9 Maternity Fashion Rules You Never Have To Follow

Ad failed to load

In the last century, maternity fashion has ranged from camouflaging a mom-to-be's burgeoning belly to tent dresses that seem to double her in size. What has remained constant is an outdated set of maternity fashion rules you never have to follow. Modesty is the understood mandate, fashion and style have always come in second.

As recently as the early 2000s, pregnant women were hiding their baby bumps under denim jumper dresses and overalls. T-shirts only came in A-line silhouettes, pastel colors, and often sported fuzzy cartoon bears or giant daisies. It wasn't until Rachel's pregnancy on Friends, that you were exposed to fitted tees, tanks, and sheath dresses as fashionable options for maternity wear. Unfortunately, maternity clothing was limited to what one could find at the tiny specialty store in the mall or at discount department stores, two racks down from the toolboxes and tires.

There was suddenly a market for maternity wear that didn't look like maternity wear, and until the designers caught up, pregnant moms started to transform non-maternity pieces into pregnancy-friendly outfits. This was the beginning of maternity fashion rule-breaking.

Ad failed to load

But there are several more fashion rules you don't have to follow when you've got a bun in the oven. And here are just a few of them.

Ad failed to load

1You Can't Wear A Bikini


Gone are the days when being pregnant meant wearing a gigantic bathing dress to the beach or pool. Pregnant celebrities have been wearing bikinis for years. You may not quite fit into your pre-pregnancy bikini in your last trimester, but that doesn't mean that you are limited to the maternity section when looking for chic swimwear.

2Don't Wear Form-Fitting Dresses

Ish Frost/Flckr

Maternity dresses come in countless silhouettes today. A little side ruching makes a celebrity-inspired bodycon dress bump-friendly.

3No Horizontal Stripes

This is one of those ancient fashion rules that has been pushed on anyone over a size zero. Don't be afraid of the horizontal stripes.

Ad failed to load

4Only Wear Flats


According to Parents, your feet swell when you're pregnant and your center of gravity is a little off. Flats or flip-flop are the everyday solution. But, if you have a special occasion that falls within those long nine months and you really want to wear a heel, go for it! Consider wedges or kitten heels if you in your last trimester. And tuck a pair of foldable ballet flats into your clutch for later — just in case.

5Stick To Leggings

Reachel Bagley on YouTube

If jeans are a staple in your pre-pregnancy wardrobe, there is no reason why they can't be part of your maternity style. Skinny jeans are surprisingly flattering paired with a fitted maternity top.

6Put Away Your Belts


Pairing a skinny belt with an empire waist will instantly dress up your maternity wear.

Ad failed to load

7Cover Your Thighs.

Cammi Ruffino/Flickr

You don't have to limit yourself to Bermuda length shorts when you are expecting.

8Don't Expose Your Cleavage

Ariane Hunter/Flickr

Many women pay for the kind of cleavage that comes naturally with pregnancy. Embrace your new curves.

9Avoid Anything That Resembles Maternity Wear

Mario Emiliano Fernandez/Flickr

Just because you want to be fashionable while pregnant, doesn't mean that you have to abandon all traditional maternity wear. You can find trendy versions of maternity rompers, jumpsuits, and babydoll dresses.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

A Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the te…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack