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Chic, fashion-forward maternity looks

Maternity designer Liz Lange with then-pregnant Molly Sims in 2012.

Target

Being pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t stay true to your personal style. On the contrary, today’s top designers are approaching pregnancy as a time to play up a woman’s favorite looks – not put them on hold until after labor and delivery.

“There is no reason why a woman must sacrifice her sense of style just because she’s pregnant,” says Liz Lange, the designer behind Target’s stellar maternity department. “I built my philosophy around embracing the baby bump – not hiding it!”

If you’re rocking a bump this season, read on for maternity looks that are trending the hardest.

Chunky knits and other comfort pieces

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Pregnant or not, knitwear is red-hot right now. “Whether running errands, chasing after kids, or relaxing at home, warm and relaxed fashion is top of mind,” says Lange.

In other words, comfort is key. Expect to see soon-to-be mamas donning textured knit dresses and cozy sweaters this season. Lange says that layering is also on trend. (Think ponchos and longer length cardigans.)

Sweaters aside, length is another playful way to put a spin on maternity wear. Everything from short almost-minis to longer maxi dresses are trending strong this winter as well.

Looks that show off the belly

According to Lange, the last thing pregnant women should do is downplay their belly. “Select pieces that will comfortably hug your belly and create a flattering maternity look,” she says.

Tops or dresses with side-ruching hit the mark since the form-fitting silhouette naturally makes women look thinner. Another perk of this style is that it grows with the belly, allowing you to wear it all pregnancy long.

Stretchy leggings are another obvious maternity staple. Nadia Carriere, writer and publisher of Child Mode, adds that skinny jeans and pants are particularly on trend.

“They’re cuter than leggings, and thanks to the stretchy fabrics and built-in panels, they still feel like leggings,” says Carriere. “It’s just more of a chic look.”

Bold accessories and prints

Pregnant women looking to spice up their wardrobe can also turn to big, glitzy accessories. “Don’t be afraid to wear basics and accessorize with jewelry if you’re experiencing maternity closet frustration,” says Lange. “I love a statement necklace or scarf to dress up a sweater.”

This is on point with winter jewelry trends on the whole. Large, over-the-top earrings are the norm this season (especially big, single earrings). When it comes to prints, simplistic patterns are out in maternity wear. Instead, animal prints and geometric patterns are showing up on everything from winter coats to dresses.

“Another big trend coming in for spring and summer is ethnic-patterned tops,” says Carriere. “We’re seeing a lot of tribal patterns, and a lot of designs from India and Africa are coming through.”

What to expect this spring

As the weather gradually warms up, Carriere says that loose, peasant blouses will be a strong trend this spring. “It’s that hippy style,” she says, forcasting that embroidery and light, floral patterns will be popular. “Then you’ve got that loose style around the belly.”

Graphic tees and full wrap dresses are other looks that aren’t going away anytime soon.

The big takeaway here is that with so many brands and designers branching out into the maternity market, it’s getting easier and easier for expectant mothers to find the maternity version of their favorite looks.

“Maternity wear has come a really long way from years ago when our mothers were pregnant,” says Carriere, who’s referring to the horrible tent-like outfits from years past. “They’ve really perfected it so you can be super-chic and comfortable in all stages of your pregnancy.”

 
 
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