eStyle is best when it’s expressed on your own terms. That means wearing whatever evokes joy without sacrificing your comfort, ethics, or personal budget. But pregnancy is an incredibly humbling experience that can throw even those with very specific preferences for a loop as they discover what parts of their personal wardrobe stay or shift along with their own physical changes. There’s no one way to go about pregnancy style and the stories of six new and soon-to-be moms below demonstrate that. For these expecting and new mothers, life in quarantine posed an additional set of challenges — making comfort all the more important over those nine months before birth.

Including designers, stylists, models, and other stylish folks, the women ahead found a way to find both safety and joy in dressing for this period of time. In fact, many built their maternity wardrobes starting with items they already loved to wear. It’s an approach that makes sense for anyone who wants to stick to their taste and not invest in pregnancy-only purchases that don't serve much of a purpose in the next stage of life. But along with the specific mom-to-be advice they share (everything from underwear they love and why you should invest in a pair of Birkenstocks), there’s also much inspiration to glean in their stories of discovery and appreciation that comes with navigating one of the most unique experiences a woman can have.

We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Leonora Arslani

What to wear when you're pregnant

“My hero fashion item would have to be the oversized button-down shirt,” says Leonora Arslani, founder of footwear, accessories, and made-to-order fashion line Giovanna. “That's actually always been a hero item for me and it has remained true through this time.” Arslani, who’s pregnant with her first child and due in July, says she’s mostly been wearing designs from her own line including the Alessia dress and Elena button-down which both have a roomy fit.

“My top priority has been trying to stay true to my style while purchasing as few maternity clothes as possible,” says Arslani, who also serves as the Senior Apparel Designer for Lela Rose and Head Designer for Lela Rose Bridal. “I’ve been lucky because my wardrobe already consisted of so many oversized pieces that I have been able to get away with wearing so much of it. Comfort has been important as well as I have been pretty uncomfortable lately.”

The best maternity outfit ideas

Aside from wearing silhouettes that can accommodate a changing body, Arsani has also mixed in athletic essentials, too. Biker shorts, sneakers, and leggings, specifically. “I will say that I had never worn leggings aside from working out pre-pregnancy but have been happy to experiment with some fun stirrups and split hem options this season,” says the mom-to-be. “I think that those items will stick around for a while. They've worked great for me with my oversized button-downs and loafers.”

London-based Chloé Pierre is an entrepreneur, influencer, and founder of the wellness community thy.self, whose debut book, Take Care: The Black Women's Guide to Wellness, is set to release early next year. But first, next month in July, she’ll be welcoming her first child. She says pregnancy has opened her eyes to shopping in places she may have overlooked before. “The lack of stylish items within maternity sections made me venture to stores I dismissed previously and outfits I wouldn't have worn before as I had to be more resourceful,” she shares.

Pierre, who still prefers to stay away from clothing specifically designated as maternity wear, says that comfort remains a priority — before, during, and assumedly after, pregnancy. “Skims and Curvy Kate underwear and Pangaia separates have been lifesavers,” she says about her typical off-duty uniform, adding, “I also have a new appreciation for Crocs in month 8.” She’s also found a different kind of comfort in body-hugging silhouettes. “I quickly learned of the benefits of wearing tighter-fit clothing but with generous fabrics in helping me hold on to me, my style and identity. It's possible to be a pregnant baddie.”

The past several months have given Pierre a newfound outlook that’s challenged, as well as grown, her confidence. “It has made me more fearless with fashion and more bold in my decision-making and boundary-setting, in general.” She anticipates carrying this attitude into motherhood and maintaining her sense of self, especially as she enters this new chapter. “What I avoided is the idea of ‘dressing like a mum’ — who set that standard or rule? I am me, first and foremost.”