As the bitter wind and heavy rainfall continues throughout the winter in the UK, those who are currently pregnant have the hard task of creating maternity outfits. As Chloe Malle said, “the idea of four months of trudging through sleet and wind trying to cover my bump chicly, warmly, and comfortably is not an encouraging one.” There is unfortunately a typical approach to maternity wear that comes to mind; buy maternity clothes that will cover your bump and divert attention away from your changing body, wear outfits that allow you to shrink away, and then burn your maternity items in an act of celebration. However, instead of celebrating the fires of retribution, why not celebrate your pregnant body instead, and wear pieces of clothing that shine a light on the wonders of a mother’s body rather than hiding it from the world. That is what we are going to do here, guiding you through the world of luxurious maternity wear.
Avoiding the urge to buy a whole wardrobe of maternity items can be hard, but it is worth it. Whilst there are certain items; like pairs of maternity leggings and shirts to accommodate your bump, and bra’s to accommodate your body preparing for motherhood; which are worth buying just for pregnant life, on the whole you should focus on buying pieces that you like and that you will be able to treasure after your pregnancy and into motherhood.
Dress your bump, don’t get dressed by the bump
Don’t turn your back on your previous sense of style
Whilst pregnancy is a big development in one’s life, and wearing clothes to accommodate your baby bump can feel like an end of an era; that shouldn’t mean that you completely abandon your own independently formed sense of style. You should be trying to find pieces of clothing that fit your fashion scheme and that fit your bump, rather than your pregnancy dictating every little thing that you wear. Try and wear the types of clothing that you used to wear, and just find pieces that are able to do this. If you used to dress in bright neon tops and revealing dresses, you don’t need to suddenly shift to a wardrobe of beige pieces that cover every inch of your body.
The place to start with maternity wear is with the pieces of clothing you wear most. So if you wear jeans all of the time; your focus should be finding a good pair of maternity jeans or following “the elastic band trick”. This is where you turn your favourite pair of well worn jeans into a pair that you can wear when pregnant by putting an elastic band round your top button and threading it through the buttonhole.
For those of you who will be spending much of your time before maternity leave in the office, then a shirtdress like this, that can accommodate your bump comfortably and will remain stylish outside of your pregnancy, is perfect for you.
When you are rushing around doing errands, or just want to wear chic but doesn’t feel out of place on a Tuesday; these Tory Burch track pants which gently rest under your bump are a joy to wear.
Now that we have covered the essential items that you will wear most of the time, we must cover the outfits for when something more luxurious is called for.
When attending a formal occasion, perhaps a visit to the theatre or dinner at a restaurant, finding a flattering maternity dress that shows off your new figure is the best idea. Find something versatile that you can easily dress up, accessorise, or just wear as it is. This navy number is a perfect example, hugging the bump rather than being floaty and trying to hide it.
For times when you want something a bit more exciting, there are colourful dresses like this one that are loose, allow you to move around and are perfect for New Years or Birthday parties when you are both pregnant and beyond!
Finally, if you are lucky enough to be invited to a glitzy media event, such as the Oscars or the BAFTAs, you need to have an outfit that works for an after-dark event. Naomi Smart is an inspiration here, who wore a Cindy Crawford inspired black midi dress with a square neckline that both supported her and allowed her to tap into her more sensual side.
If you can find a similar piece of clothing that celebrates your new curves and you feel comfortable wearing it, then you should wear it! Whether it’s for one of these fancy parties, or just at home when you need a body image boost during your pregnancy.
Hopefully you have found this guide to both every-day and luxury maternity clothing helpful. If your child-rearing days are behind you, you may enjoy our piece on the French fashion icon Philippine Leroy–Beaulieu and her style at age 58.