Maternity Clothing You Actually Need (and What's Kind of a Sham)


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When it comes to maternity clothes, expecting mothers are the first to admit that they are thrown advice from all over the place. There are lots of items marketed to moms-to-be, but what are the essentials they actually need, and which ones aren’t really worth it? To find out, we tapped our Who What Wear Insiders Facebook community for their insight.

One of the biggest pieces of advice across the board was to find affordable options. Shannon Marie told us, “For my second pregnancy, I got most of my maternity wear from ASOS and H&M. In terms of fashion-forward for a great price, ASOS really nails it. Once my regular clothes no longer fit, I developed a small capsule wardrobe of versatile pieces.” Instead of investing a lot of money in maternity clothes, some of the inexpensive retailers are a great way to stay on-trend.

But if you’re not ready to fill your closet with maternity clothes, another interesting piece of advice was to skip them altogether. Chelsea Young said that she didn’t buy “the more common maternity items—jeans, tanks, dresses, etc.” Instead, she “just went up a size or two and used the elastic trick on my jean buttons. This helped me in the long run not dealing with a bunch of maternity wear being stuck in my closet.”

One of the common bump-friendly pieces pregnant women are looking for is something for a wedding or a dressy occasion. And Brielle Murray McGraw suggests “lots of kimonos. A fancy kimono was a great solution for an event.” The versatile piece can be worn during a pregnancy but is also versatile enough to be worn after as well. And the piece you can skip altogether? A belly band. Devon McKee Kisgen admits that she has “been through two pregnancies and didn’t use it.” Ahead, shop some of our favorite affordable pregnancy clothing finds.

Associate Director, Special Projects

Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.