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If we learned anything from Rihanna’s pregnancy, it’s that maternity style doesn’t have to mean wearing maternity clothes—and it certainly doesn’t have to mean looking frumpy or hiding your figure. Rihanna told the press that she would not be shopping in the maternity section, and she kept her signature style while showing off her growing baby bump.

“When I found out I was pregnant, I thought to myself, There’s no way I’m going to go shopping in no maternity aisle,” she told Vogue. “I’m sorry—it’s too much fun to get dressed up. I’m not going to let that part disappear because my body is changing.”

Not all of us can go around showing off our whole stomach at work or the grocery store, but we can learn something from Rihanna's fearless approach to maternity dressing.

Getting pregnant is a wonderful, terrifying experience—at least, that’s how I felt when I learned I was pregnant with my first baby last summer. There’s a lot to going on: picking a hospital, decorating a nursery, not to mention morning sickness, heartburn, and swollen feet. The last thing you need is to plan an entirely new wardrobe—and yet, suddenly, none of your clothes fit. Not only that, but what fits your first-trimester bump won’t necessarily fit you by the third.

This can be an expensive, and stressful, problem. But it doesn’t have to be.

While I do recommend getting a few staples specifically for that baby bump (definitely leggings or bike shorts, depending on the weather), you can find plenty of bump-friendly outfits that will last beyond your pregnancy. Here are a few suggestions for creating a bump-friendly wardrobe without shopping the maternity section, so you can keep your clothes and wear them through pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond.


When you’re pregnant, dresses will be your best friend. Pants are tricky because you can find yourself needing a different size for each trimester. Dresses are versatile, comfy, and perfect if, like me, you love being able to look like you put in effort when you really didn’t.

Look for sundresses that are tight on the bust but loose around the waist. Shirred dresses are a great now-and-later pick because they’re so stretchy. Baby doll styles are built to be flowy, so they should give you plenty of room. Pay attention to fabric; stretchy fabrics such as spandex and jersey knit will let you stretch a regular dress over your growing bump

Bodycon dresses are always a fun option, but if wearing a skin-tight dress isn’t your thing, pair it with a long sweater or sweater blazer for some balance and added class.

Regency style is having a moment (thanks to Bridgerton and all those Jane Austen movies), so try a dress with an empire waist, another good way to give your figure some definition while accommodating your baby bump. You may be pregnant, but you’re a woman, and you look good! You should feel it. 

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Loose and stretchy skirts

In winter, knit bodycon dresses are a great way to feel pretty and really show off that bump. In warmer weather, find a longer knit skirt to wear over the bump with a crop top—there’ll be no exposed midriff thanks to your baby bump-covered skirt, but you still get the chance to rock a trendy matching set!

A good pleated midi skirt will also be your best friend. It’s a beautiful, breezy way to show off that bump and look super classy while doing it! Pair with a light blouse or collared shirt, tucked in or tied above the waist of the skirt, which you can wear over the bump if you size up. If you already have a pleated skirt with a zipper on the side, you can wear it as you grow by keeping it slightly unzipped and wearing a slightly longer blouse over the top of the skirt. 

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Your old jeans

Yes, you can wear your old jeans throughout pregnancy! All you need is a belly band, basically a stretchy tube you can put over your (unbuttoned) pants to wear them as your bump grows. You can easily grab one for $10-$20 from Amazon, Target, or anywhere that sells maternity wear.

Some ladies may find that this works throughout pregnancy—for me, it was a great hack that took me almost through my second trimester. But even if you need to size up in pants to keep wearing the belly band, you’ll be able to keep your pants to wear postpartum. Win-win!

You’d also be surprised how long you can get away with wearing any stretchy (nonzip) pair of pants under your bump with a long top. A trendy pair of ribbed sweatpants, a pair of cotton pull-on pants, or any tie-waist pants can be flexible enough to go over a small bump—or under a big one. 

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Fun and flowy blouses

No, this is not your mother’s big t-shirt. I’m talking cute tops and blouses, ones that are trendy but have a little bit of give. They could be stretchy knit tops or light and loose shirts. Or pair a tight top with a large collared shirt or blazer for some structure and balance.

The important thing to know is that you don’t have to buy maternity shirts and sweaters. Any roomy top or sweater will do.

A large top pairs well with skinny or mom jeans. If you’re wearing a skirt, opt for a shorter or tighter top—tie a T-shirt or collared with a knot, tuck your shirt into the skirt, or wear a crop top. 

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The last thing you need while you’re taking care of and planning for your unborn baby is to be stuck with a closet of unwearable clothes, or clothes that make you feel like becoming a mom has to mean giving up your style. With a little creativity, you can style the clothes you already have, and some new ones (a size or two bigger than normal), to create a unique maternity wardrobe that works just for you.