Ideas for cheap maternity wear on a budget
Denim Shorts
Denim Shorts
Ideas for cheap maternity wear on a budget
Mint Green
Mint Green
Ideas for cheap maternity wear on a budget
Ideas for cheap maternity wear on a budget
Ideas for cheap maternity wear on a budget
Scarf Love
Scarf Love
Ideas for cheap maternity wear on a budget
Slouchy Cardi
Slouchy Cardi
Ideas for cheap maternity wear on a budget
Ideas for cheap maternity wear on a budget

Real Style | Charlotte {Maternity}

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

This is a bit of a fib. I wouldn’t say this is necessarily my real style at all. It’s more of a restricted way of dressing because the fact of the matter is I’m 34 weeks pregnant.

I have on the whole found specific maternity designed clothing unflattering and dull. When I first started to get a bit of a “bump” (at around 20 weeks – a full on obvious one at 25) I went into on-line shopping overdrive and bought an abundance of floaty and seemingly comfortable garments.

I sent them ALL back. I looked like a marquee. And I don’t know if this is because I’m generally petite or what but everything emphasised aforementioned bump with no shape any where else whatsoever. Hence the tent resemblance.

I wasn’t sure how I could even curate a feature such as this to be honest, I essentially rotate three pairs of trousers and a pair of shorts with various black vests and T-shirts from H & M and ASOS (tried some fancier brands, these were way superior in terms of fit and washability) and a selection of shirts, slouchy cardigans and cowboy boots.

Hardly fashion forward.

But actually – it is real, it’s what I’ve genuinely been wearing. And as I’ve not spent very much on my wardrobe in the last three months or so I’ve saved a small fortune. Yay. As a result I’m looking forward to treating myself to some new season pieces when I’m my more usual shape and size.

I invested in my standard Topshop Leigh jeans in the maternity version – admittedly not as lovely as my normal ones but they are nice enough, and at least I can “dress them up” for evening with some heels (yes, I’m still wearing my beloved Gwenda’s, despite being told by several know-it-alls that I wouldn’t be able to) and a cute clutch bag.

I was also advised on good authority by a lady I know that works at Elle magazine that the team there swear by Mamas and Papas jeans despite having access to every designer pair you could ever wish for. I bought some narrow boot cut in black. They are very slimming on your thighs and fit snugly around your bump without making you feel like your abdominals are in a vice.

My shorts are from Zara in my normal size, they just happen to be a soft denim and sit underneath the bump so I can still do them up. I think that is just luck more than anything. All my others are not as hipster – so they remain in my closet awaiting the summer months.

I also have a pair of old ripped Diesel jeans that were in the wash when I was photographed, I just wear them with the top button undone and trainers, mostly around the house. But y’know, they’re fine…..and they were essentially free.

For some colour (and so folks stare less, what is with that?!) I like to add a long scarf, it hangs over my middle and with a coat (my usual Kooples parka, didn’t see the point in buying one that I would only use for a few months) I feel I look more like my normal self. Checked shirts or some footwear in an interesting shade also make me feel a bit more “me” and are accessories I can wear again and again, pregnant or not.

Blazers are also great, they give you a cleaner, leaner silhouette and nip you in a bit when let’s face it, your waistline is a distant memory. I didn’t buy any maternity specific versions – I have lots I love already and as I never wear them buttoned up it doesn’t matter that I would be unable to!

My favourite store for slouchy cardigans are All Saints and Urban Outfitters, again I have been wearing long-term favourites and any I have invested in since I will no doubt wear again next winter…probably.

I’m getting to the stage now, with a month or so to go that I’m bored of wearing the same things over and over. But I can live with it. And besides, there have been lots of super cute clothes I have been able to buy my baby girl instead. (Her shoe collection is rather impressive already, I hope I am not paving the way for a spoilt Madame before she’s even born.)

In other news, since the 10 week mark (when I actually found out I was pregnant) I have not weighed myself once. I just don’t see the point potentially torturing myself. I eat as healthily as I can and I exercise as many times a week as physically possible to feel good, and without raising my heart rate to the extent I have a face like a tomato. As long as I can get my shorts to fit my backside in I figure I’m doing ok.

Apologies for any of you out there who has absolutely zero interest in maternity fashion, and for those of you that have been pregnant/are right now/are considering extending your family in the near future then please do share your maternity recommendations and thoughts and feel free to ask me anything you like about my personal experience.

{Cowgirl Chic}

I’ll let you in on a secret, to elongate your pins you need boots with that dipped triangle style at the front, it adds the illusion of inches, no word of a lie (take it from someone with uber short stumpy legs – I’ve tried everything.) Tassels also seem to improve things too. I’m not sure why, they just do.

My favourite places for Yee-ha type booties are River Island and Red Or Dead, neither particularly spendy but they fit well and are super comfy. I also have a battered brown leather pair I love from All Saints but they are minus the dippy triangle, and thus are only worn on a skinny calf day (which at any point beyond 30 weeks is um…never, thanks a bunch water retention.)

{Scarf Love}

I have a bunch of soft linen numbers from Zara, I am very much enjoying dark grey and burgundy for the winter months. Check out The White Company for cute feminine print versions and Forever 21 have a selection of new spring shades (I’ve bought the soft pink and mint green) that are cheap as chips.

Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea
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81 thoughts on “Real Style | Charlotte {Maternity}

  1. Charlotte you look blooming lovely!!!

    I must also give a shout out to mothercare for jeans, I’m 22 weeks pregnant and unlike you I’ve had a bump from about 7 weeks…in fact when I started telling people at work at around 13 weeks they all pretty much said they already guessed, even the boys!

    Oh we’ll, anyhoo back to my original point, due to my sizeable bump and feeling uncomfortable in under the bump anything, I have invested in over the bump leggings and jeans from mothercare, I HATED my topshop ‘Leigh’ jeans as I felt they pushed everything up, especially when sitting down, which I do in my job all day!

    I have also found a love for topshop shirts as they are soft and comfy!

    Good luck with your last month lovely!

    1. Hi Lizzie! Thanks for your comment, are they Topshop maternity shirts? I did have a look in Mothercare but didn’t see any jeans?! must investigate! Thanks for the tips and congratulations on your 22 week mark ๐Ÿ™‚ x

      1. They are topshop maternity shirts, not sure on how the fit is different, to be honest I never do them up, but they are super soft!! I got the jeans online from mothercare as we don’t have a shop nearby.

        Thanks Hun!

  2. I’m also at the 22 week stage, and as much as I love having a bump now, it also means that every day I have the same problem… “I’ve got nothing to weeeear!!”
    It doesn’t help that every day when I arrive at work, I get everyone looking and commenting on my outfit and the size of my bump. I guess I’ve got to get used to people looking at my tummy rather than my face!
    I’m gradually picking up pieces that fit me from ASOS and H&M, also Red Herring at Debenhams have some lovely maternity clothes, but it’s only available online.
    Good luck for your final month Charlotte! :o)

    1. I didn’t even consider Red Herring Jane, it’s odd how quite a few stores only offer maternity on line (John Lewis for example) sometimes it would be nice to actually “see” a few items whilst shopping!

      I find the constant commenting odd, I completely appreciate folks are interested, and for the most part wishing you well, it doesn’t half make you paranoid though, and a bit like you are something to be specifically commented on so to speak.

      H&M do great T-shirts actually, they are so comfy and fit well – plus they are LONG so should see you right through the nine months x

  3. Charlotte you look gorgeous! I love pregnancy, it’s such a beautiful thing and i adored dressing my bump both times. You dress your bump beautifully.

    Maternity style for me consisted of winter pregnancy (William) and HK summer pregnancy (Lily) so the first was oversized jumpers, crochet tops layered with longsleeved tops, nice tight dresses and I loved a scarf tied under my boobs, just to exaggerate the sheer size of me!

    For those of us who wear a larger size pre pregnancy, chances are you aren’t going to magically snap back into a size ten when you were a 14/16 to start with. I LOVED the Leigh jeans from Topshop and wore them for a jolly long time post William, but then I fell preggo super quick with Lily and bought some over the bump jeans from H&M AND OH MY GOD BEST JEANS EVER. Perfect for post baby breast feeding too as they hide the wibble that *most* of us get (I cannot however imagine you Charlotte, having any wibble left at all once baby is here)

    My advice to all pregnant women, invest in good quality over the bump leggings and jeans/trousers. You will spend longer in them post baby than you think you will, and that’s ok, because sometimes it takes 18 months or longer to get back down to pre pregnancy shape.

    Also, buy one of those support bodies/lingerie garment thing that have hook and eye fastenings between the legs because when you do fit back in your pre pregnancy jeans you might have a few love handles to grow to love and when you wear one of those bad boys underneath your clothes they magically disappear thus giving the illuasion you are sleek as a sleep pre pregnant person!

    Anyway that’s my tuppence worth of advice, love the blog xxx

    1. Jenny, you were one of the best dressed Mamas I have ever seen, and I am quite positive I will have to work really hard to get back in shape, there is no way skin can stretch this much and ping back immediately, I am going to take your advice and invest in some support bodies, apparently they make you look better and help to fix everything back in place.

      Where did you get your over-the-bump leggings from? I do love a legging. Love looking at all of your gorgeous instagram images ๐Ÿ™‚ x

      1. Why thank you my love that’s such a nice thing to say! Actually the best pair of leggings I bought were in H&M in Kowloon – their maternity range was epic!

        I gained very little weight with my second pregnancy so finding clothes to fit me (even in Asia!) wasn’t too much of a problem. Breastfeeding however (and having an 18month old to run around after) meant I had no time to focus on good eating and ate chocolate mostly, so I gained weight. Breastfeeding also made me want to eat like a beast whereas pregnancy makes me vomit so I relished being able to keep food down and I gained a dress size after giving birth. It’s gone now finally but she is nearly 17 months old! I wore a lovely red Isabella Oliver dress to a party once and Mr O couldn’t keep his hands off me! So can recommend her stuff.

        I’ve seen some lovely long line jersey shirts in h&m that would be ideal for pregnancy and nursing.

        Anyway I’d better go before I get broody again x

    2. Jenny that’s such good advice! I’ll be making a mental note for the future – hoping to start a family soon (fingers crossed) and tips like that will no doubt come in handy x

  4. Much appreciated post Charlotte. And you do look very lovely. Iโ€™m still in my normal clothes at the moment but judging by the tightness they wonโ€™t last much longer so your tips will come in very handy. I normally love my leighs so really hope the maternity version will be good too!

