Todays blog comes from a lady with a great sense of Style.
She is a professional Style and Image Consultant who prides herself on making women feel at ease straight away.
Her services are for real women. Women who may have just lost their way, lost weight, gained some, had a baby, found a new man, got divorce, hit a new age bracket or are just not sure what suits them anymore. You name it.
As we all know when you become pregnant, style can often go out the window. Joy is here to help.
How to avoid the ‘Mumfort Zone’ And Stay Looking Chic.
Maternity Wear, now here’s a topic that didn’t sit great with me.
Well as a full-blown clothing addict who prides myself on ‘cost per wear’, I knew from the get go that I wouldn’t bond well with clothing I knew I’d only wear for a maximum of 9 months.
I mean….would you give your heart to a man you knew was going to run off and leave you after 40 weeks…..No!
So for me personally it was survival.
The aim, to try to look the best I could, without wasting money or spending it on things that weren’t necessary.
Within the first 3 months I’d also faced the unfortunate reality that it takes a bit more attention to detail and effort to keep your own style personality when sometimes your just grateful things still fit at all.
I will admit, at times breaking a few of my own style rules just to cobble together outfits for work to avoid spending money on things I’d never ever wear again.
As a Stylist I harp on about balance, balancing out a bottom with striped tops and big boobs with flared skirts….but a BUMP IN THE MIDDLE? Now this was a challenge.
Surely I should just dress it as if I was an apple shape??
In theory this worked……but THE BUMP is a whole new entity…coming out like a shelf from under your boobs, or dropping down low towards the end. Then it’s other gang members, the hips, the gino-boobs.
All that said, there is no stopping nature and for me, after a rocky start I was just happy to be pregnant and have my bump to accommodate.
So, here is my take on how NOT to make maternity a bumpy ride.
The First Trimester.
Tips on hiding an early bump (pre 12 weeks).
So you don’t want to tell your manager you’re expecting. You hope your colleagues don’t notice you looking peeky and desperately hope your customers aren’t noticing your top button bulging.
So how do you hide it?
This was my saviour.
Plenty of give without looking like it’s busting at the seams.
My favourite were a few Tesco Tulip style ones I wore for both pregnancies. They weren’t proper maternity wear but did a great job of hiding the new tummy.
Here is a fab Wrap Dress for Trimester 2 from ASOS which is a great price!! They just offer so much comfort and style which for me whilst being pregnant and even now day today are the two most crucial elements of clothing.
Also, if you’re a woman whose boobs balloon as soon as the second line shows, then cover your bust.
Anyone who’s been pregnant before will clock the ‘expecting’ cleavage.
So if normally you would show a little chest and the boobs are suddenly bulging, wear a stretch vest underneath to avoid giving anyone an eyeful.
Dressing all in one dark colour or wearing dark trousers and top with a lighter jacket will also slim down you new-found bump and prevent giving away your secret early.
Trimester 2 & 3.
Time to decide how you want to dress your bump post 3 months.
You’re out, people know.
Do you want to wear you bump on show with figure hugging skin-tight clothing. Or hide it in loose floaty pieces?
Do you / would you feel more comfortable wearing under or over the bump skirts, jeans and trousers? These are things to consider.
For me, I have a morbid fear of Muffin Top so ‘Over The Bump’ was preferable (probably why I love high-waisted trousers too).
No risk of overhang.
No danger of ruining tops with bio oil or my tummy button boinging out at people. All covered up with a soft elasticated hug.
I had some fab Over The Bump Jeans from H&M.
They we’re skinny jean style but as soft as a legging. I’d tried a few other pairs but the fake button still dug in.
These are a really comfortable choice and I wore them to death. The jersey bump cover stopped any rubbing or irritation from tops and made me feel secure and held in.
I also sold them on for the same price I’d bought them for on ebay. It is DEFINATELY worth investing is a good pair of jeans and/or trousers.
My Tops Pregnancy Style Tips.
1. Buy things you feel you will be able to wear post pregnancy where possible.
Once your bump has gone down but your still not back to your post pregnancy figure you will want some things to cover up with before your old clothes fit.
A key look I went for was the open (non maternity) denim shirt with maternity vest under.
I have then gone on to wear the denim shirts post pregnancy and I’m still getting plenty of wear from it.
Other looks could include blazers over vests, cardigans, oversized jumpers over your maternity jeans which can be worn post pregnancy or long line vests or tunics over your maternity leggings (see link below).
2.Invest in some good quality maternity leggings.
This will pay dividend when you decide that you can no longer stand the ‘cling’ of tights or when you need more coverage than a typical 60 denier can offer.
I bought the Mum2Be Seam Free Mothercare leggings and they were an absolute god send.
They could be worn as leggings with longer tops or dresses and we’re just so comfy as post 4/5 months they fitted over my bump perfectly. Also great for the summer months if you want to wear sandals but tights aren’t appropriate and are too warm.
