My Essentials For Building A Maternity Wardrobe


Pregnancy is wild. No matter what people to tell you about pregnancy, it’s really hard to be prepared for it! For me, it was a roller coaster ride. One day, I’m at my happiest as I feel my baby kick for the first time. The next day, I’m getting acid reflux for the first time. Through the ups and downs, getting dressed in outfits I loved helped me maintain routine and feel normal. Clothes raised my vibe on the harder days of my pregnancy!

I found out I was pregnant in January 2022. My body changed quickly. By the end of the first trimester, I had a hard time fitting into my regular clothes. Based on my experience, I put together this maternity wardrobe. It sticks to the pieces that were the most helpful to me. In hindsight, I’m glad I took time to curate my maternity capsule. My maternity clothes pampered and supported me throughout the highs and lows of my pregnancy.

Maternity Clothes Essentials: Bumpin’ and Stylin’

It was warm during my pregnancy. I gave birth in September which means I spent my last trimester sweating under the California sun. I lived in cotton dresses and other airy clothes. Since we’re transitioning to fall right now I’ve included cozy sweaters and outerwear to this capsule. If I were to have a fall + winter pregnancy these are pieces that I would wear.

My three top picks include a long-sleeve tee, supportive sneakers and maternity overalls. These are pieces that I lived in. During my pregnancy, I tried to wear 100% cotton as often as possible. I wanted to pamper my skin with the best materials. I wore a lot of neutrals since I wanted my maternity specific clothes to be repeatable.

I put together this maternity wardrobe of pregnancy clothes essentials + includes a few faves you can wear postpartum, too.

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Start With: A Maternity Dress That Works For Every Trimester

This Quince Tencel Ribbed Maternity Dress is repeatable, cute + comfy. I lived in dresses during my pregnancy. The simplicity of wearing one piece of clothing was so inviting. Wearing a dress I had carefully selected for myself always made me feel put together.

Maternity Dresses I’m Loving

ADD: One L.L. Bean Cable Knit Sweater

This L.L. Bean Cotton Funnelneck Sweater is super cozy and comes in a few stunning colors. I didn’t need one of these during my summer pregnancy, but if were to get pregnant again I’d go for this sweater in Indigo Heather. Since it is slightly fitted, I’d size up twice.

ALTERNATE WITH: A Drapey Oversized Sweater

The Quince Cotton Linen Oversized Crewneck Sweater is roomy and long. It runs oversized so I’d get my regular size for maternity wear. It’s an easy sweater that I’d wear with leggings or jeans. It’s made of 60% cotton and 40% linen!

A Maternity Puffer Jacket That Grows With You

I couldn’t wear regular outwear during my pregnancy. It never fit right or zipped up properly. That’s why the Ingrid & Isabel Grow With You Puffer Jacket is worth the investment. It expands!

One (GORGEOUS) Maternity Photoshoot Dress

This O’Neil midi dress was definitely the flirtiest piece of clothing in my maternity wardrobe. It is no longer available in the floral print I’m wearing, but the black and white stripes and the periwinkle are cute, too! I wore the dress to my maternity photoshoot at our favorite beach in Half Moon Bay. Putting on pretty dresses like this from time to time always made me feel my best.

More Off-The-Shoulder Maternity Photoshoot Dresses

Maternity Overalls Are Surprisingly Perfect

I love my Gap Maternity overalls.

I love my Gap Maternity overalls. I wore them through every trimester. They’re available in a few denim washes — the medium wash is my favorite. Another option are Hatch Maternity overalls. They are consciously made and very cute. (They are a splurge though!)

Invest In One HATCH Long Sleeve Tee

The Hatch Collection Maternity Long Sleeve Tee is classic and repeatable. It grows with you. It’s worth the Hatch price tag because the quality is incredible. I’m still wearing it postpartum and it looks and feels amazing.

More Long-Sleeve Tops I’m Loving

Don’t Buy Maternity Tees

If you need a basic tee, here's the Madewell Softfade Cotton Oversized Tee.

I bought maternity tees from Gap for my pregnancy wardrobe, but found that I didn’t need them. Instead, regular crewnecks and v-necks had room for my growing belly. If you need a basic tee, the Madewell Softfade Cotton Oversized Tee would be a great choice. (Just size up a little.)

More Tees & Tanks

The Best Maternity Jeans: Hatch Under-The-Bump Maternity Jeans

I spent most of those nine months in athleisure, loungewear, and dresses. Once in a while, I put on these Hatch Under the Bump Boyfriend Jeans and they made me feel like myself. I like that they’re distressed and that I can cuff them at the bottom.