    1. They are good Kat – and not as tight on your thighs as the “normal” version which is a good thing! they do lots of different colours too ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. You look so lovely my dear and have the most perfect bump EVER!

    I’m just over 26 weeks now and have had a noticeable bump since about 15 weeks. Being so short little one has no one to go but outwards haha. Like you I’ve been really struggling and just about everything I’ve bought has been returned. Particularly dresses, they all seem to drown me and actually I’ve found (strangely) the more I show off my bump, the more flattering and smaller I look and feel. The baggy stuff just makes me feel like a whale. I’m also really struggling to find stuff that is an OK length on me, I’m not sure these shops are aware that short people get pregnant too!

    I’ve also got some Topshop Leigh jeans and some New Look ones which are both pretty comfy. The only things I’ve been buying are basic tops and some shirts that I can wear open, I get them in the ‘normal’ ranges so I can wear them again once I’m not pregnant and (hopefully) back to my normal size, although this is probably wishful thinking!

    I’m due in June and also panicking about the weather turning hot (although hoping also!) have no idea what I’ll wear then argh! xxx

    1. Tabitha I bet you look the cutest, and I think showing it off rather than covering it up is the way to go, as your other body parts still look relatively normal! For June Maxi dresses with a little denim jacket/cute crochet cardigan will look lush, look at for cheap, flattering and super stretchy ones!

      All I have bought is a few maternity tops, and I’ve got a couple of River Island non-maternity but very long vests in a size bigger for the next few weeks when I’m sure the football will get even bigger!

  6. Love your take on Maternity style Charlotte! Using what is already in your wardrobe is the way to go and then looking forward to treating yourself once your waistline recedes. I had very different issues! I had twin girls 18mths ago and I gained 5 stone from my usual petite 8 stone (so, I would second the don’t weigh yourself point as I was truely miserable about it when I did at 38wks..and let’s face it you can’t do anything about it then!)…nearly lost it all now…two crazy babies to run after and all!
    I was pregnant most during summer so Havianas became my swollen tootsies best buds! Being still just as style conscious I became a fan of eBay-finding much nicer Topshop maternity gear than was currently in store and had been worn only once or twice. I also had two weddings to attend when at the 30 week mark- I liked the Isabella Oliver maternity dresses- bought one off eBay for ยฃ99 (worn once) wore it to both weddings with a vintage shrug and sold it for ยฃ89! Teehee!
    I also lived in H&M t-shirts but bought my boring key pieces from Gap maternity (online again and not very inspirational).
    As I’m an A&E doctor the heinous oversized blue scrubs were my best friend…!! Good luck, gorgeous bump Charlotte! ๐Ÿ™‚ oh and take some lovely bump pics too..believe it or not you miss it when it’s gone!

    1. HI Sophie! Twins – congratulations! I did have a mooch for Isabella Oliver on ebay but I guess it comes down to luck with finding your size, I gave up too quickly clearly!

      In a way I’m glad I’ve been pregnant throughout the winter but a pair of flip flops would be lovely, by late afternoon my legs look like giant hams and my feet are HUGE!

      I’m sure you look fab and I’m sticking to my no-weighing thing, I didn’t realise just how much the baby + extra blood flow + water + all the other bits weigh just by themselves alone, so much more than I ever knew! x

  7. Hi Charlotte

    I just wanted to pop in and say that you look great! I hope you don’t mind me saying this but your face has filled out a little and you look really young and girlish. And I totally mean that in a complimentary way.

    I also think its great that you don’t seem to be treating being pregnant as a reason NOT to do things that you normally would – hurrah for wearing heels ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. HI Claire! I don’t mind at all, that’s very sweet of you. It’s funny as my husband (and Dad!) have said the same thing about my face, I’m wondering how I can keep it afterwards?!

      I would be lying if I said the heels don’t crush my toes by the end of the evening but for a few hours at least I can feel a wee bit glamorous!

  8. I’m 35 weeks as well and can not wait to be able to unpack my ‘other clothes’ and all the sale items I stocked up to treat myself afterwards! Just 5 more weeks of maternity wardrobe to plan ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve taken the approach of avoiding anything that uses the word maternity. However good the shop normally is it seems to be limited to shapeless dresses with patterns I would never normally go near OR those criss-cross jersey tops – being on my 3rd pregnancy, and clueless on my first, I gave myself the worst identity crisis thinking I as supposed to be in such things and it just made me sad. Plus I found that everything was just massive! I know your boobs and bump grows but the shoulders were always really broad even on the smallest sizes and if you are all out the front you really don’t need to be shapeless everywhere else. Surely your shoulders don’t get broader even if you do put weight on everywhere else?! I, too, am alternating a couple of pairs of maternity jeans (H&M skinny jeans and asos) (could fit in hipsters in last pregnancies but baby is far too low this time) and one of those tummy bands to support me through long days and disguise the popped out tummy button(!) and am also sticking to vest tops with normal cardigans, shirts, blazers and picking up longer tops or dresses that I promise myself I would wear afterwards too from my normal fave shops – and then I know I’m dressing like me. Its nice that some days are getting warm enough to go for a maxi dress (for the days where I’m happy to say “Look how pregnant I am!” Scarves are just wonderful though for the days when you don’t want to be faced with how big your boobs look and I managed to get to about 6 months hiding bump from people at work I didn’t know so well by sticking one on for meeting days. You look absolutely fab though and you’ve inspired me to try again with my fave shorts which I put away at about 20 weeks – I might get busy with a bit of sewing elastic! Think my FC high waisted ones are going to be packed away for a bit longer though ๐Ÿ™ Xx

