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  Christmas morning 2016: I find a few Anthropologie boxes waiting for me under the Christmas tree. Ka-Ching! Santa LOVES me this year! I’m four months pregnant, Anthropologie has no maternity section, so I figured I’d have to wait until my pregnancy was over to wear the clothes. No. Big. Deal. I’m the mom of toddlers, patience is my strong suit. Each box I unwrapped produced amazing dress after amazing dress, all in my typical non pregnant size. Here is the zinger though: all of those Christmas dresses fit through out my entire pregnancy and my thirty pound weight gain. Is that not the greatest Christmas miracle you have ever heard?  This miracle prompted me do a serious examination of each dress. Why were these silhouettes so accommodating to my continuously expanding body? Here’s my unofficial, not so scientifically conducted study of these dresses:

Empire Waist Dresses (especially if the waist band is elastic or stretchy) are a YES to an expanding baby belly!

The dress I have pictured is an empire waist dress. The waist band is elastic. It was super comfortable and flattering during my entire pregnancy. I was STILL wearing it the week I delivered baby girl. The only minor difference I saw toward the end of my pregnancy was the dress was slightly shorter as I approached full term. Who minds a little extra leg on a stylish pregnant girl? No one, that’s who!

Tunics are versatile and easy to style while pregnant. 

I’ve always asked myself, is a tunic a long shirt or a short dress? In this scenario, the answer is: who cares? Loose fitting tunics fit like a dream my entire pregnancy. As soon as the tunics started to get inappropriately short, I styled them with leggings or tights. Boom! Easy. If you are feeling a little ‘tent’ like in your tunic, grab a cute belt. A belt at the top of the belly is the perfect way to accentuate the bump in your favorite tunic or even your favorite maxi dress.

Light weight trench coats can be styled during all three trimesters of pregnancy. 

Alright, a light weight trench isn’t technically a dress, but it’s a great pregnancy staple piece that I rarely see used to it’s full potential. In the first trimester the trench is a great way to camouflage the awkward ‘is she, or isn’t she pregnant?’ stage. Wear your favorite trench as usual and loosen the belt to your comfort level. Second and third trimester, I simply left the belt untied or ditch it all together. If the trench had buttons, I lived in temporary denial of their existence. Trench coats are chic and timeless, just like glowing pregnant moms with adorable bellies.

It was fun discovering pieces and silhouettes that are functional as both maternity and non maternity clothing this pregnancy. I love that although my pregnancy is over, it doesn’t mean these pieces have to be retired to storage for my next pregnancy (assuming I’m brave enough to attempt a fourth baby)! I wear the dress pictured here on repeat postpartum, no baby belly necessary.

Photography By: The Light And The Love Photography 

Britney is an amazing photographer! Click on her website to check out more of her beautiful work or visit her instagram page: @thelightandthelove


Do you have any favorite maternity pieces that aren’t technically maternity clothes? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!


Here are some of my current favorite looks that can be easily styled with or without a cute baby bump. Click on the links to take a peak!

Tunic from Anthropologie 

Trench Coat from Ted Baker 

Empire Waist Dress from Nordstrom Rack

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5 thoughts on “How to Dress Your Baby Bump Without the Maternity Store”

  1. The answer to your question “Is a tunic a long shirt or a short dress” is…
    If you are in your 20’s it’s a short dress and if you are in your 50’s, it’s a long shirt.

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