When it comes to buying dresses for maternity sessions, whether you’re a photographer or client, there are few things to keep in mind. The ideal timeframe for maternity photos is around 28 weeks. This is when you’ve just started your 3rd trimester. Your belly isn’t too big yet but you have just enough of a bump to look and feel great!
Also see my popular blog post about buying dresses for your photography business’s Client Closet!
Three things to remember when buying maternity session dresses
I prefer to buy non-maternity dresses and size up. For example, if your pre-pregnancy size is a small, size medium should fit perfectly while you’re expecting. When check the fit, you’ll want to make sure your dress isn’t too tight in the torso area. Not only around your baby belly, but also across your back. And make sure you’re wearing the right undergarments for your dress so we don’t see bra lines or straps.
Every women, no matter her shape or size, has an area of her body of which she’s self conscious. It’s best to choose a dress that helps to conceal that area so you’re not worrying about it during your portrait session. In my experience, most expecting moms would rather cover their arms. Long sleeve or off-the-shoulder dresses are perfect for that!
Have fun when selecting your maternity session dresses! Show off your personality, sense of fashion, and think outside the box. Maybe you hunt for a one-of-a-kind gown and something really unique. Or you could choose a dress from your favorite designer. Remember, if it’s not a maternity dress just size up.
Favorite Dresses for Maternity Sessions
Baltic Born Lydia Wrap Dress
This non-maternity dress is so classy, bump-friendly, and comfortable! The stretchy waist and wrap tie ensures a more custom fit if you’re in between sizes. My favorite feature of this dress is the sheer, chiffon puff sleeves with the cuff and gold buttons. Let me say this again… it’s so classy! You can get 15% off your Baltic Born purchase with this referral link!
Reclamation Design Company Ruffle Me Dress
If you’re looking for a “WOW” dress, look no further than Reclamation Design Company. These gowns are one of a kind and made with vintage fabrics and/or high quality materials. All dresses are made by hand in Canada and ship worldwide. They are pricey (but worth it!). If you can’t afford to purchase a dress, they also offer rentals. Some of my favorites are the Wonderment and Awe Gown, Forever Glimmer Dress, and Ruffle Me Right Up. One dress usually fits multiple sizes, which I love! The Ruffle Me dress that I have in my Client Closet, for example, fits sizes Small to Extra Large with ease.
Morning Lavender Kelsey Long Sleeve Maxi Dress
This dress makes me swoon! I love it so much that I even wore it for my personal family photos in April 2022. The Kelsey dress from Morning Lavender is so feminine, soft, and flattering. It has a plunging neckline so it’s best with no bra or a white lacy camisole underneath. The chest area is not stretchy at all, so if you have larger breasts, definitely size up. Bonus: Save 10% on your Morning Lavender purchase with promo bode BRENNA or use this link. A few of my other faves from Morning Lavender include the Paige Puff Sleeve Midi Dress, Justine Lace Maxi Dress, and the Marcy Sweetheart Maxi Dress.
Free People Beach Bliss Maxi Dress
If you love comfortable, casual, organic style, Free People is for you. This dress is so comfy, stretchy, and it has pockets!! I have this dress in Ivory and Stone (Stone is no longer available), both in size small. It can easily fit larger sizes. The fabric is somewhat sheer, so nude undies or a nude slip underneath is recommended. I also love these Free People dresses: Plenty of Love Maxi Dress, For Love and Lemons Temecula Maxi Dress, and the Waterlilly Maxi Dress.
A few additional favorite dresses
Here are a few of my other favorite dresses for maternity sessions worth honorable mentions 😉
- Coven & Co. Pirate Queen Gown (pictured left)
- Amazon Ruffled Flowy Maxi Dress (pictured middle)
- Baltic Born Kristina Maxi Dress (pictured right in Taupe)