How to deal with a body that’s changed.

So, over the last year or so I’ve noticed a lot of changes in my body.  And I don’t mean like, growing hair in strange places.  I mean that I’ve gained some weight.  Not a huge amount of weight, but enough that I feel uncomfortable in my own skin (and in most of my jeans).  And I’m not going to lie to you, it’s been pretty hard for me to deal with this change in my bod.

Now, I’ve written before about gaining weight, and how it’s troubled me. And a lot of the feelings I discussed in that post are still ringing true.  I’m finding it quite hard to manage the feelings that are cropping up with the weight that I’ve gained.  So in an effort to move forward, I sat down and thought carefully about why I’m so bothered by a few extra kilos.

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While my negative feelings about my body are complicated, there are a few key issues that have bubbled to the surface during my ruminations.  The first is the realisation that even though I try hard to be body positive, even though I try not to internalize the messages I’m bombarded with about how thin is better, and how being fat is a terrible thing, I’m still affected by them.  Even though I know countless people with a wide array of body shapes and sizes who are all incredibly gorgeous, even though I constantly tell people to be kind to themselves, I still feel the weight of those messages.  I still feel like I’ve failed in some way because I’ve gained weight.  I still feel less attractive when I notice that my jeans won’t zip or that my belly pokes out more than it used to.  I still feel like I should be ashamed of my weight gain.  It makes me pretty angry that even though I’ve done my best to resist that negativity and shame, it’s still wormed it’s way into my consciousness.

I’ve also felt frustrated with myself because I keep having this idea that my weight is something that I should control.  And that if I’m gaining weight, it’s because I’ve done the wrong thing.  I feel ashamed and lazy.  I feel mad that I have to manage my depression with drugs that have caused me to gain weight.  I feel burdened by my full-time job, which takes up much of my time and energy and makes it much more difficult to eat well and exercise. And I curse my genetics which make it more likely that I’m going to have a rounder figure as I get older.  I feel impotent because there are so many factors working against me, and I imagine that I should be able to manage them and keep my figure because that’s what women are “supposed to do”.

I also feel uncomfortable with the way I look.  Now, I need to point out that I don’t think that fat=ugly.  The reason that I don’t feel comfortable is that I’m not used to the way my body looks now. Even though the shift in my weight hasn’t been dramatic, it’s enough that I feel strange in my own skin.  I look in the mirror and it feels weird to see more rounded hips, and a curved tummy  and actual boobs.  My figure has become more hourglass where it was always fairly up-and-down and very skinny.  My clothes fit me differently and hug me too tightly over my new curves.  Outfits that used to make me feel confident and sassy now make me feel like a sausage in a too-tight casing. I don’t feel like I look like “me”. It’s so difficult to learn to love a new shape when I’d barely become confident in the one I had.

But I’m doing alright.  And there are a few things I’ve been doing that have helped immensely.  I’d like to share those things with you, in case you’re also struggling with a body that’s changed.

Talk about it.

Discussing my feelings and insecurities has been extremely helpful.  I’m lucky enough to have many people in my life who were kind to me, who listened attentively and empathised.  Talking it over with a few of my favourite people helped me to feel so much better.  It made me realise that my feelings aren’t unique, that these struggles are something that most people go through.  It gave me comfort to know that those special people didn’t think any less of me because I’d gained weight, and still valued me just as much.

Decide what action you want to take (if any)

Let me be absolutely clear: you don’t have to do anything about your weight gain if you don’t want to.  I’m the last person who will tell you that you need to go on a diet.  But I do think that if your weight gain is causing you pain and grief, then you need to do something.  For me, I’ve taken stock of my  lifestyle and realised that I could definitely improve my eating habits and exercise routine.  I know that I need to plan a more well-rounded diet and move my body more often.  At the same time, I know that unless I starve myself and stop taking my medication, I’m never going to get back to my old body.  And so as well as taking better care of myself, I’ve decided that I need to work on accepting my body and coming to terms with the changes that have taken place.  So whether you want to change up your habits, or look at your emotional patterns, or a bit of both, I think taking some action to get yourself feeling better is a good idea.

