Pregnancy can be a difficult in lots of different ways. Our changing shape can leave us feeling exhausted and uncomfortable and often at a loss as to how we will ever find any clothes to fit us ever again!
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Fear not, Emma has her top 10 pregnancy tips in order to ensure that you don’t end up looking like Nelly the Elephant, or Sam for that matter (see this video if you don’t know what we are taking about!) .
1) Comfort is key: When it comes to dressing in pregnancy, comfort is definitely at the top of the list – but this doesn’t mean style has to be compromised. You can embrace your bump and seasonal trends at the same time.
2) Make do initially: During you first trimester there is a tendency to be able to improvise with current wardrobe, but do start to buy a few maternity pieces as it’s exciting apart from anything else to embrace your bump & labels itemized as ‘maternity’. Belly Belts/extenders give jeans/trousers a longer life in the first few weeks/months of pregnancy. When travelling on public transport think about wearing a ‘baby on board’ badge which you can get from the TFL website HERE. Especially during the first trimester when perhaps you’re not showing, but feeling morning sick, and a seat on the tube or bus very welcome.
3) A good pair of jeans: High street and designers now do great ranges of maternity labels, depending on your budget a stylish and flattering pair of jeans is a good start when thinking of a capsule maternity wardrobe – consider what type of attached belly band you want at the top of your jean, high or low waisted? As your bump gets bigger a full band covering your bump can be more comfortable, but this comes down to preference. When buying jeans consider how your shape will change and look for a comfortable fit with, most importantly, room for growth!
4) Lingerie: Consider having a Bra Fitting for maternity bras (depending on your size) towards mid/end of your first trimester – bra extenders may be useful initially. Also look out for feeding bras during your fitting, as it helps to plan ahead. If you are a fan or g-strings, ‘larger’ pants are also a good purchase at this stage and these are also very useful post birth.
An over the shoulder, perhaps with a pop of colour to add interest to your look, allows you to be hands free and potentially more comfortable than carrying a heavy hand bag in the later stages of pregnancy.
Your nappy bag is an investment piece and definitely worth spending a bit of time researching the right one. When it comes down to cost per use, this one works out efficiently. Look for varying lengths of straps on the bag to carry in different ways or attach to your buggy and lots of compartments for organization.
6) Shoes: Pregnancy hormones can cause ligaments to have some laxity which builds up throughout your pregnancy – so, for me, heals are really a no no for every day wear. Opt for pointed flats which are flattering on the length of leg, a shoe with good surface area and cushioning. Look for supportive slip on shoes, rather than buckles or laces towards end of pregnancy, as bending over can be more challenging depending on size of your bump! If buying new shoes, think about whether your feet have got little wider in pregnancy.
7) Update your Pregnancy Clothes: If wearing maternity clothes from previous pregnancies, up date the looks with accessories to give your outfit a lift. Right now brooches are spot on, as are embellishments & personalization. You can do this and update your look without buying new items. But if your budget allows, do buy the odd piece, doesn’t have to cost the earth, pick well and pieces can be useful in the months post birth, think about layering tops for breast feeding or tops or dresses, with button down the front. How often do you go without buying clothes over nine months?! Use scarves to elongate the torso, wear long line to elongate body or draped round neck for statement look, which draws attention to face. Statement rings and bracelets can be uncomfortable in the later stages of pregnancy, long line or statement necklaces or earrings are more comfortable to wear and can take outfits from day to night.
8) Useful Non-maternity items: You can still buy clothes from non maternity lines, in larger sizes. Were possible look for breathable fabrics that don’t make you feel too warm. Empire line tops, patterned wrap dresses, gypsy/floaty tops, stretch leggings, dungarees, blazers with stretch in material and darting on the back (for flattering the line of your back), cardigan coats, boyfriend-fit denim shirts which can be worn open like a coat on top of t-shirts instead of denim jackets, which can be restricting. Wrap dresses are a good idea especially for work wear worn with pregnancy tights. Tops with rushing and skirts with elastic waistband. Layering tops with a good thin knit is also useful or a long line vest. ‘Fake’ shirt collars which add a collar to knits, are an excellent way of adding formality to a look, without adding the bulk, or warmth, of a full shirt - this is useful for work look too.
9) Pattern is flattering: Opt for pattern rather than a block colour, if item of clothing close fitting as this is more flattering on the areas you are feeling more conscious about, or in the early stages of pregnancy when your bump is less protruding. Don’t shy away from stripes either, a striped top with gilet, or a cardigan coat, or stretchy blazer, looks wonderful with a bump, opt for wider, darker, stripe than a lighter, thinner, stripe for the most flattering breton.
10) Wardrobe Must Haves: Belly Belt/extender Long line stretchy vest or maternity vest which will stop there being a gap and showing your tummy when bending down Opaque pregnancy tights (for winter) are wardrobe staples. Also give your ‘hospital bag’ some thought - A breathable nightdress, ideally with buttons that open at the top for breast feeding (with stretch fabric) also a fluffy or toweling dressing gown, bed socks and slippers.
Lastly embrace colour: Don’t shy away from colour, even if you embrace it in your accessories, it draws attention to yourself, after all, pregnancy is definitely a time to be noticed and cherished.