Pregnant lady dress

Christmas is just around the corner and some of us will have blossoming bellies that aren’t just full of turkey. Here are some tips for dressing your bump.

1. It’s all about the accessories

You might be in those early stages of pregnancy where you’re worried you just look flabby and exhausted rather than blossoming and radiant. Here’s where big necklaces, bold bracelets, or eye-catching earrings can work wonders.

The great thing about accessories is you can rotate wearing them for endless outfit combinations. Investing in items that are versatile and can be worn in any season is so useful.

Pretty patterned or sequined scarves to drape around your shoulders can lift an outfit – and your spirits. A broach can be great too for shifting the emphasis of your outfit. Bold statement necklace can do this too by drawing the eye away for your midsection if you don’t want to show off your bump just yet (Life With My Little, 2015).

Just think, no matter how big your bump, you never outgrow a good handbag. You could keep getting your old favourites out to give you a boost. Or why not treat yourself to a lovely new handbag?

2. You shall go to the party

If you do have lots of social events over the festive season you might want to invest in a party outfit that feels extra special. You’ll find plenty of lovely maternity brands out there have flattering dresses for fancy functions (Handy Little Me 2019).

You could always look out for discount codes to see if you can get some money off and watch out for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

If you’re considering spending a good chunk of money on something, think about whether it could be altered by a seamstress or dry cleaner after your baby is here. That way you can still wear it post-pregnancy.

In any case, you could always sell your maternity dresses on eBay afterwards to recoup a little cash.

3. A long winter

Long cardis can be great at this time of year. They look dressy, keep you and bump warm and give you a bit of a cover up if you feel insecure about any bulges. Another bonus of wearing cardigans and sweaters is that you can always wear them after your little one arrives (Northern Colorado Moms Blog, 2018).

Waterfall cardi shapes are really flattering as your lovely bump is still visible and they drape nicely over the hips.

4. Snowman sweaters at the ready

Festive jumpers. Need we say more?

Luckily, over the last few years they’ve become very popular. And as they’re comfy and stretchy they could see you through the whole of December (maybe even November too – it’s never too early) (Bubs & Me, 2018).

Team with super comfy maternity jeans and statement shoes and you’re ready for the work Christmas party.

5. Time for some pregnancy pampering

If you’re struggling to feel good about your new pregnancy shape, little treats can really help you have more confidence.

Painting your nails, having a relaxing bath before you go out or putting on your favourite perfume can help. Nail polish is safe to use during pregnancy although you need to take care the salon is well-ventilated so you avoid the dreaded pregnancy nausea (Parents, 2018).

Spending more time on your make-up or having your hair done might perk you up at a time when you may otherwise feel tired and big.

6. Get your coat

Coats can be a bit of a minefield when you’re pregnant as you may not want to invest too much in something you’ll only need for a few months.

Plenty of high street shops do offer maternity coats that don’t cost too much (Life Unexpected, 2018).

Alternatively, look for non-maternity coats that have belts or tie waists rather than buttons. That way they can fit around your expanding bump (Life Unexpected, 2018).

Even if you don’t love what you’re wearing underneath, a stylish coat can give you a real confidence boost. There is a wide range available from smart to casual that can give you so many different looks (Handy Little Me, 2019).

7. Wrap it up

You don’t just need to wrap your presents this year, you could wrap your bump too. Wrap dresses are so comfy, stretchy and easy to wear. They’re a good investment as they can see you through every stage, from early pregnancy right through to bulging bump (Mummy Pages, 2019).

The simple wrap dress will become your wardrobe staple as you can dress it up or down for any occasion. Wrap dresses with patterns, stripes, polka-dots, flowers etcetera can make it hard to see any bump (Life With My Little, 2015).

Wrap dresses are comfy during your recovery from birth too (especially if you’ve had a caesarean). They’re quick to throw on when you’re dealing with a demanding newborn and easy to breastfeed in.

You don’t have to look for maternity brands either, as every high street shop will have a classic wrap dress you can buy in a larger size (Handy Little Me, 2019).

8. New bump, old clothes

If you’re wondering what on earth you can squeeze your ever-expanding bump into, actually you might find there’s lots in your wardrobe that’s pretty adaptable:

  • Jackets and blazers can be left open if they no longer button up.
  • Dresses can worn be unzipped at the back with a furry shrug or smart cardi to hide your bra.
  • Stretchy summer maxi dresses can also be adapted for winter with tights and a blazer.
  • Smart shirts can be worn open with a vest inside.
  • Bump bands or belly bands can be a good idea so that you can conceal your tummy as it adds length to your favourite top

(Handy Little Me, 2019; What to expect, 2019).