Recognise that bodies change

All bodies, particularly female bodies, go through massive changes over the course of a lifetime.  And whether those changes are caused by a lifestyle shift, hormones, medication, illness, age, growing a human inside you or some other reason, it can be difficult to manage.  As difficult as it is, it’s really important to accept that our bodies alter and shift as time passes.  It’s perfectly OK to mourn the shape and size you once were, but I think it’s also a good idea to begin to celebrate some good things about your new shape.  For example, I’m trying to feel chuffed about the fact that I finally have boobs, after years of struggling with push-up bras.  Find something that you like, celebrate that and build from there.

Get rid of clothes that trigger self hate.

This one has been hard for me, because my clothes are a huge part of my life.  I love getting dressed in the morning, and I place a lot of emotional attachment to the items in my wardrobe.  For me those skinny jeans aren’t just a couple of denim tubes and a zipper, they have the power to make me feel fierce and sexy.  And when those fierce jeans will no longer zip, their power changes….they become a trigger for self loathing.  Lately I’ve been taking a long, hard look at my clothes, and I’ve gotten rid of a few things that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to wear again.  There are some I’m hanging onto because there’s a chance that they’ll fit someday.  But the ones that made me feel the shittiest had to go.  It’s hard to let go of those items because of the memories attached to them, and because in a way it feels like the end of a part of my life.  But sometimes you have to take a deep breath, let them go and then buy some new gear that makes you feel fierce and fabulous.

Do you struggle with your body when it changes?  What have you done to make that change easier?

Product review: Lelo Soraya luxury vibe.

So, here’s the deal.  I’ve been tossing around the idea of reviewing sex toys on this blog.  I know I’ve never really talked much about it before, but I adore sex toys and erotic playthings.  And I think it’s a shame that I haven’t.  Because sex toys are awesome, and fun, and a great way to learn about what your body likes and doesn’t like.  I also think that there’s a bit of a taboo surrounding pleasure aides, and that they are a topic that We Just Don’t Talk About.  And starting now I’d like to break that down.  I’m not a sex expert, but I’m a regular woman with a regular vagina who is willing to tell you the ins and outs of the toys I’ve tried.  So let’s get to it, shall we?

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The first toy I’ve chosen to review is the Lelo Soraya.  The reason I picked this one is that it’s probably my favourite in my collection.  The Soraya is a luxury rabbit-style vibe.  It’s made of buttery soft silicone and comes in three colours: pink, purple and black.  I have the black version in my toy chest.

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Ok, so the first thing you’ll notice about the Soraya is the shape.  It doesn’t look like most sex toys on the market.  It’s completely smooth, with no harsh angles or ridges.  It is slightly curved and flares a little at the top, which makes it a great toy if you’re beginning to get into G-spot play or if you like a bit of gentle G-spot stimulation.  The little nub on top stimulates the clitoris.  The Soraya has dual motors, one in the shaft and another in the clitoral nub.

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I truly adore the appearance of this toy.  I like that it doesn’t look anything like a penis.  I find realistic toys a little bit creepy.  I also feel that the shape and appearance makes this a great toy to hand to a male partner for some  couples play.  I know a lot of guys who feel weird using a penis-shaped toy on their partners, so this toy is a great one to get around that problem.

 

One thing that irritated me about the Soraya to begin with it that it didn’t fit my body well.  The clitoral stimulator sat far too high to hit my clit.  This was frustrating, because while the internal stimulation felt amazing, the external nub was buzzing away atop my pubic mound doing bugger all.  After a bit of experimenting, I realised that the arm which holds the clit stimulator in place is super flexible, and can easily be bent to direct the vibrations to the perfect spot.

