How do I dress this baby bump?

Now that I’m just over four months pregnant, I am finding myself drawing a blank when I look in my closet.  I’m pregnant enough where I’m showing, but not so much that it is blatantly obvious.  Sometimes I just look like I’ve put on a bit of extra weight and don’t know how to dress for it. How do others do it and look so cute?


Many times, it’s simply a comfort issue.  Regular clothes don’t fit me any more, but some of the maternity clothes I’ve inherited either don’t fit yet or are still shapeless on my small bump. The other week, I went away for three days and brought an entire wardrobe of options, not sure what I’d feel comfortable in.  I felt silly dragging a huge suitcase to the beach, but happy when I could dress comfortably while on vacation.


Thank goodness my everyday work wear is pretty simple: jeans and a tee shirt, repeat, repeat, repeat.  It’s when I need to try to look nice that I get stumped.  I’m loving my cute little bump and love to show it off when I can, so those now-shapeless maxi dresses that were already in my closet that I swore I’d live in for the summer just aren’t working for me right now.  What’s a Momma to do?

With my grandparents.  When did my boobs get this big??
With my grandparents. When did my boobs get this big??  photo credit genagolas


Here is what I’ve discovered so far:

¨     Those full-belly panel maternity pants are way more comfortable than the mid-belly panel pants.  Even when I felt it was a little too early for such a full pant, they smoothed and flattered my growing bump under almost any shirt.

¨     It’s hard to find nude-colored belly panels on pants or other bottoms.  Most times they seem to match the color of the pant.  Is it fashionable to have a dark belly panel show under a lighter colored shirt?  I don’t know.  Help!

¨     I need new underwear.  And bras.  Pronto.  I’ve been holding off, thinking that as soon as I buy some I’ll grow out of them, but this is getting serious, ladies.  Plumber’s butt is not flattering on anyone, ever.

¨     If you can, borrow from friends and family.  Maternity clothes are expensive!


Maternity pants with a "regular" shirt.  Cute baby bump, or too tight?  (Please excuse the tarp, we're painting!)
Maternity pants with a “regular” shirt. Cute baby bump, or too tight? (Please excuse the tarp, we’re painting!)                                 photo credit genagolas


Does anyone have some tried-and-true tips for a new Momma dressing her baby bump?  Please share!



12 thoughts on “How do I dress this baby bump?

  1. you look great and congrats! I got a pair of skinny jeans at gap with a full nude panel (and yes I found skinny jeans to work on a pg body!). I found that I needed to get 2 sets of maternity clothes – smaller ones and big ones. Luckily that usually works out with seasons anyhow. I found that early-showing I was much much better off wearing maternity and not regular clothes. For me at least, in normal clothes I just looked fat but in maternity I was clearly pg. Gap (among others Im sure) makes basic tees with ruching which really works through many stages (incl post partum). I also always (good tip later if you BF too) layer a tank under to help smooth things out – not a shaper just a regular (maternity!) cami. Also another reason to beware wearing your normal stuff now – stretching out favorite tops! Anyhow. Not easy on the wallet but I needed 2 sizes of jeans (like an 8 and a 12, so not easily fudged). M tops early, and by the bitter end I was popping out of larges. Im normally a size 8 but also gain a lot (in the chest too) fwiw. Everyone carries and gains differently. Also try things on. Styles that work on me normally did not pg – I was surprised to find I could rock stripes and prints while pg – normally I can’t, for example. Enjoy your pg body! Flaunt that bump 🙂

  2. Because there’s so much relevant input I have on this site ;)… but I’ve gotten comfy, cute undies and bras en masse for great prices at the Clinton, CT Jockey Outlet!

  3. Gena, I’m 7 months pregnant and did the same thing as you….swore up and down that I’d just live in maxi dresses all summer. I soon found out that its not as comfortable as it sounds and not that professional. The full panel is so much more comfortable. If you go to The Shopps at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor, there’s a gap maternity and old navy maternity…offering you more affordable options. Then there’s also a destination maternity that has motherhood maternity and a pea in the pod in the same store. It was a very successful day when I went and now I feel comfortable, making me much more confident.

  4. Consignment shops and tag sales! Sometimes if you see people selling “baby toys” on a tag sale post they might have maternity clothes. And people are notorious for not saying or displaying they have clothes-so ask!!

  5. Ingrid & Isabel’s belly band was my saving grace!! comes in tons of colors! Also, their tank that grows with your belly was also worth its weight in gold. I found a lot of my stuff from Old Navy- both some regular, and some maternity. I noticed that my girls popped out of the regular sized tank dresses, but fit fine in the maternity tank dresses. And as much as it stinks buying maternity instead of sizing up in regular clothes, the maternity stuff really knows how to fit a preggo lady’s shape. and i’m with you, G- these boobs? where did i get these, and how do i get back my little ones! i’ll never complain about being small again after this kid………………….

  6. Okay, I really didn’t love my Bella Band. It rode up too much to be comfortable, so I agree that the full panel maternity pants were the way to go right from the beginning. Only now after reading your post do I remember layering a nude color Bella Band over the black panel of the maternity pants – this serves to mask it a bit under light colored shirts, and helps hold up maternity panels that may be a tad bit too big still.

    My rule for dressing the bump with non-maternity shirts was that it was fine (and tight-to-the-bump was totally fine) as long as the bump didn’t pull the shirt away from my body beneath the bump too much, or ride up. Then I’d say it was too small. Then again, you have new, larger boobs to deal with….don’t forget to pay attention to those, too, when looking at fit…

    And btw, you’re adorable 🙂

  7. Ditto everyone on the Bella Band, a lifesaver!! And I can’t recommend Motherhood Maternity’s pregnancy underwear enough. LOVE. I totally feel your pain though. 4.5 mos along and I either feel like every chunk roll is showing, or I look totally frumpy. Not cute!!

  8. I agree with the Bella Band suggestions! The maternity jeans looked weird on me for some reason (maybe because I’m short), and I felt much more comfortable in my regular jeans. The Bella allowed me to wear my own jeans until I was about 7 months. I also invested in two really great tops that I could wear anyplace – while they were a little more $$ than I would normally spend on a shirt, I figured that at least I felt like I looked good and I could either wear jeans, stretchy pants, or a skirt with them to dress them up or down. Whatever you do, you look adorable!!!! Love your grandparents…how cute are they!?!?

  9. Congrats again Gena! I find myself all about the ruched shirts! PeaPod makes great ones at Destination Maternity. They’re a little bit more than your average t-shirt but I wear them even when I’m not prego! Enjoy shopping for some staple prego clothing items – it’s fun watching your bump take shape in them as the weeks go by.

  10. I love this post! I agree, the full panel is way more comfortable and you’re right, I never found one in a neutral color, why is that?! I just LOVE seeing your baby bump!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. The Bella Band saved my life both before and after pregnancy! It will help you stretch (lol) your regular jeans out (just leave them unbuttoned or unzipped and put the band over all that business) and will help the maternity jeans that are just a little loose to fit better. It also helped with the plumber butt thing!

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