The first time we were both pregnant, we were super excited about buying a whole new wardrobe to fit our ever-expanding bodies. That was then met with some disappointment as we struggled to find anything we loved from the small maternity selection we’d find in-store. The second time around, we approached it in a different light and realised that we don’t need to waste money on lots of maternity clothes; we just need to be inventive with our current wardrobe and make the most of the great British high street.
Here is a simple and quick guide to what you need to build a maternity wardrobe, without spending a fortune.
No matter how big or small you are, you can’t get avoid having to buy some new jeans. It’s a case of trial an error as to whether you prefer an over bump pair, or under bump. Generally it’s personal preference, but I was pregnant with Belle in the height of summer so couldn’t handle any extra fabric over my bump and went for under bump jeans, but with Ace it was winter and I liked the snug feeling of something covering and supporting my stomach.
River Island have just launched a denim maternity range which is just an adaption of the jeans they already have. It has one of the biggest selections on the high street of maternity denim with lots of different styles and shades. Other high street favourites include the ‘Girlfriend’ jeans from H&M, charcoal dungarees from BooHoo , and THESE from New Look who are one of the only high street brands to do maternity in different leg lengths.
Another easy way to find perfect fitting denim is to book into personal shopping in Topshop or John Lewis. Both are free services and you can relax in a peaceful private room while someone runs around after you getting different sizes & styles to try. Just check the store you are booking into has maternity wear, as not all of them do. Flagship stores in bigger cities always have more options.
THE REST OF THE ESSENTIALS
TIGHTS: Don’t suffer in your regular tights with them digging into your hip bones. Grab a couple of pairs of maternity tight, these from John Lewis are comfy and long lasting.
BUMP COVER: They look odd but they mean that you can keep wearing your fave non-maternity tops but as they rise upwards when your belly grows, the addition of these will make it look like you just have a vest on underneath or are layering you clothes, rather than than it look like you are in a belly bearing crop top. Plus pregnancy makes you hot enough as it is, so if you can avoid wearing two tops and overheating, bonus. Bump cover from Gap.
MATERNITY CONTROL WEAR: It sounds ridiculous (and probably controversial) but they can be a life saver, especially if you want to feel supported around your belly. It’s absolutely nothing to do with making yourself look slimmer when you are pregnant, it’s just about smoothing out the lumps and bumps (and ugly knicker lines from giant maternity pants) so you feel comfortable enough to wear something fitted, when you feel like you are continually growing. Make sure you get a maternity pair like THESE as they have enough room for an expanding stomach. They work best under dresses and skirts, no need for them under your jeans. I wore mine almost every day of pregnancy. It won’t compress your bump. FYI Don’t even attempt normal Spanx/Shapewear – you shouldn’t wear anything that will squash or flatten your bump.
LEGGINGS: I don’t know anyone who managed to get through a pregnancy without wearing leggings. They are so useful for dressing up or down, but are especially helpful for when you feel like you are going to explode and only want to walk around naked. If your job demands a slightly dressier code, you have a party to go to or want to dress up a bit more then try THESE from ASOS or THESE from Mamalicious. All you need to do is add an oversized top, a chunky necklace, a blazer and a red lip. Go for a block heel if you fancy it, or wear with Converse or trainers.
OUTERWEAR: This doesn’t need to be maternity, you most likely will be able to stick to your own size or go up a size in a normal range, and then layer with it. Huge jumpers and chunky scarves to keep yourself warm when it won’t button up.