We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Maternity Clothing?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
BeautyAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At BeautyAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Maternity clothing is clothing which is specifically designed to be worn by pregnant women. It is designed with a loose, comfortable cut which will expand as the woman's belly grows. Most designs also include elastic, tabs, and other methods of expansion which allow shirts and pants to be let out. Many women also wear maternity clothes after their pregnancies, until they have lost the pregnancy weight and they can fit into normal clothing again. In addition to commercially manufactured maternity wear, it is also possible to sew your own clothing at home, which is a good way to bring down the costs of a pregnancy.

In many cases, maternity clothing is manufactured by a company which specializes in it. Other companies may choose to offer a small line of maternity wear in addition to their conventional garments. Almost any piece of clothing can be transformed into maternity clothing by a skilled designer. Pants, skirts, dresses, shirts, smocks, and jackets are all common offerings in maternity lines. Maternity wear is carried by specialty stores and some department stores, and it is generally a good idea to try it on, if possible, to make sure that it fits comfortably.

Maternity pants and skirts tend to have very broad, elasticized waistbands which will easily accommodate a growing belly. Shirts, dresses, and jackets are designed with a flared base and a larger chest area, since many pregnant women experience physical changes in their breasts as well. Companies which manufacture maternity clothing also often design maternity bras, to offer more support, as well as underwear which is designed with pregnant women in mind.

Historically, maternity wear has been relatively dull. Some pregnant women felt that much of the clothing they wore was unimaginative and unattractive. In response to a desire for more fashionable wear, some high end maternity wear companies arose. The work of reputable fashion designers can be seen on pregnant women who are willing to bear the extra cost, and some companies have also designed lines with more ordinary budgets in mind.

Even with maternity clothing, most women need to purchase larger garments towards the end of their pregnancies, as expansion garments can only grow so far. Because the need for maternity wear is relatively brief, many expecting mothers cut costs by purchasing used clothing, or trading clothes with friends. Networking with pregnant women and new parents in your area could yield a fruitful exchange of garments as well as support and parenting tips.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a BeautyAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By Lostnfound — On Jan 30, 2015

I remember when maternity clothes were big old polyester tent dresses and women wore them with big collars and print scarves. I really think Princess Diana did more to revolutionize maternity clothes than anyone else. She made maternity look good, and had good-looking dresses.

Kate Middleton has also really made maternity look fashionable and stylish. I'm not sure I'm on board with all the Hollywood stars wearing the clingy gowns that deliberately emphasize their bellies, but it is better than the polyester tents. And all the people who smoked then -- I'm surprised women's clothes weren't catching fire all the time from a hot ash.

By Grivusangel — On Jan 29, 2015

Thank the Lord for the Internet when it comes to maternity clothes! That and yard sales. I was lucky to find a woman online who was selling all of her maternity clothes and they were all in my size! For about 50 bucks, I bought a whole wardrobe. A lot of it wasn't what I would have picked for myself, but at that price, I was willing to wear it for six weeks or so.

I bought a couple of nice pieces, like some maternity jeans that I wore for nearly my whole pregnancy. They had one of those stretch panels in the front, and they were a lifesaver. They matched everything.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
BeautyAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

BeautyAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.