    1. Snap – I am 35 weeks on Wednesday ๐Ÿ™‚ and I know what you mean about the shoulder thing?! I have pathetic shoulders and arms anyway so I just looked swamped. The first maternity dress I bought from ASOS I put on and showed husband, he absolutely killed himself laughing, not because he was being mean – but because I looked so bloody ridiculous!!!

      Definitely get the shorts out peach, ALSO – randomly bought some denim ones from H&M last week (on-line, normal size not maternity) and they do fit right under my bump, done up and everything. I know you said your bump was low this time but I think these could be comfy with the top button undone and a band over the top? if you want to drop me an email I can send you a link x

  9. I’m 24 weeks and also loving Topshop Leigh maternity jeans… agree they’re not quite as good as the normal ones though! I’ve bought some over-the-bump jeans from H&M too which are really comfy and over-the-bump leggings also from H&M, the comfiest things EVER! Sure they’ll still be worn for a fair while after the baby’s here!

    1. Ooh over the bump leggings! will check out H&M, I am wearing my usual topshop ones rolled down for exercising in but they are beginning to get uncomfortable (also concerned I might split them….:))

  10. Really enjoyed this post; thank you! Are you wearing maternity tights? If so where are they from as they look lovely and thick! You are glowing and look amazing Charlotte, and what a neat bump ๐Ÿ™‚

    Can I also request a post-baby fashion post when the time comes? This is something I am really struggling with as all accessories; scarves/bracelets/necklaces etc are no-go due to them being grabbed every 5 mins. Also flat footwear and coats with hoods as it’s impossible to push a pram with an umbrella! I live in my maternity jeans (STILL eeek!) and cheapo machine washable tops but feel I want to look like ‘me’ again but no idea where to start xxx

    1. Hi Carly! They are Wolford 80 Denier Matt black – not maternity, I just roll them down a bit, I’ve worn them for years, spendy but on a hand wash they last so many wears, they don’t snag like others I’ve tried either.

      Yes to a post maternity fashion feature, I am wondering what to wear on the “non grabby” front too. I’m thinking hair up and accessorising that might be an option as jewellery tends to get destroyed (I have lots of friends with young babies, necklaces are the enemy!) x

      1. A post maternity fashion feature would really useful. I have found it really difficult to find breastfeeding friendly clothes, particularly when i am going out and i have pretty much worn jeans every day since my daughter was born 4 months ago. Congratulations on your pregnancy, you are looking really well!

        1. I found ‘proper’ nursing clothes a bit frumpy, and spent the ten months I nursed Lily in boob tubes and blouses or zip up hoodies with my black over the bump maternity jeans. Lily is almost 17 months now and finally I am back in my old tunic dresses with normal jeans on! I swear by boobtubes as a post natal must have. Great for layering underneath vest tops – and for pulling down so they cover just your tummy and the tops of your jeans. Best nursing bra by far was my Hot Milk bra, really comfy and stood the test of time. Highly recommend them!

          Take it from me dressing a lovely baby bump is alot less of a challenge than dressing your post baby shape. Get yourself some nice post natal clothes and make sure James is aware of what to bring to hospital should you need an extra days with of clothes, because after 5 days in hospital with William can you guess what Mr O bought me in to wear to go home in….?

          A wonder bra, a thong, and a Maxi length bandeau dress.

          Yep just been in labour for 53 hours, im tired, swollen from all the fluids, and cannot wait to slip into that concoction! Men eh?

          Love all the tips here. Miss my bump but lovin the firecrackers I’ve created x

  11. I’ve been lucky in both my pregnancies and have managed to keep wearing virtually all of my ‘normal’ clothes until about 30 weeks, which has proved most cost effective!

    This time round, my big discovery has been New Look’s skinny jeans. I admit, they’re a little bit jegging-esque but they stay up, stay skinny and cost less than ยฃ20. What’s not to like?! They’ve been a revelation after spending the whole of my last pregnancy hitching up my Topshop skinnies. D date is rapidly approaching now though and I can’t wait to hit up my old wardrobe again!

    1. What has been surprising is just how much money I do fritter away on fashion that I don’t wear much, this period has really opened my eyes to it – due to how much I’ve saved. I hope it’s taught me a lesson!

      I do admit to looking at my old wardrobe longingly this weekend, I will check out the New Look skinny jeans though – for post pregnancy too, thanks for the tip! x

  12. You look gorgeous as always Charlotte!
    I am at the 24 week mark with #2 and after spending most of the last pregnancy in summer clothes, I am reluctant to fork out on a winter wardrobe this time around! Having said that my Gap and Cotton On maternity jeans still fit thankfully and are super comfy! I am also with you on the slouchy cardigans front as its all I seem to adorn these days! x

    1. It’s the thought of forking out for stuff you are not going to get much wear out of isn’t it? it’s why H&M are so good – cheap! plus babies are expensive….they require so many “things”!

