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Article: A Maternity Style Guide for Modern Pregnancy

Maternity style and outfit guide for Summer

A Maternity Style Guide for Modern Pregnancy

Don't feel like maternity is your style? Discover the fashion experts’ top tips on the styles that will take you from bump to baby and beyond.

Fashion can be an amazing way to celebrate our bodies and showcase our individual flair and what better time to do this than during pregnancy? But with our bumps changing day by day (or sometimes hour to hour it can feel!) it can be tough to know how to navigate our wardrobe choices. 

Here at CARI, we strive to create designs inspired by modern motherhood and that means beautiful clothing that not only fits around our bump, but flatters it. Trends may come and go but style is timeless and nothing looks better on a pregnant woman than confidence. 

We consider ourselves experts in all things bumps with credentials earned through years of trial and error designing and fitting samples, styling photoshoots with various models and the outfit successes and failures of our own pregnancies. There will be days when you just crave comfort and cosiness, but for those special occasions when you want to elevate your look, we've compiled a list of the failsafe styles that every maternity wardrobe needs.

The Bump Silhouette

This style is about celebrating your pregnancy body and is perhaps one of the most iconic maternity looks. Think form-fitting dresses that sculpt your figure in good quality fabrics that can grow with you. Dresses with side ruching are born-for-this as the detail will ensure the design accommodates your growing bump without pulling on the seams. Our stunning French Stripes Maternity Dress is such a fun and contemporary twist on the classic cut. The soft fabric offers the perfect amount of stretch and the bold colours are perfect for spring and summer.

The Trapeze Style

For a contemporary and minimalist look, the trapeze style dress is so flattering and elegant, especially for workwear or dressier occasions. Fitted around the shoulders and top, it gently widens and flows into an A-line shape, delivering beautifully tailored elegance that is flattering on any body type. 

Our Black Maxi Trapeze Dress is a must for your capsule maternity wardrobe. The pleated front is flattering for both pregnancy and post-partum and the silky smooth fabric delivers the perfect drape. It’s also the perfect transitional style for autumn and winter too, as it’s easy to layer with chunky knits.

The Flowing Cut

A perfect pick for the sticky summer months, flowing dresses and skirts allow easy movement. Avoid the temptation to size up as a poorly fitted silhouette or excess fabric can make you feel rounder or wider. Instead, opt for tops with more shape and consider cotton in summer for a breathable feel. 

The Black and Gold Tiered Maternity and Breastfeeding Dress is a stylish choice for both workwear and elegant evening attire. Plus, the concealed zippers are a convenient design detail for nursing, making this a great choice for pregnancy and postpartum.

The Kimono

This gorgeous style is effortless and we simply adore the enchanting loose flow of the sleeves that gently drape from the shoulders. Our Kimono-style Maternity & Breastfeeding Dress offers a stunning colour pop of pink and green in a modern geo print. It also has the bonus of breastfeeding access through discreet poppers.

The Wrap Dress

An insider tip from our stylist is that showing a little skin, particularly around the neck, can do wonders to balance a puffy face. Wrap dresses are a gorgeous example of this and the combination of the v-neck plunge and the empire waistline delivers a flattering look for all body types at every stage of pregnancy. The Chunky Knit Wrap Maternity & Breastfeeding Dress is designed in a neutral mocha and is the perfect style to take from day to night. The soft knit is so comfortable and the dress can be teamed with flat ballet pumps or trainers for a casual fit or worn with heeled boots or a statement heel for the perfect evening edit.

The 'Over-the-Bump' Skirt

A satin bias midi skirt is timeless classic, that is always on-trend and you don’t have to give them up during your pregnancy. The Black Satin Maternity Skirt is cut above the bump and falls mid-length around the calf. Pair with a cropped top and a tailored blazer for a workwear look bursting with style, or team with a t-shirt and chunky sandals for a laidback feel.

