Finally, pregnancy-friendly fashion that's actually stylish
We’re leaning into that yummy mummy vibe
Ask your mom where her wedding sari is. The lush fabric, intricate gota-patti and heavily embroidered chunni are probably stored away carefully in a paper-lined box inside the bed or in a safe corner of her closet. Now where’s the the first maternity dress she nursed you in? Yeah, that floral oversized cotton confection was probably donated to a cousin or neighbour a few months after you were born, because your mom refused to be seen in that unflattering silhouette any longer than she had to.
Today, Fortune estimates that a pregnant woman, on average, spends almost $500 or Rs 40,000 approximately per pregnancy on maternity clothes. And the global maternity wear industry is expected to cross $ 41.3 billion by 2031.
That’s a mind-boggling amount of money to be spent on something most women don’t end up wearing again. And unlike wedding lehengas, you’re not exactly passing them on to your daughters as family heirlooms. We posed this question to our readers as well — would they rather swap their style for maternity frocks or stick to their regular wardrobe, with a few pregnancy-friendly adjustments? Over 57% of them voted for the latter. Pregnancy-friendly fashion has become a popular conversation, thanks to the likes of pop star Rihanna, who famously upgraded her already risqué style choices during her pregnancy. “She is pushing the idea that it’s okay to still enjoy the fashion styles you loved wearing prior to becoming pregnant,” says Venesa Coger, style and culture specialist for Refinery29’s Unbothered.
But it can be difficult for those of us who don’t have an entourage of people to style them. Worry not, because we’re here — armed with recommendations from moms among our Tweak tribe — on how to make pregnancy-friendly fashion serve you long after you give birth.
11 outfits that will help you make the most of pregnancy-friendly fashion
Pants that will grow with your bump
If you basically lived in your leggings in 2020 and haven’t parted with them since, we recommend the Ultimate MamaMove leggings by Bliss Club for sticking to your comfort zone.
Ojasvee Kapoor, a 34-year-old lawyer and stay-at-home mother, loved wearing high-waist leggings when she was pregnant because they helped support the weight of her tummy as her bump grew. This offering from the Bliss Club have a wide waistband and an over-the-belly front that will grow with your baby bump, providing extra support as you run errands, work out and head to your doctor’s appointments.
Because these come in black, they can be easily dressed up with your favourite silk blouse for date nights with your partner both during and post-pregnancy.
Easy-breezy kaftans to make pregnancy-friendly fashion work for you
It didn’t come as a surprise when most of our readers confessed to living in comfortable dresses during their pregnancies — Neha Dhupia proved the versatility of a stylish kaftan during both her pregnancies. Shruti Chitko, a 28-year-old HR professional in the third trimester of her pregnancy is a recent convert. “I was the kind of person who only wore jeans but ever since I’ve known the comfort of kaftans, I haven’t been able to wear the maternity jeans I own. And I’m not switching back any time soon.”
This pink, bordered kaftan by The Boozy Button is made of 95% cotton, which makes it breezy and comfortable for pregnant women. Handcrafted in digital print, you can pull a Deepika Padukone in Cannes and easily dress it up with rustic gold jewellery and a headband for dinner and drinks with your girlfriends post-pregnancy.
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A wrap-around dress with pockets is our pregnancy-friendly fashion dream
Wrap-around dresses give you as much room as your belly needs, while still being flattering.
Coming in a hot pink, this offering by Truebrowns is not only functional but also sophisticated enough for when you need to up your maternity style game a little bit. Whether you’re on a work lunch or a casual dinner with friends, this dress is a multitasker with not one, but two side pockets.
A skirt as chic as you
Niharika Sharma, a 30-year-old IT professional, says she would wear anything as long as it wasn’t pants while she was pregnant. If you feel the same, we suggest a different kind of bottom — a skirt. This ruffled high-low skirt by Angrakhaa is roomy enough with an elastic waistband on the back.
