of brand development at Stitch Fix

“There’s this jumper by Storq that’s amazing. I love it because it doesn’t feel like maternity clothes. You can wear it plain or with a T-shirt or turtleneck under, which is perfect for this unpredictable L.A. weather! Now that I’ve had my sweet son, I still wear that jumper at least three times a week.” —Zoila Darton of the Word Agency

This exact pair Storq Jumpsuit is no longer available, but here’s a caftan and a tank dress from the same line.

Photo: Camilla Svensk

“The soft waistband is comfy during and (way) after pregnancy, and the pleating in front creates a subtle harem effect for those who like their pants a bit looser and relaxed. It’s the legging-alternative for those who are tired of formfitting and want something less see-through. They come in timeless black, or a subtle black-and-gray leopard pattern. I think all of our staff own a pair, even the ones who have never had a baby.” —Stare

“Liverpool brand jeans are absolutely amazing as far as comfort goes. They’re not technically jeans — they’re leggings that are made to look like them, so they’re jeggings. Super stretchy, and they have really nice-looking styles.” —Lorna Quandt

“Target has good maternity workout clothes. They have good tees, tanks, and workout clothes that are inexpensive and cute, with the extra tummy panel that sits perfectly on your growing bump. I also found the material to be way softer than the other non-maternity workout clothes I’ve gotten.” —Carlee Carew Mooney

“Leggings from Wolford like these are great for dressing up or down and are super soft and supportive. They were luxurious, and made me feel more like myself.” —Polsky

“I always tell people not to waste money on special pregnancy workout clothes. There’s truly nothing more comfortable than the Align pants from Lululemon.” —Sirota

“Splendid makes really great leggings, and they have them in navy, black, and gray. They’re not cheap, but worth every penny.” —Sirota

“I really liked the maternity tights from Ingrid & Isabel. Maternity tights have extra room to accommodate a growing belly; I wore a lot of dresses and was pregnant over the winter, so tights were a necessity. These came in the solid black I like to wear.” —Joanna Muenz

“While I was pregnant I lived in navy neoprene leggings by the Row. They’re expensive, but they’re gorgeous on, super comfortable, and always made me feel a little fancy and dressed up.” —Pantin

“I got into Eberjey jersey pajamas when I was breastfeeding. The fabric is so soft but breathable, and I liked that my little one’s head could rest comfortably on the fabric without getting sweaty as she nestled in the crook of my arm.” —Cheng

Comfortable shoes are essential, depending on the person’s job. I wore Merrell — they are not the world’s cutest shoes, but they’re very comfortable.” —Marina Maslovaric, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.

“Shopping for a bathing suit is hard enough when you aren’t pregnant, so forget about when you are two months to term. I found that the Lands’ End selection of tankinis suited my every need, literally. The styles offered up on-trend patterns with just enough ‘give’ to make me feel comfortable while at the pool with my other children.” —Sweeney