It’s been eight years and 362 days since I was last pregnant.
If I’ve done my maths correctly then that equates to my youngest child turning nine on Monday.
Those nine years have disappeared in the blink of an eye.
Before then I hadn’t been pregnant for further nine years.
SO MUCH had happened in terms of maternity wear since my first pregnancies and even more since my last pregnancy.
Thankfully what has happened has been an all-encompassing move towards maternity wear that is flattering … maternity wear that’s not afraid to put the growing bump on show.
I’ve been asked recently about maternity wear and have felt completely out of the loop in regards to referring people towards stores and brands that suit them.
Thankfully though, there are a number of women taking part in the #everydaystyle challenge who are pregnant right now and have some great tips on what to wear when you are pregnant.
These women are of all shapes and sizes and have a lot of advice to share.
My hot tip: show off the bump, don’t hide it AND buy a pair of maternity jeans (unless you’re pregnant across the height of summer, of course).
These tips have come from @icurvy, @mamastylista and @samillem (who are pregnant right now) and @theplumbette who had third baby a week ago (photos of these four women below) … and @workingwomenaus, @styleandshenanigans, @redcliffestyle and @kimbalikes who remember what it was like and have some gems to share.
1. Only buy a couple of maternity pieces and mix/match them with regular items. I saved a fortune buying tops from regular stores in a larger size and using a belly band toward the end. I found some maternity lines can be very overpriced.
2. My frustration has been that a lot of maternity clothes are swing style. As someone who has been plus size my whole life, wearing clothes that “tent” out from my (ever increasing) bust just doesn’t sit we’ll with me. Instead I embraced my changing shape and actually looked for a tighter fit and empire line clothes. Those styles are harder to find but I found them much more flattering.
3. Harem pants have been my saviour. No need to buy maternity pants – with harem pants in style at the moment, you can save a tonne of money.
4. Kmart actually do really great maternity basics. There’s no need to spend a fortune on maternity clothes that you are only going to wear for a short period. The long sleeve maternity basic tops (black, white and jewel colours) for $9 are brilliant for layering or wearing on their own. Their maternity jeans (dark or black wash) are $20 and super soft and comfortable for wearing everyday.
5. I bought most of my maternity gear from Old Navy (US), Big W (they have the Bonds maternity range which is great), a few investment pieces from RIPE and Target (which was surprisingly exy). Metalicus was also good until halfway.
6. You can also get discounted maternity wear through the Sids and Kids shop – plus all proceeds go to the charity.
7. Don’t have to compromise your style because you are pregnant. I still wear the same things I would usually. I just get bigger sizes in tops and dresses and I always buy with stretch.
8. I found Jeanswest maternity jeans to be the best so far. They are comfortable and on trend. I just bought a leather look pair in the sale.
9. I always check out the ASOS maternity sale section. I don’t want to spend too much on maternity clothes so I look around for bargains. New Look and Next have a great cheap range too. Esprit has also just a launched maternity range online.
10. Mix and match with maternity and regular clothes and accessorise. Have fun styling your bump!
11. Maternity clothing is very hit and miss with more miss than hit. If you are lucky enough to be a small build then you can find pieces more easily that are just larger sizes. However, if you are not petite it can get tricky.
12. I splurge on some good dresses (Sacha Drake has some fabulous options) and then buy cheap and cheery basics from the chain stores such as Big W and Kmart.
13. You will need a great pair of jeans to get you through pregnancy and my favourite are from H&M.
14. I cannot wear any of my “non pregnant” clothes past about three months because I seem to stack on weight and fluid as soon as that little test comes back positive! However, it is a special time that goes so quickly and I am happy to pack away the high heels, underwire sexy bras and pretty much my entire wardrobe until I return to pre-baby weight in the future.
15. Instead of buying clothes when I am pregnant I will splurge on a fabulous lipstick or a necklace.
Samille – Two Mad Rabbits
16. If you are trying to hide a baby bump, a long scarf works wonders.
17. I loved fitted tops etc when pregnant. Usually I try to hide my belly, so it was great to flaunt it.
18. Stealing my husbands work shirts and wearing with tights was great. This looked so cute with ballet flats or sneakers.
19. My hair and skin were great (for once), so I focused on bringing attention to them. Plus, don’t do anything dramatic with your hair in a crazy pregnant moment. We aren’t thinking rationally.
20. I had an enormous belly, right out the front, and boobs that went from C to DD overnight. I showed very early too because of the IVF procedures and my double placenta. Because of this, I preferred to wear over the bump pants, jeans and skirts with fitted tops. For the support!
22. My belly belt was useless. I used a hair elastic looped through my jeans button instead.
23. I bought a lot of tops in the next size up from chain stores like Sussan. Sussan now has a maternity range.
24. I had some midi-length skirts in a flowing shape or tube shape that I pulled up over my belly.
25. I embraced the bikini for the first time in my life and it took me three or four years to put one back on.
26. Find clothes that will serve well during pregnancy and post pregnancy. I didn’t want to invest in new clothes that would be worn for only a year or less.
27. Look at your existing wardrobe and see what you can utilise during your pregnancy. For example, to make existing button shirts wearable during pregnancy, I would wear a bonds maternity singlet underneath and wear the shirt open. I also had a few kaftans and stretchy tunics that could be worn over maternity leggings to create a few different outfits.
28. During my pregnancy this year I invested in wearing printed pants with an elasticised waist. My go to online shop for gorgeous pants is Erin Louise. The reason I love her pants is because she has lovely prints and her sizes can accommodate a growing belly during pregnancy, as well as post baby. They are effortless to style as I would wear a maternity t-shirt with a scarf or necklace to make the whole outfit come together.
29. Metalicus was also another great brand where the ‘one size fits all’ bill works really well for a growing bump and also post baby too. I mainly bought Metalicus dresses that flowed from just above the waist down to accommodate the bump. Not all Metalicus tops or skirts would suit my shape, so I chose their dresses and found styles that wouldn’t fit me like a glove.
30. Maternity basics like jeans, pants, leggings, breastfeeding tops and pyjamas were all bought from Target or Big W. Don’t get carried away with going to boutiques and spending a fortune on a maternity wardrobe. I did this with my first pregnancy and most of the items didn’t last the distance to my second pregnancy even though I allowed for weight gain.
This is a maternity wear outfit idea that includes many pieces that can be worked with other items in your maternity – or non-maternity wardrobe. All will serve you through your pregnancy and beyond.
1. Jeanswest maternity jeans $41.99 (on sale) | 2. ASOS maternity top (this is one in a pack of three) $29.39 | 3. Sussan scarf $39.95 | 4. Metalicus jacket $169.95 | 5. Sportscraft bag $189.95 | 6. Frankie4 Footwear loafers $219.95 | 7. Poup’ke necklace $89.95
Do you have any maternity wear tips to add?
Want to join in #everydaystyle? Simply upload a photo of yourself showing your everyday style to Instagram or Facebook, use the #everydaystyle and tag @stylingyou so I can find you. Don’t feel you have to post every day. Post when you can.