 

The Soraya is made of silicone, which is great for many reasons.  Firstly, it feels silky smooth to touch.  Secondly, it’s non-porous and body safe. And thirdly it makes cleaning a breeze.  The Soraya is waterproof, so you can rinse it in the sink or give it a spray with some toy cleaning solution.  The centre of the toy is hard plastic set with a gold paint.  I’m not fond of this aspect of the design.  There is a ridge where the silicone and plastic meet.  While you can’t feel that ridge during play, it is deep enough for lube and fluids to get caught in there and it’s tricky to clean.  I find that I have to run a fingernail or toothpick along the ridge to get it completely clean.  And this cleaning process has caused the gold paint to flake off in a few places.  I was really disappointed by this aspect of the toy’s design, because I expected more from a luxury toy.

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Now, enough about how it looks, let’s talk about performance!  The Soraya is a rechargeable vibe.  Until I bought this toy, every other vibrator I owned was battery operated.  The Lelo blows them all out of the water.  It holds it’s charge really well, and you can get four hours of play from a single charge.  It doesn’t lose power or die slowly like battery operated toys can, and you can use it while it’s plugged in or go wireless!

 

As far as power goes, this toy is amazing.  It’s got strong, rumbling vibrations that don’t feel buzzy or ticklish.  The highest setting is enough to make your clit rocket right off, so if you’re the kind of girl who likes intense stimulation, or you prefer a gentler touch, this toy gives you plenty of options.  In spite of it’s power, the Soraya is really quiet.  When I’m under a blanket I can’t even hear her buzzing away.

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The controls are pretty cool too.  The Soraya has three buttons.  You press the + button to turn her on, and the – button to turn it off.  If you press the + or – button during play, it increases or decreases the vibration level.  The middle button cycles through the different vibration patterns.  I adore the different patterns on this toy.  You can go with something simple, such as fast or slow pulses, or use my favourite setting which gives you undulating vibration up and down the length of the toy.

 

If there was one thing I would change about the controls on this toy, it would be to have a separate control for the internal and external stimulators.  I’ve had other toys in the past where you could control each motor independently, so if you prefer a stronger internal vibration but just a lighter tickle on your clit then you have complete control over that.  As both motors are controlled by the same buttons on this toy, you don’t have the same level of control over your experience.  You can turn off one motor, and just have the shaft or the nub vibrating while the other is dormant.  But if they’re both on, they both have to be on the same power setting.  I found this slightly annoying but not totally detrimental.

 

Another feature that I adore is the travel lock.  If you hold down the + and – buttons for 3 seconds it locks the toy, so you can throw it in your bag and not stress about accidentally setting it off at the train station (yes, that’s happened to me before).  To unlock the toy, just press and hold those buttons again.  This is an awesome feature and I wish more toys had it.

 

Now, let’s talk about price.  As a luxury vibe, the Lelo Soraya is fairly costly.  It normally retails for $319 on Lelo’s website.  However, I got mine on sale for $212 at Adultshop (and psst!  It’s still on sale!).  Now, we don’t all have $212 to spend on a vibrator.  But I truly believe that this one is well worth spending a bit extra on.  It works wonderfully, it’s practical and functional, it’s quiet and generally well made.  If you were going to have a single vibe in your collection, I’d recommend saving your pennies and buying this one because it’s wonderful.  Although I have a lot of other toys in my collection, this is the one I come back to time and time again.

 

Overall I think the Lelo Soraya is an excellent toy and I would highly recommend it.  It’s a luxury vibe that does it’s job perfectly.

 

Do you have any questions about this toy?  Or about sex toys in general?  Fire away! (But keep it respectful and clean).

Thursday 26/2/2015

Do any of you guys know where February has gone to?  It feels like it just flashed by in a mere moment.  How is the year 1/6 of the way through already?

