Some tips for finding your pregnancy style…
I really thought maternity dressing would be a lot harder than it has been. I’m very thankful I’m pregnant over summer as I have lived in floaty midi dresses, which make up 90% of my wardrobe already so I haven’t had to buy too many new bits.
I felt really overwhelmed when I first got pregnant, it just seemed too stressful to have to buy new clothes that I wouldn’t even fit for long! I had a bit of a hard time when it came to my usual seasonal swap-over of my wardrobe, where I change out my winter clothes for the summery items that I’d put away all those months before. I also knew we’d be moving at some point so I planned to put a lot in to our storage unit, and I was realistic about a lot of clothes I just wouldn’t be wearing for at least a year – anything too fitted, all my jeans and a lot of midi skirts I thought I wouldn’t fit in to or feel comfortable in for a while had to be put away. I just didn’t want the pressure of having to fit back in to my clothes postpartum so I had a really big declutter!
I have to admit, although I was probably a little overzealous with it, streamlining my wardrobe really helped – I was able to see what I could fit in to at a glance, and it made the morning outfit decisions so much easier! I have about 5-10 outfits on rotation which suits me, I can mix and match items or just throw on a midi dress. Who needs added stress when you’re pregnant.
I was probably a little pessimistic when it came to what I could wear, I definitely thought my bump would be a lot bigger than it is – it’s just hard to predict anything in pregnancy… at all, ever! No one has the same experience as you so it’s impossible to entirely rely on the advice of others. I think if I actually went through my clothes in storage, I would have been able to fit in to more than I expected to but nevermind.
The other thing I struggled with was feeling like I had to buy a whole new wardrobe that would only fit me for a little while. While I am not as sustainable as I would like to be when it comes to fashion, I am a mindful shopper and I hate waste – I don’t do big hauls, I avoid buying in to trends I know won’t last and I always aim to buy pieces I know I will wear and love for a long time. As you can imagine, this didn’t really fall in line with maternity dressing! I felt stressed thinking about buying a temporary wardrobe full of clothes that I would only fit for 6 months and then never again.
As it happens, I just had to think ahead and plan for maternity dressing. What I will say is that I’ve actually loved planning outfits since I got pregnant! I have less choice because I can only fit in a handful of things so the decisions are usually made for me, and I’m wearing outfits I wouldn’t wear before (like dungarees!) so it’s actually been really fun to plan what I’m going to wear each day. I hope with some of my pointers, you will avoid the pregnancy outfit dread and be able to enjoy dressing your bump!
Shopping Your Wardrobe
This is a great place to start, especially just by eliminating anything you know you won’t wear – be it knitwear over summer (I run cold, I am permanently freezing, but I have not once felt cold since getting pregnant!) or jeans and anything else that might not fit over your bump. Maybe you will fit in jeans for a good part of your pregnancy, maybe you won’t. There’s literally no way of knowing. I didn’t have a prominent bump until around 19weeks but even so, I didn’t fit in jeans comfortably from 10 weeks because I was B-L-O-A-T-E-D. Everyone is different though, so be realistic about whether or not you fancy wearing anything restricting during your pregnancy.
Grab a few vacuum storage bags from amazon and pack away anything you won’t wear – think about postpartum too, you probably don’t want your favourite fitted dress taunting you while you’re getting used to your new PP body. My much-loved Rixo dresses have been packed away for the foreseeable!
I would also recommend setting aside some outfits you *may* fit in to – I wish I had done this because for some reason I expected to look like I was pregnant with 7 babies the whole way through, so I really was quite ruthless when I was going through my clothes. A bag of clothes to rummage through a few months in to your pregnancy is not a bad idea, and removing any items your growing bump no longer fits in to throughout your pregnancy will also help with finding outfits to wear each day.
When It Comes To Sizing Up…
Buying a few key pieces in a size or two bigger is a good idea in some cases – especially those items you know will be of use to you while pregnant and also once baby is here. I have been realistic about my changing body since the start; it’s likely I won’t fit in to some of my favourite pieces ever again. Already my ribs and hips feel much wider than they did, and I know I’ll likely carry a little extra weight for a while – so be it!
