The Best Maternity Dresses to Style Every Season of Your Pregnancy

The Ingrid & Isabel ruched tank dress is a wardrobe staple for all 40 weeks

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products. Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. Learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Pregnancy is a time of embracing change. Along with your changing body, you'll also likely be facing the changing seasons and invitations to special events. The right stretchy yet finely snug maternity dresses will help you feel comfortable, beautiful, and capable of any challenges that pregnancy throws your way. 

Reviewed & Approved

One great black dress can serve you in so many ways, which is why the versatile Ingrid and Isabel Ruched Maternity Tank Dress is our top pick. But on casual, warm-weather days, Seraphine's Sage and White Maternity and Nursing Dress will put a smile on your face.

Julie Holobinko, a personal shopper and stylist based in New Jersey, says that pregnant people should opt for quality over quantity when it comes to maternity clothes and dresses. “Invest in some staple maternity pieces early on in your pregnancy," she says. "That way, you can ensure you’re getting your money’s worth and will wear them for longer."

Before adding to your cart, consider your lifestyle, social calendar, and budget before making any maternity clothing investments. Since the nine months of pregnancy last through the bulk of the seasons, it's a good idea to opt for pieces that you can mix and match with non-maternity pieces. “For everyday wear, invest in a simple, black knee-length tank dress. That way, you can layer it with any non-maternity pieces you already have in your wardrobes, such as a cardigan or denim jacket,” says Holobinko. 

Use this guide to find the best maternity dresses for your needs.

Best Overall: Ingrid and Isabel Ruched Maternity Tank Dress

4.8
Ingrid and Isabel Ruched Maternity Tank Dress

Source: Ingrid and Isabel

Pros
  • Soft jersey fabric

  • Great layering piece

  • Dress up or down

Cons
  • Only three color options

Made of super-soft jersey, this versatile tank dress can become a blank canvas onto which you can layer accessories to express your personal style. Form-fitting and comfortable all at once, the stretchy shirred sides move with your body. We love that this dress will look just as great with sneakers as it will with heels or sandals, and that versatility makes this our overall top-rated pick. Furthermore, have you heard all of the talk about how flattering it looks?

Since your body temperature can run warm during pregnancy, it's convenient to be able to wear this all-season with cardigans, blazers, and jackets. Free shipping and returns from Nordstrom make it an easy shopping experience, especially if you’re in-between sizes. 

Material: Rayon/spandex blend | Size range: Extra small (0-2) through extra large (16)

Best for Warm Weather: Seraphine Sage & White Maternity & Nursing Dress

Seraphine Sage & White Maternity & Nursing Dress

Source: Seraphine

Pros
  • Discreet lift-up nursing access

  • Feminine, cool style

Cons
  • Only one print

This soft and feminine '90s-style sundress is a perfect addition to spring and summer maternity wardrobes. We love the contrast in this dress: The flowy, floral skirt is topped with the plain ribbed knit white top, making it work for a baby shower or everyday wear. Super versatile, this dress can be worn once the baby arrives too. The top lifts up for discreet nursing access, extending the usefulness of this dress.

Material: Viscose/nylon blend | Size range: 2 to 14

Best to Wear to Work: Motherhood Rib Knit Maternity T-Shirt Dress

Motherhood Rib Knit Maternity T-Shirt Dress

Source: Motherhood

Pros
  • Classic style

  • Dress up or down

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Bodycon style may be too tight for some

  • Limited color options

We think this simple T-shirt dress is an affordable, flattering, and comfortable staple for a maternity work wardrobe. For more casual settings, the dress is cute on its own and looks good with sandals, boots, or sneakers. When you’re heading to work, you can throw on a blazer, some bling, and heels, and you’re good to go. The timeless crew-neck, short-sleeve dress is simplicity at its best.