  13. Maternity wear truly sucks! You are so right! I, like you managed to stay in my own clothes, with a few sneaky tips, like adding an elastic band to the button on my jeans! I generally wear baggy clothes, so they were filled with baby bump. I bought jeans & a couple of “next size up” dresses, but apart from that I stayed away from maternity wear as it made me want to cry!
    The only thing Id be careful with is high heels, not because of balance or safety but because when youre pregnant your bones soften and wearing the wrong type of shoe can cause probs with your feet and hips later on. I dont do heels but have a friend who does and she had real probs later on.
    Charlotte, that wardrobe of yours will be happy to see you again soon, only a few weeks left and Im certain youll be back in all your kit super soon! xxx

    1. Ooh thanks for the heel tips, I did get cramp at night the last time I wore them (for far too long) so maybe I do need to be a bit more restrictive with how often I do slip them on! hmmm, I’ve also had hip ache too, although that could just be them expanding (!)

      And you looked FAB Charis – I couldn’t even tell you were pregnant for the most part! x

  14. Urgh. I had a nightmare when I was pregnant trying to find clothes that a) protected my bump, b) didnโ€™t make me look like a whale and c) made me feel like me.

    Iโ€™m only 5โ€™2 and big flowy styles just donโ€™t suit me. I have a bum to rival Kim Kardashian so I lived in jeggings from Primark (with the elastic cut so that the waistband went under the bump) long vests, cardis and scarves. I only gained weight on my bump so just had to accommodate my daughter getting bigger and bigger! Once I realised that it was only my belly getting growing I relaxed in to being pregnant and wore my bump with pride! I didnโ€™t try to hide my bump, rather, it was my main accessory. In fact, I didn’t wear any “maternity” wear, I just couldn’t find anything I liked.

    H&M vests were the best for me, they were long enough for me to pull down over my bump but they also fit nicely everywhere else. I felt comfortable and more importantly, I felt like me


    1. I am just shy of 5ft 4 so I feel your pain. I have to say – I don’t think I have experimented with a jegging, are they like very VERY skinny jeans?

      Love that your bump was your main accessory – and that your bum is like Kim K’s, she has the best shape for so many dresses and styles I would LOVE to be able to wear! x

  15. I found โ€˜properโ€™ nursing clothes a bit frumpy, and spent the ten months I nursed Lily in boob tubes and blouses or zip up hoodies with my black over the bump maternity jeans. Lily is almost 17 months now and finally I am back in my old tunic dresses with normal jeans on! I swear by boobtubes as a post natal must have. Great for layering underneath vest tops โ€“ and for pulling down so they cover just your tummy and the tops of your jeans. Best nursing bra by far was my Hot Milk bra, really comfy and stood the test of time. Highly recommend them!
    Take it from me dressing a lovely baby bump is alot less of a challenge than dressing your post baby shape. Get yourself some nice post natal clothes and make sure James is aware of what to bring to hospital should you need an extra days with of clothes, because after 5 days in hospital with William can you guess what Mr O bought me in to wear to go home inโ€ฆ.?
    A wonder bra, a thong, and a Maxi length bandeau dress.
    Yep just been in labour for 53 hours, im tired, swollen from all the fluids, and cannot wait to slip into that concoction! Men eh?
    Love all the tips here. Miss my bump but lovin the firecrackers Iโ€™ve created x

    1. Mr O! he is so funny! bless him. A few ladies mentioned Hot Milk on my instagram feed so I will definitely have a butchers. I have actually bought a few lose dresses and a few skirts that should hopefully be ok for post natal body-ness. I’m hoping I won’t beat myself up about it too much, I’m not having much maternity leave so doing any kind of insane exercise routine is out of the question anyway, even if I had the motivation.

      I do love the layering – I wear a bump band every day under a tight vest, makes me feel secure and has really helped with back ache. x

  16. Jeggings are just skinny jeans without the button (at least my Primark ones were!) I couldn’t get a button done up under the bump once it had dropped.

    And I echo Jenny’s advice re nursing. So much harder to dress once the baby’s here and nursing. Especially when they get nosy (as my Diva certainly did) and decide to have a look around mid feed in the middle of Cafe Nero.

    Jenny – a thong!? A thong!? Makes me wince just thinking about it


  17. Hi Charlotte, loved this post so much! Took me back a couple of years to spending ages looking for something, anything nice to wear! I loved cropped jackets, skinny stretch jeans always with a waistband, pendant necklaces, trapeze/swing coats and jersey tops. Always went fitted and stretch on everything to try to prove that I really did have petite normal arms and legs… Was a bit freaked out by the tenty options and felt enormous, especially at 5′ 4″. Definitely used most of my maternity-wear for the next 12 months and it was the post baby bits that were the hardest to find, disguising my wobbly tummy was a big challenge. Still don’t know the answer to that one!!!
    Was inspired to do a little blog about it you look great BTW, making me feel all broody…! xxxxxx