Non-maternity items like dungarees and smocked dresses are ideal for sizing up in, because they’re quite fitted and will work around growing boobs and bump. However, a lot of the time when I tried to size up in midi dresses and blouses, I found they fit my bump and boobs but looked too big everywhere else – especially my shoulders and in the length too. It does involve a bit of trial and error to get right, especially if you’re petite or have a smaller frame.
Consider Long Term
I was wearing a few of my favourite non-maternity fitted dresses around 20weeks+ and then I realised that actually, I was probably stretching my much loved Sezane dress and did I really want to ruin it? I’ve packed it away for now, but I have replaced it with a similar Zara dress I found on Depop which was a lot cheaper and slightly sturdier, so I won’t mind if I do stretch it a little.
I also think it’s best to wait a while and suss out your pregnancy style and shape before you panic-buy a host of outfits. I did buy a pair of loose linen maternity trousers which have SAVED ME, especially for morning walks and lazy days, but other than that I haven’t really purchased much else maternity-wise, I was able to wear what I already had for the most part and introduce a couple of key pieces alongside them. For me, it’s actually more my boobs than my bump that is the issue – you may find this too, it’s tough to make ‘em fit in to cute scooped-neck midis and pretty blouses!
And Think About The Seasons
This is something that I really thought about, because I got pregnant in the middle of winter, started to show around spring, and I’m due in summer. Although I can’t plan ahead too much, realistically I probably won’t fit in to much from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe for a few months after giving birth and by that time it’ll be winter for like six months. So with that in mind, when I packed away my clothes earlier this year, I was waving goodbye to them until spring the following year! It was all very dramatic, but I think I did the right thing – I feel good about my decisions now!
I’m not adding this in as another thing to overwhelm you, it’s just something to keep in mind when you’re having a little declutter.
What To Stock Up On
Consider your style and what you think you’ll want to wear while you’re pregnancy – for me it was pretty easy because I love a midi dress. Anything fitted yet floaty has got my name all over it!
Find a couple of outfits you can wear time and time again, changing them up slightly to suit. I’ve added a few of my fave outfit combos below…
+ dungarees & a couple of different blouses
+ shirred midi dresses that allow for growing boobs
+ fitted maternity skirt/trousers with t-shirts tied above your bump
+ knitted or loose fitting t-shirt dresses with a light jacket over the top
+ light, floaty smock dresses
+ maternity jeans and striped tees, cute jumpers & tops
Get A Bra Fitting
Honestly this helped me massively because my actual ribs got bigger in size so none of my bras fitted me at all. I did a virtual bra fitting with Bravissimo and it was super easy and relaxed – the girl who I spoke to on the zoom call could see the bras I had purchased before on the system and helped me choose new sizes in my favourites. Highly recommend!
Try And Embrace It
It’s a tricky one, navigating your changing body – I am so shocked at how quickly it changes too. Last week I felt and looked entirely different to how I do now. I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy and up until this point I’ve been feeling pretty good about how I’ve looked. However, this week my boobs are suddenly HUGE and no longer fit in to any of my clothes, my bump is WHOA big and so heavy, and I’m just feeling a bit over it in general! But ultimately, my body is doing an amazing thing and I’ve really tried to remind myself of this over the last 8 months. Of course I’m going to look positively rotund, I’m carrying a tiny human! I’m literally pregnant, I think I can be forgiven for living in maternity trousers or bursting out of a summer dress.
If you can go easy on yourself while you’re housing a human, it’ll do wonders for your mindset.
I’ve popped some of my favourite picks below if you’re in the market for some (mostly non-maternity!) items to add to your wardrobe. I would recommend adding a few pieces slowly because your body changes a lot during pregnancy and not always in the way you’d expect, so you want to slowly invest in pieces rather than panic-buy clothes that may not fit you in a month or two.
Have fun with it, I got to the point recently where I realised I won’t be pregnant for much longer and I’m now wishing I would have relaxed a little more at the start and enjoyed dressing my bump. Hopefully this little guide helps someone else realise that pregnancy outfits don’t have to be stressful!
Let me know if you have any advice in the comments…