Maternity fashion refers to the clothing created by fashion designers to be worn by pregnant women. There are many different styles of maternity fashion available, from items found at discount stores, to designer clothing at upscale stores. Maternity clothing is designed for all different needs, such as comfortable clothing for relaxing, fitted clothing designed for exercising, and business clothing for the workplace. Dressy clothing, such as skirts, dresses, and other types of attractive tops, are designed for fancier occasions. Pregnant women now have virtually endless options for clothing to wear while pregnant, and are no longer simply stuck with large, shapeless pieces.
Designers try to create maternity fashion that is both comfortable and flattering for each stage of pregnancy. Maternity pants, for example, tend to include panels at the top of the pants that are designed to stretch over the belly as it grows. This stretchy panel helps to keep the pants up, and allows women to wear the same pairs of pants for a longer period throughout the pregnancy rather than having to purchase new ones every few months. This is also true of skirts and shorts; maternity fashion is often designed to be as versatile and long lasting as possible, because it can be quite expensive.
Many women find that a maternity dress is one of the best pieces of maternity fashion they can purchase. This is because it is appropriate to wear to work, and can be dressed up for fancier occasions or dressed down for more casual events. Depending on the material used to create the dress, it can also be very light and comfortable, particularly in hot weather. A maternity dress will often feature a panel that stretches in the midsection. This type of stretching ability in the midsection is often found in maternity shirts too, as well as a longer length so they do not ride up throughout the day.
Of course, maternity fashion is not restricted simply to clothing. Outerwear is another area where designers create clothing to flatter pregnant women. Maternity coats are often much wider at the bottom, with a drawstring to tighten them if they are worn early in the pregnancy. Button up coats are popular maternity styles because the bottom can be left unbuttoned; other types of coats may feature zippers that can be unzipped from the top or bottom to make them more comfortable to wear later in the pregnancy.