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Holly Pevzner
Contributing Writer

How to Create a Maternity Wardrobe That’ll Last Beyond the Bump

Some of the best postpartum clothes are maternity clothes restyled. Here’s how to pick a stylish pregnancy wardrobe that’ll hold up once baby is here.

Maternity clothes have come a long way. Today’s moms-to-be can choose from tons (and tons) of high-end and everyday maternity brands, and man oh man the styles are cute. So cute, in fact, that it’s pretty hard to give up your maternity wardrobe post-pregnancy. Plus, who wants to shell out for trendy maternity clothes, only to wear them for a few months? Luckily, you don’t have to retire your newly acquired, fashion-forward pregnancy pieces once baby arrives. There are actually a lot of maternity wears that can be worn postpartum—you just need to know what to look for and how to style it. We consulted with Stitch Fix style expert Maria Dueñas Jacobs on how to put together a fashionable, uber-flexible maternity wardrobe that’ll carry you through pregnancy and beyond.

Find Flowy Maxi Dresses

Feminine dresses with lots of movement are comfy and super-forgiving—two musts for pregnancy and postpartum. “I would keep floral and geometric patterns in mind when shopping for postpartum purposes,” Dueñas Jacobs says. “These patterns work great to distract and disguise your still-swollen belly.” If the dress is too roomy for your post-bump body, cinch it with a great belt that sits flat. “Pairing it a maxi with a cropped jacket is also a great option,” Dueñas Jacobs adds.

Maternity maxi dresses to try:

Photo: Courtesy ASOS

Buy it: Mamalicious Floral Maxi Dress, $51, ASOS.com

Photo: Courtesy Rosie Pope

Rent it: Rose Pope Maeve Maternity Maxi, $30, RenttheRunway.com; or buy it: $148, RosiePope.com

Opt for Wrap Dresses

Whether you’re sporting a bump or are post-birth, the classic wrap dress is another comfy and flattering option, especially for curvy women. The tie waist cinches on the smallest portion of your torso, which gives a slimming effect. “The silhouette can easily adjust to the needs of your changing body during all stages of pregnancy and postpartum,” Dueñas Jacobs says. “Plus, it’s a great piece to wear for easy nursing.” If the top half of the dress is a little too roomy after baby—or you’re baring more cleavage than you’d like—wear a tank underneath.

Maternity wrap dresses to try:

Photo: Courtesy ASOS

Buy it: Ruffle Wrap Maxi Dress in Floral Jacquard, $72, ASOS.com

Photo: Courtesy Destination Maternity

Buy it: Flutter Sleeve Maternity Dress, $45, DestinationMaternity.com

Stock Up on Maxi Elastic-Waist Skirts

“Skirts with an elastic waistband allow you the freedom to wear it low on the hips or a bit higher, depending on your comfort level,” Dueñas Jacobs says. Because you can fold it over or scrunch it to your liking, these skirts are incredibly easy to wear—something every new mom needs.

Maternity skirts to try:

Photo: Courtesy Seraphine

Buy it: Nautical Striped Maternity Maxi Skirt, $45, Seraphine.com

Photo: Courtesy Motherhood Maternity

Buy it: Fold Over Belly Printed Maternity Skirt, $35, Motherhood.com

Play Around with Button-Down Shirts

“These tops are one of the most versatile shirts you can own throughout your pregnancy,” Dueñas Jacobs says. “Wear them buttoned-up during your first trimester and as an unbuttoned layer during your second and third trimesters—and post-pregnancy too, since layering is so slimming.” Once baby is here, wear your button-down open, or tie it, over nursing tank. “I also love an oversized maternity button-down with leggings and a long vest. So pretty,” Dueñas Jacob adds.

Maternity button-down shirts to try:

Photo: Courtesy ASOS

Buy it: Maternity Shirt in Blush Check, $40, ASOS.com

Photo: Courtesy Destination Maternity

Buy it: Luxe Essentials Denim Button Front Maternity Shirt, $78, DestinationMaternity.com

Layer with Tunics

Here’s the deal: Virtually all of your pre-pregnancy shirts will seem a bit short after baby, likely because your expanding breasts are hiking your tops up. To sidestep this issue, pull on the trusted tunic. It’s long enough cover your growing belly during pregnancy and long enough to work with your growing breasts postpartum. Pair a tunic with cozy leggings and you’re golden, Dueñas Jacobs says. To avoid the my-shirt-is-too-big look, make sure your tunic sleeves fit well; loosey-goosey sleeves are less than flattering.

Maternity tunics to try:

Photo: Courtesy Isabella Oliver

Rent it: Isabella Oliver Freida Maternity Shirt, $30 for four days, RentheRunway.com; or buy it: $149, IsabellaOliver.com

Photo: Courtesy A Pea in the Pod

Buy it: A-Line Maternity Tunic, $30, APeainthePod.com

Cozy Up in Roomy Cardigans

“I love the idea of oversized cardigans or kimono-style jackets during and after pregnancy,” Dueñas Jacobs says. “Not only do layers like these offer a slimming effect, they’re great for covering up if you don’t want to wear tight clothing all over, and they have a long shelf-life, keeping you in style for a long while.”

Maternity cardigans to try:

Photo: Courtesy Rent the Runway

Rent it: Cupcakes and Cashmere Leopard Kline Cardigan, $30 for four days, RenttheRunway.com; or buy it: $150, ShopBop.com

Photo: Courtesy Mom's the Word

Buy it: Kate Cascade 4-Way Cardigan by Alex & Harry, $84, Moms The Word

Look for Draped or Crossover Nursing Blouses

You gotta love an honest-to-goodness double-duty piece that’s actually stylish. A combo maternity/nursing top in a draped or crossover style accommodates both a belly and a baby who’s looking to breastfeed. Pair loose tops like these with slim leggings or jeans to balance your proportions and keep it all flattering.

Maternity/nursing blouses to try:

Buy it: Draped Nursing Top by Maternal America, $67, Nordstrom.com

Photo: Courtesy Seraphine

Buy it: Blue Marl Crossover Maternity & Nursing Sweater, $75, Seraphine.com

Published September 2018

Plus, more from The Bump:

Maternity Clothes 101: A Complete Buying Guide

Trendy Maternity Clothes for an On-Point Pregnancy Wardrobe

Top 12 Places to Shop for Stylish Maternity Clothes