Effortless Maternity Capsule Wardrobe For Any Season

Learn how to build the perfect maternity capsule wardrobe that’s chic and effortless. Get the best tips, tricks & a printable checklist too!

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image of a pregnant woman standing on a sidewalk wearing a long cream colored sweater dress and dark sunglasses
photo: @brooklynblonde

What is a maternity capsule wardrobe?

A maternity capsule wardrobe is essentially a small collection of clothing used specifically during the pregnancy season to accommodate your growing belly. During the early months of pregnancy you can often get away with your normal clothes. But, as your body changes and your belly grows you’ll need to add in special maternity clothing that is both practical and comfortable. 

Pregnancy is a beautiful season in a woman’s life. There is so much change, growth, and transformation that happens, it’s truly miraculous! Being a mom of two myself, I have been around the pregnancy block a couple of times, and for both of those seasons I have used a maternity capsule wardrobe.

What month do you start wearing maternity clothes?

There is no specific month during pregnancy when maternity clothes are necessary as every woman is different and the way her belly grows will be unique to her own body type. That being said, as a general rule, you’ll typically find by the second trimester (around month 4-5) it will be time to bring in some different clothing options.

For your first pregnancy it’s quite common to not have much of a belly until you are in the second trimester, and you might find you can wear all of the same clothing until then. In subsequent pregnancies however, woman often find they “pop” sooner and might need to switch over to maternity jeans even in the first trimester (I definitely did!).

image of a beautiful pregnant woman standing on a sidewalk wearing a beige wrap sweater, white jeans, and a black purse
photo: @skirttherules

How much does a maternity wardrobe cost?

The cost of a maternity wardrobe is completely dependant on your own budget. You can easily create a suitable maternity wardrobe with 10 essential pieces around $400, or you can spend thousands.

There are many brands out there who make fantastic maternity clothes ranging from budget-friendly to luxury. I’ve created a list of brands below the maternity capsule wardrobe checklist at the end of the post for you to check out! 

image of two woman at a garden party wearing dresses, one pregnant, and the other reaching out to touch the pregnant woman's belly
photo: @eyeswoon

How do you build a maternity wardrobe?

Building a maternity capsule wardrobe is actually quite effortless. If you are feeling at all overwhelmed (as pregnancy in itself can often make you feel) follow these steps: 

1. Figure out in what seasons you’ll be 4-9 months pregnant

2. Go through your closet and pull out any pieces of clothing for those particular seasons that can serve double-duty – This means they are oversized, flowy, or stretchy enough to accommodate a pregnant belly. You can absolutely include non-maternity clothes in your maternity capsule so long as wearing them will not wreck the clothing. Think about things like oversized sweaters or shirts, flowy dresses, or button-up shirts. 

3. Go through the Maternity Capsule Checklist and check off any items you can use from your current wardrobe – find the checklist at the end of the post. 

4.  Purchase or borrow any remaining items on the checklist that you’ll needThis is a great idea if you are on a budget. I had a few friends who I swapped clothes with during our pregnancy seasons. Things like maternity jeans, shirts, and body-con dresses.

Effortless Maternity Capsule Wardrobe Pin 4

Maternity Capsule Wardrobe for Spring or Summer

The graphic above can serve as inspiration for a great, versatile maternity capsule for the spring and summer months. With just a small selection of clothes you can create tons of outfit combinations that are both comfortable and stylish.

Comfort is key when it comes to maternity outfits. Your body is changing and stretching so much you’ll find being pregnant in itself can have varying levels of discomfort so that last thing you’ll need is clothes that add to that!

image of a pregnant woman standing in front of a grassy field wearing black leggings, sneakers, and an oversized white button up shirt
photo: @mrsmeasom

For spring and summer think airy, light, breathable, and stretchy. When you are pregnant and it’s hot outside, you’ll be thankful for comfortable breezy clothing. Dresses and light layers are a great choice.

Shop The Spring/Summer Capsule


Effortless Maternity Capsule Wardrobe Pin 5

Maternity Capsule Wardrobe for Fall or Winter

In this capsule graphic you’ll see more layers for cool weather, warmer knit materials, but still an emphasis on comfort and versatility.

image of a blonde pregnant woman walking down the street wearing jeans, an oversized grey sweater, a wool coat, and a knit toque
photo: @thefrugality

Again, there are so many different outfit combinations that can be made with just a small selection of clothes and accessories. 

You also might be wondering why I included a swimsuit in a fall/winter capsule, and this is simply because in the cooler months you might still go to a pool or hot springs and you’ll need a maternity specific swimsuit.

Shop The Fall/Winter Capsule


The Maternity Capsule Wardrobe Checklists

Below are two downloadable and printable checklists for spring/summer and fall/winter.

If you find you are going to be 4-9 months pregnant during a mix of seasons (summer to fall for example) you can combine the two and make a hybrid capsule.

download checklist here

download checklist here


Final Notes


Remember, your maternity capsule wardrobe can be adjusted to suit your lifestyle and personal taste. And, it can be larger or smaller than my suggested capsules, there are no set rules.

The key is to focus on comfort, practicality, versatility, and of course, choose pieces you LOVE (make sure you love every single piece in your capsule!) so that you’ll feel amazing and get ample wear out of each item.

Now that you’ve got your maternity capsule wardrobe covered, check out this list of more things to do when you find out you’re pregnant

Congratulations mama-to-be. You’ve got this!


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