I’m 24 weeks’ pregnant with my 3rd child. Whilst I am not saying for a second that I look amazing every day – LOLLING at even the idea of this (I’m sat with joggers and a stripey t shirt on right now ‘cos every pregnant girl needs these in her life too by the way). But this time around I have had a different maternity dressing approach. And it has really paid off. I get lovely comments and feel fabulous this time round! I will genuinely miss this challenge of dressing my bump nicely and also that feeling of being a tiny bit special – because you are special when you are pregnant. Instead of feeling like a big ball of frump in leggings, which is how I felt for much of my first and second pregnancies, this time round I am rejoicing in my MASSIVE bump (trying to ignore all the insensitive comments) and taking time to bear witness to this really special time. To not take it for granted. To treasure it a bit more. In this mood, I thought I would share my top ten tips for great pregnancy dressing. I also have a video showing 10 outfits that I wore recently below to maybe give you a few ideas.
1. Love yourself a bit more
It starts with this. I have been there, in a frumpy state of mind. No make up, drab overgrown hair, leggings and the same jumper over and over again – pregnant or not I might add. What’s the point? You’re only doing the school run, walking the dog, and cleaning at home, right? It’s a problem made even worse if you don’t go out to paid employment. Then you can literally never have an occasion to dress up or put some slap on.
Start small, get your hair cut and coloured (no money? Go to a training centre or college). Get your nails done – or do them yourself. Fake tan is a miracle cure for looking tired and run down – the best ones are those gradual daily lotions by Dove or L’Oreal I think. Invest in a nice face serum – Aldi does one so no excuses. A bright lip is the oldest trick in the book, for good reason. Be bold and wear red lipstick to school pick up. Why the hell not? Start to approach how you look with new eyes: take care of yourself better and you’ll start to feel better inside. It might seem shallow or superficial – why does make up and nice hair mean I ‘love myself’ you may scoff – well of course it goes deeper than that, but taking care of how you look on the outside can be a great opener to feeling better on the inside. Don’t be cynical – try it and see.
2. Go through all your clothes
Sort your wardrobe out! Get rid of anything you don’t wear (even if they are really nice or cost a packet – be BRUTAL). I suggest not hanging on to lots of things for mum, or Jen, or Lucy, or whoever – because chances are you won’t see them for ages and then they’ll find there way back into your wardrobe. If something doesn’t fit you in your non pregnant state then it goes to the charity shop. If it does but just isn’t wearable right now then invest in some vacuum pack storage bags from Amazon and pop them under your bed / in the shed / on top of the wardrobe. Out of the way basically. Same goes for seasonal clothes that you won’t be wearing for the next 6 months – whether it’s winter jumpers or summer sandals – they go too – temporarily! Leave anything non-maternity things that could be worn whist pregnant, which leads me onto…
3. Wear non-maternity clothes!
Once you have sorted out your stuff, you should be left with a good amount of things that could be worn over the bump. Try them on and see – maybe just for a few months, but if it can be leveraged for wear now, do it! As you’ll see from my video, so much stuff I’m wearing is non-maternity and they are some of my favourite items to wear right now. From empire line dresses, smocky tops, loose trousers with elasticated waistbands, there should be plenty to go at.
4. Think about your go to styles
Think about what style you like to wear for everyday – maybe it’s loose shirts and leggings. Then add another one in: maybe skinny jeans and stripey tees. Now add another so you don’t get in a rut. Easy day dresses with cardis? Baggy ethic trousers with simple tees? You need one or two occasion things too – maybe a wedding is on the horizon? Or a party? If nothing is in the diary, put something in. Date night with your partner, a girls’ night at the pictures? Get some idea of what you would wear for these.
5. Identify the gaps
What’s missing? A great pair of maternity jeans? Maybe a holiday is coming up and you have no shorts that fit? Write a list.
6. Look on Pinterest
This might be helpful for step 4. too. It can be overwhelming, especially if you are in style rut or have been feeling rubbish, unattractive and frumpy for ages. I’ve been there so I get it! And I love fashion (I even used to subscribe to Vogue for God’s sake!) – anyone can veer off track and feel depressed about how they look. But this is important. It’s about self-care and feeling good. So if you are stuck, go to Pinterest. Sign up if you’ve never used it before and check out maternity style, pregnancy style, even non-pregnancy style.
7. Look online. Then go to the shops.
My fave places to go for maternity are: H&M, JoJo, ASOS, but also for non maternity Primark is great – and cheap, so you won’t worry too much if you buy a few long line vests that might not be worn much afterwards (give to friends or save them for yoga / bedtime / lounging clothes). I suggest looking online then ideally going to try on. I have bought a few pairs of jeans and so on online and then had to send them back, which is fine if you don’t mind. But trying on is always best.
8. Raid hubby’s wardrobe!
If you have a partner then look in his wardrobe – a pale blue work shirt will make a great cover up with shorts and vest on holiday. Or a pink shirt tied in a knot over short or jeans works brilliantly too, as seen on my Instagram friend Jennie from @rupertandmummy. Whilst you are following Jennie on Insta – take a look at a few hashtags to get even more style inspo. Try #pregnancystyle #maternitystyle #pregnancyfashion #maternityfashion #secondtrimester #secondtrimesterstyle #secondtrimesterfashion
9. Think about proportion and juxtaposing
In the same way as when you aren’t pregnant, you wouldn’t ideally wear a baggy smock top with baggy flowing culottes. Baggy + baggy = too much baggy! Same as tight + tight is, well, too much tightness!! So think of one area baggy and loose, whilst another is more fitted. So a clingy bump showing top and flowing skirt is perfect. Or a shorter smocky dress that shows off bare legs works. Don’t discount heels just because you are pregnant, especially for an occasion. Juxtapose flowy and soft dresses with with spiky heels or chunky wedges. A formal jacket with ripped jeans and tee. Or an informal bomber with a dressy dress and heels. Have fun!
10. Take lots of photos
I find that being a blogger helps me to make the effort and think about what I am wearing a bit more. If you know you are going to have your photo taken – by the way, do join in with my Instagram project all about encouraging ‘unsnapped’ mums to ask for their photo to be taken using the hashtag #takemumsphoto – then you tend to make the effort. Have fun with it, join in with hashtags – blogger or not!
Remember, you are allowed to look and feel beautiful – celebrate your pregnancy by revamping your style and really blossoming. Of course you will have days when you want to kill everyone, eat a tube of those chocolate pringle type things from Aldi and do nothing but watch trash TV (me, yesterday!), but when you are feeling more up to life then make that effort. I promise you, you will feel a million times better for it.
What are your top pregnancy style tips? DO let me know, I LOVE hearing feedback from other pregnant ladies and finding out ways to feel great together!