7 Ways to Dress Your Bump from Clothes You Already Own


I can’t be the only one who has ever felt that I couldn’t find a single thing in my closet to wear . . .

Yes, my closet is stuffed to the ceiling. But no, nothing will work.

This feeling was amplified during my pregnancies, probably due to both physical body changes and hormones. I would search the stores and online for “maternity” clothes, but everything was expensive, frumpy, and/or matronly, and most were definitely not my style. But look no further! I am going to share seven ways to dress your bump from clothes you already own!

7 Ways to Dress Your Bump From Clothes You Already Own 7 Ways to Dress Your Bump From Clothes You Already Own

1. Cardigans, Dusters, & Button-Up Shirts

I had to dress professionally for my job as a private practice audiologist, so I already had tons of cardigans and dusters in my closet. They varied in color, shape, and size. I absolutely loved wearing them during my pregnancies because I could turn any top or dress into a fashionable look that already fit my style.

2. Swing Dresses

I love a good swing dress or t-shirt dress. Even before having children, I would throw one on for a last-minute polished and intentional look. I really didn’t think they would flatter my pregnant body, but I was happily surprised when I decided to wear one and it looked amazing. I didn’t feel self-conscious about my new lumps and bumps because the outfits were loose and free-flowing!

7 Ways to Dress Your Bump From Clothes You Already Own

3. Kimonos

Kimonos, originally traditional Japanese garments, have been adopted around the world. They are very similar to cardigans and dusters, but they have their own uniqueness. I had one kimono that was gifted to me for my birthday years ago, and it was perfect to wear with my growing bump. If yours ties around the waist, you can leave the belt off or tie it above your bump to accentuate those maternity curves.

4. Swimsuit Cover-Ups

I had to get really creative with my clothing. That’s when I eyed the lacy black swimsuit cover-up buried deep in my drawers. I would wear a simple top or dress and then throw on a swimsuit coverup to give the outfit some flair. I give this option five stars for being lightweight and breathable. If you’re anything like me, pregnancy brings the heat, and this option covers you up but keeps you cool at the same time.

7 Ways to Dress Your Bump From Clothes You Already Own

5. Bodycon Dresses

I love baby bumps! I smile when I see another mama showing off her growing belly. It’s something to celebrate even if your body may not feel the same anymore. Show off that bump by wearing form-fitting bodycon dresses. Add a tee over the dress with a little front knot tied above the belly to look effortlessly cool. This was my favorite look.

7 Ways to Dress Your Bump From Clothes You Already Own
Photo by Nicole Bridges Photography

6. Maxi Dresses

When I took maternity photos during my first pregnancy, I ordered what I thought would be a cute “maternity” dress. When I got the pictures back I HATED the outfit. Luckily, the photographer reached out to me and said she wasn’t in love with the lighting and asked if I wanted to re-do the shoot. My prayers had been answered! The second time around, I wore a regular maxi dress I already owned and I was so happy with that decision. Put on that maxi dress hanging in your closet because it has been waiting to hug that bump!

7 Ways to Dress Your Bump From Clothes You Already Own

7. Yoga Pants/Leggings

We all have multiple pairs of them. I love that they are stretchy and flattering. Just fold the fabric underneath your bump or pull it up over your belly if the material allows. Yoga pants and leggings are great because of their versatility. You can wear them to lounge around the house or dress them up for a date night out. They are so comfy!

7 Ways to Dress Your Bump From Clothes You Already Own

But you will have to buy some things . . .

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get by without purchasing a few maternity staples. You’ll need things like basic tops and possibly maternity pants. The rubber band trick didn’t really work halfway into my second trimesters and beyond. To be cost-effective, I purchased clothing that could be worn in a variety of ways. I also made sure that I picked tops in neutral colors like black, white, and grey so that they would match everything I already owned.

Lastly, I just want to congratulate you on your pregnancy! Remember to have fun with your changing, growing, beautiful body. It may not feel like you’re glowing all the time, but I promise, you are! You can still dress your bump without breaking the bank or losing your sense of self. And once your baby is snuggling in your arms, check out these postpartum styles to make you feel great in your ever-changing body.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.