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Best maternity dresses: on-trend styles for each trimester
Looking for a frock to suit your bump? Find the most flattering and stylish maternity dresses for any occasion in our round-up.
By Louise Baty | Last updated Jan 19, 2022
So you’re expecting… Yay! It’s fascinating to see your pregnancy body changing with every passing week. But there is a downside to having a growing bump, which is that your usual wardrobe of outfits just isn’t going to fit the bill or your evolving shape, at least not as your pregnancy progresses.
Let’s face it, maternity wear can be a hit and miss affair. When it comes to dresses for pregnant women, the market is flooded with frumpy oversized styles featuring garish prints as well as flounces and frills.
As the fashion gurus on our Style and Beauty forum will confirm, being a mum-to-be doesn’t mean having to abandon your style cred. Thankfully, Mumsnet users have waded through all the tat to find the most flattering, on-trend maternity dresses to buy this year.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a bump-friendly casual dress or a statement style for a special occasion, we’ve got the best maternity dresses for 2022. No tents allowed.
1. Best overall maternity dress: JoJo Maman Bébé Breton Stripe Maternity and Nursing Slub Tunic
Price: £29 | Buy now from JoJo Maman Bébé
“I got some nice dresses from JoJo Maman Bébé. They are breast-feeding-friendly too, so I’m still wearing them.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user expressoontap)
Breton stripes are a Mumsnet fashion staple! A useful, everyday maternity dress, this JoJo Maman Bébé Breton Stripe Maternity and Nursing Slub Tunic is made from super-flattering, go-with-anything striped stretch jersey material. Wear it in a number of ways: layered over maternity jeans or maternity tights with a maternity coat, or with bare legs and sandals on warm days.
Offering value for money, it is designed to be worn postnatally too and has ingenious nursing slits for breastfeeding. Available in small, medium and large, this maternity and nursing tunic has short sleeves, gathering around the bump and even pockets, which is surely the holy grail of maternity dresses. Mumsnetters praise JoJo Maman Bébé for being a quality maternity wear brand and this dress is no exception.
2. Best budget maternity dress: Amazon Essentials Women's Maternity Short-Sleeve Dress
Price: £18.90 | Buy now from Amazon
Basic pieces are the bedrock of any good wardrobe and that includes maternity wear too, when you’re more likely to be creating outfits from a capsule collection of clothes.
This simple, versatile midi dress in stretch rayon jersey will suit most occasions as it can be dressed up or down. Wear it with trainers and a denim jacket during the day and with sandals and statement jewellery for a night out.
Machine-washable and featuring a scoop neck and short sleeves, this Amazon Essentials maternity dress is available in sizes XS to XL and in Black, Navy and Charcoal. At this bargain price, you could potentially get all three colourways.
3. Best smock maternity dress: ASOS Wednesday’s Girl Wednesday's Girl Maternity midi smock dress in smudge spot print
Price: £22 | Buy now from ASOS
"I really liked ASOS [when pregnant]." (Recommended by Mumsnet user Jericha)
Alright, so it’s called a smock but this stylish offering bears no relation to the oversized and frump-tastic maternity smock styles of old. There isn’t a pussy bow in sight for starters.
Instead, this low-key and lightweight soft jersey dress features an all-over forest green smudge print, round neck, short sleeves, button-keyhole back. It’s designed to fit from bump to baby so you can carry on wearing it postnatally too.
Truly versatile, it would look just as good with trainers for the weekend or smartened up for work under a maternity coat. It’s available in sizes 8 to 18 but reviewers say it runs large in fit so bear that in mind when ordering.
4. Best bodycon maternity dress: Seraphine Black Ribbed Maternity and Nursing Dress
Price: £65 | Buy now from Seraphine
“Seraphine is great for stylish non-frumpy maternity clothes!” (Vetted by Mumsnet user Rainy88)
Pregnant or not, everyone needs a basic black dress and if you can stretch to the price of this bodycon midi length maternity dress, it could serve you and your maternity wardrobe very well.
