Dressing for a constantly changing body can be challenging; not just in terms of practicality but also emotionally. When I first started looking for maternity clothes, I was seriously disappointed at the lack of stylish options out there. If there's one thing I don't want to already feel while rapidly gaining weight, it's feeling both large and frumpy. Having a maternity capsule I love has been key for me in feeling more like my normal self while my body is constantly changing, a physical reminder of the enormous life change on the horizon.
A few things I've learned:
1. On fit: I like certain types of clothes depending on my size and the day, so it's nice to have a range of options. When I want to enhance the bump, I'll choose tight knits and form fitting pieces. On days that I feel too large and want to down-play my shape, I'll go for longer and looser items. And my overall theme for maternity dressing: when in doubt, choose black. It makes me feel both more stylish and slimmer than I actually am, two things that are hard to come by in pregnancy.
2. On jeans: If you only get one new maternity piece, go for the nice jeans. I didn't find a pair I truly loved until I was in my third trimester, but once I did, I realized just how much of a game changer they really were. (A note on wearing the over the bump panel: each style is different; some I felt like were too tight and some were too loose, so I would often wear it folded it down similar to fold-over leggings. Some of my friends love the over the bump panel and wear the panels all the way up, so you just have to experiment and find what works best for you.)
3. On amount: You don't need much, and it's likely you'll be able to make most of your non-maternity tops work for the majority of your pregnancy (or even just shop non-maternity and size up for a greater selection). My goal for this wardrobe was not to be as minimal as possible like my other capsules, but to showcase a variety of outfits, brands, and styles. I don't think you need nearly as many pieces as are highlighted here but it was so fun for me to pull it together and I hope it's encouraging and sparks creativity in your own maternity wardrobe search.
THE PIECES: (non-maternity items are marked NM, and if the item is specifically designed with zippers for easy nursing it's marked "nursing friendly")
TOPS: Sundry Striped Tank (NM), Everlane Ryan Tank (NM), Queen Bee Tank, GG Tank (NM), White Everlane Tee (NM), Bae The Label Black Tee, Loyal Hana Buffalo Check Shirt (nursing friendly), Kinwolfe Tunic (nursing friendly), Chambray (NM, similar), Imanimo Sweatshirt, Bae the Label Sweater, A Pea in the Pod Striped Tunic, Ripe Tube Tee in Black (FAVORITE) Ripe Tube Tee in White, Seraphine Sweater (nursing friendly).
TOPS & DRESSES: Madewell Denim Jacket (NM), Gray Monroe Vest (NM), Imanimo Chambray Tank (sold out, similar), Seamly Summer Wrap (NM), Seamly Wrap Cardigan (NM), Denim Vest (NM, similar), Ripe Cocoon Dress (FAVORITE), Seraphine Grey Maxi, Label by Legoe Tank Dress, Sundry Ombre Dress (NM), Pink Blush Maxi, Rachel Pally Anya Dress, Queen Bee Tank Dress (nursing friendly), Label by Legoe Tee Dress, Poppyseed & Co Dress.
SKIRTS/JEANS/ETC: H&M skirt (NM), Queen Bee Grey Skirt, AG denim skirt, Paige Shorts (similar), Loyal Hana Romper (nursing friendly), Belabumbum Romper (nursing friendly), Brass Fit and Flare Dress (NM), Belabumbum Robe, Faux Leather Jacket (NM, similar), Preggo Leggings, Preggo Faux Leather Leggings, Seraphine White Jeans, AG The Legging Jean, AG Distressed Jean (FAVORITE), Seraphine Gerie Jeans.
ACTIVE & ACCESSORIES: A Pea in the Pod Leggings, Queen Bee Crops, Belabumbum Crops, Cadenshea Sweatshirt (nursing friendly), Cadenshea Active Tank (nursing friendly, runs small, size up), Belabumbum Active Tank (nursing friendly) Baleen Gold Tab Necklace, Baleen Cuff, Baleen V-Sling Necklace, Lotta Gold Peep Toe Clogs, Black T-Strap Clogs, Tan Open Toe Clogs, Sseko Black D'Orsay Flats, Caramel Ballet Flats, Gray Monroe Lace Up Flats, PacaPod Diaper Bag, Madewell Transport Tote, Madewell Buffalo Check Scarf.
