Way back when (almost 4 years ago!) I posted a feature all about my maternity wear choices whilst pregnant with my first daughter Mabel.
My selection of garments were limited to say the least, specific maternity fashion didn’t float my boat, flatter my body or fit with my usual style/taste at all. Mostly I attempted to adapt exiting pieces and practically lived in denim shorts with opaque black tights or Topshop “Leigh” skinny jeans.
I am equally as disillusioned with what’s on offer this time around, perhaps I am an inherently odd shape whilst expecting but so many items I have ordered (and believe me folks, there have been many orders, the lady from Hermes delivery and I are practically friends) made me look considerably frumpy and/or just didn’t feel very…..nice.
Unfortunately from 20 weeks onwards I have suffered with quite spectacular water retention in my lower legs. If I spend a lot of time on my feet by 3pm my calves are almost the same width as my thighs. It’s quite a sight. And not one I want to inflict on others in a pair of the aforementioned skinny jeans or a short dress.
I allowed myself one night of “WTF am I going to wear for the next 5 months” despair/crisis of confidence and decided to make a few wise investment purchases that I would rotate. My wardrobe may be fairly predictable, but at least it’s comfortable, practical and I can choose what to wear in 5 seconds flat.
If like me, your legs have gone from lithe to resembling a pair a ham hocks, then a kick flare or a boot leg is your new BFF. I blew the budget (ALL OF IT) on a pair of Paige Manhattan Maternity Boot Jeans from Nineinthemirror.com. I’d researched (extensively) online and they had super reviews – I figured if they didn’t seem worth the spend then I would just send them back.
They were. They are.
I would sleep in them if I could.
I also figure I can sell them on once I have finished with them as they are in good condition and I am definitely not planning on baby number three.
Lucky for you Topshop have recently released the Jamie Flared jean which are a much more reasonable £42.
I bought three tops from H&M, the lace sleeved one that you can see in the header image is actually lovely for the price – it’s my “going out” go-to. H&M MAMA Jersey tops wash really well considering they are £8.99 each, I have a couple in black (my bump colour of choice) but they do all sorts of colours, prints and stripes if that’s more your cup of tea.
I prefer a sleek silhouette to loose fitting shapes and frills and find a tailored jacket or long fine-knit cardigan creates the illusion of being taller and altogether less wide, particularly as your back expands. I haven’t bought anything new – I’m utilising a Kooples jacket I haven’t really worn for a few years that I bought in the sales (I figure if I stretch it a bit there’s no harm done – it wasn’t a favourite and has been gathering dust for ages) and my faithful Topshop jersey jacket (find similar here) is working out to be about 2p per wear. Buy one. I promise you won’t regret it.
My cardigan is from Oasis but they no longer seem to have any in stock, this one from Fashion Union at ASOS is similar and a reasonable £28.
Last but not least we need to talk about underwear. I have gone from a 32 C/D to a 34D. Every bra seemingly crushed my ribs and the cups just didn’t offer enough support or coverage. I actually went into store – House of Fraser in Cirencester to be precise, and had a good old trying on session of what appeared to be bras that would fit properly whilst not appearing matronly or creating a weird shape. I bought two of the Calvin Klein seductive comfort design – yes I favour underwiring even when pregnant, and yes they have been well worth the investment. In fact I would also highly recommend Calvin Klein bikini briefs, although once you try them you may never want to buy any other knickers ever again.
You have been warned.
During the day when I’m working from home I basically live in my Sweaty Betty dance pants – these Yoga Capris are similar and Nike Internationalist trainers. For meetings, weekend trips or evenings I wear my fancy jeans, one of my H&M tops and a jacket and or/ a longline cardigan. If I’m not going to be on my feet all day then I’ll brave a pair of shorts with tights and pair them with yes you guessed it, a stretchy H&M jersey number.
I store all of my maternity pieces in the guest bedroom on an open rail so I can easily see everything at a glance and I don’t have to gaze longingly at the rest of my lovely lonely closet contents.
I’m not going to lie, I’m looking forward wearing a variety of outfits soon but for now, I feel I’ve spent my pennies wisely where it matters and as a result I might just treat myself to some leather trousers once I feel my body is ready post pregnancy.
What have been your maternity staples? For those of you still considering what to purchase then I would highly recommend simply sizing up on pieces you would normally wear anyway and looking in your wardrobe for bits and bobs that may not be an absolute favourite – but that you feel reflect your personal style.
Comfort and confidence is key, as is having more time in the morning to put on a new lipstick and accessorise with a gorgeous bag because you’re not stressing over what to wear.
Oh yes, I may have bought a few new lipsticks. And bags. That’s not technically cheating on a maternity capsule though is it?
P.S The header image is by Lisa at Little Beanies, she will tailor bump shoots to suit your requirements (mine – not too twee or pose-y) and will make you feel really at ease in front of the camera.
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Photography by Lisa at Little Beanies