I should probably start this post by clarifying I’m not a fashion blogger and in no way a fashionista, but a girl’s gotta wear clothes on her growing body.
Whilst I couldnt tell you what’s this season from last season, I have had to dress a body through pregnancy before, and I picked up a tip or two (as well as learnt a lesson or two) to keep and share this time around.
Your current wardrobe can only be modified for so long
In my first pregnancy, I was quietly smug that my own wardrobe managed to last me most of the way through pregnancy. This wasn’t as much to do with a small bump (believe me, it wasn’t small) as it was to do with all the floaty tops, empire cuts and elasticated waistbands I owned thanks to an adulthood of IBS.
That said, there are only so many times you can wear the same things, and only so far the floaty material stretches if it’s not purposefully made for maternitywear.
If you’re in the second pregnancy, chances are you’ll already have kept some maternitywear so you might find yourself also quietly smug at this point. However, again you might have limited options, or you might find that the old wives tale is true – you start to show and your body starts to change shape much earlier the second time around.
My best tip here would be to prepare for your current wardrobe not to last you as long this time around.
This time around I’ve been double stumped as not only has my bump shown and grown quicker than baby number one, I’ve also been pregnant through a season I wasn’t before: winter. Believe me when I say this matters.
As I said, there’s only so long you can get by on your normal wardrobe and when it comes to previous maternitywear, the chances are unless you’ve aimed for a due date within the same season, only a handful of the maternity items purchased previously will end up being suitable this time around.
Its important to think when your bump will be expanding fastest, through to your due date as this will be the season you’ll need most comfort and room at the front.
Top tip here is to think about the season(s) in your last three months of pregnancy, where you’ll be biggest, and buy maternity clothes to suit the weather.
Invest in Staples
Of course, you can never go wrong with a few timeless and seasonless staples. I’m talking maternity jeans, leggings, plain old tees and the like. Even if you’re pregnant in wildly different seasons, there’s no reason you wouldn’t keep and wear these, just adding appropriate layers, footwear and accessories for different weather and temperatures.
Pro tip here is to collate maternitywear from your previous pregnancy and build out your staple wardrobe for there. And remember vests and things also come in handy after birth, especially if you are breastfeeding.
Get a good coat/jacket
I can’t stress the importance of this one enough, especially living somewhere that it rains a lot of the time. Again, think about your seasons – will it be a light rain jacket, warm winter coat or something that can easily transition from spring to summer or autumn to winter?
Being heavily pregnant in summer the first time around meant I only really needed to invest in a good rain mac (it doesn’t actually rain every day) and it was warm enough to do without a jacket at all a lot of the time. This time round I’ve found myself expanding in winter, to the point that my regular winter coats would only just zip up by Christmas. I tried to battle on, as it seems that maternity winter coats and jackets in popular/common sizes are extremely hard to come by. I ended up having a nice, warm shorter jacket which didn’t have the benefit of length or a hood – which I think of as essential in freezing, windy Scotland in winter!
However coming into spring, I’m still large but its not quite weather for the light rain mac just yet. The winter coat is getting a little on the sweaty side if I have to wear it any time after 8am so a nice transitional jacket has been key here.
The top tip here is to think about outerwear as early as possible. From experience, there are limited choices and even more limitations in quantity if you are a popular dress size.
A lot of high street stores are stocking maternitywear, with increasingly fashionable options. However there’s no denying there’s a lack of choice in comparison to regular clothing. This is why it pays to shop around for good maternity clothing – particularly the staples previously mentioned. Everyone has their go-to store for jeans that fit like a glove but thats not necessarily the case for maternity jeans. From length to bump coverage, colour to fit, not every retailer considers the same choice for pregnant ladies as they do for non-pregnant ones.
Some specialist maternity clothing retailers may provide choice, but often they charge a premium price for this. On the contrary, I’ve found that high street retailers often have sales on surplus maternitywear that they can’t shift.
Pro tip here is to try brands you might not normally buy from, and keep an eye out for sales pieces
Carefully consider underwear
From bump to boobs, our changing bodies mean that our favourite go-to underwear soon becomes a thing of the past as we start to grow. I’ve found that high-waisted pants have become a friend underneath dresses, providing comfort and a bit of bump support whilst avoiding the weird VPL created by regular underwear on a pregnant body. Of course, preference is entirely subjective, but I found that I enjoyed the comfort of less attractive underwear, retiring the more aesthetic pieces for post-pregnancy.
Bras – oh my goodness I’ve never had more bras than the year surrounding pregnancy. Boobs are usually the first thing to grow and ache in pregnancy, so you’ll probably find yourself needing some comforting support of a sports bra, and will benefit from a re-measuring quite early in your pregnancy. And again, lets not forget that as your bump grows, your boobs will too, until they take another growth spurt as your milk comes in.
I still have the bra I had to get asap after Travis was born, which – no word of a lie – a cup can pass quite easily for a full adult hat. So its worth remembering your boobs will increase in size again at least immediately post-partum, and will possibly stay quite large for a time if you choose to breastfeed. If you’re not planning to breastfeed, it’s worth considering whether you want to invest in expensive underwear for a short period or if you think a decent sports bra will sustain you until the milk dries up.
Pro tip: measure frequently and don’t skimp on quality, particularly if you were large-breasted to start with. S/M/L sports bras aint going to cut it.
At the end of the day, you are only going to be pregnant, and then potentially nursing, for a short period of your life so there’s no need to go overboard with your maternity wardrobe. A good few staple items, seasonal essentials and a handful of items for specific occasions (whether that’s work, a wedding/christening etc or for something like a vacation) should do you well throughout your pregnancy and for that little bit post-partum where you’re still sporting a pouch.