19 Maternity Basics That Will Transform Your Whole Closet

Stay comfy and chic year round with these must-haves.
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profile picture of Allaya Cooks-Campbell
September 1, 2022
three pregnant women showing off their maternity style
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When I was expecting my kids, I had three issues when it came to picking out maternity clothes. The first was finding something comfortable and belly-friendly. The second was finding something I actually wanted to wear. And the third? Buying items that wouldn’t immediately get tossed once I wasn’t pregnant anymore. If you’re putting together your maternity wardrobe and don’t want to try on every pair of over-the-belly jeans in town, you can’t go wrong with Zulily’s Welcome Baby Shop (bonus: you’ll get 15 percent off your first purchase!). You’ll find a constantly rotating variety of maternity basics, work-appropriate gear and comfortable loungewear, with affordable deals for every budget. Get your “add to cart” finger ready, and start scrolling to check out must-have maternity basics for any season or style.

In this article:

Maternity Tees and Tanks

There are a couple of reasons to stock up on basic tees and tanks while you’re pregnant. For one, they’re super comfortable, even if you decide to fire your bra. Two, you’ll get use out of them no matter the season, especially if you mix and match with items already in your wardrobe like jackets, blazers or cardigans. But maternity tanks, in particular, are a must-have postpartum, too. The basic design of a tank makes them very nursing-friendly, and the extra wiggle room around the belly will be much appreciated for at least the first few months.

1. Mother Bee Maternity Maternity V-Neck Tee

Every wardrobe needs a good basic tee, and these are the cornerstone of your maternity wardrobe. In basic black, white and a gorgeous royal blue, these tops mix and match with any color or style. Bonus: The cut of this shirt will be flattering through all stages of pregnancy and postpartum.

Buy it: $13;

2. Leading Lady Lace-Back Cotton Maternity/Nursing Tank

You probably already have a black tank in your wardrobe—but I’m willing to bet you don’t have one as cute and versatile as this. The lace back is so stylish, you could wear the tank on its own (okay, okay, with pants) and still look pulled together. Since it’s a nursing cami, it has added support. When it starts getting chilly, pair this with a cardigan.

Buy it: $22;

3. Times 2 White Ruched-Side Maternity Tank Set

The tank alone in this set is worth the price of admission—wider straps are a must if you need to hide bra straps. But the fact that this comes with leggings and a tee? Oh, mama. Every part of this three-piece set is both useful and versatile. Running from drop off to coffee to yoga and a Zoom meeting? Your transition will be as seamless as your leggings (that is, nearly).

Buy it: $30;

Maternity Tops

Maternity tops are a secret weapon in your pregnancy wardrobe arsenal. No matter where you’re going, the right top can take you from work to weekend. You can change the look of these closet staples with a nearly endless combination of accessories, and these picks will earn a place in your wardrobe well past the third trimester. Pro tip: A cute maternity top will hide that rubber band you’re using to get one more month out of your pre-baby jeans.

4. Times 2 Cinched-Front Maternity Scoop-Neck Top

The highlight of this top is the cute under-belly cinch detail. This top transitions easily from warmer weather to being perfect for layering up as the seasons change. And if you rock leggings almost full-time like I do, this top would be the perfect pairing for an effortless chic look.

Buy it: $15;

5. Times 2 Heather-Gray & White Maternity Scoop-Neck Top

The horizontal stripes in this casual top will pull the focus in any outfit. The neutral heather gray and white are an easy complement to either muted or bright colors. I like the subtle nautical vibe, too. Lean into that with a navy-blue cardigan in the fall, or pop it on with shorts in the summer.

Buy it: from $17;

6. Times 2 Ruffle-Accent Maternity Off-Shoulder Top

You know that off-the-shoulder, pastel look everyone had going in their maternity shoots for a while? This top gives that ethereal elegance but in a ready-to-wear way. With cascading necklaces and a fitted skirt, this tee could be easily dressed up for work or a pre-baby night out.

Buy it: $15;

Maternity Bottoms

At some point, you’re gonna need maternity pants—and let’s be honest, it’s the trickiest part of dressing your bump. While they might be the last addition to your wardrobe, they’ll be the first thing you reach for during the third trimester (and well into the fourth). A few well-chosen pairs will have you looking put together and feeling comfortable until your due date.

7. Times 2 Black Maternity Over-Belly Maternity Leggings Set

If you only bought one thing on this list, make it this basic black set, including two pairs of leggings, a tank and a tee. Black is a fashion staple for a reason, and these four pieces are versatile enough that you could even wear them with non-maternity items.

Buy it: $40 for four-piece set;

8. Times 2 Medium Blue Over-Belly Maternity Skinny Jeans

These are the maternity jeans I wish I’d had when I was pregnant. I really wanted to find something that looked like my go-to skinny jeans without giving me a saggy butt—a tall order in the world of maternity wear. The silhouette of these jeans means you can pull off a polished blazer-and-denim combo or just toss on a T-shirt for everyday errands.

Buy it: $22;

9. Hello Miz Maternity Teal Maternity Joggers

If you didn’t know these were maternity joggers, you’d never be able to spot it. Great for lounging, running errands or baby and me yoga, you’ll want to wear these long after you’ve had your little one. The soft teal color makes these a stylish stretchy standout.