In soft stretch ribbed knit fabric with a crew neckline, long sleeves and side splits for easy movement, the bump-hugging design lends itself well to layering and accessorising so you could wear it a number of ways during your pregnancy, dressing it up and down. After your baby is born, the top lifts up at the front for quick and convenient nursing access.
Seraphine is hardly cheap but, if you’d rather buy a handful of high-end maternity pieces rather than reams of cheaper stuff, it’s well worth a look, as this Mumsnetter attests: “I’ve gone for quality over quantity, getting a dress from Seraphine.”
5. Best maternity wrap dress: Frugi Rico Maternity and Nursing Dress
Price: £59 | Buy now from Frugi
“Frugi do good stuff and looked good for feeding afterwards without looking pregnant still.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Boringnamechanging)
Wrap dresses are almost universally flattering, whatever your shape, and they make perfect sense during pregnancy when your figure is rapidly evolving.
Frugi has designed a chic black polka dot wrap dress to suit most wardrobes and occasions. This spotty dress just ticks so many boxes! Not only does it look fab with a pair or hi-tops, it also fits the bill paired with heels for the office or a wedding.
Available in sizes 8 to 18, the Rico Maternity and Nursing Dress is made from super soft 95% GOTS-certified Organic Cotton Denim and 5% stretchy Elastane. It has a flattering V-neck and and adjustable wrap around waist tie along with three-quarter-length sleeves. Clever internal vest panels make it breastfeeding-friendly too. It is also available in a vibrant striped colourway.
6. Best maternity and nursing dress: Vertbaudet Short Cotton Gauze Maternity and Nursing Dress
Price: £32 | Buy now from Vertbaudet
“Vertbaudet was good for me.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user WorriedMummy2020)
Vertbaudet is a bit of a style secret when it comes to maternity wear, but Mumsnetters in the know love the French fashion firm’s pared down, chic designs at reasonable prices.
This short cotton maternity and nursing dress is available in plain Black or Brown with an all over polka dot print. It features a round scoop neckline and gathered seams to enhance and accommodate your bump along with long sleeves, elasticated cuffs, flared hem and ruffled panel on the shoulders.
Hitting just above knee length, it’s the perfect dress for wearing with maternity tights and boots for work or casual days and can be worn postnatally too. The button-up placket is ideal for breastfeeding if you choose to do so.
7. Best Amazon maternity dress: HAPPY MAMA Women's Maternity Nursing 2-in-1 Maxi Dress
Price: From £23.49 | Buy now from Amazon
“You can get some maternity clothes at very reasonable prices from Amazon. Have a look at a brand called Happy Mama.” (Vetted by Mumsnet user Daffodil2018)
Fancy choosing from a wide range of prints and colours? HAPPY MAMA have produced an elegant maternity and nursing dress in almost every colour under the sun including Blue Grey, Black, Cappuccino, Coral, Dark Green, Dusky Pink, Graphite, Khaki, Mint and Mustard along with prints such as florals, polka dots and stripes.
This soft jersey maternity and nursing maxi dress has a waist tie which can be fastened in a number of ways, depending on your shape. Not only is it the best holiday maternity dress we’ve found, it would also work as a maternity dress for a baby shower or wedding. Reviewers say it’s super comfortable to wear but warn that it is very long - worth bearing in mind if you’re petite.
8. Best occasion maternity dress: Seraphine Pleated Detail Maternity and Nursing Dress
Price: £99 | Buy now from Seraphine
“I fell in love with Seraphine. Not the cheapest out there, but I love their stuff. I buy my normal pre-pregnancy size in maternity.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Mc3209)
Yes, it’s Seraphine again. The high-end label’s luxurious maternity wear is loved by stylish Mumsnetters and famous faces including Kate Middleton and her sister Pippa. They’re clothes you’d want to wear whether you’re pregnant or not and the beauty of many Seraphine pieces is that they’re designed to be worn postnatally too.
This flattering maternity and nursing dress is no exception. With a pleated detail bodice, wide self-tie empire belt and striking contrast colour design along with hidden zip nursing access, you can attend your smart office function or posh party feeling like a queen.
