Non-Maternity Maternity

{a quest for the perfect non-maternity dresses that will work for every mama-to-be}

In honor of Mother’s Day, and because I’m expecting a little babe this fall, we thought we’d do our second post of all time dedicated specifically to our mamas-to-be (the great thing about this post is that it works for non-preggos, too – keep reading!).

While pregnancy clothes are admittedly better than they used to be (my own mom has some horror stories about the tents that used to double as maternity clothes back in the 80s), let’s just say that it’s not particularly easy to be a fashion icon while pregnant (unless you’re Heidi Klum and your maternity clothes are custom made).

With my first pregnancy, I bit the bullet and bought the best I could find of Asos and H&M and various other brands that do decent maternity clothes.  This time, however, I decided to try something a little bit different.

Inspired by Kate Middleton’s pregnancy wardrobe, which, if you do some digging, is not a pregnancy wardrobe at all, I started to look for chic shift dresses that I could buy in a few sizes up to accommodate my bump while still looking office appropriate (and not totally out of the fashion loop).  It actually works (at least until month 7 – after that you’re on your own!).

Here are some ideas:

Etro makes amazing shift and tunic dresses that are perfect for your maternity style.  This tunic dress, for example, is loose-fitting and would accommodate a 4-5 month bump nicely.  Style this with a blazer and a silk scarf for a maternity chic office look.


I adore this Etro maxi dress, too, and can’t think of a more beautiful thing to wear in your 5th to 7th month.  Pair it with a cropped, structured jacket and a pair of comfortable pumps for a look that is both maternity and non-maternity enviable.


Rachel Pally makes some of our favorite, classic-but-comfy dresses, including jersey dresses and dresses for plus size women.  Thus, in addition to her very respectable line of maternity clothes, her non-maternity pieces are perfect for office maternity wear, too.

This red loose-fitting jersey number, for example, is gorgeous in its own right, and is comfy yet designed enough to be office appropriate.  Throw on a black blazer and some black flats and you’re good to go.

red rachel pally

You also can’t go wrong with her black signature kaftan dress.  The tie sits just above your bump and the length of the dress ensures that it is office appropriate throughout the duration of your pregnancy.  A long tank (like this layering tank from Target)  is 100% required to make the deep V office appropriate.

Black long dress

Finally, the Gap always has a collection of great shifts that can be purchased in a size or two up for an ideal non-maternity maternity office look.

This floral chambray shift dress is our maternity favorite at the moment.  It has a nice structured look (something most proper maternity clothes lack), but there is enough give that it will flatter any bump.

floral shift dress

Tips for accomplishing this look:

First, determine your typical size in a particular brand (so you have a reference point as to whether the brand runs large, small, etc.).  Using this as a baseline, determine your adjusted maternity bust and waist line.  Typically, I’ve found that one to two sizes up will reasonably accommodate a small to mid-sized bump, without being too large elsewhere.

Avoid any dresses with a waist-line drawstring, as these get a little awkward as soon as you have a respectable bump (i.e., Where to tie?  Above the belly?  Below?  It doesn’t really work.).

While wearing non-maternity while pregnant works well for dresses, I’ve not had similar luck with skirts and pants.  In those cases, maternity wear will have to do.

What do you think, mamas?  Has this trick worked for you?  Let us know in the comments below!

yours truly,
HOM mama


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