Not pictured but helpful to have: a belly band for fitting into non-maternity jeans (similar), a fitted slip for under dresses (Imanimo, sold out, similar), Belabumbum nursing gown (here) nursing bras by cake maternity (here and here), Cadenshae nursing sports bra (here, runs small, size up), nursing tank tops (similar), swimsuit (I wore a non-maternity suit in two sizes larger, similar).
Ripe Long Sleeve + AG Distressed Jeans + Sseko Caramel Flats. My uniform. I wear this outfit more than anything else. Great basics and I love the fit.
Ripe Cocoon Dress + Lotta Clogs + Baleen V-Sling Necklace. Another favorite, super flattering and versatile, and can be adapted for a variety of seasons.
Sundry Ombre Dress + Lotta Clogs + Denim Vest. Love this dress! Non-maternity, but it works perfectly for pregnancy with the design and stretchy fabric. The ombre color is amazing, and it's made ethically in LA which is the cherry on top.
Label by Legoe Freddie Dress + Lotta Clogs. Label by Legoe is an awesome casual maternity brand based in Australia. I wore this dress a lot as a swimsuit cover up on our babymoon.
Label by Legoe Dress (now fitting as a shirt!) + Preggo Leggings. Comfortable, casual wear, perfect for weekends.
Queen Bee dress + Madewell jacket + PacaPod bag. Perfect outfit for everything from running errands to date night. Read more about this purse in this post here.
Queen Bee Dress + Chambray tied. I love this trick for maternity wear: tying a button up shirt high to enhance the bump. It's also an easy way to make a summer dress work during cooler months.
Similar look here, wearing Queen Bee skirt (worn high) + Imanimo Chambray Tank + Sseko Flats. I love that this looks gives the illusion of a dress. The shirt-tied-over-a-dress/skirt trick is such a great way to emphasize the belly.
Poppyseed & Co Zippered Dress + Lotta Clogs + Baleen Bangle. Locally made, a genius design with inverted zippers, and soon to be available for retail.
Brass Dress. I wore this little number to a wedding recently and loved it. Stretchy fabric and very comfortable. Excited to wear it post-pregnancy as well.
Seraphine Maxi + Madewell Jacket. This dress is another favorite that can work in all seasons with layers. The jacket is from Madewell's spring collection, non-maternity and timeless.
Belabumbum Romper + Lotta Clogs + Baleen Necklace + Denim Vest. This romper is super stretchy and so comfortable, and can easily be dressed up or down.
Loyal Hana Romper + Lotta Gold Clogs. The fabric feels high maintenance but it's actually machine washable which is such a bonus. Perfect for any fancy occasions while pregnant, and the hidden zippers make it nursing friendly!
Seamly & Co. Wrap + Baleen Bangle. These wraps are awesome; ethically made in Colorado from surplus fabric. This one can be worn as a vest or belted as a dress as shown here. A year-round and multi-functional piece.
Same as pictured above but the long sleeve version, by Seamly & Co. Love the asymmetrical hem on these.
Wearing the Seamly & Co summer wrap in a different way here, as a vest over the Queen Bee tank and AG skirt.
Second look for the long sleeve wrap, worn over the Queen Bee tank and AG dark jeans. Such a soft, stretchy, cozy piece.
Rachel Pally Dress. Amazing piece. The fabric is thick, soft, stretchy, and long enough for tall people. I wore this in a shoot recently and plan to wear it for my baby shower as well. This company makes beautiful gowns for pregnancy.
Pink Blush maxi. Very comfortable and versatile piece.
Belabumbum robe. This robe is super stretchy which makes it so comfortable, and the lace detailing on the sleeve elevates it just enough to feel like fancy sleepwear. I'll be packing this in my hospital bags.
