Maternity Wear Must Haves

“ducka ducka”

Of the last 24 months, I’ve been pregnant for about 17 of them.

I love being pregnant. My second pregnancy has been easier, and faster, than my first, but in general both pregnancies were good.

When I discovered I was pregnant last year, I couldn’t wait to get into my maternity clothes again. I was still up 10 pounds from the weight gained with David, and was just in sort of an awkward stage with my body.

So, pregnancy allowed me to “let go” of getting in shape, although not at the cost of being unhealthy, and focus on preparing my body to carry another baby.

My maternity clothes were in the attic for only a few months. And when I got them down, I was excited to go through them and pick out my favorites.

There have been a few items that withstood many months of wear, and others that I sort of regret buying.


one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven

When I was pregnant with David, I bought a lot of side rouched maternity tops. I tried to avoid that this time around in an effort to look for things that I can wear post-pregnancy as well.

The jeans I wore most, during both pregnancies, were from Loft maternity. I bought (while on sale) J.Crew maternity jeans with high, high hopes that they would be perfection but I found it annoying to constantly be pulling them up. I prefer the full belly panel, perhaps because I’m a bit curvier, but I simply found the elastic side maternity jeans more annoying than anything.

I ordered, and returned, about 3-4 tops from TopShop maternity during both pregnancies. I just didn’t like the way they hung. I prefer a more fitted look on top so I don’t just look wide.

I’ve gotten so much wear out of this vest, and since it’s not maternity I’ll be wearing it for a long, long time.

I’ve mentioned these flats over on Facebook, and love how versatile and comfortable they are!

My favorite tank to wear ended up being non-maternity as well! It’s from Evereve, and not only is it a perfect length, but the stretch is amazing.

Pink Blush maternity is great for well-priced, trendy clothes. I found that I needed to dig a bit to find tops that really fit my personal style, but there’s such a huge variety on there that I’m sure anyone could find something they like!

In general, my must haves are: Loft Maternity jeans, Beloved Classic Cami, anything from GapFit Maternity, nearly anything Pink Blush Maternity, Liz Lange brand via Target, a non-maternity puffer vest

The clothes that didn’t work for me, and I found were not worth the hype, are: J.Crew Maternity Jeans, anything from TopShop Maternity, Old Navy Maternity. I tried a handful of items from Old Navy maternity and didn’t like the fit.

I know people that swear by all things TopShop maternity, or love Old Navy maternity, so it’s simply a matter of finding what fits your body the way you like it to, and what you will get the most amount of wear out of!


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Erin says · 01.02.15

I love maternity clothes that I can wear post-baby. I’m eight months post and back to pre baby number two sizes but I still wear my Gap maternity long sleeve tees because they are so soft and are long. I look forward to your posts in a few months on where to find great shirts and sweaters that are not following the current mid-drift trend. After two kids, no one wants to see my belly button when I raise my arm to wave…. Thank you Kate!

Jennifer Roth says · 01.02.15

I LOVE my Loft maternity jeans! I had bought a pair of jeans from Motherhood Maternity and they are okay, then I bit the bullet and paid for the Loft ones. They are heaven! I want to wear them all the time because they are so comfy! And the Liz Lange from Target is great too!! I’m 24 weeks pregnant and I always look forward to reading your pregnancy posts!! Can’t wait to see your new baby and how little David reacts to him/her!

Sara w says · 01.02.15

You have such a great, classic style! I just had my fourth (and last) baby a month ago and it’s funny because I like the side ruche shirts because I can wear them afterward and have them be a little fitted so I don’t look shapeless. I took your tip about the cole haan flats and bought both the glitter and patent of the maple sugar. With the additional 30% sale and $5 shipping I got both pair for less than the normal price of one, shipped! Thanks!

Kelly Rabun says · 01.02.15

I have been eyeing that vest for 2 months now. I am considering purchasing it. I have never bought anything from J.Crew Factory, so how do the clothes run? I am 18 weeks pregnant and would love it to fit for the next couple of months and look cute post-pregnancy as well.

