Over the years the fashion world has evolved in terms of maternity style. With more high profile celebrities like Gwen Stefani – my favourite fashion follow – to the Kardashian crew – embracing their changing bodies, other designers have got on board making clothes that cater for the inevitable new body shapes that come as part of pregnancy.
Being pregnant for the fourth time I have
finallylearnt that you don’t have to spend lots of money on maternity clothes.
I have a box marked ‘maternity’ clothes that I bought during my second and third pregnancies, but this time I only wore two tops and one pair of maternity jeans (all from ASOS maternity range) out of the entire box.
I found I could conceal my expanding tummy much easier this pregnancy partly because I was more used to how my body shape would change and also fashion was on my side! By employing a few simple tricks – stretchy jersey skirts and a cami top in a size bigger tucked in (at the beginning) and worn over the skirt (nearer the final months) layered under a fitted jacket – practically disguised the bump plus it was very comfy.
As a mum of three it was essential to be able to use a few staples from my existing wardrobe while incorporating a few larger items over time – as affordability was key. I also had to look presentable for my job – especially as meeting people is a big part of what I do.
My one absolute essential pregnancy item which literally grew with me throughout my whole pregnancy was a mid-length, scoop neck, black Topshop dress with three quarter length sleeves. The fitted jersey material was very forgiving and stretched well, I only needed to go one size up.
It was perfect for all occasions – for a casual look I wore it with an oversized cardigan, flats and minimal jewellery. For a more formal occasion I paired it with a long coat and scarf or a fitted jacket and heels/Chelsea ankle boots.
Other pregnancy staples included:
Long lightweight scarves – I had accumulated quite a selection of them over the years luckily. They are perfect for wearing with a bump, with an open coat or cardigan. They are great afterwards too especially if breastfeeding out and about.
Oversized cardigans I already owned a number of these and I only bought one other new cardigan from Primark. It was well worth the £9 as I used it throughout my pregnancy and I can use it long afterwards. I found my normal size was fine and coupled with a long scarf in the last few months was ideal.
Maternity tights are pricey but well worth the investment. Worn under dresses or skirts they can be used time and again and are useful for the first few months after birth too.
A pair of under the bump leather look leggings from ASOS and a stretchy over the bump pair of leggings from New Look – were firm staples from 7 months onwards – they stretched as much as I did!
Luckily I was still able to squeeze into most of my ordinary clothes or one size up until 30 weeks before breaking out the maternity clothes and crazily I was able to wear one (magic) pair of jeans just one size bigger than my usual size right up until I was 38 weeks without using a button extender – admittedly the jeans were stretchy ones from Primark!
Here are some outfits I wore throughout my pregnancy:
At 19 weeks pregnant my baby bump was definitely beginning to show. Wearing a tucked in cami top and a long fitted pencil skirt I was able to nearly completely conceal it.
I went to a One Direction concert with my eldest daughter while 21 weeks pregnant and wore a vest top from Primark with an added layer on the bottom – the added length proved great for covering my bump.
By 27 weeks my bump was growing rapidly and sometimes if I felt confident enough I wore a fitted jersey material dress, this one didn’t have as good a stretch in it so I only wore it a few times.
This is the jersey dress I mentioned above. I often wore it to work as it looked dressy and was so comfortable, my fitted jacket help show off my growing bump.
I bought a shirt dress in a size bigger so I could get more wear out of it. Worn under a long, chunky oversized cardigan it was another very comfy outfit, suitable for work. As my bump grew and the shirt shrank (on me) I wore it with leggings.
Going for a more laid back look at home look during the holidays I wore fitted long sleeve tops and scarves with jeans.
This was another stretchy material dress from Matalan that I wore on our work Christmas night out, it was perfect as it was a little more glam than my plain black dress. I wore it to a Christmas show and on Christmas day too.
At 32 weeks pregnant I was no longer able to tuck in my cami top – but at that stage it worked well hanging over my jeans (the ones I mentioned earlier!) I wore it with an oversized cardigan and minimal jewellery for a casual look.
At the very end maternity leggings from New Look, a maternity top from ASOS and my oversized Primark cardigan were the only clothes that I found comfortable enough to wear. I packed these items for when I was coming home from hospital too.