The Best Maternity Clothes to Wear During Pregnancy

Investing in some cute and comfy maternity clothes will help you look and feel your best as your belly grows. You probably don’t need a lot … just a few basic pieces that you can throw on as your body changes during pregnancy and in the postpartum period. Whether you’re looking for affordable maternity clothes you can wear to work, stretchy basics for workouts, or something stylish for a special event, we’ve got you covered! We tallied hundreds of Pampers Parents votes and can now reveal the best maternity clothing for a wide range of occasions.

When to Start Wearing Maternity Clothes

As your bump grows, you may find it’s getting harder and harder to find something to wear that covers your bump and feels comfy. This is when you should consider adding some maternity clothes to your wardrobe. There are lots of affordable options out there, whether new or secondhand, and you may have friends and family members who would be happy to lend items. Naturally, you can start wearing your maternity clothes any time you want. Many moms-to-be begin in the second trimester, as this is when the bump starts to become more prominent. Depending on the size of your belly and how your existing clothes fit, you may even be able to push this out to the third trimester. Many maternity clothes are designed with stretch, so it can grow with your bump. Some moms even continue to wear their maternity clothes in the postpartum period because it can take some time to get closer to your pre-pregnancy shape.

Maternity Clothing Sizes

Choosing the size of maternity clothing to buy can be tricky, as each manufacturer has its own sizing guidelines, and the fit you want is also unique to you. We recommend looking carefully at the sizing chart before buying. In some cases, it may be worth going up a size to accommodate your growing bump. Our list of Pampers Parents favorites are typically available in sizes S to XL, so if you are looking for plus size maternity clothes, you might be in luck with some of the bigger sizes. P.S.: If your bump hasn’t started showing yet, and you’re here doing some early browsing for when the time comes, check out our article on when you might start showing.

What to Look for When Choosing Maternity Clothes

When it comes to choosing the best maternity clothes, Pampers Parents recommend considering the following:

  • Style. The first thing to think about is where and for what you will be wearing the pieces. Pampers Parents’ list of the best maternity clothing includes everything from casual leggings, which are ideal for workouts or hanging out at home, to tops and dresses that are stylish enough for work or special events. We’ve also reviewed a great pair of jeans that you can dress up or down as needed.

  • Size and stretch. Choosing the right size when shopping online can be tricky, which is why it’s so important to take your measurements and check out what the manufacturer’s sizing chart recommends. Keep in mind that your bump and breasts will grow as the weeks progress, so think about going up a size. The good news is that all the pieces on our list have some stretch, so the item can grow with your bump.

  • Stretchy waistbands (but not too stretchy). You want the waistbands of any leggings or jeans you buy to be stretchy, but not so stretchy that they will slip down. Some Pampers Parents also noted that you also don’t want the waistband to be too tight or compressive as this might start to feel uncomfortable quite quickly.

  • Comfort and softness. Pampers Parents also mentioned comfortable fabrics as important, so going for items made of a soft, breathable material like cotton or stretchy elastane could be a good idea. Pretty much all pieces of maternity clothing have some stretch in them, especially around the belly area.

  • Color and pattern. When possible, choose maternity wear that reflects your personal style. If you like bright, loud patterns, go for those; if you prefer tonal colors or simple white and black then stick with those options. There are no rules! It’s all about what you feel good in. Remember, though, when it comes to maternity wear, lighter colors can sometimes become a little see-through as the fabric stretches over your bump. Finally, when choosing a color, think about how easily you’ll be able to mix and match the new item with the existing things in your wardrobe, like cardigans, coats, and shoes.

  • Easy to wash. Your maternity wardrobe may not be as big as your normal wardrobe, so you’ll be re-wearing the same items again and again. This is great — you’ll be getting lots of wear out of each piece! The flipside is that you’ll be washing each piece regularly in order to re-wear it again soon. Unfortunately, not all pieces of maternity wear are machine washable, and some require gentle machine washing or hand washing. Check out what the manufacturer says on the care label so you know what you’re getting yourself into before you make a purchase.

  • Durability. Given heavy use and frequent washing, durable pieces that stand up to wear and tear over a relatively short period of time are your best bets. You may want your maternity clothes to last even during the postpartum period and perhaps even during a future pregnancy.

The Best Maternity Clothes

You have lots of options when it comes to maternity clothes, but what do Pampers Parents recommend as your best bet for different occasions? Take a look at the list below for their favorite maternity leggings, jeans, tops, and dresses.

1. Maternity Leggings

Why pick this one? No surprise that a pair of comfy leggings has been voted as the number one piece of maternity clothing by Pampers Parents! The fabric of this pair features four-way stretch and offers some support without being overly tight around the tummy. Some Pampers Parents said they found these more comfortable than maternity jeans. Many Pampers Parents recommend leggings as a maternity wardrobe staple, and some even said buying a few pairs is a good idea. For example, you might like one for chilling at home or running errands, and another for when you do prenatal yoga or another type of workout. As one Pampers Parent put it: “Every pregnant woman needs a pair of maternity leggings!” So if you’re looking for a pair, then consider grabbing these! Made of nylon and spandex, these leggings have a denser weave, and according to the manufacturer are breathable and lightweight while not being see-through. The wide waistband helps prevent them from rolling down. Sizes run from S to XL, suiting a waist circumference of 26 to 34 inches. Check the manufacturer’s sizing chart to pick the right size for you. If you’re on the shorter side, you may find that these leggings are too long and that the fabric bunches at the ankles.

