10 best maternity dresses

Stay stylish throughout your pregnancy. IndyBest's mum-to-be finds pretty and practical pieces for your wardrobe

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The Independent Online

Maternity wear can be a frustrating thing to purchase; limited in its lifespan and, if you go to the wrong place, decidedly frumpy. But some retailers have upped their game in recent years and a few carefully-chosen, versatile dresses will see you through your nine months in comfort and style without breaking the bank.

{1} Navy floral maxi dress: £39, jojomamanbebe.co.uk


A floral maternity maxi dress that doesn’t make you look like a whale? A rare beast indeed. For those contemplating the prospect of a big bump in the warmer days of spring/ summer, this floaty option could well be a life-saver.

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{2}Blooming Marvellous Striped maternity/ nursing wrap dress: £15, mothercare.com


This versatile and purse-friendly number can be smartened up for work or worn casually at weekends – and it doubles up as a nursing frock for those who breastfeed once their nipper arrives, making it doubly good value.

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{3}Asos Winter floral bodycon dress with side draping: £35, asos.com


This stylish body con frock is an ASOS exclusive and part of the site’s extensive and keenly-priced maternity range. Works with a teeny bump but room to accommodate a whopper, and could easily be dressed up as evening wear.

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{4}Ripe ‘Marlene’ black evening dress: £120, bumpaliciousmaternity.co.uk


Fancy dinner, birthday party or posh work bash? Fear not. Adorn your blossoming bump with some 1920s sparkle via this sequin-encrusted cocktail dress from the Australian company, and you shall go to the ball – without looking like one.

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{5}New Look Black strip Bardot neck maternity dress: £8, newlook.com


A chic – but bargainous - striped affair with an off the shoulder neckline that makes this New Look number more interesting and stylish than a lot of the jersey-fabric maternity staples.

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{6}Isabella Oliver Clement print T-shirt maternity dress: £119, johnlewis.com


If you’ve got lumps and bumps other than the obvious one, many of the tight, jersey-fabric maternity dresses on offer can be a fear-inducing prospect. But the print on this upmarket option is flattering enough that, with the addition of leggings, tights or even bare legs and sunshine, even the shyest should be able to flaunt their fuller figures with pride.

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{7}Heavenly Bump Cherry blossom print tea dress: £34, heavenlybump.co.uk


Flattering and sweet without being cutesy, and a great option for those mother-daughter afternoon teas, spring weekend lunches and walks in the park that are obligatory in the months before a tiny person takes over your life and leaves you chained to the couch in pyjamas.

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{8}Next Mono Floral Midi: £28, next.co.uk


This black and white number manages to be neither too clingy nor too voluminous, making it a good option for those who want to avoid figure-hugging without ending up whale-shaped. A smart workwear option, and teamed with a belt could still work post-pregnancy. There’s a plain black version too.

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{9}Seraphine Champagne polka dot silk dress: £125, seraphine.com


Pregnant ladies with bridesmaid duties looming this spring or summer could do a lot worse than to subtly point their bridal friends in the direction of Séraphine, favoured maternity label of assorted celebrity mums-to-be. This pretty silk frock would work equally well for wedding guests, or anyone who happens to be taking their bump to Ascot. Also available in navy blue.

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{10}Topshop Tencel Shirt Dress: £40, topshop.com 


Keeping hipster can be tricky with a beach ball attached to your stomach, but this button-front number is a good approximation for those who are worried about looking ‘mumsy’ even before their due date.

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Verdict: The ASOS bodycon dress is part of an extensive collection of good-value maternity wear from the online retailer and a great print that will make you want to keep wearing this frock even after your bump has gone. For maximum versatility and value, it would be hard to beat Mothercare and New Look’s striped offerings. 

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