This post is dedicated to my sweet friend Corrine, who is expecting her first baby in July. Last week she mentioned to me that she’s feeling frumpy next to all the girls in their skinny jeans and flippy sundresses.
First off, let me just say that Corrine is gorgeous. Seriously stunning. Raven hair, flashing eyes and a smile you can see from space. It broke my heart that this beautiful woman was feeling so darned unattractive.
I believe that it’s important to love your body. But that can be really hard to do sometimes, particularly if your body is going through some rapid (and sometimes scary) changes as a side-effect of growing a human being.
One thing I like to do when I’m feeling frumpy and flat is to dress myself in something fabulous. Maternity clothing has gotten a bad rap for being boring and daggy. But it doesn’t have to be. There are so many creative ways that you can dress your bump.
You also don’t need to spend a fortune on new maternity clothes. You might be able to get away with buying a few staples and then using some items that you already own. You can also find a lot of items that can be modified or worn off the rack in second-hand stores that will look amazing and will still leave you with enough cash to pimp your nursery.
I would recommend buying at least one maternity dress. They are practical, easy to wear and can be dressed up or down with just a few small tweaks.
I’ve found several styles of convertible wrap dresses that would be perfect for your pregnancy wardrobe. They can be wrapped to fit even the biggest baby bump and still look so stylish. They can be worn as day wear, to the office or with some glam jewelry for a swanky night out. Best of all, they will still fit you after your bundle has arrived. As they can be adjusted easily, they’re ideal for fitting your post-baby body and the wrap style makes them a good choice for nursing.
A sack dress is also a great pregnancy buy. Once again they are comfortable and easy to wear. You can go bare-legged underneath or slip on a pair of comfy leggings if there’s a chill. Choose a block colour for maximum versatility. A sack dress also looks really stylish on a post-baby body. Just sweep your hair up into a bun and add a swipe of red lippy for easy, casual cool.
If you’re feeling daring, why not slip into a gorgeous caftan? They are ultra comfortable and lend an effortlessly exotic spark to any figure. Dress yours up with an armload of bangles and some beautiful sandals. Add a turban for that fortune-teller edge. Once again, you’ll be able to wear this after your pregnancy (even if only to swan around the house).
Pick flat, comfortable shoes that don’t have any laces or buckles. As your bump grows, you might struggle to do them up, so slip-ons are best. There are loads of stylish options available: from the humble ballet flat to the groovy sneaker. There are tough biker boots and exotic sandals, sling-backs and slippers to choose from. Just pick something that suits your style, slip em’ on and off you go!
Another item that you might have to purchase from the maternity section is a good pair of maternity jeans. If you’re really crafty, you can modify a pair of your regular jeans to make them fit your growing belly. However, if you aren’t handy with a sewing machine, there are loads of gorgeous, inexpensive maternity jeans on the market. ASOS have a good range of fab jeans for mums-to-be. I reckon they’s look awesome paired with an oversized baseball top and some tough boots.
Another great option for trousers is harem pants or fisherman’s pants that fold over at the waist. These can be worn below your bump and will adjust to fit you throughout your pregnancy. Once again, these can also be worn once the baby arrives, and act as a good stepping-stone between your maternity wardrobe and your pre-baby wardrobe.
Leggings are your friends during your pregnancy. They are comfortable, cheap and so easy to wear. Choose plain black or opt for some of the funky designs that are out there. Layer them under dresses and skirts for warmth or wear with tunic tops and boots.
When it comes to shirts, there are a lot of different things to try. Check in your wardrobe for any tops with ruching at the sides, stretchy fabrics and knits. These will get you through the first part of your pregnancy. As you get bigger, you’ll probably need to buy a few new tops.
Op shops are a great place to look for possible maternity tops. Look for knits and stretchy tops that will give you a bit of shape without clinging too tightly to your bulge.
You might also like to raid the men’s department for button-down shirts, casual jumpers and slouchy tees that will look awesome when worn with your jeans.
Another neat trick is to wear some of your shift dresses as tops over jeans or leggings. Choose a dress that flares out under the bust and will cover your belly. This way you’ll get more wear out of clothes that you already have in your wardrobe.
The best way to give your outfits a lift is with accessories. Add unique hats, gloves, scarves, glasses, bags and jewelry to put your own stamp on your style. Best of all, these things will fit you no matter what size you are, so you can still wear all your favourite finishing touches the whole way through your pregnancy.
So you see, maternity clothing doesn’t have to be all baggy dresses and daggy stretch pants. There are so many creative ways to express your style and feel fabulous while you’re pregnant.
Do you have any tips for dressing up when you’re pregnant? I’d love to hear them.
Now, as I just mentioned on Twitter, I knew that this would be phenomenal, because let’s face it, it was dreamed up by YOU, the QUEEN of all things stylish, fun and fabulous, but HOLY HECK! THOSE OUTFITS! ❤ Your amazing, tear-inducing, kind words! Ness, you have absolutely made my day (and the rest of my pregnancy!).
It has been *so* long since I've even felt REMOTELY attractive/enthused to wear anything beyond track pants (AND I NEVER EVEN WORE TRACK PANTS BEFORE! 😮 ) the minute I leave work, and I can't tell you what a tremendous gift that alone was for me… to feel inspired again. I'd kind of resigned myself to the fact that I'd be shuffling around in all sorts of hideous fleece fabrics for the next few months to come, but nut uh! You've shown me that I have *no* excuse, and not only that… but that it can even be *exciting*! 😀
From the bottom of my heart, thank-you sincerely, lovely lady. You are a WONDERFUL friend, and I hope many more with-bump women stumble across this, because it's a total godsend!
You are so, so welcome sweetheart.
Now, if you were happy wearing tracksuits for the rest of your pregnancy, I wouldn’t have said a word. But I could tell that you weren’t happy, and I wanted to do a little something to change that. I’m so pleased that you’re feeling more inspired now. As I learned while I was researching this post, there are SO many options available to women nowadays. So many shops have amazing (and not super-pricey) maternity ranges that can be worn with lots of regular items to create a really versatile pregnancy wardrobe no matter what your style.
Another thing that occurred to me is that a lot of pregnant women worry about “losing themselves” once their baby arrives. It’s a hugely scary thing to face, becoming a mother. Choosing to dress in a way that makes you happy and expresses your style is a great way to re-affirm and celebrate who you are as a person and boost your self-esteem.
I just know that when I’m feeling down about my body, I always feel better if I dress it up and celebrate my shape. I wanted to show you that you can treat it as an adventure and really have fun with your maternity wardrobe. You don’t have to live in trackies if you don’t want to!
Plus, bumps are beautiful! I love a good baby bump! Show it off in gorgeous fabrics and prints if you want to.
I’m so pleased to have done this small thing to make you smile.