I’ve loved being pregnant for the first time and like to think I’ve embraced all the changes to my body as I’ve actually enjoyed filling out and feeling feminine. Not everyone is the same, but my body has certainly changed loads – it started with my chest size going up a couple of sizes then my bum and hips growing outwards and for the first time ever I have a belly!
I’ve always been lucky with a slim figure and never putting weight on no matter what I eat but now I’m guessing those days are gone! Having never experienced my weight going up and down or yo yo dieting, I’ve never really had to think about shopping for different clothes styles to fit a bigger or smaller frame as I’ve been consistently slim.
Of course that all changed at around 5 or 6 months into my pregnancy when I could no longer fight with the button on my favourite Firetrap jeans or fasten up my vintage denim Levi’s shirt…
Putting my beloved denims to the back of the wardrobe, I was pretty determined not to buy maternity clothes and instead just buy loose clothing as I always thought maternity clothes didn’t come in my style and seemed a bit to ‘mummish’ for me – nobody wants to dress like their Mum, right? (Sorry Mum!) So I was trying to think of ways to dress my bump and still dress like a twenty-something.
Choosing a Style – Jeans or Dresses?
Originally I was thinking of loose summer dresses with tights or leggings so started by looking for casual dresses that I could wear to work but ended up with dresses that seemed too much to wear in my office where jeans is the norm. Who was I kidding? I live in my jeans!
Giving in, the hunt for stylish maternity jeans and tops began by searching online to discover which high street shops offered a maternity range – Next, New Look, Dorothy Perkins, TopShop and Debenhams. I would recommend trying to get into some of the shops to see the clothes and try them on as I nearly ordered a load of outfits from New Look online then changed my mind on a few things once I’d seen them on the hangers.
I ended up buying a few maternity vest tops from New Look with the aim of teaming them up with jeans and long open cardigans that I already owned or could buy and would wear when not pregnant.
Tops sorted, I just had to find jeans…
I Heart TopShop Maternity Jeans!
A few shops do a range of maternity jeans but I wanted to go with skinny jeans and fell in love when I found the Maternity Moto Leigh Jeans on the TopShop website.
I bought the Indigo jeans first to try them out and when I felt comfortable in them, I decided to buy the same jeans in the Tobacco colour so I could alternate. I simply switch between the two pairs now and sometimes wear my dresses at weekends if I’m going somewhere.
I love how they look like normal jeans from the back but have the elasticated band at the front to stretch over my bump. I’m surprised at the negative reviews on the site actually, as I find the waistband really comfortable and the material is really soft against my skin. The Indigo pair are made from softer material and haven’t faded like I thought they would. They did feel a bit loose to begin with but feel fine now that my bump has grown into them more. The material of the Tobacco jeans are more demin and at first seemed a lot tighter on my thighs but they fit well and are still comfortable around my waist.
Money Matters & Being Practical
When I started looking around online for maternity clothes, I read a lot of forum threads where women were saying they grudged spending a lot of money on maternity wear as they’d only be wearing them for a few months. Being a twenty-something, I initially did want style over value. There are a lot of designer maternity ranges for those not concerned with money but for me it was more about finding clothes that suit my style, feel comfortable and wouldn’t be a waste of money, which is why I went for a practical approach and hit the high street shops.
By getting a couple of pairs of jeans to alternate throughout the week that go with most colours that I normally wear I’ve managed to mix and match them with vest tops and loose tops that I owned before I was pregnant, and then usually throw a long cardi or casual jacket on top.
New Look’s maternity range is really not expensive (£6-£15 for basic tops) if you buy a few different plain coloured tops and mix and match like I do. I also bought one of my cardigans from there, and it was only £14.99 and it is something I’ll wear after my pregnancy too.
As for the jeans from TopShop – I reckon there are people who would think £38 a pair is expensive for jeans that may only be worn for 4 months or so but personally I think it’s better to buy something that you feel good in, and when you think about it – £38 a pair is basically £10 a month and considering I have worn each pair around 3 or 4 days a week that’s pretty good value for money if you ask me!
If you’re like me and thought maternity wear was boring and dowdy, think again! Have a good look around for what’s on offer at the high street shops. Think about your style and what you’ll feel ‘normal’ in, just because you’re pregnant, it doesn’t mean you have to wear something you wouldn’t normally wear. Be practical and think about how you can mix and match to give yourself enough variety without having to buy a whole new wardrobe of outfits.
Embrace your body and enjoy dressing up your bump!
What are your favourite shops for maternity clothes? What sort of outfits do you tend to wear? Do you grudge spending money on maternity wear? Let me know what you think in the comments below, I’d love to know what everyone thinks!