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How to Dress During Pregnancy Without Maternity Clothes

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Congrats on the baby! Whether it’s your first pregnancy or your last, or somewhere in between, a big part of getting through pregnancy is feeling comfortable!

Figuring out what to wear may become one of your top priorities. Having the right clothes is key.

Thankfully, sweats are no longer taboo, and there are more options online than ever before. Knowing what to wear can be hard in general, but now that your body is starting to change, options might seem even more limited.

There will be a lot of things in your closet that you can’t wear anymore once you pass a certain stage of pregnancy. 

That said, not everyone loves maternity clothes. There are several possible reasons why you wouldn’t want to wear maternity clothes during your pregnancy.

Portrait of pregnant woman wearing white clothes standing on a meadow

Maybe you don’t want to wear maternity clothes because you can’t find any good-looking ones? Some people don’t love the baggy fits and remember that maternity clothes makers have to appeal to a large audience. They can’t go too stylish because they’ll lose mass appeal. 

Maybe you want to avoid maternity clothes because you don’t want to draw attention to the fact that you are pregnant? Or perhaps it’s because you don’t want to spend money on clothes you will only wear for a couple of weeks.

Maternity clothes aren’t for everyone, so whatever your reasons might be, here are some ideas for things to wear if you don’t want to wear maternity clothes during your pregnancy.

What Are Maternity Clothes?

Maternity clothes are clothes that pregnant people wear that accommodate changes in their bodies. Pretty self-explanatory seeing as the word ‘maternity’ means motherhood.

There are clothes that are labeled as ‘maternity clothes’ that work as normal everyday clothes and vice versa.

Most of the time the only difference between ‘normal’ clothes and maternity clothes is the fact that maternity clothes are more stretchy in the areas that tend to get bigger when someone is pregnant.

Typically, people notice that the belly, ankles, breasts, butt, and arms increase in size, but pretty much any part of the body can get bigger during the nine months of pregnancy.

Maternity clothes leave more room in areas that get bigger so you stay comfortable as the baby gets bigger.

Pregnant woman standing in her kitchen

Growing Bodies

Growing out of your clothes is normal during pregnancy, expected even, but it might take a while for you to actually grow out of them.

Sometimes it can be a while before your baby bump starts to show. For some people, the baby bump doesn’t show up until a person is 20 weeks into the pregnancy, and that leaves about 20 more weeks until the baby is due.

Even after the bump starts to show, you still might have a while before your clothes stop fitting.

Transform Your Normal Clothes Into Maternity Clothes

If you’re dead set against buying maternity jeans, there are things you can do to keep wearing your jeans as you get bigger.

Once you can no longer fit your belly into your normal pair of jeans, you can try using a hair tie to keep your pants up by tying it around the button above the zipper and unzipping your jeans to give your belly more room.

Cover things up by wearing a longer shirt or a sweater and no one will suspect a thing.

Some Things Will Still Fit

At some point during your pregnancy, it’s going to get too hard trying to slip on your favorite skinny jeans or just jeans in general.

There are a lot of different types of apparel you can try wearing once you’re past the jeans phase. Here are some ideas.


It’s easy to say just wear a dress once you’re done with jeans, but that’s too simplistic. There are many types of dresses that all fit differently.

pregnant woman in blue dress, green hills, river and sky

For pregnancy it might be best to try wearing a few of these styles:

  • T-shirt
  • Jumper
  • Empire waist

The t-shirt dresses are usually stretchy and allow for plenty of room for a baby bump. The jumper style can be hit or miss, depending on how big your bump is, but it’s worth a try. The empire waist has the waistline right below the breasts and can create an incredibly flattering look.

All these styles can be fun options to try on and they can make you look amazing.


Skirts are also a great alternative to wearing jeans and other restrictive clothes during pregnancy. You can wear maxi skirts, A-line, circles, you name it.

You might run into the same problem that you did with the pants as you try to get them on your waist. There are stretchier waistband options and, depending on how long the skirt is, pulling the waistband above your stomach might look super cute even with the baby bump.


Leggings are a comfortable alternative to wearing jeans and they’re a go-to for pregnant mothers everywhere! Leggings feel more breathable and easier to move around in.

Jeggings are a mix of jeans and leggings. They’re stretchier than normal jeans but not as stretchy as actual leggings.

Sometimes certain leggings can be a little see-through, so consider wearing a longer t-shirt to avoid showing off more than you want to.

There are so many legging options ranging in different shades and different lengths. Some leggings are made for working out while some are made for wearing under dresses. The choices mean a lot of styling and comfort options.

Oversized apparel

Hoodies, sweaters, joggers, t-shirts, and these sorts of baggy clothes will feel more comfortable as you go up in sizes.

Sometimes it’s nice not wearing a tight-fitting shirt all the time. You might have some of these clothes in your closet and it will be nice having them as an option.

Feel free to borrow from partners, spouses, or friends who wear bigger sizes than you do!

Pregnant woman sitting on the bed

Figure Out What Works for You

Give all these options a try and find out what you think looks the best on you.

Finding ways to style these options won’t be as hard as you might think. If you aren’t used to wearing dresses, try them on! Who knows, maybe they will grow on you. If the dresses don’t work, no one is going to get mad at you for dressing down during your pregnancy.

Once again, congratulations on the baby, and good luck with your pregnancy!