    1. Emma this is very sweet, cute blog. I imagine wearing those hold-it-all-in pants type things, body shapers is it?! I’ll have a go anyway! I think I need to get my accessories out more – because soon the baby will be grabbing at them and I won’t be able too! x

      1. That is so true, I had to go for scarves instead of necklaces, and don’t get me started on earrings, I had 6 months of constant ear fear! so very exciting though, get loads of lounge wear for when bubba comes, aerobics trackies are brilliant because they have a stretchy rolled top which is comfy on a sore tum. and they look ok too… ok for just had a baby not leaving the house anyway…! you look great, keep posting style ideas as you go along, it’s great inspiration for the rest of us xxxxx

  18. Charlotte, you are probably the most stylish mum to be I’ve seen! Far too jealous of you! With my first little girl I didn’t have much of a bump till nearly 20 weeks so was able to stay in most of my own clothes for quite a while. I’m not really a leggings person so really struggled once I got bigger. I seemed to get by with a few nice big cardies and long tops in a bigger size than normal. However, with my second little one my bump appeared at nearly 10 weeks so was completely stuck!! I had to go out and buy lots of maternity clothes as nothing else worked. I found some great bright chinos in good old H&M and lived in those plus some M&S jeggings. Couldn’t have got through without them and my trusty Birkenstocks on my feet! Just glad it was summer. What I struggled with was after as you think you will get back in your old clothes quickly but it just doesn’t happen. Although I have a feeling it will for you! To make myself feel better I had to go out and buy a few outfits in bigger sizes which was actually the best decision as at least it saw me through until I could fit back in my normal wardrobe. And now I get to steal the husbands credit card and going shopping all over again! x

    1. I plan on not even attempting my old wardrobe until I can at least get my usual underwear on, I’m under no illusions that it will a quick process – my bump feels huge!

      I am also looking forward to a few summer shopping trips though, I think by then I will be desperate to get out of slouchy cardigans! ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  19. I have to say this made me smile, my bump was already quite large by 20 weeks let alone just starting to show! Having said that I did go on to have a 10lb 9.5oz baby so there you go! Don’t forget it will take a few weeks/months before you can get back into your normal clothes (or actually want to!) so it is worth having a few options, or investing in a few items a size up from your usual size. I wish I’d done this at the beginning of my pregnancy because it was depressing to have to do it 3 months after I’d given birth.
    As far as nursing tops go, I never bothered with any and just wore stretchy vest tops with everything – you pull one top up and one down and seriously no one can see anything you don’t want them to see.

    1. Kathryn – that is exactly what I weighed at birth!, and my Mum is a teeny welsh lady, I’m sure your baby was the cutest, I had silver hair and was the chubbiest baby ever! EVERYONE thought I was a boy. I have invested in some loose (but non tent) dresses from H&M already, hopefully they will work to cover post pregnancy body but also work for nursing too (If I manage it obviously – I know not to expect that necessarily either.)

      I think my maternity vests will be fine too – they are comfy and pull you in a bit. x

  20. Oh I wish you had posted this a few months ago. I like you when I found out I was pregnant really looked forward to the idea of buying all these beautiful maternity clothes and was sorely disappointed. You can only seem to order them online and when they come they are badly fitting and generally unflattering. I spent my morning commute to work trawling the internet looking at blogs for some inspiration. In the end I wore my jeans nearly every day with various shirts in a bigger size. I managed to stretch a couple of extra weeks out of the jeans by tying a hair bobble on the button, as long as my top covered it no one knew. I ended up getting a really lovely pair of jeans from a brand called mamalicous on ASOS, over the bump and very comfortable. I found fitted jersey dresses also became a staple later on, as they were comfortable and flattering, by that time I was all bump and happy to show it off.

    My daughter Sofia is now 2 months old and I am happy to say I am back in my old jeans again, although I do need to do some exercise to tame the slightly wobbly bits ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Good luck with the rest of the pregnancy, you look lovely. X

    1. 2 months! you lucky thing, I can’t imagine anyone not having some wobbly bits, I’ve been exercising throughout although not to the extent I was before I was pregnant obviously, I’m hoping this means I will get back to normality quicker than if I hadn’t I guess…we’ll see.

      Sofia is a lovely name, we’ve chosen a couple (one that’s a favourite) but we’ll see! x

      1. I do feel I was quite lucky. Wobbly bits are a given, they can be sorted with time, clothes hide a multitude of sins! I am sure you will, exercising will definitely help, there is no pressure though. No one looks at you when the baby is born anyway, ha ha.

        Oh god choosing a name is the hardest thing. x

  21. Wow that’s amazing! High five to your mum! My husband is 6’4″ and my boy is rapidly catching up with him at 16 months old. He was gorgeous – had a full head of jet black hair, cheeks like a greedy hamster and an appetite to match. Still does…
    Don’t worry about nursing, I know lots of mums have a hard time but it can be very straightforward and when it works it is fantastic!

    1. I agree! It was pretty straightforward for me too… Oh and ignore the people that say breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt in those early days or you are doing it wrong…(hello midwife and health visitor.) It took me 3 weeks to be pain free but it was all good from there on in…x

  22. Oh Charlotte you look lovely! I was pregnant last summer (that long hot one that I didnt get to enjoy!) I mostly lived in jersey maxi dresses from New Look and Asos (not maternity) and a few Isabella Oliver jersey dresses and T shirts (for work) and found the fit and fabric lovely as they were a bit thicker than normal dresses so held everything in… A good tip is that they are always having 20% or 30% off so make sure you sign up for the emails… I also did 2 weddings which was a challenge but managed to borrow something from a good friend for one of them.