This week I love:

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-Relying on myself for that which I need most.  After a shitty day last week I came home in a massive funk.  I was feeling very sorry for myself when I thought, “This pity party isn’t helping me.  I have the power to comfort myself”.  I just sat quietly for a while and asked myself honestly what I thought would make me feel better.  I wrote in my journal for a bit, did some yoga and enjoyed a movie while working on some crafts.  And in a few hours I was back on an even keel.  I feel proud of myself for being able to look after my own sanity in that way.  I can’t always manage it, but when I can it’s awesome.

– That moment when you’re working on a craft project which hasn’t been meeting your expectations and suddenly it just falls into place and looks fantastic.

– Putting my feet up and having Ringo tickle my toes with his tail.  Hilarious.

– Chatting with my workmates about hilarious wedding stories.

– Enjoying conversations with someone who ‘gets’ me.  It’s a rare and special thing.

– Watching The Blues Brothers and then blasting some soul music while I prepare for work.

– Salted caramel Tim Tams.  Amazing!

– Hanging out at a cafe with a beer on a lazy Sunday arvo to watch my friend Wally play some awesome music.  He did some original songs, some Beatles covers, a bit of Fleetwood Mac and even Lily Allen.  But the highlight was when he closed with “I Want to Grow Old with You” from The Wedding Singer, which I firmly believe is the most romantic song ever written.

– Popping a massive pimple. I know it’s a beauty no-no, but it is just so satisfying.

– Huge thunderstorms.

– Peach iced tea drunk from a china cup at my desk.

-Finding this fantastic vintage housecoat at the op shop this week.  It’s so psychedelic and the fabric is soft and light on the skin.  I’ve been wearing this each morning and it’s so lovely.

And just check out that print.  Gorgeous, no?

– Treating myself to a lovely dinner of cheese and fruit on a summer’s eve.  Although I’m drinking from a martini glass, my beverage was actually just soda water.  I was just feeling fancy.

What do you love this week?

Things I Love Thursday 19/2/2015

Woo-hoo!  We are nearly through another working week.  Friday is just around the corner and the weekend will soon be in sight.  Let’s take a load off and think about the things that we love this week.

This week I love:

– Watching a couple celebrate as I handed them the certificate which made their small business application official.  It was heartwarming to watch them jump excitedly in the middle of their budding store.

– Salads. The weather has been crazy hot here the past few days so I’ve been embracing the humble salad.  I used to think that salads were really boring, but I’m beginning to realise that they are the exact opposite.  A salad doesn’t have to be entirely comprised of leafy greens.  You can throw a bit of cheese in there, add some veggies you’ve never tried before or hell, even chop up some fresh fruit to add to your salad.  Nuts, grains and tofu are also brilliant additions.  I’m currently enjoying adding a bit of peach or nectarine to a fresh green salad for a sweet edge.  It’s delicious.

-Treating myself to some delectable scented candles for Valentines Day.  I got these from Geek Nest and they are to die for.  I chose four scents: Expecto Patronum is a mix of woods, earth and clove; TARDIS Blue is stems, lily, rose, jasmine and orange; Quidditch is grass and green stems and Hagrid’s Hut is woods with a hint of musk.  The TARDIS Blue is gorgeously floral and it’s my clear favourite.  The biggest surprise was Expecto Patronum.  I normally dislike the scent of clove, and I only got this candle because it was part of the Harry Potter value pack.  But in hindsight I’m so pleased that I did, because I really love the scent of this candle.  It’s quite soft and almost masculine.  I would definitely recommend these candles.  They also come in cute tins with lids, which means they will be perfect for travelling.

– Having my one-month review at work.  It was pretty harrowing when the department head called me into the interview room for “a chat”, but she quickly started singing my praises.  She said that I’m doing an amazing job, and that I’ve taken on a lot more responsibility than she expected me to as a new employee.  She said that I’m reliable and efficient and that she is so pleased with the work I’m doing.  I did also get some constructive criticism for things to work on, which is great because I know where I need to improve to do an even better job.  I am so chuffed that things are going so well at work.

