When thinking about your maternity wardrobe and the budget you have to work with, their are some key pieces that should be part of every maternity collection. Regardless of your body type, these maternity essentials will just get used over and over and keep you looking good and ready for any occasion...all 10 months long!


  1. Black Leggings: A great pair of maternity leggings do many things. Firstly they look effortlessly chic under an oxford shirt with ballet flats, a printed tunic and an oversized cardy or relaxing at home. Secondly the compression the leggings provides can often be very comforting for aching limbs and stretching ligaments.
  2. Extra Long Tank: Maternity tanks are made longer than non maternity tanks so they actually cover your growing bump. Unlike Madonna in the 90s, most of us don't want our bumps hanging out the bottom of a shirt, so long tanks are a great underpinning and an easy solution to maternity tops. Wear one under a blazer, as a mild form of shape-wear under shirts, or simply to relax at home.
  3. Wedges: I'm not saying every girl needs to be in heels, but sometimes when we need that extra sense of glamour and put togetherness, there is nothing like a heel to give it to you. Stilettos, however, just don't cut it when you are carrying around the extra pounds and trying to keep your balance. Wedges, by contrast, provide chic elegant height with more balance than a regular heel. If it's the winter months you are purchasing for, go with a wedge boot or bootie.
  4. LBD: Invest in a simple little black dress in an easy to wash fabric that flatters your body. For example, if you love your legs, go short; if you love your face, choose a lace or jewel detail around the neck to draw attention upwards; if you love your new curves, go tight. This dress with the right accessories will take you from work to a party or date at night.
  5. Denim: Most of your favorite brands now make maternity denim. Be sure to try them on as your body [changes] and thus the style that suits you best can change. They can be expensive, so invest in one great pair knowing that you'll wear them even after your wee one is born and nobody will know!
  6. All-purpose Black Pant: One pair of great black pants is essential. Again, be sure to try different styles to find out what works best for you (e.g. over-the-belly or under-the-belly waistlines.
  7. Blazer: Some form of tailored blazer is a great way to pull together a maternity look. It doesn't need to be a maternity-specific blazer, as there is no need to button it up; it does, however, need to fit well with your bone structure so you look smaller not bigger when you wear it. I love navy with white or red piping in the summer and tweed or a statement jewel tone for the winter.
  8. Light Weight Cotton or Silk Substitute Blouse: I love silk like the rest of them, but for maternity wear and with young kids in tow it's not practical. There are so many poly-silk imitations on the market today that are less expensive and allow you to home wash your clothes. Look for a blouse that has a silk feel and fun print. This will look romantic and lovely but also endlessly comfortable. Pair with denim on the weekend or your black pants for the work day.
  9. Rushed T: Rushing is the side cinching you see along the seams of a lot of maternity tops and dresses today. It is incredibly flattering to your growing bump and makes a simple comfortable T look much smarter and more versatile.
  10. The "I simply Love it" Dress: You need at least one dress you bought because you love it and it makes you feel good. This doesn't have to be endlessly practical it just has to make you feel good. You'll use it at your baby shower, wear it to weddings, or simply on those days you need a pick me up. Even in the maternity essentials list, every girl needs something a little frivolous.

< Rosie's BabyMed blog

For more Rosie…

Twitter: @RosiePope
Buy MommyIQ: The Complete Guide to Pregnancy