Kenzie says · 01.06.15

I’ve also been eyeing the vests. I just ordered mine – they are on sale today!

Melissa says · 01.02.15

During my pregnancies I found the brand that fit me best was Motherhood Maternity. Other brands, the shirts and pants simply were not long enough. Shopping the clearance section and outlet store I found enough shirts, and I splurged on the jeans and some black leggings. I loooooooved the leggings! They were pretty much all I wore in the last trimester!

Bethany Cox says · 01.02.15

Just popping in to say HI! It was fun to meet you and your husband last night at the movies! I hope you enjoyed the one you watched. We loved ours.

If you ever do decide to visit Maine we would be happy to show you the best spots for Lobstah rolls!

<3 Bethany

Shauna says · 01.02.15

Love your style!! I would be very interested in hearing your suggestions for best nursing tanks/camis and/or other must have tops for nursing moms. I’m due in February and have so far only purchased one nursing tank. With my first son, I LIVED in nursing tanks for months so I know I need to stock up before baby comes. I had a whole bunch of the Target brand nursing tanks, but I didn’t really love them and ended up giving them away to a friend after I was done with them. I would love to branch out this time and try some different brands. Any suggestions???

Megan says · 01.03.15

Hey Shauna, I’ve been nursing my daughter for 13 months now, and I love the tami tank tops from Old Navy. They’re cheap and stretchy, so I just pull down the neck when I nurse. They don’t have a built-in bra, but I never liked any of the nursing tanks with the snaps.

Stephanie says · 01.02.15

I love your maternity style!! Maternity clothes are so hard to figure out. I started by investing in Gap maternity clothes and they are all still my favorites. Lots of long shirts and the most comfy leggings ever that I know I’ll still be wearing months from now. Old Navy and Target have been really hit or miss for me. I find that most stores don’t carry a big selection, which stinks because generally you have to try it on to see if it will work for your body type. Like 90% of things I’ve ordered from Gap have been spot on, so I would say that’s my favorite place to shop online! 🙂

Kim says · 01.02.15

I needed this today… got to go shopping in the next few weeks. I’m not sure how much longer I can hide in my regular clothes. Thanks Kate!

Tara says · 01.02.15

I always preferred the over the belly pants as well. My favorite were two pairs of over the belly leggings I got from target. I still wear them, as you can’t tell they’re maternity when underneath a long shirt. I always found it hard to feel attractive while pregnant, so anything that added to my flair was always very welcome. You have such great style! And I’m impressed with your ability to still do your hair and makeup so well this late in pregnancy, but also your honesty with how toned down you’ve gotten. Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer Allen says · 01.02.15

I agree, the Beloved tanks from Evereve are AMAZING!!

Kate says · 01.03.15


Sarah says · 01.02.15

I had never heard of Pink Blush before but I just ordered a couple of dresses for my baby shower later this month. Thanks for the recommendation!

Megan says · 01.03.15

I’m always a huge fan of your outfit/wardrobe related posts! Also, I did the math the other day, and when my baby is born at the end of May, I will have been pregnant for exactly half the time I’ve been married!! Yikes!

Kristin says · 01.04.15

Hi Kate!
I am 6 months along with my second baby and just discovered PinkBlush maternity. I haven’t ordered anything yet but wanted to get your opinion on how their sizing runs. Quite honestly I think we have very similar body types, although I’m probably shorter 5’2″!) But just wanted to see what sizes you usually order from there as far as tops go. I am in desperate need of new maternity clothes since I am pregnant during different seasons this time around!! Thanks so much, and I just want to throw out there how much I love your style! 🙂

lisha says · 01.04.15

Hello kate, my name is Lisha. I have been following you off and on for about a year. I have5 kids one it’s my Step daughter whos13 but the other 4 are very close my second and third daughters are only 11months apart. I definitly know how it is you feel like you have twins for the first2 years. But its still wonderful. I wish i lived there and could meet you. I’m very much into hair since i was 13. But i got married and had kids so im not licenced. I do allot of friends and family hair. We both have the same length but my hair is dark curly very thick and frizzy so you have helped me with different things. The only thing i was wondering is, i love to keep my fashion and makeup and hair looking good and stylish. But with5 kids. i can’t afford high end brands. I stay at home also, only my husband’s income. So if you could talk about more drugstore hair products and maybe a little bit more ways to do really curly hair. It takes allot of work to get it washed dryed and curled. Well thanks for listening to all that I’ve been wanting to write for a long time.
Thank you Lisha. I’m all the way from Minnesota by the way.

