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15 best maternity summer dresses, from midi and maxi designs to wedding guest styles

Whether you prefer a casual mini, a satin midi or a floral maxi, these top-rated maternity dresses will see you through all summer occasions and beyond postpartum

Leeanna Lock
Tuesday 02 May 2023 16:58 BST
Best maternity summer dresses
Our Top Picks

The temperature is heating up (finally), which means your maternity wardrobe is probably in dire need of a switch-up to keep you cool this summer. It’s time to ditch the dark-coloured baggy jumpers and say hello to bright colours, floaty material and bump-flattering dresses.

With a growing belly, hot flushes and sticky temperatures to contend with, dresses are a must for anyone who’s pregnant during summer – especially as you can speed up toilet trips and slip them on in one simple step.

But if the mere thought of trying on countless dresses in tiny changing rooms brings you out in a sweat already, fret not. We’ve hunted high and low for the best mini, midi and maxi maternity dresses to complement your ever-changing body and glorious bump throughout all trimesters, no matter what event is in your summer calendar.

Almost all of the dresses in this round-up also meet our tough standards to wear postpartum and for multiple functions, too.

Whether you’re shopping for comfy workwear, a stylish babymoon outfit, a floaty beach dress or a new frock for a wedding, we’ve rounded up the best maternity dresses for all types of summer occasions.

How we tested

We carefully selected dresses that oozed style, offered room for growth, flattered our changing body, boosted our confidence and, above all else, were comfortable to wear. Tried and tested on a 28-week bump, we rated the dresses based on versatility, price, style, and how much our bumps had been taken into consideration when it came to the designs. We also gave bonus points if the dresses could look just as good postpartum.

The best maternity summer dresses for 2023 are:

  • Best overall maternity summer dress – H&M mama V-neck dress: £34.99, H&M.com
  • Best occasion maternity summer dress – Next blue maternity nursing satin wrap dress: £55, Next.co.uk
  • Best casual maternity summer dress – JoJo Maman Bébé pink gingham shirred maternity midi dress: £49, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk
  • Best workwear maternity summer dress – Asos maternity nursing wrap midi dress in navy spot: £36, Asos.com
  • Best maternity summer dress for nursing – Serephine cotton and shirt dress: £79, Seraphine.com

H&M mama V-neck dress

H&M maternity dress.png
  • Best: Overall maternity summer dress
  • Sizes available: XS – XXL
  • Design options: Two
  • Suitable to wear postpartum: Yes

It can be tough to find a dress that’s versatile enough to wear for casual day trips, as workwear to the office and for more formal occasions. However, this little beauty from H&M fits the bill nicely.

We love this green, floral dress, because it can easily be dressed up or down by pairing with trainers and a denim jacket for casual day trips, or heels and a fascinator for the races and weddings.

This frock will also work a treat postpartum, not only because the neckline makes nursing a breeze, but because there’s no pre-tailored bump shape to it. You’ll be re-wearing this summer dress for years on end.

We were really impressed by the lightweight, loose-fitting material and the slightly longer that average, floaty, short sleeves, which flatter all body shapes. While you can get away with calling it the “pregnancy glow”, there’s no need to stress about hot sweats or clammy skin in this breathable dress, which is available in a cream floral design, too.

  1. £34 from H&M.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Next blue maternity nursing satin wrap dress

best maternity summer dresses
  • Best: Occasion maternity summer dress
  • Sizes available: UK 6 – UK 22
  • Design options: One
  • Suitable to wear postpartum: Yes

Feeling glamorous during pregnancy can sometimes seem impossible – but not when you slip into this beautiful satin number. As soon as we tried on this elegant blue wrap dress, we felt like Princess Kate – suddenly oozing our new-found pregnancy glow and mama elegance.

The fabric is silky soft against skin and the self-tie wrap allows you to adjust the sizing to perfectly complement your bump throughout all three trimesters.

Again, the V-shaped neckline makes for hassle-free nursing, while the floaty, ruffled midaxi length continues to work wonders for flattering your body shape after birth.

With British weather to contend with, the longer sleeves are ideal for weddings and race days. We also love how expensive the elegant royal blue design looks, offering a luxurious touch to maternity wardrobes, which can often feel bland.

