asian woman smiling and trying out new clothes

By Associate Professor TAN Thiam Chye Head & Senior Consultant, Dr Michelle LIM Associate Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital


Looking good yet feeling comfortable will ensure that you feel great during your pregnancy journey. Read on to learn how to keep your wardrobe bump friendly.

What Should I Wear Once My Belly Starts Showing?

what to wear once my belly shows

Your bump probably won't show for another couple of weeks so at this stage, in week 10, you can still reach for your usual wardrobe. However, that will grow more difficult by weeks 14 to 16 as your belly might start protruding. When this happens, it's time to stock up on looser, more elasticised clothing. Empire waist and wrap-top clothing, as well as A-line skirts can hide your growing belly.

Your waistline will start increasing between weeks 18 to 22 so start getting clothes that will accommodate this. Skirts, shorts, pants and leggings with elastic or drawstrings will grow with your waist.

Related: Guide 5: Plus-Sized and Pregnant

What Type of Clothing will Keep Me Comfortable?

what type of clothing will keep me comfortable

Your body temperature will increase during pregnancy, so choose light and breathable clothing made of cotton and silk that won't irritate your skin. Stretchable material that's not too restrictive or tight will not impede your growing belly.

Related: Looking and Feeling Good When Pregnant

What About Underwear?

what about underwear

It's fine to stick with pre-pregnancy underwear unless you prefer oversized ones that go over your bump. Cotton underwear is best as it keeps you well ventilated, especially since you might be more prone to fungal and bacterial infections due to an increase in body temperature and vaginal discharge changes.

As your breasts get fuller and heavier during pregnancy, wear bras that fit well and have adjustable straps that are thick enough to carry the weight. Wearing a lightweight bra at night for some support may be more comfortable than not wearing one at all.

Related: How Does Your Body Change During Pregnancy?

Can I Wear Socks?

can i wear socks

Ankle socks and footsies are OK, but avoid wearing tight socks or half-leg stockings as these can reduce blood circulation in the feet and lower legs. This could increase swelling, fluid retention and aggravate varicose veins. Panty hose should be avoided in our hot, humid weather as they can encourage fungal and bacterial growth.

Related: Pre-Pregnancy Preparations 

What Footwear is Best?

what footwear is best

Flat and low-heeled shoes are best as they're comfortable and safe. Avoid high heels as they could pose a hazard to your balance. Also, remember that your feet will increase in size during pregnancy due to water retention in your legs so you might need to get larger footwear.

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Read these next:

  • Trimester 1: Intimacy
  • Food-based dietary guidelines for adults
  • Exercising Safely in Your First Trimester — 5 Questions Answered
  • Sources:

    The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific

    Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore