Pregnancy is filled with so many challenging things. There’s the morning sickness, the drowsiness, the heartburn…oh the list is endless; so looking good and stylish is the last thing that a mum-to-be might be thinking about. But I found that waking up every morning and making an effort into putting together an outfit that didn’t consist of leggings and a hoodie, together with the minimal amount of makeup I use, made me feel great.
In the first trimester I went about wearing my own clothes but as that baby grew bigger, my clothing options were shrinking and I was also starting to get bored of everything in my wardrobe. So I had to invest in some new clothes (bummer!). The problem was that the weather was changing and my summer holidays were round the corner. So I had a double dilemma: 1) work round the summer clothes I had in my closet and be innovative with my outfits; and 2) buy new pieces that I wouldn’t end up wearing for a couple of days during my three-week holiday or during the couple of days that the UK enjoys a bit of proper summer weather.
So after three months of improvising & restyling the clothes I had in my wardrobe, and all the online shopping I did including sending back most of the things I bought (ending up waiting for refunds worth £400) I’ve learnt that it is not hard to look good while pregnant…on a budget too, without turning to the expensive maternity brands.
Here are my tips for styling that bump without spending a fortune (at least in the first two trimesters):
Culottes: This was the first piece of clothing I bought during my pregnancy. The purchase was not intentional; I was just walking around ZARA, having a look around, when I came across these yellow elasticated culottes. I loved their bright spring colour and it was a bonus that they had an elastic band around the waist. Even though I bought them in my regular ZARA size the elasticated waist meant that I could wear them despite my growing belly. They are unbelievably comfortable and after almost 5 months I can still wear them (worn during my flights to Cyprus, Mykonos and back to the UK). I have actually seen some new colours being featured in ZARA’s new collection so I intend to invest in one more pair till baby comes out. You can find the ones I like here.
Flowy dresses/tops: I must admit that it was a real struggle finding dresses that would suit AND fit me. At first I decided to buy a few maternity ones. But they ended up being way too big and made me look huge. So I then decided to go for the non-maternity ones (which I did like more) and go a size up. These ended up being big too. So ladies when buying flowy dresses, you can still wear your normal size. This means that you can still shop at your favourite shops without spending a fortune at some of the maternity shops. Here are some the ones I bought from asos, H&M and Primark.
Or you can restyle all your old flowy pieces like I’ve done here:
Low waist jeans: I mean really low waist ones with quite a bit of elasticity. I bought this pair from ZARA a few weeks after I found out I was pregnant. I really wanted a pair of embroidered jeans but it was really difficult to find one that was not high-waisted. Fortunately, ZARA saved me! These are a boyfriend cut which means they sit quite low on the waist and because they have quite a bit of elasticity in them it means I can pull them a bit further down, now that my bump and pelvis have grown.
As the bump grew, I needed another pair but maternity ones were still too big. But didn’t want to buy a standard jean size that wouldn’t fit me after a couple of weeks. So a visit in Primark was it all it took. Skinny low waist jeans with a lot of elasticity. This I bought a size bigger than my normal. Post partum I intend to take these to my local seamer and tighten the waist!!!
Hubby’s/Bae’s/Boyfriend’s T-Shirts: these are usually one or two sizes bigger than our ones which means they make room for the growing belly. Hopefully, you’ll have the same taste in clothing as your partner and you will be able to ‘borrow’ these for a couple of months!
What I’ve learnt whilst shopping during the last few months is that not all maternity clothes look good on pregnant women and that not all women like the style of maternity clothes. To be entirely honest I did order a number of them, including dresses, shorts and tops, simply because everybody kept saying that I needed to start accommodating for the growing bump. But every single maternity piece I bought I had to send back. Not only was the smallest size way too big for me, the tops and dresses made me and the bump look huge, but I realised that it wasn’t really my style. Trying them on did not feel like it was me. So I had to find my way around my daily outfits!
However, every woman and her pregnancy are different. Some women simply have to turn to maternity clothes from the early months of their pregnancy simply because their bump grows to the sides, their pelvis opens up way faster than others or their legs are bloated. Up until today I managed to accommodate my bump in my current clothes (not all of course) or by buying a few non-maternity clothes that I can wear post-partum. But now is the time that I will have to invest in some maternity jeans or leggings as I can no longer fit in my own (regardless of how much elasticity they’ve got).
Hopefully, I’ll prepare another post for you guys to have a look. For now I hope you have enjoyed reading this and have inspired your outfits.