Elasticated Waist Trousers

Not a fan of dresses but don’t fancy spending your pregnancy in stretchy leggings? An elasticated waistband is perfect for a growing bump and the style works great for postpartum too. Our Candy Striped Summer Trousers are perfect for the sunshine months and a simple way to add some vibrant colour to your wardrobe. The smocked waist can expand to double the size whilst still offering support for your bump. They’re also an ideal choice for post c-section as you can adjust the waistband to sit comfortably above the scar.


Sometimes fashion is about breaking the rules but there are some tried-and-tested tips that can deliver a little more style confidence during your motherhood journey.

Do...get clear on your style

Before indulging in the world of maternity wear, pause to explore and understand your personal style preferences. Dressing your bump will involve a little experimenting, and the clothing choices suitable for pregnancy may feel limited. So take the time to find a quality, style and ethos that appeal to you, such as a love of colourful prints or a black-is-the-new-black approach. 

Don't...opt for dropped waists, skater styles or baby doll dress

We’re all for experimenting and if these styles work for you, then by all means wear them with pride. But for the vast majority of body types, a dropped waist falls awkwardly over a bump. Skater dresses and baby doll styles may appear to flatter in the early stages of pregnancy, but the bigger your bump grows, the shorter the dress becomes as the fabric is pushed out to accommodate it. 

Do...go for structure

Flowing fabrics are fantastic but if you want to accentuate your silhouette, try experimenting with some structured fits. Tops with shoulder pads can create the illusion of broader shoulders which can balance out a big bump.

Don't...opt for tight tops on the bust or arms

It can be hard to know how our bodies will change during pregnancy but most women find their busts increase in size. Not to mention the ups and downs of our cup sizes during nursing! If something is already snug on your chest at the start of your pregnancy, it will definitely become an uncomfortable fit throughout. The same is true for our arms. You don’t want to feel like you’re having your circulation cut off so make sure the fit allows you to move with ease.

Do...invest in some statement flat shoes

There’s something about a heeled shoe that just makes us feel chic. But during pregnancy, comfort is key and a flat option can still be a stylish choice. The ballet pump is a huge trend for 2024 and can look so elegant when paired with some elasticated waist trousers and a cropped top. Shoes with cushioned insoles and arch support also provide maximum comfort. Invest in a closet of trainers, as we guarantee you will get good ROI in the new mother phase.

Don' afraid to be bold

They say well behaved women rarely make history so why not rebel? Who says pregnancy style can’t mean sequins, bold colours or cut-out styles? Pregnancy means celebrating your bump and still being able to celebrate your unique style and quirks.


    Social media is wonderful for style inspiration, and if you are a fashion obsessive, you’ll likely be adding a few pregnant influencers to your follow list. Seeing their outfits can encourage you to experiment a little. If you are not a fashion follower, well lucky for you we do a very regular #BumpStyle round-up of the best dressed bumps and new mum style on Instagram (@cari.maternity), so follow for all the amazing outfit inspiration. 

    Check out our Pinterest (@CARImaternity) too, where there are dedicated styling boards and all-things-motherhood lifestyle content. But while social media may offer wonderful style inspiration, it's also a minefield of unrealistic expectations - especially when it comes to super skinny influencers proclaiming they don’t need maternity clothes while you are bursting out of your trousers by week 16, and then ‘bouncing’ back into their jeans minutes after the baby. 

    As you embark on this extraordinary style adventure with your new body, remember to make it fun and exciting! Indulge in the convenience of online ordering and experimenting to discover what works best for you and do embrace the multifunctionality of modern maternity clothes, as they offer versatility and lasting value. In the words of fashion journalist and author Pandora Sykes: 

    "My one tip is to ignore the person who says don’t spend money on maternity clothing and the unhelpful unicorn who trills ‘I just undid my top button for 9 months’. When your closet shrinks to 10 pieces to last 6 months, the cost-per-wear is more than anything you ever wore. So, buy yourself at least one thing you love." 


    At CARI, we're committed to supporting you with sustainable and versatile maternity wear, ensuring you feel utterly fabulous every step of the way.

    You and your bump deserve looks that make you feel radiant and utterly beautiful. 

    Until Next time x

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