Pregnancy Style Tips
by Anna Bastiaenen
You’re pregnant, congrats! Which means you now have a whole new challenge on the horizon: how to style your rapidly expanding body for the next nine months. It can feel a bit overwhelming, especially when accompanied by swollen ankles, growing waistline and inconvenient ‘why am I crying at this shampoo advert?!’ hormones.
Scrolling through the mainstream maternity sites during my first pregnancy I was dismayed at the endless selection of frumpy skirts, navy-striped tees and uninspiring knitwear. But fear not, pregnancy style is transforming and with lots more exciting brands launching (check out the new NINE+QUARTER maternity and nursing wear collection!), and a ream of fashion bloggers and street style stars out there who have paved the way in comfortable-but-cool bump fashion, it is infinitely possible to style your way through it.
Of course, everyone’s body shape is unique and dressing when pregnant is not a one-size-fits-all endeavour, but there are some simple fixes if your blossoming bump is throwing daily challenges your way.
Maternity style tip #1. Start with the basics.
If there’s one thing synthetic fabrics are known for it’s their greenhouse effect, which for you means: sweaty and itchy (as if you’re not uncomfortable enough already). Natural fabrics like linen and cotton are ideal during pregnancy and will keep you fresh and cool. Semi-synthetic fabrics are great, too - after all you’re going to need a fair amount of stretchy supportwear - just try to avoid pure polyester and nylon. Organic fabrics, which are free from harsh chemicals and pesticides, tend to be softer and more gentle which is a plus if you’re experiencing sensitive and itchy skin. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of your underwear during the next nine months! Get yourself fitted for a few stylish, supportive pieces and you won’t regret it.
Maternity style tip #2. You’re still you! There’s no need to wave bye-bye to your personal style (and will to live).
Don’t become downhearted thinking that you’ll have to take a complete departure from your usual look just because you’re pregnant; you really won’t. Maternity doesn’t have to mean matronly, so don’t give up on your fashion sense! You’ll be surprised what you can find when you take a look through what you already own: shirts, jackets, cardis and dresses can be given a reboot for your first trimester. And inevitably, when your regular clothes are starting to pull in all the wrong places, don’t panic buy: it’s better to spend your hard-earned cash on the right items than end up with a pile of clothes you’ve never worn (or can’t bear the sight of) at the end of nine months. Maternity-wear is properly tailored to accommodate a growing, changing pregnant body; finding the right maternity brands means you can stick to your rules - t-shirts, soft cardis, form-fitting dresses, leather jackets and skinny jeans are all still immensely bump friendly.
Maternity style tip #3. Keep it simple.
Try finding one or two silhouettes that you know work to simplify your maternity style approach. Sometimes these can be opposites, for example A-line one day and a tight knit dress the next. If you can, stick to a colour palette that you can mix and match easily to create a capsule wardrobe, if only to keep you sane!
Maternity style tip #4. Enjoy your new bump!
Now that you’re housing a little person, embrace it! You might be surprised to find a new affinity for clothes with a bit of cling and you can layer-up if you’re feeling a bit exposed. However, if right now you’re more confident in looser styles, my advice is don’t go too billowy as this can make you look larger, instead opt for something spacious but that hugs in the right places. Try digging out a belt to cinch in a jumper, dress or light coat under the bust, to create a bump-flattering empire line.
Maternity style tip #5. Dresses are your versatile MVPs (Most Valuable Players).
Be it shirt dresses, folksy, jersey, slip or A-line, find the shape that works for you and it can be adapted for any season. It’s also the easiest item to shoehorn yourself into every morning which is a bonus! Team it with a pair of flats: a smart sneaker, sophisticated sandal, or rock it with some combat boots. An LBD is infinitely wearable and should definitely be on your maternity wish-list.
Maternity style tip #6. Behold, the power of well-chosen accessories.
A bold bag, statement jewels, leopard print flats, a designer belt - all of these will add a punch to your outfits and they won’t need to be thrown straight onto the maternity ‘discard’ pile when you’re done. Best of all they transcend all trimesters, so if you need a fashion pick-me-up, here’s where you can really splurge.
Maternity style tip #7. Buy yourself some badass sneakers.
Bear in mind that your hormones plus the change in your centre of gravity mean that you’ll be more clumsy than usual, so abide by the laws of physics and stick to the no-heel rule. Swollen ankles and aching feet may also be creating a few footwear challenges, but flats don’t have to be unflattering so shop around for some comfy and chic solutions.
Last but not least - remember to relax and give yourself a break! If you want to wear slouchy loungewear from noon till night, then do it and rock it - you are growing a small human after all.
Found this useful? Check out Anna's "Maternity Style Tips for Spring"
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.