Material: Rayon/spandex blend | Size range: Extra small (0-2) through extra large (16-18)

Best Casual: A Pea in the Pod Chambray Front Button Maternity Dress

A Pea in the Pod Chambray Front Button Maternity Dress

Source: A Pea in the Pod

Pros
  • Wearable as shirt or dress

  • Chambray goes with everything

Cons
  • May be too short for tall people

  • No belt included

We love the versatility of chambray, which always has a more casual, relaxed vibe. You can choose your own adventure with this dress by wearing it buttoned as a dress, opened as a layering piece, or cinched with a belt for a more form-fitting look. Cotton chambray is light, and the style is airy, so it’s a great piece for warmer weather.

Material: Cotton chambray | Size range: Extra small (0-2) through large (10-12)

Best for Weddings: PinkBlush Solid Off Shoulder Maternity Fitted Dress

PinkBlush Solid Off Shoulder Maternity Fitted Dress

Source: PinkBlush

Pros
  • Eight color options

  • Shows off chest and shoulders

Cons
  • May need a strapless bra

Whether you’re looking for the perfect LBD or want to stand out in a bold color, this off-the-shoulder, fitted dress is an elevated style option for any upcoming wedding or formal event that you’ll be attending. The neckline is flattering as it draws the eyes up and shows off some skin. Available in black plus seven other bold colors, this affordable dress is stylish and comfortable. Known for its well-fitting maternity clothes, Pink Blush has a maternity-specific size chart—a useful tool to determine the right fit for your ever-changing body.

Material: Polyester/spandex blend | Size range: Small (4-6) through extra large (12-18)

Best for the Weekend: Hatch Softest Rib Nursing Dress

Hatch Softest Rib Nursing Dress

Source: Hatch

Pros
  • Converts to nursing dress

  • Comfortable and flattering

Cons
  • May be too long for shorter people

Polished enough for errands but cozy enough for hanging out at home, this super-soft dress is a versatile favorite. While on the pricier side, we see it as a worthwhile long-term investment since you can wear it throughout your pregnancy and into postpartum life.

The snap-front placket buttons make this a nursing-friendly dress, while the above-the-bump seam creates a beautiful A-line silhouette. While it is a long-sleeve maxi dress, the nylon/elastane blend isn’t hot, and the snaps run down the dress so you can open it up to allow some air to flow.

Material: Nylon/elastane blend | Size range: 0 to 4 (0 to 14-16)

Best Budget: Old Navy Maternity Jersey-Knit Sleeveless BodyCon Dress

Old Navy Maternity Jersey-Knit Sleeveless BodyCon Dress

Source: Old Navy

Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Versatile layering piece

Cons
  • Lightweight fabric provides less support

We recommend snagging this budget-friendly layering piece early in your pregnancy so that you’ll always have a dress to wear on those “nothing fits right” days. Available in several colors and a wide range of sizes, it's made from lightweight cotton jersey fabric and super cute alone or as an all-season layering piece. In addition to black, Old Navy regularly releases new seasonal colors of this classic dress.

Material: Cotton/spandex blend | Size range: XS (0-2) through XXL (20)

Best for a Night Out: ASOS Deep V-Neck Midi Dress

ASOS Deep V-Neck Midi Dress

Source: ASOS

Pros
  • Classic LBD

  • Ruched sides and interesting details 

Cons
  • Long sleeves may be too warm for some

  • Only available in black 

Add this cute LBD to your closet, and you’ll always have a dress ready for a fun night out. We love all the details that make this dress special, including the deep V-neck to show some skin, flared long sleeves, ruched sides, and a ruffled hem at the bottom. Stylish with heels, sandals, or sneakers, this midi dress leaves plenty of room for a growing bump. Added bonus: ASOS offers free shipping and returns, so it’s easy to try a few styles in the comfort of your home.

Material: Polyester/Elastane blend | Size range: Sizes 2 to 16

Best for the Beach: MISFAY Summer Casual T-Shirt Dress

MISFAY Summer Casual T-Shirt Dress

Source: MISFAY

Pros
  • Affordable

  • Multiple pattern choices

Cons
  • Not maternity-specific

We love this super soft, flowy T-shirt dress for a day at the beach for anyone, pregnant or not. While not a maternity dress, the casual swing style is forgiving enough to fit over a growing belly. With more than 30 patterns to choose from, including classic black, leopard, tropical flowers, stripes, and more, you can easily find a style that you’ll love. It's got deep pockets and thicker fabric that isn’t see-through, so you can transition from the beach to a restaurant with ease.