Price*: about $17.99 on

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

2. Motherhood Maternity Scoop Neck Cami

Why pick this one? This simple camisole was voted as the second best piece of maternity clothing by Pampers Parents. It's available in black, navy, cream, and a few other shades, and you might like to purchase a few different colors. This is a basic maternity staple that you can do a lot with. You could wear it on its own in the warmer months, throw on a cardigan or blazer in fall and spring, or use it as a base layer under a sweatshirt and coat in winter. It’s 95 percent cotton, making it breathable, with the 5 percent spandex adding a little stretch. You’ll likely love its length, as it’s unlikely that this cami will ride up. Two things to keep in mind: It doesn’t come with a built-in bra (you might like to wear it with a nursing bra for added support), and there is no clip at the strap, so it won’t really work as a nursing top during the postpartum period.

Price*: about $7.48 on

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

3. Baby Bump Sleeveless Dress

Why pick this one? If you enjoy wearing dresses, then look no further than this sleeveless midi number.

With ruched sides and a rounded neck, this simple dress could be worn for work, special events, or weekend get-togethers with family and friends. The figure-hugging style lets you show off your beautiful bump, while also offering some coverage with its length. This could actually be the perfect dress to wear for your month-by-month baby bump progress photos — you could even download our bump to baby milestone cards to use for the photo shoot. Made of cotton and a little spandex, it’s breathable while also providing a little stretch. According to Pampers Parents, the length can be a bit hit and miss. As one survey respondent said: “Sometimes the midi length can hit at a weird spot on the calf, depending on the woman’s height.” Color-wise, you have lots of options, including royal blue, dark green, stripey gray, and sage. When choosing a color, know that both the manufacturer and some Pampers Parents said some of the lighter colors are a little see-through. The manufacturer recommends wearing a slip underneath to prevent this, but if it’s warm and you don’t want to wear an extra layer it may be better to go for a darker color. Sizes range from S to XL, and the manufacturer provides a neat sizing chart that uses your height, weight, and week of pregnancy to recommend a size. The great thing about this dress is its versatility. It can work for weekend picnics when layered with a denim jacket or lunch with family or friends when paired with a cardigan. It can even be worn to the office when coupled with a nice blazer.

Price*: about $18.99 on

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

4. Ecavus Off Shoulder Maternity Dress

Why pick this one? If you're dressing for a formal occasion, such as a wedding, or if you’d like something spectacular for a maternity photo shoot, look no further than this floor length dress by Ecavus. With long sleeves and a V-neck, the dress can be worn on the shoulders or off. Wearing it on the shoulders offers you a little more coverage, whereas wearing it pulled down creates a more stunning look. You’ll definitely find the color you’re looking for, as it comes in jewel tones like blue, purple, burgundy, and green, as well as three different shades of pink, and basic options like black and white. One downside is that there are only block colors in the range, so if you prefer patterns then this dress may not be for you. The fabric is a mix of rayon and spandex, so you get some stretch in this figure-hugging design. Consider adding a belt or a sash for even more of a wow factor!

Price*: about $36.99 on

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

5. Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. Slim Boyfriend Maternity Jeans

Why pick this one? If you’re looking for a pair of maternity jeans, consider these slim fit boyfriend jeans. These Levi’s come with supportive fabric for your bump, and a double rolled leg cuff. You have two color options: a light blue wash and a dark blue-gray version. The jeans are made primarily of cotton, with some added elastane for stretch. One thing to keep in mind is that these jeans are labeled hand wash only. If more casual attire is acceptable at your workplace, you could head to the office wearing these along with a stylish maternity top for an effortless outfit that goes from work to weekends easily. Or you can dress them down or up with sneakers, sandals, or even heels.

Price*: about $22.49 on

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

6. Maternity Hoodie

Why pick this one? Coming in at the sixth spot is this thin hoodie. It has pockets, a V- neck, and a drawstring close. This hoodie pairs well with maternity leggings and maternity jeans (such as those on our list), and can be worn for workouts, at home, or even to work if your office has a more casual dress code. It comes in many colors, including yellow, khaki, and blue as well as a stripey gray and a fun tie-dye version. It's made of cotton for breathability with a little spandex for stretch, and its ample length means you don’t need to worry about it riding up. Hand washing or machine washing on a gentle cycle is recommended, so it requires a little more care than some other sweatshirts.

Price*: about $18.99 on

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

The Bottom Line

You have a lot going on with your pregnancy and with preparing for your baby’s arrival, so you don’t want deciding what to wear each day to be a hassle. By having some basic maternity clothes in your wardrobe, you can easily mix and match with what you already have, and dress each piece up or down based on where you’re going. Comfort is the key when you’re deciding what to buy, but you also want to feel good in what you’re wearing. Have some fun as you shop for maternity clothes in colors and styles that match your personality and suit your lifestyle.

Recall Notice

Before buying a product, always check that it’s approved and hasn’t been recalled on sites like the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). *Prices are correct at the time of writing.