Another fun dress trick! This is my Ripe Long Sleeve Tee + H&M skirt to make a faux maternity dress for much cheaper than retail. Love these skirts, wearing my pre-pregnancy size and it's so stretchy that it still fits great.
Loyal Hana buffalo check shirt + Preggo faux leather leggings + Lotta clogs. Love this look! The top has hidden zippers and is nursing friendly, and can be transitioned year round, add a denim jacket over this look in the fall. The faux leather leggings are really fun. I'd recommend sizing up, they were hard to get on at first, but now they fit great and I love adding a little rocker/edgier style to my wardrobe while pregnant.
Kinwolfe top + Seraphine white jeans. This is a very cool top, locally made in Seattle and it has a hidden zipper for nursing. The back has subtle cutouts by the shoulders for an unexpected touch, and the fabric is 100% silk, feeling fancy and luxurious (but it can still be machine washed!).
Ripe long sleeve top + AG distressed jeans + Madewell buffalo check scarf. An easy, go-to outfit. The scarf trick can help camouflage the bump when you're not ready to announce your news or want to hide the early stages of the belly.
Rachel Zoe striped top + AG distressed jeans, both available at A Pea in the Pod. This top is amazing, it's made of stretchy and thick fabric, has a flattering v-neck, and cute gold zippered detailing at the wrists.
Everlane white tee + Paige denim shorts + Madewell tote + Baleen bangle. Classic summer uniform. Love that the tee is ethically made and at a great price point.
Bae the Label sweater + Seraphine white jeans + Lotta clogs. The draping on this sweater is beautiful, I wore it often in my earlier months when I wanted to disguise the belly and it's one of those pieces that will always fit.
Second Bae the Label look. This is the short sleeve version and is slightly more casual than the sweater, but a similar drape. Paired with the faux leather leggings here for contrasting textures.
Second look for the Imanimo Chambray tank, paired with the Seraphine white jeans here. Perfect look for summer, and the tank is nursing friendly too.
Everlane grey tank + AG skirt + leather jacket. A rocker look for spring. Love the raw edge on this skirt and hope to wear it post-pregnancy as well.
Seraphine sweater + Seraphine jeans. The sweater is super soft, flattering, and the unique snaps design makes it nursing friendly. Love these jeans too, perfectly distressed and great fit.
Imanimo sweatshirt + Seraphine jeans + Sseko flats. This sweatshirt is oversized and cozy, and the cute zippered deatiling at the bottom adds a little something extra.
GG tank + AG dark jeans. Tanks is non-maternity, but so long and loose that it would work even if you were 40 weeks! Feels fancy but without the fancy price tag.
Gray Monroe vest + Ripe long sleeve tee + AG dark jeans. The vest is non-maternity (as most are) but a great piece to add to a maternity wardrobe as it will always fit no matter what the belly size, and can add interest and variety to a number of outfits.
A vest option for summer featured here, with a Sundry striped tank and Seraphine white jeans. Such a fresh look as the weather warms up.
Cadenshae tank + Cadenshae striped sports bra + Beyond the Bump leggings. These leggings are crazy soft, they feel almost like velvet, and the band is super comfortable too. They can be worn both pre and post-pregnancy. Both the sports bra and tank top are nursing friendly, and I recommend sizing up in both.
Cadenshae sweatshirt + Queen Bee crops + Brooks running shoes. These crops are awesome. If you find that any of your leggings are too loose at the top you can wear your belly band over them to help keep them in place. I love the pocket on this sweatshirt to put my phone in while I walk.
Belabumbum tank + Belabumbum crops. Classic active wear pieces made specifically for maternity, and the tank is nursing friendly.
That's my capsule! Thanks for reading this lengthy post. I hope it's encouraging to know that stylish maternity pieces do exist, and when you're dressed in clothes that you like and that fit well, it can be a game changer for your pregnancy experience. Best of luck in your own capsule wardrobe search!
Outfit photos by Kate Marie Photography. Shared in partnership with all companies listed and some links are affiliate. Style choices and opinions are my own.