Summer's can get hot, not to mention super humid, but if you add pregnancy to the mix, the crazy-high temperatures can become even more unbearable. Why? Because expectant mothers typically experience an increase in blood flow, which in turn creates more body heat. And already higher-than-normal body temperatures mixed with hot weather and humidity can make for quite an unpleasant three-plus months. But don't fret just yet, as there are ways to stay cool and comfortable while pregnant in the summer, and a lot of it has to do with the way you dress. So to help parents-to-be master cool(ing) pregnancy style come warm weather, we tapped three experts on their must-know styling tips. Read on for six pregnancy styling tips for the summer and then shop some of our favorite maternity dresses.
1. Wear lightweight pieces to beat the heat
When piecing together an outfit to wear in the summertime heat, expectant parents should always pick pieces that will keep them cool (and are, of course, comfortable), according to Cecile Reinaud of maternity brand Seraphine. The best way to beat the heat? Pick lightweight, airy pieces such as a flowy midi skirt or a simple button-down.
2. And opt for natural, breathable fabrics
Come summertime, parents-to-be should always pick natural, breathable fabrics such as cotton (which Reinaud notes as one of the best options), chambray, linen, or rayon to keep as cool as possible.
As for one fabric to avoid at all costs? "Stay away from silks. Silk is a protein fiber and stains quickly, especially if you start to sweat," explains Camille Thomas, director of client services and operations of Rosie Pope.
3. Avoid wearing all black
Germaine Caprio, owner and manager of Majamas, suggests staying away from wearing all black in the summer. Instead, "Opt for lighter colors in the tops and darker pieces for the bottoms that color coordinate so you stay cooler and look coordinated without being too matchy-matchy," she says.
4. Layer, layer, layer
As Thomas notes, "To keep from looking a little less sweaty and a little dewier, make sure you dress in layers you can take on and off throughout the day." Her recommended outfit formula? "Start with a comfortable tank dress and then layer on your jacket for those air-conditioned offices. Button-downs work great for jumping into air-conditioned buildings and then tie easily under the bump when you head outside."
Caprio also cited layering as a key piece to keeping cool in the summer. "I recommend starting with a great summer top that is loose and flowy and allows any moving air to circulate," she notes. Then, layer with a light cover-up or any "cotton, long-sleeved cover that breathes and warms you up on a cooler evening without being too heavy."
5. Swap a bra for a supportive tank top
Come summer, it's time to pack away those oftentimes uncomfortable bras. "Hot weather can make any bra uncomfortable, but when you're pregnant, your favorite bra can turn into the most despised piece in your wardrobe," Caprio notes. So instead, she suggests opting for a soft but supportive tank top that you can layer under anything. "Make sure all the elastics are encased and soft next to your skin," she says.
6. When in doubt, wear a dress
It's a hot and humid day and you have no idea what to wear? The solution is simple. Go for a dress. As all the experts noted, it's a key piece in keeping you cool in the summer heat because it's lightweight, airy, and perfect for layering.