– Taking myself out for a massage for Valentines Day.  Sometimes you gotta be your own Valentine.

– Chatting with a like-minded dude about history and cute cat facts.

– The Woman in Black.  I watched the 2011 remake of this classic horror tale a few nights ago.  I saw the original a while back and although it was good I didn’t think it was that scary.  So I thought it would be fine to watch the remake alone at night.  Huge mistake!  The remake is absolutely terrifying, but so awesome.  It’s more of a thriller than an out-and-out horror story, and it stars Daniel Radcliff who you might remember from a little movie series called Harry Potter.

– Geeking out with the waitress of my favourite cafe when we realise that we are reading the same book.

What do you love this week?

Product review: Bandelettes.

 I’m a card-carrying member of the Chub Rub Club.  I have generous thighs that touch at the top and generate enough friction to start a fire when I walk long distances.  I like to imagine that my thighs like each other so much that they just can’t keep their hands to themselves. But all this thigh-action can cause some pretty painful chafing. So I’ve been on the lookout for something that will prevent the chub rub.

I came across a product called Bandelettes.  Bandelettes are bands that you wear around your thighs to prevent chafing.  The kind folks at Bandelettes sent me two pairs of their revolutionary thigh bands to try out.

My Bandelettes arrived just as the weather in Benalla reached scorching temperatures.  It was perfect timing and I was eager to take them for a spin.

The first step to getting the best performance out of your thigh bands is ensuring that you buy the right size.  To do this, you should measure your thighs with a flexible tape at the point where your thighs touch.  Then, refer to the sizing chart to make sure that you select the correct size.  The reason I got two pairs is because I’m on the cusp of size A and B.  The website recommends to size down if you are in between sizes to ensure a snug fit.

I got two different designs and colours.  This design is called Black Onyx. As you can see, the Bandelettes resemble the tops of stay-up stockings.  They are lined with two non-slip silicone strips to help them to stay in place.

This design is called Beige 1004.  My first impression of the Bandelettes was that they are so pretty!  So many shapewear and utilitarian underwear designs are ugly and matronly, but these look downright sexy.  If I happened to be wearing these on a date and things started to heat up, I wouldn’t be at all embarrassed to let my companion catch a glimpse of these.

To wear your Bandelettes, simply pull them up onto your thighs and position them at the point where your thighs touch.  This will be slightly different for every person.  Make sure that the bands aren’t twisted and are lying flat against your skin.

After I’d positioned my Bandelettes, I threw on a maxi dress and headed out for dinner.  I had to walk quite a long way to get to the restaurant, and I didn’t feel so much as a twinge.  The Bandelettes were so comfortable to wear.  They didn’t rub, slip or roll at all.  I was worried that they might make me feel even hotter in the humid summer air, but actually I felt cooler without the friction from my thighs.

The following day I wore my beige Bandelettes to go shopping.  I walked for hours without any chafing.  Once again, the bands didn’t budge at all.  I experienced similar results with both sizes.  The bands were also extremely discreet, and weren’t visible at all under my clothing.  I had been concerned that the lace might create a static effect that would cause my skirt to cling to them, but this wasn’t the case at all.

The bands are very easy to wash and dry.  I hand-wash them with my delicate items and then lay flat to dry.

Bandelettes retail for $14.99 each  and come in a huge range of colours, including black, red, beige, white and chocolate.  There are even unisex bands if you don’t like the feel or look of lace.  The unisex bands would be a perfect addition to your active wardrobe to prevent chafing while jogging or cycling.

I would highly recommend Bandelettes for my fellow members of the Chub Rub Club.  Not only do they look cute, but they work brilliantly too.

These items were provided for my consideration.  The opinions contained in this review are my own honest views.