    H&M was a godsend for tops – I just bought some long line ones and they saw me through pregnancy and those early days…

    Oh i miss my bump! Good luck in the last few weeks Charlotte – Hope she doesnt keep you waiting too long!

    Rachie xo

    PS: I even gave birth in my black maxi dress!!

    1. You gave birth in a black maxi dress?! Wow! high five! I think if it does get warmer I might try one with a card or something, I love them for comfort purposes anyway, pregnant or not!

      I’ve heard a lot of people say they miss their bump, I’m not convinced but we’ll see ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you are keeping well x

  23. Charlotte you look gorgeous and super stylish as always. Your hair is looking fab. I hope that one day soon I’ll need all these great tips from all these lovely readers, there’s a lot of good advice for people like me who don’t have many pregnant friends yet/friends who have had babies. x

    1. Thanks M-J, I think the hair is down to the mousse ๐Ÿ™‚

      The tips are great, we really hope Rock My Style has the same type of community as RMW – in a sense that everyone is so helpful. x

  24. Thanks for this post Charlotte which has clearly struck a chord with many people. You’ve obviously got maternity style angle pinned down, now as a fellow self-employed creative I’m interested to know how you’ve found striking the work-pregnancy (and beyond) balance.

    Without the constructs and precedence of traditional workplace and employment procedure, it’s up to those who run their own businesses to make those judgement calls themselves. Being able to set your own schedules (to a point) is part of the joy of self-employment, sure. But at the same time, with all of that ‘freedom’ (pah!) to decide for yourself how long to keep working prior to the birth, what that work actually comprises, how long you’d like to take out afterwards vs. how long you are able to, it strikes me as quite a tricky path to tread, and one unique to every self-employed woman. Especially with today’s always-on technology connecting us to our vocations which are so much more than 9-5 jobs, how do you know when to switch off? The businesses ARE our babies too!

    My self-employed pilates instructor is due next week and she has been teaching a full-time class schedule right up until today, her last day. I believe her choice to do this factors in a combination of loving her job, being able to adapt her work to be safe in pregnancy, and the simple fact of needing the money when SMP is so rubbish.

    I know she is keen to return to full-time teaching ASAP post-birth, and no doubt the fact she is in the best physical shape possible and is a determined driven individual will no doubt help her achieve this aim, but who is to say how she will actually FEEL with a newborn and whether this is in line with what she aims for now? My sister was a senior compliance director for a multinational drug company at the top of her game, planning to return to full-time work 3 months post-birth. No one wold have predicted that two kids later she would now be working from home part-time as a social stationery designer.

    When you run your own small business there’s no HR manager with guidelines and leaflets outlining company maternity policy so you have to muddle through and create your own. I think it would make for a really interesting and useful concept to explore here on Rock My Style, especially as I imagine so many of the readership are S-E creatives. It also applies to standard employees too, now maternity provision is so minimal, many having to make their own calls too. I think everyone would benefit from hearing how you’re finding treading that line, the good and bad!

    1. Hi Philippa, thanks so much for your well written and thought provoking comment. You are absolutely right, trying to plan maternity leave and working (considerable) hours whilst pregnant has not been an easy or straight forward task at all – taking into consideration all that you have mentioned above and my own personal thoughts/experience I will definitely consider putting together a discussion piece soon. x

  25. I never had an issue with maternity clothes- I bought a lot of empire line dresses and tunics (fat face did nice ones) and wore over leggings. I also had the top shop leigh jeans which I loved once my bump got bigger- they fell down when I didn’t have much! I didn’t get really big though, as I went in to premature labour at 33 weeks! I miss being pregnant, and have to say I have struggled more with how I look post birth- not my size but finding nice clothes to breast feed in and just struggling to find the time to do my hair etc…! I can’t wait to be able to wear nice clothes again! Xx

  26. Hi Sarah, yes it’s the nursing appropriate clothes that concern me, although I have received a lot of helpful advice from the ladies above and on my instagram feed. I have made a deal with my husband about giving me at least a bit of time in the morning for hair and make-up in exchange for his personal gym/pub time etc! We’ll see how that works out…… ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Hi Charlotte,
    What a great bump! As a one-time stalker of RMW it’s so lovely to stumble across you looking so fantastic and happy! Our beautiful daughter, Poppy, is nearly one year and I have to tell you, the monotonous wardrobe is just one little blip in what is otherwise a brilliant journey. Girls are the BEST and I’m so pleased that you’re joining Team Pink, not least for the style inspiration! Xxx

    1. Hi Luci! I remember you ๐Ÿ™‚ Congratulations on the birth of your daughter, I’m sure she is an uber stylish little one x

  28. I’m nearly 20 weeks with my second baby, and I’ve got a visible bump. I’m also getting married in about 8/9weeks time, so I’ve had to contend with finding clothes to fit in every day life and also the wedding dress!!! I knew there’d be a chance I’d be preggers at the wedding, so asked the lady who made my dress to accommodate this when she made it. She didn’t and I’m stuck with a dress I no longer fit in. I’ve ended up with a maternity dress from tiffany rose, which I’m customising myself. It doesn’t look maternity at all but shows my bump off well and hopefully it’ll look nice on the day.