  1. £55 from Next.co.uk
Prices may vary
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JoJo Maman Bébé pink gingham shirred maternity midi dress

best maternity dresses summer dress
  • Best: Casual maternity summer dress
  • Sizes available: Small to large
  • Design options: Two
  • Suitable to wear postpartum: Yes

Is there a more perfect combo than pastel pink and gingham print? We think not. We loved wearing this midi dress on scorching-hot days abroad, walking along the beach, or for playdates and picnics, as it’s so comfy and breathable.

We’re impressed with how the stretchy shirred material gently grows with you as your bump and boobs get bigger, and helpfully adapts to fit your postpartum body too, all while complementing your ever-changing shape with a flattering fit.

The pockets are an added bonus – especially when “baby brain” often sees us misplacing our phone and keys.

Little girls can also match their mamas, with an adorable mini-me dress (£25, Jojo Maman Bébé), for little ones aged from six months to six years old.

You can also save £10 when you buy two maternity items at JoJo Maman Bébé.

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Asos maternity nursing wrap midi dress in navy spot

best maternity summer dress dresses
  • Best: Maternity summer dress for work
  • Sizes available: UK 6 – UK 20
  • Design options: One
  • Suitable to wear postpartum: Yes

Say hello to your new maternity workwear staple. This is a stellar all-rounder for work and play, and will complement tall and petite heights – working as a stylish maxi, midi or midaxi to suit.

We love this dress for wearing in all seasons and postpartum, and for formal occasions too, as it looks gorgeous with trainers, winter boots or open-toed heels.

The flattering dark colour, smart polka-dot design and stylish puffy sleeves give you the confidence you need in the office.

The material isn’t as soft as other wrap dresses we tested, but we love the slightly thicker fabric nonetheless. We advise you to take full advantage of the zero-VPL benefit and opt for your comfiest maternity pants when wearing this dress. You’re welcome.

  1. £36 from Asos.com
Prices may vary
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Serephine cotton and shirt dress

best maternity summer dresses dress
  • Best: Nursing dress
  • Sizes available: UK 6 – UK 18
  • Design options: One
  • Suitable to wear postpartum: Yes

You know this chic nautical dress has been crafted with mums in mind from the moment you put it on. The nursing functionality is so modestly concealed, with thoughtful extra layers to prevent any leakage ruining your gorgeous look while out and about. Plus, the long sleeves can easily be adjusted to three-quarter length, to keep you cool.

We styled this dress with a pair of wedges and a woven basket bag when soaking up the sun abroad, and opted for comfy white trainers when commuting to work.

If you’re petite, the dress does come up quite long, but looks great with heeled mules.

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New Look maternity light-green satin twist-front midi dress

best maternity dresses summer dress
  • Best: Maternity bridesmaid dress
  • Sizes available: UK 8 – UK 20
  • Design options: Two
  • Suitable to wear postpartum: Yes

We adore this elegant satin dress for a summer wedding – at such a bargain price, you really can’t go wrong. The twist neckline and floaty slitted midi design prove you don’t need to sacrifice style during your pregnancy.

It’s available in blush pink and sage green – both gorgeous summer colours and popular wedding themes, which can be hard to come by when browsing maternity styles.

There’s nothing worse than being a pregnant bridesmaid who feels like the ugly duckling of the bunch due to an oversized dress that makes you look four sizes larger, rather than proudly showing off your bump. While this frock is a fraction of the cost of most bridesmaid dresses, the beautiful design makes for a perfect maternity option that’s just as elegant as the more expensive styles out there.

The only slight downfall is that the material is extremely crease-prone, so be sure you give it a good steam or iron on a delicate setting before wear. That said, we were grateful for the lightweight material, along with floaty sleeves, to prevent overheating on the dancefloor and sweat patches ruining our groove, as we embraced our new back and bump-friendly “mum moves” (our heels were also flung off in favour of flip flops by this point).

  1. £34 from Newlook.com
Prices may vary
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Matalan mamalicious maternity Alison navy mini dress

best maternity dresses summer dress
  • Best: Mini maternity summer dress
  • Sizes available: UK 6 – UK 14
  • Design options: One
  • Suitable to wear postpartum: Yes

This is such a cute, casual and comfy dress for everyday wear when relaxing around the house, popping to the shops or mooching about in the garden.

