Formal Maternity Wear

Dress to impress with stylish formal maternity clothes

When your pregnancy begins to show, a formal occasion can be more of a headache than an exciting event. In a room full of well-dressed people, a bulging belly may leave you feeling uncomfortably conspicuous. Luckily, plenty of outfits will let you light up the room with your personal style rather than turn conversation towards your pregnant belly, and sometimes it's as easy as exploring a new cut, fabric or color. If you're looking to make a good impression at an event or at the office, take some tips to help you choose formal maternity wear with the most flattering cuts, perfect embellishments and best materials to make you shine in any crowd.

Best Cuts for Formal Maternity Clothes

While you should choose any style that makes you feel comfortable, sexy and confident, you may find that certain dresses work better with a pregnant body than others. Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, you may want to opt for a wrap style, which fits nicely over your belly, creates a flattering v neck and can be easily adjusted to fit snugly around your form. The lines are quite slimming, making these some of the nicest versions of maternity bridesmaid dresses. The down side is that they tend to be a slightly more casual look, and while that's fine for a semi-formal occasion, you may want to go another route for particularly fancy affairs.

Maternity dresses are often designed with an empire waistline to avoid any constricting hems across the belly. If the flowing empire waist look isn't for you, a dress with a slinky material or rusching around the belly and hips may be more appealing. These are certainly more fitted styles, and the confident mom-to-be can pull them off. However, look for versions that use design elements expertly and embellishments sparingly: the rusching should flow through the whole dress and a single beaded band following the v neckline or a one-sleeve asymmetrical neckline will dress it up just right. You'll want to avoid high necklines, which can exaggerate your larger chest and belly.

Finding the Perfect Maternity Business Suit

When it comes to the working world, there's no question that your appearance speaks volumes. But while you might be able to stretch the majority of your regular wardrobe into the second trimester, it's not so easy to find a pre-pregnancy suit that will accommodate a baby bump without sacrificing fit or style. Luckily, more designers are tailoring fashionable maternity clothing to comply with the office dress code, which means working moms-to-be can continue to look as refined as their peers.

One great aspect of the business suit is that it's assembled. While a long, slinky dress can pose a challenge for the pregnant figure, formal maternity clothes that come in two-pieces allow for both a modified top and bottom; these can overlap seamlessly for a striking result. Some features to look for in a business suit include:

  • Belted Jacket -- This style features a tailored tie that wraps around the waist, and though it does draw some attention to your torso, it also does a great job merging comfort and style. The belt or tie should look like a carefully matched accessory rather than an afterthought.
  • High Waist Jacket -- If you prefer something a bit more streamlined, opt for a suit jacket that has a button or tie between your bust and your belly and lapels that fall easily over your bump. A broach on the lapel or chest will draw the eye up and lend a little decoration to such a streamlined design.
  • Wide Leg Pant -- Wider legs give a modern look and are superbly comfortable. Another benefit to roomy pants is that you have plenty of space to grow if you happen to put on a bit of weight in the hip and thigh area as you continue through your pregnancy!
  • Soft and Wide Waistband -- Whichever style you go for, make sure that the waistband is stretchy, seamless and as high or as low as you need it. Some women feel more comfortable with a band that reaches up and over the bump, while others prefer the band to sit below the belly. If you can't decide, look for a pair with an ultra thin, wide and stretchy waistband that can be worn either way.