These also stopped me getting Bio Oil and Palmers Cocoa Butter on ALL of my clothes.
I also invested in some bump tights from ASOS which were great whilst at work. Sitting in the same position for 8 hours was far from comfy but ensuring my tights were specially made for a bump made a huge difference. NO ONE and I mean NO ONE wants tight-tights whilst pregnant!!
3. Assess the season.
Where possible don’t waste money on a £100 maternity coat if you’re pregnant throughout summer or likewise a pair of maternity denim shorts if your heading towards winter.
If you do want to have these items ‘just in case’ the weather turns, always assess the return you will get from it Ebay if it turns out you hardly wear it.
Most maternity coats are expensive so I’d recommend unless it’s winter, layering up with scarves, pashminas or open coats and jackets rather than spending unnecessary baby funds on being able to fasten your coat.
For me second time round it was summer which unfortunately does come with clammy legs and puffy fingers but it did mean I could buy normal maxi dresses and stretch them over my bump. Dresses I able to wear this year as holiday clothes. Result!!
First time round a bought a Maternity Mac by New Look which adapted well between seasons. Here’s a very similar one from ASOS.
4. Tailor your outfits around your life style.
If you work in an office full time treat yourself to some decent maternity work trousers or a skirt and a range of mix and match tops and open non maternity cardigans.
Try to achieve the same ratio of clothingfor amount of time spent doing daily activities,
So if you work part time. Definitely don’t buy much work wear but spend more money on some nice jeans and tops for casual day to day activities. If you’re a workaholic spend your budget on work wear and less on casual wear. If you’re not going to be going to any glamorous parties, definitely DO NOT stock up on Isabella Oliver frocks.
Don’t try to achieve a full wardrobes worth of maternity clothes for every eventuality if you’re simply not going to need it., you just won’t get your wear out of it.
For me when I was pregnant last time I did however buy a really nice Topshop maternity maxi dress for work which I dressed up with different blazers, accessories and flats sandals. It was super comfortable and well worth the money. I could then wear it once my maternity leave started from lounging in at home and wore it well after Guy was born as something comfortable to wear post partum.
The GREAT thing with maxi dress or dresses in general providing they aren’t too tight is that they prevent bulge, they stop anything being too tight and digging in. They create a stream line look providing your underwear fits well and can be jazzed upwith cardigans or blazers.
Buy things from eBay or Baby Sales.
So you’re pregnant, your saving for baby items, nursery furniture, car seats etc. For me, ( as much as I love clothes and don’t mind spending a lot of quality things) I just couldn’t justify spending silly money on maternity clothes .
So second time round not only did I wear more normal clothing (just in bigger sizes, which is 10X cheaper), I bought maternity wear, when needed from eBay.
Let’s face it, someone will only have worn the item for a maximum of 6 months and I’d definitely rather pay less for something I’m not going to wear for long.
Jeans and leggings and the odd piece I bought new but tops, t shirts, dresses, etc, I nabbed from Ebay or local baby sales.
6.Utilise your existing wardrobe.
If you have a checked shirt, and it won’t fit anymore around your expanding bump, wear it open with a maternity vest underneath. (See above as with denim shirts).
If your bump isn’t huge, wear your non maternity longer tops with maternity bottoms or your everyday wrap dresses over maternity jeans
7. Don’t fallfowlof trying to wear pre pregnancy clothing for too long.
When it’s time, it’s time. Give it up.
Non pregnancy dresses WILL become too short at some point when accommodating a bump so unless they could be worn as a long top with leggings/jeans, pack them away until further notice.
This leads me on to another topic.
8.Packing away your pre pregnancy clothing!
Once something doesn’t fit, whether it be at 3, 4 or 5 months – pack it away!
Just as I’d advise someone to get rid of all clothing that doesn’t fit them. Same goes here.
Although keep it in the loft this time.
No one wants reminding of the time they fit into size 10 skinny jeans whilst piling on a lb a week. NO ONE!! Even someone who is enjoying every minute of their waistline disappearing.
When you feel ready…and ONLY when you feel ready after your little one arrives, get them from the loft.
DO NOT PRESSURE YOURSELF!
With underwear I guess this topic is an ‘each to their own’ area, but for me I’ll do anything to avoid clothes looking terrible, lumpy, bumpy, bulgy or tight.
So tight knickers and bras had to go. Goodbye stringy thongs and under wired bras.
In came the seam free pant – pants which I now still love to this day.
My top pregnancy / feeding bra recommendation would be the Emma Jane, super soft and you can buy them in a variety of colours and prints. Even if you don’t plan to breast feed, these bras are recommended by breastfeeding advisors and give you plenty of support.
I hope this helps all you blooming pregnant lovelies or gives some tips to those of you who are thinking of starting a family or expanding your brood.
Would love to hear any other must have items you may have tried.
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