Heather says · 01.05.15

I wore a lot of Old Navy maternity clothes. Their jeans fit me really well. I hated everything at Motherhood Maternity though. It all felt really cheap. I didn’t buy too many mternity outfits because I didn’t start showing until really far in. I think I stretched out a lot of my regular clothes so I’ll have to go shopping right before my maternity leave is up. Oh darn.

I’m very grateful that you started doing the capsule wardrobe posts. I had never heard of it before you wrote about it. I definitely want to do that post-baby. Having a cohesive wardrobe would make me feel like I didn’t waste any money rebuilding my closet.

Tyana says · 01.05.15

these are so cute

Check me out

Tina Olsen says · 01.05.15

Good review on maternity clothes! I found that the rouched tops are THE worst for wearing post-baby, too. Next time around I don’t think I will purchase any more of those.

Genevieve says · 01.06.15

So I went ahead and bought the Cole Haan flats & J Crew vest since they were on sale. I am so glad I did!

The flats are heavenly. Available in size 11, wide in the ball & narrow in the heel. Win!

Though I am in the middle of tailoring the vest to be less boxy for my curvy figure, I just love it. I might even monogram it. Eek!

Brittany says · 01.09.15

Cole Haan flats are on sale, can’t wait for them to get here! I needed a comfy nude flat. I swear every time I read your blog I end up spending so much $$$, but I just love all of your recommendations and your overall style. 🙂

Sipilis Pada Wanita says · 01.10.15

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Jamie says · 04.09.15

Can we just shoot whoever came up with the maternity pants/jeans with the “pocket panels”?! They don’t mention that you also have to have a maternity belt to keep them up. SUPER ANNOYING.

Thanks for your post! I’m now exploring Loft Maternity, which I never knew existed. 😀

Tali says · 04.28.15

Thanks for all the wonderful must-have picks!

Check-out my maternity spring style here:

Kathleen says · 08.10.15

Thank you for the suggestions. Three out of the eleven, well they are now in my closet! I am thrilled with the Cole Haan flats and pair those with my non maternity style Bun Maternity nursing tanks and use the vest over that look. I am finishing the look with the jeans which have worked so well for me surprisingly. I’m now hooked on TopShop too! I will be checking out your next suggestions again soon. 😉

Lisa says · 11.06.15

My favorite is number one having something loose and cool is detrimental living in florida, I would like to share with you our Top 5 pregnancy must haves

eramaira maternity says · 12.12.15

The main thing is comfort and usability and i think the above blouse is perfect and seems to be comfortable in material too.

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Most of the women try to adjust with the existing clothes by unbuttoning the jeans or by buying a size bigger than the normal one. They just watch for the clothes in which they can fit well and adjust the bulging baby bump. But for how long can you adjust like this? This is possible only for first three months.

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Mary says · 12.15.16

I’m coming to this party late, but I just had baby 2 so I related to this post a lot while thinking about maternity style and what worked for me this time around compared to my first pregancy. My first was born in June so being hugely pregnant in early summer…I only wanted to wear dresses. I was also super swollen and gained 10+ more pounds than this time around. I basically lived in a couple maxi dresses and skirts. Jeans weren’t super appealing. This time around, I wore a couple dresses for nicer events but mostly wanted to live in leggings and some old navy/gap maternity pants. They were perfect for work because I could dress them up with a cardigan and scarf. & also preferred more looser fitting tops this time around than tight t shirts. 😊 I just placed my first pink blush dress for some events coming up that hopefully works with a transitioning body and nursing. Thanks for sharing! I’ll have to remember this for baby3.

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