A short-sleeve mini dress is a maternity must-have for hot summer days and we love this style for covering all of our modesty in the right places, while letting enough skin bathe in some well-deserved vitamin D.

We found the material was super soft and gently stretches with your body as you grow, gorgeously showing off your bump with a bodycon fit. For extra comfort and less clamminess on hot days, we advise sizing up, as the material can feel quite snug on your bump.

Although not offering the same body-flattering shape as well as it does during pregnancy, this dress is still absolutely wearable postpartum, as it offers the same soft comfort.

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River Island pink satin maternity wrap midi dress

best maternity dresses summer dress
  • Best: Wedding guest maternity summer dress
  • Sizes available: UK 6 – UK 18
  • Design options: Four
  • Suitable to wear postpartum: Yes

We couldn’t wait to hit the wedding party in this elegant dress, as we instantly felt just as glamorous as we did when dressing up pre-pregnancy.

The loose, floaty V-neck wrap design is extremely complementary of your growing bump and voluptuous boobs, while also flattering your figure from behind.

We felt so comfortable – from wedding ceremony to carriage – due to the generous extra room created.

We’re grateful the dress looks just as beautiful without a bump as it does with one, as, after all the compliments we received, we can’t wait to wear it again.

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Tu Clothing maternity blue denim short ruffle dress

best maternity dresses summer dress
  • Best: Smock maternity summer dress
  • Sizes available: UK 8 – UK 26
  • Design options: One
  • Suitable to wear postpartum: No

Tu’s denim day-dress is such a stylish, affordable option for a smock dress – a style every mum-to-be should have in her wardrobe for an easy throw-on option during pregnancy.

The casual parachute shape allows plenty of room for your growing belly, as well as encouraging much-needed air to your swelling legs and feet during hot days.

We struggled to find any denim maternity dresses at all for this round-up, so were grateful to find this stylish option. Paired with comfy sandals, this cute summer dress makes for a stylish outfit at BBQs, coffee catch-ups and garden parties.

While the dress is a little too oversized for wearing post-bump, at a bargain £19.20 (on sale from £24), we certainly can’t complain.

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Beyond Nine Winnie dress – tutti fruitti

best maternity dress summer dresses
  • Best: Linen maternity summer dress
  • Sizes available: XXS – XXL
  • Design options: Two
  • Suitable to wear postpartum: Yes

Your maternity summer wardrobe isn’t complete without a linen garment – and Beyond Nine’s 100 per cent Oeko-Tex linen offering is the perfect fit, quite literally. Thanks to inclusive sizing and the flexible fit of the midaxi dress, we gratefully found Winnie to fit all bumps, heights and body shapes, whether pregnant or not.

Featuring a mix of peach and lilac tones on a checkerboard print, the motif is vibrant with a retro feel. We love the flattering balloon sleeves and deep side pockets, and styled this dress with sliders for a babymoon retreat, and Dr Martens for a festival.

The price tag would likely be too much to pay for a dress that would only last through pregnancy but, because its wrap design makes nursing a breeze and the fit is just as flattering without a bump, there’s no doubt this dress has now become a staple of our summer wardrobe for many years to come.

We aren’t surprised the Tutti Frutti print is sold out at the moment, so make sure you sign up to be notified when it’s back in stock – and be quick if you want to snap up the black design in the meantime.

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H&M mama before and after pregnancy dress

best maternity nursing dress summer dresses
  • Best: Midaxi maternity summer dress
  • Sizes available: XS – XL
  • Design options: One
  • Suitable to wear postpartum: Yes

We have been so impressed by H&M’s stylish maternity range this summer, as it’s clear many of its dresses have been carefully designed with on-the-go and style-conscious mums in mind.

From the moment we tried on this dress, we knew it would be a consistent contender in what we wanted to wear every day throughout pregnancy – and beyond. We just wish there were more colours or prints available in the same style.

The relaxed fit is complemented by stretchy, soft material, while the calf slit offers a pop of elegance and sexiness when dressed up with heels and a chunky necklace for a date night or celebration.

We loved wearing this to the office on hot days, too, as well as on babymoon sunset strolls.

