Belly and bump-skimming vintage style dresses

First up, there’s not a maternity range item in sight here – mostly I’m not shopping from them as my bump isn’t big enough. And I also like the challenge and the idea that anyone wanting to flatter their tummies could wear these dresses.

Even before I was pregnant, I never had a flat stomach. The 50s nipped-in styles are pretty forgiving for that, but I didn’t always want to wear a huge skirt and the full 50s works. I feel like if you’re doing the skirt you kind of have to go full glam and it’s a harder look to just throw on and go. Add a petticoat into the mix and you’re making it extra complicated for yourself.

Well, nipped waists are out for a long while for me as most of my major organs are now located round about there it seems – it’s just too uncomfortable and my waist is gaining fast on my hips. Having a short torso (well, a short everything, to be fair), the waistlines on most dresses hit me at too low a point to just hike up a bit with a belt. Add to that, none of my stuff still fits. As a result, I’m finding myself hunting for dresses with empire lines or more tent-like styles and after far too long browsing I realised I had enough good finds to share them all with you!

Knee length or longer

Midi and knee length vintage style dresses for maternity1. Wax Poetic Clothing – Raquel dress
2. Joanie Clothing – Liv dress
3. Lindy Bop – Juliet dress
4. Bright & Beautiful – Jenny dress


Comfort is king with these beauties! Firstly, dress 1 I just love – although it’s not quite out yet I have a feeling it’s going to be popular! It’s a US indie brand and the stretchy fabric and empire line of this dress makes me think it’s going to be perfect for bump or belly. The lovely owner of this brand is sending me one to review soon so I will report back (and I reviewed their gorgeous Bed of Roses dress here too). You’ve seen 2 before, as I already reviewed it – and I still adore it and can’t get over how flattering it is – to the point it disappeared my rounded stomach completely! Lindy Bop have a few styles that are probably workable for pregnant ladies (especially if you’re not cursed with a short torso as many waistlines are on the higher side), but this one seems the safest option for all thanks to the empire line and jersey fabric. I always like a good keyhole neckline detail too. And 4 is one of those that I think you could dress up numerous different ways while being uber comfortable – imagine how cute it would look with some cowboy boots, or on the flip side some 40s slingbacks, even.


Above the knee

Knee length or above vintage style maternity dresses

1. Doll Me Up – Dainty Dame dress
2. Joanie Clothing – Carly dress
3. Joanie Clothing – Parker dress
4. Bright & Beautiful – Tessa dress


Now, I know a lot of my readers don’t do shorter styles, but I’m hoping I can persuade some of you with these pretties. I can only guess from the name of #1 that it’s aimed at the petite among us as the skirt length seems shorter, but not just the skirt as that waistline could easily sit above a bump, even on me. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to resist getting my hands on one of those dresses, given what a great summer style it’d be. Dress 2 I can confirm from experience has tonnes of room out front. It hangs like a loose shift, dropping down from the bust. I’m quite confident I’ll get a 9-month stomach in it, which is pretty impressive for a non-maternity dress. Also, it has a GREAT name (*wink*). Dress 3 is another one from Joanie and I had to really work hard not to make this whole post a Joanie special as they’ve got so many styles that’d work well for a big tummy, including some tops. I think this dotty little number is just so cute with the frills – I find polka dot dresses a little boring unless they have something a bit more about them like a nice extra detail. And dress 4 I just think the print is so pretty! I’ll admit this one is already on its way to me as Collectif’s selling it as part of its outlet range on eBay for £9 and I couldn’t resist. Another one that I hope will see me through the warmer months with a bigger bump.

So these are my finds lately! And of course, you all know to watch Karina Dresses like a hawk as nearly every style they produce could take a sizable bump. But I’m actually quite frustrated by how hard I’m finding it to shop from my usual favourite brands of late. So many just won’t work for me now because of how fitted the waists are – it’s not as simple as sizing up because I’m finding that then e.g. the shoulders are too broad or the legs are too baggy… Petite girl problems…

If you’ve seen any maternity-friendly styles out there that a 5’1″er would do well with, hit me up!


  1. March 9, 2018 / 12:36 am

    Some beautiful choices in here! I’m sure it must be difficult figuring out how to dress a rapidly changing body, but it seems like you’re doing it beautifully. I love how fun and playful all of these choices are.

  2. March 11, 2018 / 9:12 am

    I bought that Lindy Bop Juliet dress once, and sent it back just for the reason you’ve picked up on here – the waist is high! It also was a very snug fit on the top half (arms and bust) so for maternity wear, you might need to size up.

    I can’t imagine how tricky it must be to dress for an ever-changing body, you seem to be approaching it with a calm strategy. xx

  3. March 12, 2018 / 2:53 pm

    I’m an apple shape so live with a big belly, and 20s and 60s styles can work surprisingly well on a small-medium tum. Those eras were fairly obsessed with slimness, but the lack of waist means they’re also good for figures that are thick in the middle.

  4. March 18, 2018 / 4:34 am

    I own one of those LindyBop dresses in a different print, and it’s SO perfect for pregnancy. I try not to buy too many maternity items as you can’t usually wear them outside of being pregnant,s o it’s always nice to have a list of items that will work for pregnancy (and being short waisted, I have the same problem with regular waistlines!)


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