The Surprisingly Versatile Maternity Sweater Dress
It's no surprise that Google logs tens of thousands of monthly searches for terms like "maternity sweater dress," "knit maternity dress" and "maternity dress with stretch." After all, a pregnant woman's body is changing so quickly, it can become almost unrecognizable in a matter of weeks. This rapid pace of change makes STRETCH a prized feature of the best maternity clothes designs, and dresses can be so much easier to deal with than two-piece outfits when we're navigating fatigue, morning sickness, pregnancy brain, and work/life balance. It's all about #keepingitsimple. If you're lucky enough to be pregnant in fall, winter, or even early spring, what could be simpler than the stretchy, classic, one-piece maternity sweater dress?
3 Ways to Style Your Maternity Sweater Dress
Knee-length and long maternity dresses tend to look more formal than shorter styles, and are our recommendation if you're looking for an office-friendly maternity sweater dress. Opt for solids or subtle stripes, and choose professional-looking neutral tones, like black, brown, navy, or camel. Style your maternity sweater dress into the perfect office wear look by adding subtle accessories (think small classic hoops and a simple matching necklace), timeless pumps or flats, and an open-front blazer.
Tall model is 5"10 and wearing the MARION Luxe Maxi for Maternity & Nursing in Black. Petite model is 5'2" and wearing the same style in Nutmeg.
A great maternity sweater dress can transition from office wear to streetwear by simply swapping your pumps for sneakers and trading the blazer for a denim jacket (or no jacket). Easy peasy.
Petite model is 5'2" and wearing the Louie Striped Knit Maternity & Mama Dress by MARION.
3. Evening Out
Mamas-to-be are often hesitant to spend money on occasion maternity dresses because they don't consider them versatile enough for a smaller pregnancy capsule wardrobe, but who wants to go 9-15 months without having a nice dress to wear on evenings out? The simple solution is to invest in a maternity knit dress that is luxurious and well-tailored enough to fit in at almost any party or restaurant. Going for long maternity dresses like the Luxe Knit Maxi Dress for Maternity & Nursing immediately elevates an outfit, and adding gorgeous accessories (killer shoes, cuff bangles, statement earrings) will complete your perfect evening maternity look.
Petite model is 5'2" and wearing the Louie Striped Knit Maternity & Mama Dress and the Luxe Maxi for Maternity & Nursing in Nutmeg by MARION.
You CAN Bodycon (and Here's How)
I remember it well - the changes that start to happen to our bodies in early pregnancy can be utterly unbalancing. We don't look like ourselves and we don't feel like ourselves. Worse, our body starts to look bloated, but we don't yet look pregnant. This is the time when it can be tempting to hide behind huge tent-like styles so that no one can see a single inch of our figure. The problem is that tent styles provide no shape and actually make us appear larger than we are. To get through that awkward early pregnancy phase, I recommend two strategies: (pregnancy safe) shapewear and layering.
Maternity Shapewear: invest in some quality maternity shapewear at the very beginning of your pregnancy. Your investment can be something as simple as high-waisted pregnancy bicycle shorts or maternity leggings - whatever makes you feel smoothed and contained, but never pinched. Throw them on under your maternity sweater dress or other shape-revealing ensembles for a sleek silhouette.
Layering: If you're still not okay showing that shapewear-smoothed early baby bump in all its glory, layering will be your best friend in the first stages of your pregnancy (and postpartum). Throw on a cute jacket over your bodycon maternity sweater dress and you will benefit from both the overall shape-defining cut of the dress and the middle-area coverage of the jacket. Then, as your bump starts looking less like a lunchtime burrito and more like a baby, that tummy curve will become a huge (we mean huge!) source of pride.
Quality Knits = Flattering Knits
The best maternity clothes, including maternity sweater dresses, are made with thick, substantial material. We can't stress it enough -nothing is worse than trying to dress your growing and bloating and expanding body in thin, see-through, droopy material. Just. Say. No. Thicker material will smooth bulges and flex to accommodate your growth without becoming stretched to see-through status in your final months.
Even better, quality materials also provide amazing stretch back from maternity, which means you get to keep wearing that gorgeous dress for years into mama life. Pro tip, make sure your knit dresses are made of breathable fabrics like cotton or bamboo so you can stay comfortably cool in thicker materials.
Petite model shows postpartum fit for MARION's Louie Striped Knit Maternity & Mama Dress.
Make Sure Your Maternity Sweater Dress Comes with Nursing Access
The last thing you want is to have to buy a maternity outfit and a nursing outfit, and a postpartum recovery outfit. Wise purchases that cover all three stages will leave you feeling more flattered and stylish, and looking great in premium pieces will be less of a hit to your budget. Unfortunately, there aren't many maternity sweater dresses on the market that offer truly invisible nursing access, but at MARION, we've designed on that is absolutely invisible. The revolutionary Luxe Maxi Dress for Maternity & Nursing has a zipper up the back that is easy to reach and, when unzipped, creates the room to easily expose your nursing bra. Check out the demo video on our product page. We're hopeful that more nursing-friendly knit dress styles will follow, both from us and other brands, because nursing mamas deserve choice!