Check out NCT Nearly New Sales as they have lots of great maternity clothes, many of which are in perfect condition.

Also think about whose wardrobe you might be able to borrow from – friends or your sisters may be happy to lend you their maternity clothes. Otherwise, you could arrange to do swaps with your NCT group.

It’s worth checking out charity shops for bargains too.

9. Snug through and through

Plenty of women swear by having a few pregnancy staples to go underneath festive outfits.

It’s also best to  get yourself a good maternity bra to support your growing breasts. See our article about maternity and nursing bras for more on how to choose good bras for pregnancy.

You might also want to stock up on maternity pants, tights or leggings that’ll be snug and stretchy (What to expect, 2019).

When you’re pregnant you can fluctuate between hot and cold so layers are a good idea. Think about getting some cheap stretchy vests for underneath (Handy Little Me, 2019).

10. Fancy footwork

You might be looking at your collection of heels and wishing you could still squeeze your swollen feet into them. Tempted as you might be, it’s best to temporarily shelve those stilettos. Try to go for heels no higher than 3cm and shoes with a non-fiddly strap to keep them in place (College of Podiatry, 2019).

That doesn’t mean you have to have boring footwear though. You could go for comfy low heels or flats with loads of sparkle, animal print, metallic shades or bright colours and, of course, boots (Fustany, 2017; The Bump 2019).

Boots are one of the best things about autumn and winter. This season you’ll see lots of ankle boots with a kitten heels, mini platforms, winter wedges and cowboy boots to still give your outfit an edge.

Lace-up styles look lovely but it can be hard to bend down with a big bump so zip-up or slip-on boots might suit you better (What to expect, 2019)

If you find your calves have expanded but you still want to wear knee-high boots look out for elasticated, sock-style or slouchy ones. That way they’re not too tight and restrictive (What to expect 2019).

Most importantly, wear whatever makes you feel good. Even if you are self-conscious about how your body is changing and how you might be feeling, there are lots of ways to help you feel comfortable and enjoy the festive season.

This page was last reviewed in July 2019.

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.

Bubs & Me. (2018) How to dress up your baby bump for the holidays this year. Available at: https://www.bubsandme.com/blogs/news/how-to-dress-up-your-baby-bump-for-the-holidays-this-year [Accessed 14th July 2019]

College of Podiatry. (2019) Foot health in pregnancy. Available at:  https://cop.org.uk/foot-health/keep-on-walking/foot-health-in-pregnancy/ [Accessed 14th July 2019]

Fustany. (2017) How to wear heels safely during pregnancy. Available at: https://fustany.com/en/fashion/stylish-mamas/how-to-wear-heels-safely-during-pregnancy [Accessed 14th July 2019]

Happy Little Me. (2019) 10 tips for creating a winter maternity capsule wardrobe. Available at: https://www.handylittleme.com/2016-11-12-10-tips-for-winter-maternity-style-success/ [Accessed 14th July 2019]

Life Unexpected. (2018) 5 stylish maternity wear winter essentials. Available at: http://www.lifeunexpected.co.uk/5-stylish-maternity-wear-winter-essentials/ [Accessed 14th July 2019]

Life With My Little. (2015) How to hide a baby bump. Available at: https://www.lifewithmylittles.com/how-to-hide-a-baby-bump/ [Accessed 14th July 2019]

Mummy Pages. (2019) 7 maternity dresses that are perfect for the festive season. Available at: https://www.mummypages.co.uk/7-maternity-dresses-that-are-perfect-for-the-festive-season [Accessed 14th July 2019]

Norther Colorado Moms Blog. (2018) When sundresses are a no-go: dressing your bump for fall and winter. Available at: https://northerncolorado.citymomsblog.com/beauty-and-fashion/when-sundresses-are-a-no-go-dressing-your-bump-for-fall-and-winter/ [Accessed 14th July 2019]

Parents. (2018) Pregnancy pampering: what’s safe, what’s not. Available at: https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/pampering/pregnancy-pampering-whats-safe-whats-not/? [Accessed 14th July 2019]

The Bump. (2019) 15 stylish maternity shoes to carry you through pregnancy. Available at: https://www.thebump.com/a/stylish-shoes-pregnant-women [Accessed 14th July 2019]

What to expect. (2019) 8 wardrobe staples for winter pregnancies. Available at: https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/photo-gallery/8-wardrobe-staples-for-winter-pregnancies [Accessed 14th July 2019]

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