When you buy Seraphine, you know you’re getting value for money as this Mumsnetter confirms: “I had a few dresses from Seraphine that lasted me for both pregnancies.”
9. Best maternity party dress: ASOS DESIGN Maternity Square Square Neck Pleated Midi Skater Dress
Price: £40 | Buy now from ASOS
“If you want more work/going out clothes, ASOS have nice stuff.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Bettie2192)
Ramping up the glamour stakes is this dressy midi maternity dress from ASOS in chic Forest Green (other colours, such as Rose Pink also available). With a pleated flared skirt, low-cut square neckline and long puffed-sleeves, it’s ideal for parties, special occasions and nights out.
Mumsnetters rate ASOS for on-trend maternity wear at reasonable prices and it’s consistently praised on our Style and Beauty forum. Fashionistas also love the clothing brand for its speedy delivery which means you can shop at the last minute before an event - ideal when your shape is constantly changing.
This maternity cocktail dress is made from 100% machine washable polyester and is available in sizes 6 to 20.
10. Best holiday maternity dress: Dorothy Perkins Maternity Pink Floral Wrap Over Midi Dress
Price: £20 (reduced from £40) | Buy now from Dorothy Perkins
“I've got some bits from Dorothy Perkins and they were all great.” (Vetted by Mumset user MrsB2019x)
Dorothy Perkins stores may no longer be on our high streets but the iconic fashion brand still has a strong online presence. Mums-to-be praise the brand’s maternity wear for offering both style points and value for money.
This pretty midi wrap dress with puffed short sleeves and a flattering V-neck may be covered in florals but it’s far from frumpy or old-fashioned. It would look just as good with a hi-tops or stompy boots as a pair of pretty sandals for a party. In 100% Viscose, it’s machine-washable and comes in sizes 8 to 20.
11. Best maternity jumper dress: ASOS DESIGN Maternity Super Soft V-Neck Belted Midi Jumper Dress
Price: £22.40 (was £32) | Buy now from ASOS
“I mainly stick to reliable old ASOS. Lots of choice, quick delivery and easy to return which is even more important during pregnancy. I like pregnancy clothes that feel like ‘normal’ clothes and don't look frumpy or dated.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user luxxlisbon)
A midi jumper dress in super-soft jersey is just what you need to look stylish and stay warm on cold days. This lightweight regular fit dress has a flattering V-neck, side split and adjustable tie waist to accommodate your bump.
It’s designed to fit you through pregnancy and postnatally too so it offers fantastic value for money. In a fetching deep red colourway, this on-trend jumper dress is the safest way to enjoy Merlot during your pregnancy.
12. Best maternity dress for work: Mamalicious Maternity Green Print Midi Dress
Price: £32 | Buy now from Matalan
“A load of Mamalicious jersey dresses from last time that I wore to work with tights and boots and then alone with flats.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Amrythings)
Smart enough for office meetings when paired with maternity tights and a jacket, this printed midi dress is funky enough to wear to evening events too. It features long sleeves, a flattering scoop neckline and bump enhancing wrap detail at the front.
If you’re not into fast fashion, you’ll be pleased to hear that Mamalicious have used eco-friendly LENZING ECOVERO branded viscose fibres to make this chic maternity midi dress so it’s a sustainable choice as well as a stylish one. The only downside? The size range is sadly very limited as it only goes up to size 14.
13. Best denim maternity dress: Dorothy Perkins Maternity Long Sleeve Denim Tiered Dress
Price: £34.20 (was £38) | Buy now from Dorothy Perkins
“I lived in Dorothy Perkins maternity dresses.” (Vetted by Mumsnet user User135792468)
You might assume that denim dresses are the least bump-friendly item of clothing going. After all, unyielding denim straining over an ever-growing tum is never a good look. But this relaxed denim dress is both flattering and comfortable.