The cotton skirt will become your go-to piece in your wardrobe if having to part with your stylish wardrobe during your pregnancy sounds like a horrible nightmare come true. It also comes with a mock belt, which you can tighten post-pregnancy to create the illusion of a cinched waist.
An oversized shirt for the ones who’re always stealing their partners’
Mayanka Y. Pahwa, a 29-year-old teacher, confesses to stealing her husband’s oversized t-shirts while she was pregnant as she didn’t want to invest in a maternity wardrobe. This oversized shirt by H&M made of a cotton-linen blend is as spacious as it is breathable, which is exactly what women want.
Post-pregnancy, you can wear it unbuttoned and thrown over a fitted ganji, or cinch it with a statement belt for a more polished look like Bratati Datta, one of our readers, told us she did with most of her oversized pregnancy clothes. It can also be worn with your MamaMove leggings.
For your love of PJs
Comfortable and breathable are two words most of our readers had in common when it came to their maternity style. And what better than pyjamas to fit that description?
If your love for PJs also knows no bounds, you’ll fall hard for the Tweak X Mint & Cotton chaddi buddy pyjamas in this delectable shade of lavender. The button-down style will work for fuss-free access to nursing after your baby is born, and you can make like Twinkle Khanna and pair the shirt with your white jeans for a laidback brunch whenever you’re feeling too lazy to put together another outfit.
A lounge bra to give you the support you need
Ashwini Kammar Korishetti emphasised wearing the right size bra while pregnant so you get the necessary support. And this lounge bra by Tailor and Circus will do exactly that with its flat seam structure that provides uniform fitting.
The reason why it comes with no hooks or clips and a wrap-over front is that it is designed around the idea of easy-access feeding, which is comfortable for both mom and baby. It is also infused with elastane to accommodate the changing breast size during and after pregnancy. If you’re nursing, you can also add on leak-proof bra pads.
A thigh slit dress for when you want to give off Aphrodite vibes
Pooja Sridharan, a 38-year-old HR leader in finance, loved flaunting her bump unapologetically. “Although I was very comfortable in my own skin, I was very conscious at first. It took some time for acceptance to set in and slowly, I let my clothes do the talking for me.”
If you’re comfortable showing some skin like Sridharan or just want to feel sexy (as you should be because your body is literally going to push out a fully formed human being), this yellow chiffon slit dress by Lavanya The Label will feel luxuriously sexy against your skin. The ruched torso will accommodate your bump as it grows and will go back to its original shape when you wear it post-pregnancy.
An A-line kurti as cute as it is roomy
Ravipati Shreya, 33, IT professional, loved wearing cotton kurtas which were comfortable but also looked formal when she was at the office.
If you are also looking for something similar, this A-line kurti, with flared sleeves, is just summery enough to be cute while also giving you space to move. The cinched under-bust area will give you a structured look while the flare has ample room to accommodate a growing bump.
A sharp blazer for all your high-powered meetings
If client meetings are an important part of your work day, you need something sharp and chic to help you look presentable while also providing you with some necessary comfort. This baggy blazer with its high-powered shoulders is just what you need. Coming in a variety of colour options from the usual black and dark green to others like powder blue, rose and mustard, the blazer will serve its purpose for both traditional and non-traditional dressers.
Post-pregnancy, you can either pair it up with a skort in a similar colour for a monochrome look or wear it cinched with a statement belt. You can also layer it with your oversized shirt.
A breathable body fit dress to channel your inner Kim K
Roshnara Saleem, an interior designer and homemaker from Trivandrum, loved wearing lycra dresses as they were both “airy and comfy” and would let her show off her baby bump too. If you want to channel your inner Kim Kardashian like Saleem, this rib-knit dress from Wobbly Walk is for you.
With an elasticated empire waist to grow with you throughout the pregnancy, the dress also comes with side slits for easy nursing access and pockets to carry essentials. You can dress it up with layered statement jewellery and hoops postpartum and pair it with low, kitten heels.
Now you won’t have to throw out your maternity wardrobe postpartum because you deserve to have your cake and eat it too.