    I kept a lot of my clothes from last time round, but after digging them out again realised some were actually very frumpy (which I’d really tried to avoid). It’s nice to see these photos of you looking beautiful and so fashionable, I’ve got a checked shirt so will be trying out that look tomorrow for work with some skinny jeans (new look, under bump. I hated wearing over bump jeans).

    Thank you for this post!

    1. Pleasure Andrea! I think a loose shirt feels really comfortable and undone over a “tight” top shows off your bump without being tent like. I’m sure you will look fabulous on W-day, make sure you send some pics into Rock My Wedding x

  29. Look at you , too cute!! Two recommendations from here – seraphine bamboo leggings , not the cheapest but so soft and comfy and last really well and none of that being able to see your undies through them. H&M skinny momma over bump jeans – one pair have kept me going for the last 15 weeks, not sure how I’ll ever give them up. Cos and whistles both good for workwear as their stuff is quite shapeless but stylish and I’ve got pieces that have grown with me. Can’t bloody wait to get back in ‘me’ clothes though and have already started buying spring clothes for after baby H’s arrival in April. Good luck hon and a non nappy nappy bag post would be most welcome ๐Ÿ˜‰ michelle xx

    1. Hi Michelle! I too have bought a few pieces for the more normal “me” for Spring, it’s something to look forward to/aim for I think.

      I am not a fan of nappy bags either, I’ve seen a super “Man” bag that I think I might purchase! much more slimline/stylish x

  30. Maternity wear is generally awful, I remember many fruitless trips into various retail outlets and just been faced with a selection of clothes that I would never ever normally wear. I gave up on jeans I could never find a pair that would actually stay up! I was pregnant last summer and rotated two pairs of H&M shorts (second hand from a friend), one boob tube, one cotton vest and one maxi dress in that immense heat and never stopped washing! That feeling when you get back into your normal clothes – awesome! I have been lucky and been back in my normal clothes by 6 weeks, but then it’s the issue of breast feeding friendly aarrggghhh yet another nightmare, scarves again are fab for this and allow you to wear nice normal clothes, failing that get a electric pump and express or (I hope the breastapo aren’t listening) formula : – ) You look beautiful x x x

    1. Cath, I don’t blame you for the small rotation of pieces – you sound like me. It does make choosing an outfit way quicker too (!)

      Wow, 6 weeks would be awesome, I can then wear a nice new something or other for our wedding anniversary in May! I’m going to give breast feeding a go but not torture/upset myself if I find it really hard, I know many a happy (and sleeping!) baby who has had formula from the off ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  31. You look lovely – and your bump is lovely and neat (and giving me serious bump envy, don’t tell Mr H!)

    If you are planning on giving breastfeeding a go, the best advice I had (and have) is to layer up. Even if it’s warm, a two vest top combo means you can pull the top one up (covering the top of your boob) and the bottom one down (covering your possibly ever so slightly wibbly stomach) and just reveal the relevant parts. It also meant that I didn’t have to relegate my beloved Wonder Woman t-shirt to the back of the wardrobe for the entire time I breastfed – and given that we’ve carried on longer than I anticipated (being, like you, of the ‘we’ll just give it a go, if it doesn’t work it doesn’t work’ view) I’m very grateful for that.

    I lived in my New Look jeans and massive overbump leggings. They’re so comfortable!

  32. Great article, i’ve been really struggling trying to find decent maternity clothes and like yourself buying loads and sending them all back! I love your look, especially the cowgirl boots and checked shirts (i’ll be sure to give these a go!). So far I’ve been wearing some old maternitry jeans and leggings from my last pregnancy and a few baggy tops that do nothing for my figure (what I have left of it anyway!) i’m 18 weeks now so i’ve still got time to turn things around. Wish me luck!

  33. I have to admit:- a) I am not pregnant, and b) don’t plan to be for at least the next 3ish years. Mainly down to my husband still studying (expanding his horizons and job prospects) and ideally we would like to own a home rather than rent…not totally necessary but would be nice! I didn’t think I was too fussed about waiting for baby, HOWEVER, ever since getting married in November 2013, I have heard no end of “When are you getting pregnant?”, “You totally SHOULD get pregnant!”, “Does that cocktail you’re drinking contain alcohol!?” ๐Ÿ˜ฎ etc etc, from friends and colleagues. Combine that with the new series of One Born Every Minute and I am now left desperate for a baby! Give me a break! Plus I don’t think reading posts like this is helping my nearly overpowering ovaries, but I love both this and RMW…I really couldn’t help myself!
    This post is so lovely and Charlotte you are a total beaut! What a lovely bump ๐Ÿ˜€ wishing you all the best for the following weeks and much happiness when the little ‘un arrives ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  34. stylish maternity clothes
    I love accessories that serve a purpose, which is one of the reasons scarves are such an important item on my list of fall style staples. I am the worst at wearing jewelryโ€ฆ I buy it occasionally and always forget to actually put it on. I feel like scarves replace necklaces for the fall season.

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