I've tried to keep the fact that I'm pregnant off my blog. For many reasons, I did not want to divulge it, but it's so painfully obvious now (I'm, fingers crossed, due in three months) that I felt I simply could not ignore it anymore. Plus I wanted to write down just how overwhelming not only the prospect of pregnancy and having a child is, but simply the breadth and depth of information available to us is. Whilst writing this post will add to such info, I thought I'd impart some things I have so far learnt on the most superficial of matters: how to dress stylishly when pregnant. The way I see it, being pregnant has given me the chance:
- To in new looks
The older I become, the more set in my fashion ways I have become despite myself. Up until 6 months ago, I had a uniform that I stuck to, mainly as it helped me get out of the door more quickly. That's not to say though that I did not look at the latest catwalk trends and blogger styles with envy and wish I could partake in them. With my changing body shape, I have taken the opportunity to try new looks that I would have shied away from before. I am now the owner of 'smart' jogging bottoms (though I'm yet to be brave enough to wear them out the house), I'm wearing a LOT of leopard print amongst other animals at the moment and I have my eye on quite the patterned bomber jacket.
- To indulge old ones (breton tops)
All that being said, I had quite the penchant for a stripey jumper or t shirt before my engorged stomach started to look like a lot more than a good roast dinner. I now own even more blue and white striped items as maternity wear lines seem to love them. I'm not complaining. Breton stripes always look chic and can be easily dressed up and down. Plus they seem to emphasise my bump without emphasising the rest of me which seems to be becoming larger too despite no baby growing there. Thighs and backside I'm looking at you here. But by putting a brighter t shirt on my top half over my burgeoning belly and by pulling on jeans or a darker skirt over my bottom half, I am able to create a bit of an optical illusion and look a little bit slimmer in the parts I want to be!
- To indulge in comfort
I'm actually secretly upset that other clothes aren't designed with the comfort in mind that maternity wear quite obviously has been. All my clothes now have an absurd amount of lycra in them so that even if they are close fitting, they are uber comfy. No more so than my trusty pregnancy leggings from H&M. Not the sexiest of things (the waistline goes up to my bra line), they are certainly the most comfortable and if I could wear them every day I would. Wonderfully, being pregnant I wouldn't be judged either. I also love my aforementioned smart joggers and plan to wear them with slides the second it starts to get warmer in this country.
- to indulge a love of expensive accessories
Perhaps even better than the (necessary) lycra that now goes everywhere I and my bump go, is that I feel I now have a legitimate excuse to buy the more expensive pair of shoes I have been lusting after, or the handbag from the luxury brand that I've been eyeing up. My reasoning being that they will always fit and I will always love them. This is perhaps a tenuous thought process but one that I'm all for advocating - especially when you add up all the money you save from not spending as much on going out (no taxis or booze) over the 9 to 18 odd months that you're not able to drink in.
- to use the final breaths of old clothes
Additionally to having to buy all these new items (and lush shoes), I haven't forgotten my old wardrobe and I have enjoyed rediscovering clothes that I perhaps was not wearing as frequently as I did way before I fell pregnant. What I also about this rediscovering is that I don't mind stretching and bending out of shape any near antiquated items. I'm currently writing this blog in a Topshop jumper dress that I have owned for years that for whatever reason I haven't thrown out in the past. In a few months, when my bump has gone, I will probably throw it out as it will be unrecognisable in shape, but at least I won't have a near brand new maternity jumper in my wardrobe on top of this one. Yet more money saved for that handbag.
- to plan properly for the future, sartorially speaking
In spite of my greatest efforts, my prenatal wardrobe was just random purchase on top of random purchase without much thought given to the changing seasons or any wholes in my cupboard. With a sense of the inevitable (i.e I'm only going to get bigger and will be at my biggest at the start of the summer, when I aim to be breastfeeding), I've been able to think sensibly about how my fashion needs will change as my body does. A great friend of mine, told me to buy as many maternity clothes that come with a nursing function as possible. I had never thought about this, but it means that my new clothes will have a longer shelf life than just bog standard maternity clothes.
- to find new brands
I've discovered so many great brands since I've fallen pregnant, or rediscovered old ones. I'm now a massive devotee of H&M in a way that I haven't been since I was a student. It has one of the more sizeable pregnancy ranges on the high street that I've seen without really scrimping on a woman's want to still look like a woman as opposed to a nun, or one's mother. I'm also now a big fan of the brands Seraphine and Isabella Oliver. Their discrete and chic designs are suitable for a wealth of occasions that are still thrown at pregnant women, like work, weddings and weekends, again without making the wearer look matronly. Indeed, a great deal of the wearability of these two brands lie in the fact that they actually seem to celebrate ones growing tummy.
- to dress a new body feature
This may be an overshare too much, but along with the bigger thighs, tum and bum, I now also have boobs that are far bigger than anything I ever thought a flat chested girl like me could have. Whilst it took me a long while to get used to dressing to a new silhouette, I've now learnt to have fun with dressing my new shape. The thing I personally struggled with most was finding a make of lingerie that made nursing bras that were pretty and not something that even one's granny would not wear. I found that Heidi Klum's line did a range that are comfortable, attractive and that I will be able to use for as long as I am hopefully breastfeeding for.
I hope all this helps any other mums to be who are struggling to find clothes to fit their new shape as well as their old sense of style. Let me know if you can think of any more, I'd be really happy to hear them!