Maternity Dresses

Find the perfect maternity wedding dress or evening gown

Shopping isn’t always fun when you start to lose your familiar shape, but shopping for maternity dresses can be pleasantly surprising. After all, dresses are generally more forgiving and more flattering, if you find the right style for your body. From light and airy fabrics to slinky outfits that celebrate your baby bump, there's a dress style out there to match your personality and your features. Of course, you may need to adjust your priorities and perspective in order to find the perfect piece, but with some helpful tips for balancing your form and accentuating your style, you'll have all you need to create an elegant, playful or sophisticated look for any event.

Choosing a Maternity Wedding Dress

There's an impressive selection of dresses for the pregnant bride, and there's no need to sacrifice your preferences for a good fit. Whether it's a soft, ethereal chiffon gown or a more structured -- and cleverly cut -- maternity dress, you're bound to find a dress that not only fits well, but will keep you in comfort and bring out your best features on your big day. More specialty designers are coming out with trendy dress lines made just for mom-to-be, but you may prefer to shop in a regular wedding boutique and simply opt for a forgiving style.

Generally, empire waists are preferred for comfort and effect, as the line sits just below the bust and the fabric will flow freely over your belly. Of course different fabrics and embellishments can change a simple empire waist dress into something that speaks to your individual style, so don't settle for the first one that you find. For both maternity bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses, rusching around the top will lend some interest to the design without making the dress look any bigger or too flashy, and a sheath cut will lengthen your figure without adding width to your hips.

Evening Dresses

The selection of maternity evening dresses is nearly as large as regular formal wear, and your decision will rest largely on your favorite colors, designs and cuts. However, you may not be drawn to the same styles you're used to buying, as your new shape will almost certainly modify the look of your outfit. In turn, designers of fashionable maternity clothing tend to use certain design elements -- you'll likely see the same cuts and patterns coming up again and again in maternity dress lines.

One fantastic style is the maternity wrap dress, which has two long ties that let you wrap the panels of the dress around your body and fix them snugly. The benefit of this dress is that you can adjust the size according to your shape, which means it should last longer into your pregnancy than other maternity dress styles would. The neckline it creates is also flattering and helps to lengthen your figure. If you need something especially elegant, you may want to look into floor length gowns with clever gathering and fewer lines, but stick to v neck, scoop neck or a style with one shoulder strap to create the vertical line that will balance your bigger belly.

Clever Accessories for Your Maternity Dress

Remember that what you wear under your dress will affect your finished look, and the right maternity underwear can do wonders for your comfort and figure. When you're sporting a sleek dress, you should opt for seamless underwear and some supportive stockings to smooth your figure and fight leg pain and swelling. Constrictive panels and conventional shapewear are not the best accessories during pregnancy, as these are bound to cause some discomfort. Don't worry about hiding your belly behind slimming garments -- celebrate your bump with a proud and curvaceous silhouette!

When it comes to jewelry, there's no need to change your usual style, but avoid overdoing it. It's nice to adorn the dress itself with a touch of sparkle or a band of beads, which means you'll want to keep jewelry small and delicate to complement rather than overpower the outfit. A nice hairpin is a great way to add some interest without embellishing your belly or bust, and a bracelet can balance the outfit nicely.