My reverse bucket list

On the weekend I read and was inspired by Amanda’s Reverse Bucket List post over on her awesome blog, Dragonflight Dreams.  I sometimes feel so overwhelmed with the thought of all the things that I want to accomplish in my life, and I forget to take stock of all the amazing things that I’ve already done.  So today I’m going to share my reverse bucket list, a collection of the accomplishments I’ve already ticked off my to-do list for my life.

So far in my 28 years I have:

– Graduated from university with two degrees: A Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Psychology.

– Lived on -campus and made loads of awesome friends there.

– Completed a psychological research project about memory and ageing.

– Had a seven-year long-distance relationship

– Lived with a boyfriend

– Survived (and thrived) after a massive break-up

– Volunteered at several jobs, including a legal centre and with a group that helps overseas students to improve their English skills.

– Worked as a mentor to first-year college students.

– Started and run a blog for 4.5 years.

– Spent loads of quality time with my Nana and looked after her in her final days.

– Overcome and eating disorder

– Graduated from high school at close to the top of my class.

– Met several online friends.

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– Held a murder-mystery party

– Cosplayed on numerous occasions

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– Visited a comic book and pop-culture convention.

– Gotten by belly-button pierced.

– Ridden on a steam train

– Eaten snake, possum, crocodile, kangaroo and emu meats

– Ridden a mechanical bull

– Played a game of giant twister

– Sung in front of a room of people.

– Built a blanket fort in my loungeroom and spent a night in it.

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– Gotten a drastic haircut

– Ridden a zip line

– Gone down a vertical slide

– Completed a high-ropes course

– Gone abseiling

– Gone canoeing

– Met several of my personal idols, including Terry Pratchett, Nicholas Brendan and Billy West

– Slept under the stars

– Pulled several all-nighters

– Self-published several books

– Ridden on a paddle-wheel boat

– Visited a prison (several, actually)

– Been skinny dipping

– Jumped into a pool with all my clothes on

-Climbed to the top of a mountain

– Been baptized

– Been to a viewing of the body before a funeral

– Touched the costume Johnny Depp wore in Edward Scissorhands

– Seen the dress Marilyn Monroe wore in The Seven Year Itch

– Watched The Dark Side of Oz

-Sat in the front row at a comedy show

– Been to a fashion show

– Started an online shop

-Learned to crochet

– Made an item of clothing that I actually wear

– Fallen in love

– Been sledding

-Adopted two cats

-Hand-fed a kangaroo

– Watched a sunset and a sunrise (not in the same day!)

-Ridden a camel

-Written a fan letter

-Cosplayed as a character of the opposite gender (Jay of Jay and Silent Bob)

– Attended a gay-pride event

– Learned to roller-blade

– Learned a foreign language (Indonesian)

-Lived on my own

– Lived in a share house

– Seen an Olympic event (the soccer match between Chile and Argentina when the Olympics was in Sydney in 2000)

-Played laser tag

– Had a full-body Chinese massage

– Attended a Back To The Future marathon

– Queued up for a book release

– Worn a wig in public

– Been kissed in the rain

-Shared a kiss with a stranger

– Gave my lunch to a homeless person

-Hidden secret love notes in the pockets of coats in thrift stores

– Read a book cover-to-cover in one day

When I look at this list, I realise what an amazing life I’ve led already.  I feel truly proud of all that I’ve accomplished and excited by all the things I have yet to do.  This list is a perfect reminder to me that I’ve done so much with my life so far, and that I shouldn’t feel discouraged on days when I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything, because that’s just not true.

What’s on your reverse bucket list?  Have you done any of the same items I have?

Maternity wear with flair

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.

Dresses

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.

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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.

Sack dress sass

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.

Kaftan gorgeus

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).

Shoes

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!

Trousers

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.

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You can also try this nifty no-sew trick to make your regular jeans fit for a while longer.
Boho bump

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.

Tops

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.

Hey Mama, welcome to the 60's

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.

Accessories.

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.