Material: Rayon/spandex blend | Size range: X-small through 3X-large

Final Verdict

Whether any of these is the right maternity dress for you depends entirely on your needs, the season, personal style, budget, and lifestyle. Still, we think you can’t go wrong with a stretchy little black dress that holds up on its own and can be the first layer in a creative wardrobe. The Ingrid and Isabel Ruched Maternity Tank Dress is a great investment early in your pregnancy. For a budget-friendly version, try the Old Navy Maternity Jersey-Knit Sleeveless BodyCon Dress

How We Rated the Best Maternity Dresses

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best maternity dresses we reviewed. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These maternity dresses are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great maternity dresses, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These maternity dresses are just average.

3.4 and below: We don't recommend maternity dresses with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

How We Selected the Best Maternity Dresses

While we have shopped for our own maternity dresses, we also researched the best places to shop for maternity dresses online right now. We aimed for sites that offered a variety of styles and sizes, affordable prices, and comfortable clothes that pregnant people want to wear, heeding the advice of stylist Julie Holobinko. Other factors included shipping and return policies and size inclusivity. User reviews (and complaints) were also helpful to find brands that live up to their promises of quality, accurate sizing, and customer service.

What to Look For in a Maternity Dress

Style

Wear what makes you feel good and is comfortable for your needs. “Fitted styles are always going to be more flattering,” Holobinko says. Show off your legs, chest, arms, or any other areas that’ll give you a confidence boost.

Fabric

Look for fabric with a spandex blend for a stretchy, form-accentuating dress to show off your bump. This is ideal for layering underneath jackets and sweaters. For a cooler, flowy look, opt for lightweight cotton that will allow a breeze to blow through during the hotter season. “Thicker stretchy fabric in a dark color is going to be the most flattering and will grow with you as your belly gets bigger," Holobinko adds.

Sizing

While it may be tempting just to buy bigger clothes in non-maternity styles, Holobinko warns against it in most cases. “These items will be bigger all over and will not be flattering,” she says. Use your pre-pregnancy size or a brand size chart to determine the best maternity size. Avoid anything too tight; this is the time to embrace comfort.

Formal Occasions

Finding the right fit for a formal occasion can be tricky. For an evening event, “simply switching the fabric of a basic dress to satin or lace can take a dress from casual to formal,” advises Holobinko.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When should I start wearing maternity dresses?

    Every pregnancy is different, and each expecting person's body is unique, too. Some people may want or need to begin wearing maternity clothing (and dresses) in the first trimester, while others may not see a big change in their shape until far into their second trimester or even later. However, it's usually time to consider maternity clothing when your regular clothing starts to feel constricting.

  • Can I go up a dress size instead of buying maternity dresses?

    Maternity dresses are designed for the pregnant body and are likely to offer a better than simply going up in size in a dress designed for non-pregnant bodies. That said, some people will do just fine (for a while) by going up one dress size, particularly if the style is loose. Others will find that the cut of maternity dresses simply fits the pregnant body better than regular dresses, even in a larger size. For one thing, the hem is designed to accommodate the pregnant shape; you may find that a non-maternity dress doesn't hang as well when it has to cover your bump.

  • How do I know what size maternity dress to buy?

    Typically, you will wear the same size in a maternity dress that you do in regular clothing. That said, all brands are different, so check the sizing chart to ensure you choose the size that will get you a proper fit.

  • How many maternity dresses will I need?

    How many maternity dresses you need largely depends on your personal preference, lifestyle, wardrobe needs, and budget. Some people will buy one or two maternity dresses, and others will purchase more or less than that. Ultimately, you can decide how many feels right to you.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She’s also the mom of an 11-year-old son, 8-year-old son, and 4-year old daughter. Maya’s maternity wardrobe was a mix of work staples during the week and more comfy clothes on the weekend. She lived in a favorite maternity LBD and stretchy tank tops. She always ran hot during her pregnancies and had to dress in layers so she could take something off when she was hot at work (and no one else was).

Was this page helpful?