Pregnancy Style: What to wear when you’re hiding the baby bump

In the first or second trimester and don’t want to let others know you’re expecting just yet? Here are some ideas on what to wear if you’re hiding the baby bump!

When to tell people you’re pregnant is obviously a personal preference; I always waited until after my 12/13 week scan (except for this third pregnancy, I felt compelled to tell my boss why I couldn’t work due to terrible morning sickness). Some people wait until 19/20 weeks as it’s traditionally considered the “safest” point (ie less likely for anything happening to baby after this period). If you’re lucky you may not even be showing at this point – I had someone tell me they didn’t “pop” until the 6 month mark!

This being my third pregnancy I started noticing physical changes to my body at around 8 weeks, and I was already sporting a little bump by around 10-11 weeks. (Also, being petite, the bump starts to show a little earlier – for my previous 2 pregnancies I was showing at the 14/15 week mark.) I wasn’t ready to let anyone outside of my immediate family know that I was pregnant – I hadn’t even had my first ultrasound – but if I had continued wearing some of my clothes from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe there definitely would have been some comments regarding the bump.

Work outfits became a little more challenging – while I was pretty much living in leggings every other day of the week, my work wardrobe mainly consisted of button up shirts, tailored blouses and belted pants, skirts and skinny jeans. With the changes happening early I found it hard to button up some of my shirts across the bust; the tailored blouses became a little too tight; and I couldn’t even do up my bottoms as my waist had already thickened by around 9 weeks.

If you’re hiding baby bump until you’re ready to pop the news to everyone, here’s some ideas on what you could wear to conceal the bun in the oven until then.

Leggings

Not just your run of the mill Kmart leggings though – you want them to be made of a thick fabric and constructed well, so that they look like slim-fitting pants. Here I’m wearing a pair of leggings by Life With Bird (bought second hand). They’re a thicker fabric than your standard leggings and when worn with a blouse untucked over the top could easily be considered as a pair of pants. I would suggest sizing up so they could be worn throughout the pregnancy and post-partum – you could always fold down the waistband and wear it below the bump with a nice flowy blouse over the waistband.

Examples: Isabella Oliver | Theory | Sanctuary

Blouses and shirts designed to be oversized

I’m not talking about shirts that are obviously 1-2 sizes bigger than your normal size, as these can look a little schleppy. I’m talking about shirts that are constructed and meant to be worn oversized, for example this Cecilie Copenhagen top that I’m wearing. It’s one size, but could fit anyone from AUS size 6 to a small 12, and looks good on anyone within this size range. I also have a COS button up blouse that’s a size small but could easily be worn by a size 12, it’s that oversized – this was perfect to wear for work when my baby bump started popping, and it looked the same as when I had worn it when I wasn’t pregnant.

Examples: Cecilie Copenhagen | ASOS | ASOS

Boho blouses/tops

Boho-style blouses and tops tend to be much more flowy and relaxed, and details like ruffles can help hide the baby bump. I don’t own a lot of boho items, but this red top I wore from this post is boho inspired and is an oversized style so is great to hide the bump. Details like embroidery also help distract and detract the eye on other parts of the body away from the bump. (See also this post for a boho-inspired jacket.)

Examples: Jag | Zadig and Voltaire | Topshop

Wrap/faux wrap tops and dresses

The wrap detail across the waist can hide baby bumps. This dress I wore in this post (when I was already starting to show!) is a faux wrap dress and the ruching from the wrapping helped to hide the burgeoning bump. Wrap dresses and tops are also perfect during and after pregnancy as they easily accommodate changes to the body (and are GREAT for breastfeeding).

Examples: Willow and Clay | Maison Scotch | Auguste | Backstage

Think fabric

Fabric like jersey or an elastane blend will cling and show off curves; for the first semester and early parts of the second semester, while you can still get away with wearing it, slightly more structured fabric like chambray skims the body and doesn’t show off any bumps. This is great for shift dresses and boxy style tops.

Examples: Soft Joie | Rails | Ann Taylor

Wearing: Cecilie Copenhagen top | Life with Bird leggings | Witchery loafers

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3 Comments

  • These are good tips! I was impressed with how far I could hide my bump with my first son – I made full use of all the options in my wardrobe, like you pointed out things that skim rather than cling work perfectly! 🙂 I was desperate to keep it hidden in the office until 24 weeks, and just about made that.

    This last time around it was a little harder, I was doing frocktober and aware that eventually I’d quickly run out of bump-hiding dresses! It was nice not having to go to such extremes to hide it for longer, but I’m also a little curious how far I could have kept it hidden if I had been able to use my entire wardrobe like I did with my first. We told our family much earlier, as morning sickness and a toddler to look after meant I needed a lot of help!

    • Wow you did well to hide it to 24 weeks! Hubby thinks I could probably get away with telling everyone it’s a little extra weight, but like you I needed to explain the morning sickness for extra help 😀 I’m incredibly thankful to whoever it was that invented elastic – a lot of my stuff doesn’t fit so well anymore!

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