On the whole I found specific maternity style clothing unflattering and dull. When I first started to get a bit of a “bump” (at around 20 weeks – a full on obvious one at 25) I went into on-line shopping overdrive and bought an abundance of floaty and seemingly comfortable garments.
I sent them ALL back. I looked like a marquee. And I don’t know if this is because I’m generally petite or what but everything emphasised aforementioned bump with no shape any where else whatsoever. Hence the tent resemblance.
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I wasn’t sure how I could even curate a feature such as this to be honest, I essentially rotate three pairs of trousers and a pair of shorts with various black vests and T-shirts from H&M and ASOS (tried some fancier brands, these were way superior in terms of fit and washability) and a selection of shirts, slouchy cardigans and cowboy boots.
Hardly fashion forward.
But actually – it is real, it’s what I’ve genuinely been wearing. And as I’ve not spent very much on my wardrobe in the last three months or so I’ve saved a small fortune. Yay. As a result I’m looking forward to treating myself to some new season pieces when I’m my more usual shape and size.
I invested in my standard Topshop Leigh Jeans in the maternity version – admittedly not as lovely as my normal ones but they are nice enough, and at least I can “dress them up” for evening with some heels (yes, I’m still wearing my beloved Gwenda’s, despite being told by several know-it-alls that I wouldn’t be able to) and a cute clutch bag.
I was also advised on good authority by a lady I know that works at Elle magazine that the team there swear by Mamas and Papas jeans despite having access to every designer pair you could ever wish for. I bought some narrow boot cut in black. They are very slimming on your thighs and fit snugly around your bump without making you feel like your abdominals are in a vice.
My shorts are from Zara in my normal size, they just happen to be a soft denim and sit underneath the bump so I can still do them up. I think that is just luck more than anything. All my others are not as hipster – so they remain in my closet awaiting the summer months.
I also have a pair of old ripped Diesel jeans that were in the wash when I was photographed, I just wear them with the top button undone and trainers, mostly around the house. But y’know, they’re fine…..and they were essentially free.
For some colour (and so folks stare less, what is with that?!) I like to add a long scarf, it hangs over my middle and with a coat (my usual Kooples parka, didn’t see the point in buying one that I would only use for a few months) I feel I look more like my normal self. Checked shirts or some footwear in an interesting shade also make me feel a bit more “me” and are accessories I can wear again and again, pregnant or not.
Blazers are also great, they give you a cleaner, leaner silhouette and nip you in a bit when let’s face it, your waistline is a distant memory. I didn’t buy any maternity specific versions – I have lots I love already and as I never wear them buttoned up it doesn’t matter that I would be unable to!
My favourite store for slouchy cardigans are All Saints and Urban Outfitters, again I have been wearing long-term favourites and any I have invested in since I will no doubt wear again next winter…probably.
I’m getting to the stage now, with a month or so to go that I’m bored of wearing the same things over and over. But I can live with it. And besides, there have been lots of super cute clothes I have been able to buy my baby girl instead. (Her shoe collection is rather impressive already, I hope I am not paving the way for a spoilt Madame before she’s even born.)
In other news, since the 10 week mark (when I actually found out I was pregnant) I have not weighed myself once. I just don’t see the point potentially torturing myself. I eat as healthily as I can and I exercise as many times a week as physically possible to feel good, and without raising my heart rate to the extent I have a face like a tomato. As long as I can get my shorts to fit my backside in I figure I’m doing ok.
Apologies for any of you out there who has absolutely zero interest in maternity fashion, and for those of you that have been pregnant/are right now/are considering extending your family in the near future then please do share your maternity recommendations and thoughts and feel free to ask me anything you like about my personal experience.
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I’ll let you in on a secret, to elongate your pins you need boots with that dipped triangle style at the front, it adds the illusion of inches, no word of a lie (take it from someone with uber short stumpy legs – I’ve tried everything.) Tassels also seem to improve things too. I’m not sure why, they just do.
My favourite places for Yee-ha type booties are River Island and Red or Dead, neither particularly spendy but they fit well and are super comfy. I also have a battered brown leather pair I love from All Saints but they are minus the dippy triangle, and thus are only worn on a skinny calf day (which at any point beyond 30 weeks is um…never, thanks a bunch water retention.)
I have a bunch of soft linen numbers from Zara, I am very much enjoying dark grey and burgundy for the winter months. Check out The White Company for cute feminine print versions and Forever 21 have a selection of new spring shades (I’ve bought the soft pink and mint green) that are cheap as chips.