  1. £19 from H&M.com
Prices may vary
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Gap maternity ribbed tank dress

best maternity dresses summer dress
  • Best: Ribbed maternity summer dress
  • Sizes available: XS – XXL
  • Design options: Two
  • Suitable to wear postpartum: Yes

As you put on this dress, you’ll feel like your body is being hugged by the soft and stretchy fabric. It’s dark and thick enough to avoid any pregnancy support bands or comfy maternity pants being visible, while the chunky straps allow your arms to enjoy a lovely breeze on a hot day.

This dress is guaranteed to become a wardrobe staple for casual coffee dates, walks in the park and trips to the shops, as it offers all-day comfort and plenty of room.

As the price is quite hefty for a dress that only fits the bill for casual occasions, we were grateful for the high-quality, soft knit fabric, which flattered our bump and was also surprisingly breathable on warmer days (though we’re talking British summer, not balmy Ibiza).

  1. £50 from Gap.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Asos maternity gathered-waist maxi tea dress in pink and red floral

best maternity dresses summer dress
  • Best: Beach maternity summer dress
  • Sizes available: UK 6 – UK 20
  • Design options: One
  • Suitable to wear postpartum: Yes

Florals can be a tricky print to get right when it comes to maternity clothing, with many designs appearing a little frumpy and too “mumsie”. But this stunning statement maxi dress from Asos in pink and red hues gets it just right.

Incredibly lightweight, the loose-fitting material floats upon every step, offering your legs a lovely breeze (helped further by the double slits). We advise sizing down, as we found the dress over-generous when it came to giving room for your body to grow.

We absolutely loved wearing this frock on beach walks abroad, and it soon became a must-have during heatwave days, when it felt too hot to be wearing very much at all. Plus, the sleeves helpfully roll up and drop off your shoulder for a cooler, Bardot look.

  1. £34 from Asos.com
Prices may vary
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New Look maternity pink ribbed racer midi bodycon dress

best maternity dresses summer dress
  • Best: Budget maternity summer dress
  • Sizes available: UK 8 – UK 20
  • Design options: Four
  • Suitable to wear postpartum: No

After colder months spent in dark-coloured leggings and jumpers (not to mention the early weeks of your first trimester when you’re trying to cover up all evidence of a growing baby, to surprise friends and family), we rejoice with you over wearing a bright pop of colour and a ribbed design that accentuates your bump.

The thick straps make this dress incredibly comfortable and easy to wear with any bra (which become extremely limited during pregnancy when underwired choices are removed).

Paired with a denim jacket and comfy sandals, we loved wearing this dress for all sorts of summer outings.

We found the dress too generous in size to wear without a bump, so felt the budget price was really reasonable.

  1. £15 from Newlook.com
Prices may vary
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JoJo Maman Bébé hydrangea V-neck midi dress

best maternity dresses summer dress
  • Best: Floral maternity summer dress
  • Sizes available: UK 8 – UK 18
  • Design options: One
  • Suitable to wear postpartum: No

Want to add a touch of sophistication and girliness to your maternity wardrobe? Look no further than this floral midi dress, which we particularly loved wearing on romantic dinner dates, and to the races, styled with a fascinator and block heels.

Made from 100 per cent organic cotton, it’s soft on your skin and weighty enough to stay put in windy hotspots, but also remains cool enough when the heat is on.

The waist tie adjusts to expand the dress throughout trimesters, while the full skirt ensures enough breathing room for when your bump’s at its biggest. However, if you’re on the bustier side, we did find the chest was a little too tight from a D cup onwards.

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The verdict: Maternity summer dresses

As you can tell from the strong ratings across the board, there are so many maternity summer dresses we love. But our number-one go-to dress this summer has to be H&M’s floral V-neck dress, because you can wear it to absolutely any occasion – formal or casual. We also have to give a big shoutout to the brand’s before and after maxi dress, as it perfectly combines comfort, practicality and elegance, and all at a bargain price.

For girlie vibes and bright colours, JoJo Maman Bébé has the answer with its stunning summer frock with matching mini-mini dress.

If you’re on the hunt for a dress that’s guaranteed to get heads turning and make you feel like royalty at a special event, we recommend snapping up Next’s satin wrap dress.

Read more: Best women’s white trainers to wear with dresses

Attending aquanatal classes? We’ve rounded up the best maternity swimsuits

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