Editors' Picks: The First-Trimester Fashion We Loved when We Were Not Quite Ready for Maternity Clothes
As many moms-to-be in their first trimester (hi, Meghan Markle!) discover, finding clothes that flatter and feel good when you're not quite into bump territory - but are definitely starting to expand ever so slightly - can be tricky. People staffers shared the go-to clothes they relied on to be comfy and cute in those first 12 weeks, before making the official transition to maternity wear.
A Great Coat
Janine Rubenstein, Senior Editor: I lived in this H&M Mama Parka - it was super comfy and camouflage-y for when I wasn’t quite ready to reveal. But it expanded with me and I ended up wearing it my whole pregnancy and after… and still, if I’m being honest.
Buy It! H&M MAMA padded parka, $79.99; hm.com
Andrea Lavinthal, Style & Beauty Director: This is my second pregnancy so you’d think I’d be well-versed in first trimester dressing. But I “popped” way earlier this time and my favorite trick of looping a hair elastic through the button hole of my jeans to expand them an extra inch only got me to about week nine. So I turned to the savior of all women: leggings. I ordered my favorite Spanx faux leather leggings in a size up and was thrilled when they slid right on and smoothed my bump in a way that made it barely noticeable. I was able to wear them well into my second trimester and plan to order the maternity version for the final stretch (terrible pun intended).
Buy It! Spanx faux-leather leggings, $98; nordstrom.com
Flowy Dresses & Tops
Lindsay Jerutis, VP Commerce Content & Strategy: I wore flowy dresses like this one with a lot of patterns to mask the bump-ness and generally a flowy scarf for added distraction. And I liked oversized rayon or silk tops I bought one size up that I could wear over jeans with a belly band. But mostly I was just doing the best I could while only eating bagels with butter to combat morning sickness.
Buy It! Ella Moss floral-print maxi, $228; neimanmarcus.com
Ann Taylor pleat-front keyhole tee, $69.50; anntaylor.com
Kate Hogan, Features Director: These airy shirts got me from the first trimester to the third, through postpartum and nursing. They're big enough to cover pretty much any size bump (but not so big they look unflattering) and have buttons for easy access while breastfeeding. I have five in my closet and still wear them because I just think they're cute!
Buy It! NYDJ pleat-back blouse, $89; nordstrom.com
Alex Apatoff, Lifestyle Director: I was already obsessed with this brand's celeb-loved, high-waisted skinnies even before I found out that I could button them over my expanding bump into my 15th week and they kept everything smoothed-out and in place. And I really loved them once I discovered could button them right back up a week after giving birth.
Buy It! Parker Smith bombshell skinny, $139; bloomingdales.com
Kate Coyne, Executive Editor: J.Crew popover shirts— the kind with only three buttons so they don’t button over your stomach. Those were my everything during the “I’m still hiding it” phase.
Buy It! J.Crew classic popover shirt in Liberty print, $73.99; jcrew.com
Elastic-Panel Jeans and V-Neck Tees
Colleen Schmidt, Supervising Producer, People Video: My jeans were the first thing to go so I lived in these Target jeans. I also had these Hatch V tees in a bunch of colors and would wear them under blazers and cardigans. I still wear them now!
Buy It! Isabel maternity by Ingrid & Isabel maternity inset panel jeans, $29.99; target.com
Hatch The Perfect V tee, $88; shopbop.com
Ariel Nagi, Senior Audience Engagement Editor: I was pregnant in the summer/early fall both times so I lived in Old Navy maxi dresses and leggings or yoga pants. I never owned any maternity clothes!
Buy It! Tie-belt sleeveless maxi dress, $29.97; oldnavy.com
Print Shirts & Cardigans
Lauren Mikler, Executive Producer, People Video: I didn’t necessarily buy anything new until I popped enough to enter the wild world of maternity wear (I can talk about the many unfortunate options out there for days), but luckily it was warm outside during my first trimester, so my staples were loose summer dresses that I already owned… then untucked button downs, leggings and boyfriend jeans saved me as the seasons changed. Once I really got a belly, layering with longer cardigans, blazers and jean jackets helped me hide for as long as possible until there was no going back, which I realized fully when strangers started offering me their seat on the subway. I liked H&M cardigans - you can buy a lot without breaking the bank! - and J.Crew plaid button-ups since I think print helps distract.
Buy It! J.Crew classic-fit plaid shirt, $79.50; jcrew.com
H&M mohair-blend cardigan, $69.99; hm.com
Sharon Kanter, Deputy Style Director: I wore these the whole first trimester and no one was the wiser! I wanted to hide the pregnancy as long as possible (call it superstition) and so this was flattering while also covering up. Loved these and would highly suggest them!
Buy It! Express mid-rise sash pant, $59.90; express.com