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Styling Tips 

Don't Let The Heat Get In The Way Of Your Maternity Style

Bask with your bump.

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Image: Skinnyhipsterblog.com

Mamas-to-be face a major challenge when it comes to summer fashion. With hormones raging, feet swelling up and bellies getting bigger, almost any piece of clothing has to the potential to be an itchy, sweaty mess. Dealing with maternity wear is already difficult, and adding a few extra degrees fahrenheit can put a significant damper on your motivation to stay stylish because, let's face it: achieving Beyoncé's flawless pregnancy lookbook is just a distant, Instagram fantasy. But there are tips and tricks that make it possible to look and feel cool, even while sporting a massive bump during a heatwave. 

We reached out to a selection of current and excpectant moms about their pregnancy dos and don'ts for summer, and one of the top tips they had was to stay away from maternity jeans. The wide, stretchy band covers up more skin, which promotes heat, and the heavier denim fabric can be irritating and uncomfortable. Beth, mother of cuties Liam and Edward, said, "the denim cause[d] rashes when it was hot and your hormones are out of control!" Above all, you must buy natural fabrics that are breathable like cotton or silk — no synthetics! Valentine, a style savvy mother in Marseille, also advises to "avoid wearing short skirts, as when you have a big belly you usually want to sit down with your legs apart, which means you'll end up flashing your panties. So knee-length is best."

Being pregnant during the summer does afford you the opportunity to be more daring with your fashion choices. Many moms said that they could get away with wearing items that they otherwise wouldn't feel comfortable stepping out in. Bodycon dresses were a favorite example, because they emphasize the voluptuous curves of a big belly, boobs and badonk. Other moms embraced experimenting with fun hats to keep the sun off their face and shoulders, and always went with sleeveless dresses and tops. Playing with multiple colors like the ones in vibrant, embroidered blouses, accessorizing with stand-out sunglasses or rocking a bold pattern will make you feel like a trendy It-girl without much effort. Keeping your feet comfortable was also a big concern, and most mothers chose open-toed shoes and flip-flops for their breathability. 

The last piece of advice is not about what everyone sees you wearing, but what's underneath it all. Comfortable undies are lifesavers for hot days. A seasoned mom of three, Jennifer, told us, "my best advice would be to invest in comfortable maternity bras for sleep and daytime." New mom Katie swears by maternity underwear: "[it's] is worth every penny! Nobody wants to be uncomfortable and pulling at their undies when it's hot. A Pea in the Pod makes really soft pairs. They're still my favorite now. Genius engineering!" And the most important secret weapon for your summer wardrobe arsenal? Spandex shorts to keep your thighs from rubbing together underneath dresses (maxis preferred). But if you're not keen on dresses, try flowy culottes or a longer pair of shorts for the same breezy feel.

Maternity fashion can be expensive, and when your body changes so quickly, spending the money seems like a waste — especially when you're eyeing a tricked out stroller for the months to come. The moms we spoke to were all for buying cheap, basic options and splurging on items like a dress for a friend's wedding or a solid maternity bathing suit. Many of them picked up hand-me-downs from friends and family, scored deals at maternity store sales racks and some even just bought plus-sized clothing. Rockstar mom-to-be Rosanna manages to avoid maternity wear altogether by buying clothes from second-hand shops: "most of the things I've picked up will work well after my baby's born, belted or pinned here or there." 

Mother knows best! Look and feel great even in hot weather with our selection of maternity wear below, as inspired by real moms: 
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Target Maternity Polka Dot Tank Top - $25
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New Look Maternity Side Detail Dress - $29
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Bluebelle Maternity Short Sleeve Bodycon Dress - $35
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Maya Maternity Embellished Bodice Maxi Dress With Pleated Skirt - $151
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Target Maternity Solid Top and Print Bottom Dress - $30
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Motherhood Maternity Plus Size Border Print Babydoll Maternity Tunic - $45
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ASOS Maternity T-Shirt with Off Shoulder & Shirring Ruffle Sleeve - $26
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Maternity Rachel Jersey Based Maxi Skirt - $20
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A Pea In The Pod On Gossamer Mesh Boyshort Panty - $16
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Maternity Mia 2 Pack Ribbed Over The Bump T-Shirt - $24
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H&M MAMA Jersey Top Black and White Striped - $18
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Maternity Annie Ruffle Hem Vest Top - $24
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Pink Blush Brown Strappy Slide Sandals - $18
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Motherhood Maternity Plus Size Side Ruched Maternity Tank Top - $20
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Hatch The Julia Soft Flutter Top - $178
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Motherhood Maternity Plus Size Secret Fit Belly Skinny Leg Maternity Crop Pants - $45
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Rosie Pope Camille Dress - $168
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H&M MAMA Cotton Jersey Top - $13
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Pink Blush Burgundy Paisley Print Drawstring Plus Size Pants - $36
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Seraphine Organic Cotton Maternity & Nursing Sleep Bra - $49
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ASOS Maternity Petite T-shirt Dress In Striped Print - $45
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Motherhood Maternity Plus Size Floral Geo Print Maternity Tankini - $50
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Maternity Anna Off The Shoulder Stripe Top - $28
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Isabella Oliver Ash Snake Sandals in Multi - $119
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A Pea In The Pod Ripe Under Belly Fray Hem Denim Maternity Skirt - $82
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Pink Blush White Floral Fitted Plus Dress - $54
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Hatch The Bra - $48
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A Pea In The Pod Crochet Maternity One Piece Swimsuit - $98
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Pink Blush Maternity Brown Banded Fedora - $15
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Rosie Pope Delfina Dress - $168
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H&M MAMA Jersey Dress White Striped - $25
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Hatch The Neema Caftan - $258
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