Maternity Style Ideas for Summer
While summertime is the favourite season for most vitamin D-deprived Brits, for mums-to-be, dressing a bump in the heat presents a whole new set of awkward challenges. Hot weather and hormones combined with already higher-than-normal body temperatures (plus a few more pregnancy pounds!) can make styling yourself a stressful experience. But just because temperatures are rising doesn’t mean your style has to take a nosedive. Here are some suggestions to get your summer maternity wardrobe started.
Maternity style tip #1: Stay natural.
When you’re pregnant it’s worth paying a bit of extra attention to the fabrics you’ll be wearing. Natural threads such as cotton, linen, rayon and silk will not only keep you cool in the sun but are quick drying on humid days - though you might want to ditch the silk if you think you’re going to sweat as it stains quickly. Whatever you do, avoid synthetics such as polyester and nylon which trap heat against your body.
For ultra-sensitive skins, organic fabrics are hypoallergenic and therefore far more gentle when your skin is in direct contact with them all day. NINE+QUARTER’s maternity collection uses organic cotton and other sustainable fabrics in its manufacturing so they’re not just durable and gentle on the skin, but also have as little negative impact on people and resources as possible.
Maternity style tip #2: Sweater’s better.
Pregnancy style is all about maximum comfort and minimum effort, and this is never more true than in summer. A maternity sweatshirt with a bold-graphic design or logo is a winner for off-duty weekend wear. Worn with a skirt and sneakers it’s a great outfit for running around all day in - especially if you already have one or more toddlers in tow.
Maternity style tip #3: Step Up Your T-Shirt Game.
Of course, it’s not just our bellies that are growing–it’s also our boobs, our butts and our hips (even our ankles!) so properly fitted maternity wear will be your saviour, especially during the later stages. Instead of wrestling your bump into non-maternity T-shirts, invest in items that have been designed to cater for your ever-evolving bod. NINE+QUARTER’s collection of on-trend, easy-to-rock maternity tees for example, are the perfect solution for cool off-duty dressing.
Maternity style tip #4: Maternity dresses = summer staples.
Because summertime is peak event season—from weddings and birthdays to your own baby shower and babymoon––lightweight, ultra-feminine dresses are the obvious choice and are perfect for layering. Be it a floaty floral or a relaxed tie dye, a pattern looks great over a bump. Top tip: If you’re having a pre-event panic, you can always hire an outfit: Girl Meets Dress is a rental couture company and stocks maternity dresses; hire a dress for around £80 for 2-7 days.
For off-duty wear, if you want to stay chic in the heat then you can’t go wrong with a shirt dress, which can be worn to work, the beach, over trousers—in other words, it's worth its weight in versatility. Plus, if you’re still carrying your bump come the autumn, just add tights and some killer flat boots so you can feel smug about the cost-per-wear value.
Jersey dresses are both cool and comfy on super-humid days and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion: glam them up with heels (low ones, let’s be realistic!) for an evening out, or pair them down with flats and a soft leather jacket for a day around town. Best of all, you can continue wearing them just as easily after the little’un arrives.
Maternity style tip #5: Folk layers.
Easy wrap kimonos are great for everything from beach cover-ups to layering over leggings and denim (and you'll have that whole free-spirited earth mother thing down - bonus!). Folk elements such as crochet and fringing will be everywhere this season, a great addition when it comes to cooler-than-cool bump layering. Boho maxi dresses also lend themselves to a more masculine (read: comfortable) shoe and you can accessorise with a lightweight scarf; perfect for draping over your shoulders if there’s no shade in sight.
Maternity style tip #5: White’s all-right.
White cotton dresses are the definition of easy chic in the summer, and a crisp white shirt will lend a fresh vibe to every growing bod. What’s more, lighter colours reflect sunlight to keep you extra cool when the sun beats down. You can also introduce white into your workwear with an all-white blazer - whether you prefer a structured style or a looser cut, it’s a time-honored staple and a summer winner.
Maternity style tip #6: Lighten the load.
If adding a statement earring or bright bag makes you feel more like yourself, go for it. Going bold with your accessories can make you feel a bit more put together - no easy task in the later months! But consider ditching the chunky statement necklaces – heavy jewellery’s just another thing to make you feel confined and sweaty. On hot days leave the large tote at home and choose a small crossbody instead: the less stuff you carry around, the less you’ll exert yourself and the less sweaty you will feel as a result. Besides, it might be the last chance you’ll have to pack light before you’re weighed down by mountains of nappies, clunky toys and soggy muslins (yikes!).
Maternity style tip #7: Have fun with your footwear (as long as it’s comfy!)
As if our bodies haven’t being throwing enough challenges our way, relaxin – a hormone that stretches and softens muscles and ligaments during pregnancy – has an impact on everything including our feet, arches and ankles. This means during pregnancy you’re more prone to ligament strains, and combined with a rapidly changing centre of gravity makes for clumsiness and stumbles. Supportive footwear is therefore crucial.
But even though your feet might be swollen beyond recognition there’s no need to resign yourself to frumpy footwear or flip-flops. Experiment with different styles: chic mules, bright sneakers, low wedges and simple leather sandals - aim for minimal effort and maximum comfort. And to tackle the swelling, try lowering your salt intake and elevating those ankles.
Lastly and most importantly, take extra care of yourself in the heat this summer - stay hydrated, and cover up to protect your delicate skin from the sun - there’s a big difference between being a hot mama and an overheated one!
As Deputy Editor of luxury lifestyle publication Lusso Magazine and Interiors Editor for influential property journal PrimeResi, Anna draws on a decade of experience in the buying department at Harrods and previous to that Event Coordinator for London Fashion Week, fine-tuning her wisdom of what’s merely expensive and what deserves its high price tag. She now juggles journalism and a busy family life with her husband, three year old daughter and another little one on the way.