Buy it: $29;

10. Times 2 Over-Belly Maternity Active Shorts Set

I love active shorts. In the last couple of years, I’ve realized that these are a secret weapon in your closet. Paired with a T-shirt and sports bra, they’re an easy workout option that won’t leave you feeling sweaty. They’re comfortable enough to lounge in at home, and the profile makes them perfect to slip under a skirt, so you don’t have to worry about putting on a show.

Buy it: $15 for two;

Maternity Dresses

Dresses are—hands down—the most versatile staple in your maternity wardrobe. During pregnancy, there’ll be more days than not you’ll have to wear clothes when you just won’t feel like it. The right dresses are easy, stylish and comfortable (and one of them even has pockets).

11. Hello Miz Maternity Mélange Maternity Cowl-Neck Dress

As easy to throw on as it is flattering, this dress is a must-have for all seasons and situations. If you’re excited to start shopping for your pregnancy wardrobe (or want a gift for a friend who’s expecting), you’d be hard-pressed to find a more versatile or buttery-soft pick than this one.

Buy it: $27;

12. Mother Bee Maternity Dark-Teal Wrap Dress

I’m never, ever mad about a wrap dress. They’re cute, they work for literally every occasion, and they look good on everybody. I mean, if you think about it, they’re the sexy, fashionable cousin of the robe. This dark-teal dress is machine-washable and has a belt that you can tie just over your belly to show off your bump.

Buy it: $25;

13. Times 2 Maternity Bodycon Dress

Full disclosure: My youngest is almost 3, and I just gave away my maternity bodycon dress. With belly ruching, a bodycon maternity dress isn’t just a wardrobe staple—it could honestly be half the wardrobe. I wore my bodycon to work, anniversary dinner with my husband, birthday parties, an interview and basically any time I wanted to feel confident and classy. A bodycon dress just works, especially when you’ve got your new mama curves to flaunt.

Buy it: $15;

14. Mother Bee Maternity Open-Shoulder Maternity Dress

Maxi dresses are my go-to because they always, always look awesome, they’re light and breezy, and they don’t get in the way when you have to pee for the 82nd time. This dress is both casual and dressy, so how you style is up to you. Pile on lots of delicate, layered necklaces if you want to serve goddess vibes, or go with strappy sandals and an oversize bag for a beachy, chill look.

Buy it: $19;

15. Luvmabelly Navy & White Stripe Nursing Popover Dress

One thing that frustrated me about maternity clothes is that many of them were pretty much useless for nursing. This cleverly designed popover dress is made with both pregnancy and nursing in mind. I really love the silhouette, which flatters growing bellies in a subtle way. It’s dresses like this that have me poking through the maternity section long after I’ve sent my ovaries on sabbatical.

Buy it: $20;

Maternity Layering

Arguably, the easiest way to change up an outfit is with accessories and outerwear. A good assortment of cardigans, sweaters and sweatshirts make it easy to create a whole new look with the same staples. No matter what season you’re pregnant in (and mathematically, it’ll be at least three of them) adding a few layering basics will give your wardrobe new life year round.

16. Planet Motherhood Single-Button Nursing Wrap Cardigan

Buy cardigans. Just…buy cardigans. They’re cute, flattering, cozy, and because of how they’re cut, they’ll fit pre-, during, and post-pregnancy—making them a great investment for your wardrobe. This one has a button at the shoulder, so it doubles as a nursing cover. Whether worn open or buttoned, its cool asymmetrical vibe works equally well with jeans, leggings or a skirt.

Buy it: $20;

17. Luvmabelly Baby Sling Maternity/Nursing Sweatshirt

Somebody knew what they were doing when they designed this multifunctional sweatshirt. I had to give up most of my pullovers while nursing, but this top uses invisible zippers to provide nursing and pumping access. Even more remarkably, it has a built-in baby sling. How cool is that? Don’t even worry about what you’d wear this with. This is all you need now.

Buy it: $35;

Maternity Bras

Whether this is your first pregnancy or your tenth, you’ve probably realized that your boobs are just gonna do their own thing, and it’s your job to keep up. Don’t forget to get the right pregnancy and postpartum undergarments. They’ll make all the difference in your comfort. And during pregnancy, that’s not something to take lightly.

18. Luvmabelly Lace-Trim Nursing Sports Bra

Whether you’re nursing or not, foregoing the underwire is a good idea (it can lead to clogged ducts and a lot of pain). While your body is figuring out what the heck just happened in those first few days after childbirth, you’ll appreciate the gentle support (in all possible ways). In my experience, I lived in nursing bras after giving birth—because, frankly, I needed something to shove the disposable milk pads and soothies into. Give yourself the gift of time between loads of laundry and get about 10 of these.

Buy it: $13;

19. Leading Lady Dreamy Comfort Maternity/Nursing T-Shirt Bra

Underwire bras like these give added support for your chest while maximizing comfort. Because of their two-in-one design, these bras will come in handy for easy nursing and pumping postpartum. As an added bonus, the T-shirt style slips smoothly under any top.

Buy it: $11;

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