Available in sizes 8 to 22, the Dorothy Perkins Maternity Long Sleeve Denim Tiered Dress is made from 100% machine washable cotton. The loose-fit panels will flatter your bump and there are long sleeves and frills too. It won’t work for breastfeeding though as it buttons at the back.
14. Best maternity wrap dress: New Look Maternity Wrap Midi Dress
Price: £19.99 | Buy now from ASOS
“I've picked up a few bits from New Look via ASOS which I've been happy with.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user luxxlisbon)
The polar opposite of bodycon maternity dresses, this midi frock is made from soft, easy-to-wear fabric which will drape over your curves rather than cling to them. Designed to fit you from bump to baby, it features puff sleeves, a frill hem and tie detail and the black floral print is classy and modern.
This midi dress would work well as maternity office wear or as maternity occasion wear, depending on how you choose to accessorise it. Mumsnetters rate New Look for offering fashion-forward maternity clothes which fit well without costing the earth.
15. Best plus size maternity dress: New Look Maternity Ribbed Tie Waist Midi Dress
Price: £17.99 | Buy now from New Look
“I thought New Look had nice items (I don't usually shop there) that were inexpensive but stylish enough - some nice dresses, etc. Everything also fit true to size!” (Vetted by Mumsnet user LASandOtto)
New Look’s inclusive new Curve range offers maternity wear in sizes 6 to 26 and Mumsnetters praise the store for offering fashionable plus-sized clothes which don’t compromise on style.
If you favour slinky styles to flatter your curves, you might like this Maternity Ribbed Tie Waist Midi Dress, which comes in a choice of colours: Rust or Black. Versatile and easy to dress up or down during your pregnancy as well as offering an adjustable waist tie and flattering side split, this dress is super chic. Who says that you have to compromise on style as your bump grows?
How to choose the best maternity dress
Choosing the best maternity dress for your changing shape can be a challenge but there are some key points to consider:
- Shape: Choose a dress which hugs your bump and clearly shows that you’re pregnant rather than an oversized style that tries to hide it. Be proud of your bump! Bodycon styles are great for accentuating your new shape, along with ruching and belts or waist ties that can be adjusted around your bump.
- Length: Maxi, midi or mini? Maternity dresses come in all lengths from mini to maxi along with the ubiquitous midi dress which is currently in favour. Long flowing, breezy maxi dresses can be great for summer although check the length if you’re petite - you don’t want your hem to be dragging on the floor. Smart midi dresses are ideal for office maternity wear. If you want to show off your legs - and really, why shouldn’t you? - then choose a fun mini dress and team it with maternity tights.
- Fabric: Stretch jersey is ideal for maternity wear as it will grow with you as well as hugging your curves in all the right places. If you’re looking for a jumper dress to keep you warm in winter, opt for a cosy knit. When you only have a capsule wardrobe to wear during pregnancy, machine-washable fabrics are best - and won’t need ironing either!
- Occasion: Whether you want a maternity dress for work, for everyday or for a special occasion such as baby shower or wedding, there will be a style to fit. Bodycon jersey dresses work well for everyday and can be dressed up or down. Flowing pleated styles in luxe fabrics work well for parties and occasions, as do pretty wrap styles in zingy prints.
What is the best maternity dress to buy?
The overall best maternity dress to buy is the JoJo Maman Bébé Breton Stripe Maternity and Nursing Slub Tunic. Comfy and stylish and designed to wear during pregnancy and beyond, thanks to the clever nursing panel, this dress can be worn with maternity tights for work or over maternity jeans for a more relaxed look. A tunic is a great style if you’re not usually a dress wearer and don’t fancy anything too fussy, slinky or frilly.
How we chose our recommendations
We understand that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from other stylish women who have bought maternity dresses. So we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which maternity dresses were rated by fashionable Mumsnet users.
We compiled a list of the maternity dresses they loved, looking at style, price and value for money. We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which maternity dresses were rated highly by independent reviewers and bloggers - and what customer reviews said about them too. Having collated all that information, we picked the maternity dresses that we thought would make the best buys.
Why you should trust us
We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.