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My Go-To Transitional Maternity Clothes

My Go-To Transitional Maternity Clothes

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter about five years ago, I assumed my pregnancy journey would include tons of maternity clothes. After all, my body was going to be changing in a big way, so I’d need clothing made specifically for that, right? As it turned out, in my experience at least, maternity clothes turned out to be overrated in some ways.

(That said, I was definitely glad to have a few key maternity pieces, including a good pair of maternity jeans, maternity PJs, and a couple of maternity tanks, among others. Zulily has a great selection of maternity clothes when you’re looking to grab those staples!)

Instead of maternity clothes, I largely turned to other pieces of clothing – some of which I owned and some of which I added to my wardrobe – that worked well both before, during, AND after pregnancy. This was a wonderful realization, as I learned I was able to invest less in maternity clothes as well as continue to wear many of my favorite pieces that kept me feeling like myself during this time of so much change. When I became pregnant with my son last year, I was ready to rinse and repeat all I’d learned about maternity clothes the first time around! 

Here are some of my go-to transitional maternity clothes: 



Non-maternity high-waisted leggings that are in your normal size – as long as they’re made of less compressive material – should be able to last you throughout your pregnancy, becoming maternity clothes when you need them and non-maternity clothes once you’re postpartum. I found myself living in these while pregnant, and if you get them in solid colors (especially black or navy), they pair great with other staples and you can totally dress them up a bit or make them a component of a more casual outfit. Of course, you can work out in them as well, making them ultra flexible! I also packed this type of legging to take to the hospital and they ended up being my coming home outfit (and what I lived in during those early postpartum days).



I found myself loving my more form-fitting tees during pregnancy as maternity clothes. They look so cute over a bump, stretching to accommodate your growing midsection and then easily going back to size to be worn after your baby is born. Fitted tees are great to pair with maternity jeans or with non-maternity leggings or joggers!



If you’re pregnant during the fall and winter months like I was (both times!), long cardigans will become your best friend. No need to get maternity clothes versions (I don’t even think they make them). Instead, just pair them with some of the high-waisted leggings mentioned above, a comfy maternity tank, and a pair of booties and you’ll be instantly put together (while feeling amazing). Swap out the tank for a non-maternity tank the following year to wear the exact same outfit postpartum!



If you’re someone who likes wearing rather fitted dresses when you aren’t pregnant, you’ll likely enjoy them as maternity clothes as well (but no need to buy maternity-specific versions). These look especially cute in your second and third trimesters, once you’ve started to show and really want to rock that baby bump. 



These have been trendy for a few years now, so I’m betting you have a few in your closet already. They’ll definitely accommodate a growing bump, and can absolutely double as maternity clothes! Just throw on a pair of high-waisted leggings, add one of these sweaters, and you’ll be maternity ready…while also not sporting actual maternity clothes.



Thanks to their elastic waistbands, joggers are often a great non-maternity, maternity-friendly clothing option. Unlike with high-waisted leggings, you’ll want to wear your joggers below your belly as it starts to expand. Add a cute tee, a long cardigan or hoodie if the weather calls for it, and feel both comfy and cute. You’ll probably find yourself reaching for the exact same pair of joggers postpartum, too!

No matter what route you take when it comes to your maternity wardrobe, explore your options to find things that feel comfortable and help you feel as much like yourself as possible during a time where your body is changing in big ways.

About The Author

Anna Keller

Anna Keller, creator of, blogs about parenting, pregnancy, health & wellness, fashion, and more. Anna’s priority in all that she does – whether it’s with her family and friends, through her writing for brands such as Beyond Yoga or for the blog Triad Moms on Main, during her work as a Pure Barre teacher, or as a Beauty counter consultant – is connection. After all, from connection comes understanding, purpose, and joy. She lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with her husband, Kevin, their 5-year-old daughter, Maggie, and their 18-month-old son, Vance.

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