What to wear for your maternity portrait session - kcphotographywisconsin.com
Collage of maternity gowns

What to wear for your maternity portrait session

December 24, 2021

Looking for help with what to wear for your maternity portrait session? You are in the right place!

I feel old when I say “back when I was pregnant, you didn’t show your exposed pregnant belly, or wear form-fitting items”. And I wasn’t pregnant THAT long ago! My daughter is 22 at the time I’m writing this. I was pregnant before the turn of the century (now THAT sounds old!). ūüėõ

My maternity wardrobe consisted of oversized t-shirts (often belonging to my husband), loose fitting lounger pants (waist band down below my belly), and maternity tops that fit me as well as a tent does. So seeing all these gorgeous gowns available these days…

Amazon has a lot of affordable and beautiful gowns. I’ve included some screen shots of the gowns I bought, as well as some additional ideas. Many of the items in Amazon had multiple “key words” in the item description, which certainly helps to find what you are looking for. Things like “split front”, “chiffon”, “off shoulder”, “fancy”‚Ķyou get the idea. Searching for “maternity photography gown” will get you tons of results. The gowns I bought were from Mommy Jennie and Myzeroing. All of the gowns held up in the wash very well. One of them went into Lake Michigan and through the sand on that beach. It all came clean, no issues!

My maternity client closet options

The gowns available on Amazon come in numerous colors. I purchased dark wine, peach, blue, white (multiple styles and sizes in white!), and pink. The styles I purchased included:

  • Drop sleeve with a long, drape-y sleeve, with a fairly large “train” on the gown (not wedding gown train length, but enough to be dramatic and gorgeous in portraits)
  • sleeveless / bandeau top style
  • cross/front bandeau style, with short drape-y sleeves (not really much of a sleeve, but a drape type of extra fabric that falls onto the biceps)
  • cupped top with lacy dropped shoulders
  • cotton bandeau top with long sleeves

In the screen shots here, I’ve included several of the gowns I purchased. As you will see in my portfolio, many of the dresses have a split-open in the front, so the belly can be prominently shown in portraits. Some of the lace ones don’t have the split-front, and look so cute with the “one hand cradling the top of the belly, and the other hand on the bottom” type of look. See some examples in my portfolio!

You can find long sleeve dresses out there, some with a form-fitted look. The bottom of the gown can be the mermaid-type, while others are flowy from below the bust area and down to the floor.

I also found some cute “belly sashes” (but I didn’t buy any of them)‚Ķthose come in pink or blue (naturally :P), cream, purple, and various shades of pink.

Splurge options for maternity photo session gowns

If you are willing to make a larger investment in your maternity portrait session gown, here are some additional options to help you answer the dilemma of “What to wear for your maternity portrait session”:

  • Pink Blush Maternity – sign up for their email list and receive 25% off your first order. Their options range from about $75 to $150, with over ~100 options to choose from!
  • Flutter dresses – Etsy shop with ship-ready options, plus they can design custom gowns! Make sure to order EARLY if you are interested in a custom gown, to give them plenty of time to be ready for your photo session.
  • Glamix Maternity – There are some very affordable options here, as well as some splurges (~$25 to ~$100). Save 15% off your first order by signing up for their email list.
  • Bump Show Maternity – A variety of casual to glam maternity gowns here, with 10% off your first order by signing up for their email list.
  • J&L Designs Boutique – Another Etsy store, they have several dramatic-looking gowns. Think Loooooonnnnggg trains that can blow in the breeze, adding flare to your photos!

Sizing for maternity photo session gowns

One thing I distinctly remember from being pregnant, is reading that your “size stays the same‚Ķit’s just that your belly is much bigger!”. Meaning‚Ķ.buy the same size you normally would (when you are purchasing maternity clothing). Of course it’s natural to need to move up in a size, especially if you are carrying twins, or – like me – put on 50 pounds in a pregnancy. It happens!

I found that these gowns held true to that advice‚Ķthat if you normally wear a medium, it would fit you (these aren’t the “overseas sizing”, which are usually WAYYYYYY too small, running 1 or more sizes smaller than US sizes.

Well, gorgeous momma – I hope this helps you find the perfect gown, and that you now know what to wear for your maternity portrait session.

PS! If you don’t already have a comfy robe to wear in the hospital post-delivery, visit https://milkmaidgoods.com . Adorable options to match your robe to your new bundle-of-joy’s take-home outfit <3 And if you are also engaged and getting photos taken with your other half, check out my blog article on what to wear for engagement photos. It might help your other half with clothing inspiration!

PPS – This post is not endorsed or sponsored in any way by Amazon, Etsy sellers, or other retailers. I’m just trying to share some examples of gowns that might work for you!

Collage of maternity gowns

Looking for a Milwaukee or Chicago area maternity or wedding photographer?

If you are looking for a photographer in southeast Wisconsin or northeast Illinois, let’s connect!  I’d love to help you photograph this moment in time, and actually BE in the photos for once!  I provide photography services in Kenosha / Racine, Oak Creek, Milwaukee, Gurnee, Vernon Hills, and Lake Forest, to name a few locations in the area.  See you soon!

Keywords: Milwaukee maternity photographer, Chicago maternity photographer, Wisconsin maternity photographer, Illinois maternity photographer, maternity photography, maternity gown, maternity photo shoot, maternity photo session, maternity portrait

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