What to wear when you are expecting

I don’t want this blog to be completely earnest and lacking in any frivolity, so today I thought I’d write about maternity fashion. I thought I’d also like to wrote a post that didn’t result in tears.

Pregnancy offers up a unique set of sartorial challenges – from the early stages when your belly looks more “big lunch” than “big news” to the last few weeks when nothing fits but buying anything new seems pointless.

I won’t pretend to be the most stylish lady in the room – I leave that honour to my friends and gorgeous sister in laws. But I do love clothes and after being pregnant for the better half of two years, I think I started to get it right. I adored my pregnancy with Elijah. Whilst it was beset with anxiety I also recognised it as my last pregnancy and wanted to enjoy every bit – including dressing bump. This has now evolved into being excited about dressing Elijah each morning and frustration over breast-feeding fashion. But that’s for another post!

Here are my tips:

  • Invest early in maternity pants that will see you through the pregnancy (and beyond). You can get away with non-maternity tops, but you need comfy bottoms. In early pregnancy, you can use a belly band to keep them up if they are on the big side. ASOS maternity offers some great options and seems to be the only place on earth where their maternity wear is actually cheaper than the standard gear. Their sizing in maternity is generous around the belly but weirdly tight around the arms and legs. Maybe UK ladies don’t get water retention!
  • Accessories are your best friend – keep them bright and funky. Wear those statement earrings – their days are numbered!
  • Black is definitely a great and easy option, but if you do wear all black, add a pop of colour with some jewellery, scarf or jacket. This is a joyous time after all and colour will lift your mood.
  • Jersey wrap dresses (they needn’t be maternity) are perfect for the office with a growing bump and will also work for breastfeeding afterwards. Leona Edmiston has some beautiful options and for a less expensive option, Ezibuy generally has a few wrap dresses amongst their collections.
  • Show off what remains slender. Whilst my arms lost tone, my legs remained relatively slim – so I favoured tights and loose tops.
  • In the early weeks when it’s not obvious you are pregnant, opt for tops that skim over your belly rather than show it off. These will also be useful in the months after having baby.
  • Go through your wardrobe every couple of weeks and put away what ever no longer fits. It will make getting ready so much easier. When you do this, keep your buttoned down shirts, looser blouses and other tops you can breast feed in, in a different pile so you can get to it easily after bub is born.
  • Invest in a few long singlets for layering. As your belly grows, tops that used to work over tights will start to ride up. I am a card carrying member of the “tights are not pants” club and believe that bottoms should be covered. Having very long singlets allowed me to wear them underneath my existing long tops and still wear those comfy tights with dignity.  Glassons has singlet options at good prices. Lower cut tops will have the added advantage of showing off your new cleavage and offering some more options if you breastfeed.
  • Use belts under the bust to accentuate your bump. Your normal belts may no longer fit, so raid your partners. You might want to grab one of his white shirts while you are it – also great for a growing belly.
  • Don’t spend too much on “bump” dresses. They are certainly gorgeous, but they are a late pregnancy only item. Don’t fall into thinking you will wear them after baby. You probably won’t.
  • You may get thoroughly, thoroughly sick of the clothes you wear during pregnancy and never want to see them again once baby is born. Don’t break the bank!
  • Don’t change your style completely when pregnant – you will feel uncomfortable. It’s better to adapt your usual look to something that works with pregnancy.
  • To avoid tears and stress in the morning (at least as they relate to what to wear), plan outfits in advance.
  • On those days when you are just over it, take a moment, breath, connect with your baby and think of all the cute outfits you will be dressing them in soon.

My essential kit (I was pregnant during winter)

  • Jersey dresses (particularly if you are working)
  • 2 pairs maternity jeans
  • 2 – 3 pair tights (leggings)
  • 1 pair black trousers
  • 3 long singlets
  • Tight dresses to show off your bump
  • Belly band
  • Long tops with space for belly
  • Jackets and vests
  • 2 pairs of go with anything flats. Weirdly, very neutral and very out-there tones seem to work back with most things. I absolutely flogged a pair of gold glittery ballet flats.
  • I think it’s nice to buy a new pair of PJs for going into hospital

Here are a few of my favourite looks from pregnancy (I was a bit obsessive about recording the bump for posterity and I apologise for the bedroom mess)

IMG_5144 IMG_5148 IMG_5259 IMG_5314 IMG_5517 IMG_5858 IMG_5901 IMG_5972

IMG_4564

Right now I am struggling with a new sartorial challenge – what to wear breast feeding. More on that later!

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2 thoughts on “What to wear when you are expecting

  1. Have always loved your fashion sense Bean! I could’ve used these tips a few years ago! I take my hat off to anyone who manages to look stylish and gorgeous even at the ‘exploding’ stage of pregnancy…:) All of your clothes are gorgeous, and I especially love the blue and white strappy maxi with the flower headband – is it one of the ones you still like, or are sick of?

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