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Maternity Fashion Tips for Looking Fit, Not Fat

Dianna Graveman |29, February 2012


Maternity Fashion Tips for Looking Fit, Not Fat

When your body is rapidly changing, your hormones are fluctuating, and your emotions run high--as happens during pregnancy--looking your best is more important than ever. Dressing well is a part of looking your best, but it doesn't have to mean spending a lot of money. Gone are the decades when women hid their pregnancies beneath folds of blousy, mumu-like clothing. Today's new mothers have plenty of choices, and a growing fetus is no longer a development to keep under wraps.

Fashionable tops and dresses with empire waists have grown in popularity even for women who are not expecting, so you may be able to find attractive non-maternity attire that you can wear in the early months and continue to wear after your pregnancy. Consider stretchy tops that will grow with you. For a dressy casual function, throw a light business suit or jacket over the top.

As you get bigger, it may be tempting, especially in the winter months, to wear sweats. That's fine around the house, but an investment of one pair of well-designed maternity jeans is worth the money. Jeans go with anything--any color or style top or jacket--and you'll feel more fully dressed for most casual occasions than you will in sweat pants. Many pregnant moms recommend GAP for jeans that fit most body types and are affordable, too. New moms also recommend you buy maternity pants or jeans in your regular size--and not try to save money by buying regular jeans a size or two bigger. They will not fit well in the seat and legs, and you may end up looking like you're wearing your hubby's clothes.

As your breasts grow larger, especially if you are not a petite woman, pay attention to necklines. A low, rounded neckline may reveal more flesh than you're willing to share, and can make you appear heavier. A low v-neck is okay, as long as it's narrow.

Tunics or long sweaters with leggings never seem to go out of style, but if your legs are not as thin as you'd like, consider long skirts and dresses. Hugely popular, even among young, nonpregnant women, a colorful, long or tiered skirt in a lively print, paired with a matching tunic and possibly a poncho-style sweater, will help you stay both stylish and comfortable. Kaftans are trendy and attractive, too; try shopping for brightly-embroidered tops with global appeal at vintage or specialty stores.

If business attire is more your speed, you may still be able to wear your pre-pregnancy jackets unbuttoned with a long, tunic-style stop underneath.

Some fashionistas suggest wearing bold or brightly-colored jewelry during pregnancy to detract from your growing belly. An added bonus is that it will add color and interest if much of your maternity wear is in solid or muted colors. A large purse or tote or a cute (but comfortable!) pair of flats can have the same effects. And while you're at it, splurge on a manicure and pedicure occasionally, or do it yourself, if necessary, with brightly-colored polish.

If you have a close friend who is also pregnant--especially if she became pregnant about the same time you did and is progressing at about the same rate--consider swapping outfits once in awhile. Sometimes just having something "new" to wear can be a pick-me-up and can help you feel more attractive. Plus raiding each other's closets on occasion can provide an opportunity to try different styles and clothing combinations you might not try otherwise. Ask your friend for her honest opinion, and then be prepared to reciprocate. What works well for one woman and one body type will not necessarily work well for another.

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