What to Wear: Maternity Clothes Basics

Today's maternity wear is "not your mother's maternity clothes." Pregnant women now have a variety of choices available to fit their own unique style and preferences. The following are some maternity clothes basics to help you get started:

Business Maternity Clothes

If you work in a corporate or office environment, you will need to purchase some professional maternity clothes. Even if your office has a business casual dress code, you will want your maternity clothing to reflect the same style and level of professionalism you've always exhibited at work.

To keep your budget within reason, you may want to purchase a few basic maternity pants or skirts in neutral colors like black, navy, gray or tan. Then you can mix and match these pieces with several different blouses, tops, jackets or blazers. If you work in a more formal corporate environment, you may want to purchase one or two maternity suits for important meetings or events.

Pick pieces that you can easily layer so you can shed some clothing when you get warm in the office. And sturdy, comfortable shoes are a must. Your feet may swell if you are sitting a lot in meetings and at your desk. Shoes without shoelaces and buckles that slip on will be easier to get on and off later in pregnancy.

Casual Maternity Clothes

You probably want to purchase one good pair of maternity jeans and some casual maternity shirts to wear at night or on the weekends. You may need more if your workplace dress is casual. A maternity track suit or sweatpants may also be helpful if you plan to work out or like to wear this type of clothing to run errands or relax at home. If you will be pregnant in the summer, you may want to purchase a maternity bathing suit as well.


Maternity bras and underwear are essential for the second and third trimester of your pregnancy. You may want to only purchase a few bras at a time so you can purchase larger sizes as your pregnancy progresses. Many pregnant women wear nursing bras while pregnant so they can be used when the babies arrive.

When to Purchase

Many pregnant women don't purchase maternity clothes until the second trimester. Since you are pregnant with twins or more, you may need to shop earlier. Keep in mind that you may need to purchase different clothes later in your pregnancy depending on the growth of your babies. So you may want to space out your shopping a bit so you're not stuck with items that may not fit or feel comfortable later in your pregnancy. Remember, you may have to wear some maternity clothes after the birth of your babies until your body is back to its pre-pregnancy size.


Maternity clothing is not sized much differently than regular clothing. In most cases, you can purchase maternity clothing in your pre-pregnancy size. Like all clothing, sizing for different brands can differ so you may need to go up or down a size depending on the item. When in doubt, order one size up.

Borrow or Buy Used Maternity Clothes

You may have friends or co-workers who may be willing to give or lend you some of their maternity clothes. You may also be able to purchase used maternity clothing from children's consignment shops or at kids resale events. You can often pick up quality pieces for a fraction of what you would pay for them new. You may want to go this route if you need any formal or evening wear while you're pregnant. And don't forget that you can accessorize with items you already own like scarves, jewelry and brooches to dress up your outfits.

Splurge a Little

If you can afford it, you may want to treat yourself to a few more expensive items for your wardrobe. A great outfit can boost your spirits and confidence throughout your pregnancy.