Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


Clothing Picks for the First Trimester

Photograph by Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

Whether you want to show off your glow or hide the signs that you're expecting, your body's changing demands can't be ignored in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Your belly won't yet be much of a consideration when you're getting dressed—the American Pregnancy Association says that the typical woman will gain only 1 to 4.5 pounds during the first trimester—but safety, comfort and support should factor into your clothing picks.

Supportive Foundation

Having tender, swollen breasts is often one of the first signs that you're pregnant, so it's fitting that this is the part of your body where your clothing needs first change. Hormonal fluctuations may make your breast feel sore or fuller than normal, says MayoClinic.org, so the site suggests wearing sports bras during this trimester. If you already own bras that fit well and have thick bands and supportive cups, you can keep wearing them well into the first trimester. You'll need larger maternity bras later in your pregnancy, but for now, support is the key to keeping pain at bay. Because weight gain is minimal so far, your normal underwear should work.

Making Your Wardrobe Work

Your favorite sweaters and worn-in T-shirts will probably fit comfortably throughout the first trimester, though snug tops and pants may start to feel tight by the end of the third month. Pick skirts with wide waistbands, flowing dresses and tops with ruching once your bump starts to appear; these garments have enough spare room around the middle to accommodate the beginning of your weight gain. You may also use button extenders on your favorite pants to get a few inches of extra room at the waistband or raid your partner's closet for cozy button-down shirts.

New Pieces

Not every woman's body changes at the same rate during pregnancy. You might wear your own clothes into your second trimester or need maternity clothes by week 10. Look for pieces that are similar to those garments you typically wear, stylist Estee Stanley suggests to "InStyle." If you're all about skinny jeans or body-skimming evening wear, don't dress in shapeless tent dresses just because you're pregnant. Look for pieces that are stretchy enough to grow with you for a few months and will work next season. For instance, if your first trimester is in the summer, pick patterned dresses that you can pair with tights and a jean jacket come fall.

More Considerations

Be wary of bulky sweaters, tights and heavy fabrics. Becoming too hot may worsen the nausea that's typically a part of the first trimester, but overheating has even more serious side effects. Letting your body temperature stay at 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for more than 10 minutes is dangerous, says KidsHealth, as overheating can lead to miscarriage. Dress in light layers that you can adjust to suit your comfort level. Your footwear should be comfortable too. As your pregnancy progresses, your center of gravity shifts, and falls are dangerous for your baby. Kick your high heels to the back of the closet for now and pick up low-heeled shoes with interior padding.

More from pregnancy