Try Elastic-Waist Skirts

During pregnancy, I wore my elastic waist linen skirt with a white tee. It was good for days when I wanted to feel comfortable and dressy! I’m loving this Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Skirt. It is stretchy and long. The skirt is a pop of color!

More Pull-On Skirts

My Favorite Maternity Leggings Were…Lululemon (NOT Maternity)

There’s a trail by a creek next to our apartment building. My lululemon Align Ribbed High-Rise leggings were perfect for daily walks on the trail during my pregnancy. They stretched so easily over my bump during the second and third trimesters. I still wear them now. They are buttery soft, provide a lot of security and are really comfortable. I lived in these during my pregnancy.

More High Waist Leggings

A Sleep Shirt

The Eberjey Gisele TENCEL Modal Sleepshirt is my favorite night dress. Perfect for a pregnant belly.

I grew out of my favorite pajamas during the first trimester. So, I started wearing night dresses. To date, the Eberjey Gisele TENCEL Modal Sleepshirt is my favorite night dress. It’s incredibly soft and airy. (Here’s a less splurgey Nordstrom dupe.) Night dresses are easy to wear. I also wore the Gap Maternity Modal Sleep Dress throughout my pregnancy.

High-Waisted Underwear That’s Actually Cute

 If you love the security of high-waisted panties but don’t want to be stuck wearing lingerie that’s boring, check out the Negative Whipped Boxer!

High-waisted underwear had room for my growing belly. If you love the security of high-waisted panties but don’t want to be stuck wearing lingerie that’s boring, check out the Negative Whipped Boxer! It is consciously made out of the softest materials.

More High-Waisted Underwear I’m Loving

Comfy Bras for Everyday Wear & Low-Impact Exercise

The first thing that changed during my pregnancy was my cup size.

The first thing that changed during my pregnancy was my cup size. I am busty and I grew a cup size during the first trimester.  I ended up getting bras without underwire for everyday wear. During the second and third trimesters, I walked on the trail by my house almost every day. I also did yoga. The Vuori Daily Bra made me feel secure whenever I was exercising.

My Favorite Maternity Bras

Bras For Sleeping

Once my cup size grew to a DD I couldn’t fall asleep without a bra on. The Kindred Bravely nursing bra is super comfy and easy to wear. It is so easy to slip on and was my go-to bra for lounging and sleep. (I continued using this postpartum!)

More Bras to Fall Asleep In

Best Shoes For All 9 Months: Supportive Sneakers

The Hoka Bondi 8 Running Shoe will support your achy feet while pregnant & motivate you to take that walk.

The Hoka Bondi 8 Running Shoe will support your achy feet while you’re pregnant and motivate you to take that walk. I usually pick sneakers based on aesthetics over form and structure. My partner convinced me to buy a pair of Hokas. He said wearing them would feel like walking on clouds and he was right. My pregnancy feet were swollen and achy. These sneakers gave me the support and comfort I needed.

Eventually…You Will Need Slip-Ons

At some point, I could not bend down to tie my laces anymore. So, I started wearing easy slip-ons. These UGG Luciah Knit slip-on shoes look perfect for trips to the grocery store and the doctor during the third trimester. 

Body Oils

I used this Aesop Breathless Body Oil for how luxurious it feels -- the jury is still out on if body oil prevents stretch marks.

The jury is out about whether or not body oils can prevent stretch marks. What I know for sure is that skin needs pampering as it stretches during pregnancy. The Aesop Breathless Body Oil is luxurious. Bio-oil is a more economical body oil that I used as well.

More Luxurious Body Oils

A Scent for Your Pregnancy

I exclusively used Honey by Ellis Brooklyn during my pregnancy. It was my fave pregnancy-safe perfume.

I exclusively used Honey by Ellis Brooklyn during my pregnancy. During my first trimester, I went to Sephora to look for a “pregnancy-safe” perfume. While it’s difficult to define what is and isn’t pregnancy-safe, I noticed that Ellis Brooklyn was founded by a mom who cares about the ingredients in her products. She founded the brand when she was pregnant. At the moment I’m obsessed with Salt by Ellis Brooklyn, it is super fresh!

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My maternity clothes and other essentials helped me feel confident in my growing and changing body. I hope they make you feel the same way!


Mohini S. Pollock

Oh hey, pinners…

This maternity capsule wardrobe of essential pregnancy clothes (dresses bras, leggings, sneakers & more) includes faves you'll want to wear postpartum, too.

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