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Dressing up while pregnant is no small feat, but the best maternity cocktail dresses make the task a lot less trying, if not enjoyable. Cinched and corseted waists are out once your bump has formed, but in the earlier stages, you can undoubtedly wear more drawn-in shapes—of course, those with a bit of stretch in the fabric will feel the most comfortable. Figure-framing dresses, from smocked designs to elegant sweater dresses, will beautifully showcase your soon-to-be-born babe in trimesters two and three. Other silhouettes up to the task no matter what stage of pregnancy you’re at: Tie-waist and wrap dresses, fluid babydoll, empire waists, and fitted fabrics with stretch, including trendy ruched designs.
While maternity brand options have plenty to offer, they can sometimes feel limiting, so don’t overlook your favorite labels in larger sizes. You don’t want to feel like you’re squeezing into a cocktail dress by a beloved designer simply to do so. Instead, find a silhouette that feels comfortable while appearing modern and freshly in line with your taste.
When shopping for a maternity cocktail dress, there are several things to consider for a flawless look and fit. Can you wear a bra or supportive belly wrap? Do you want a silhouette to hug your bump or a more fluid one to skim against it with ease? Is there enough stretch for growth to wear throughout different stages of your pregnancy? In the case of a mini or slitted design, is the hem too short, or is a slit too high that it won’t chicly cover your pregnant shape?
Whatever your silhouette preference, scroll on to discover 32 party-ready maternity cocktail dresses.
The Smocked Dress
Smocking is one of the best details to look for in a maternity cocktail dress. With ample give, this detail allows for comfort and a silhouette-enhancing fit at once, whether you’re drawn to an A-line, drop-waist, or empire shape.
The Empire Waist
The empire waist is storied, with associations linked to romance and femininity. What could be better for styling your pregnant shape when you’re seeking out a not-too-clingy fit?
An A-line dress that flares out just right without teetering into moo-moo territory is beautiful over a baby bump, whether you like ample volume or a subtle silhouette that skims ever-so-slightly over curves.
The Stretch Dress
From ruched to smocked and ribbed, a stretchy cocktail dress will feel more than comfortable while accentuating your bump but live on in your wardrobe for seasons to come.
The Fluid and Flowy
Exquisite pleating, swingy satin, and floaty babydoll shapes are gorgeous approaches to a maternity cocktail dress if clingy fits aren’t for you.
The Wrap and Tie-Waist
A wrap or tie-waist dress that you can comfortably secure atop your bump is a stunning way to create a drawn-in shape without feeling constricted in a more fitted silhouette.
The Knitted Dress
A sweater dress featuring a bold print or elegant neckline reads plenty dressy with festive accessories like glittering flats, satin heels, or a bedecked clutch.
Tiered silhouettes are a lovely way to highlight your bump without going full-on body-con. Pro tip: Be careful of excessive volume. A too-tented skirt can fan out more than you’d prefer with a bump, while an ample sleeve or boisterous neckline might become overwhelming with a full skirt on the bottom.