As I stood there in the fitting rooms wedging myself into yet another pair of dark wash, wide leg maternity jeans I began to wonder when I had lost my sense of self and with it my sense of style. With the feet now too swollen for normal shoes and my bottom larger and less manageable than my heaving bump, it was surely a miracle that I hadn’t been chased out of the department store by the uber gorgeous, groomed to perfection, sales assistants.
This was back in 2010 when I was 7 months pregnant with my first child and quickly learning that there wasn’t much in the way of trendy maternity wear (the very words make me shiver). What little there was seemed stereotypical, somewhat dull and not a little frumpy. In my mind I had imagined styling out my pregnancy looking very ethereal and Bottacelli-esque. However, my wardrobe for the second and third trimester (plus a few months after Daisy arrived) comprised of cargo trousers, plain jersey tops or maxi dresses that came from the ‘regular sized peoples’ side of the store in as big a size as I could get my swollen fingers on.
During the second time around, whilst expecting my son, I found that the fashion Gods were slightly more generous. There seemed to be more available for me to wear whilst bounding around in my pregnant state but I certainly wasn’t going to win any awards for ‘styling out the pregnancy’! Didn’t retailers and designers understand that just because I was pregnant I still wanted to look cool, stylish and fabulous at all times but with the addition of an elasticated waist band?
Fast forward to now and it seems most large fashion retailers have realised that all of those women waddling around growing babies still like to wear stylish, on trend, great fitting and of course comfortable clothing. With companies such as Topshop and H&M creating maternity versions of their current season collections and an abundance of brands which focus solely on the design and retail of maternity wear it has become much easier to locate great maternity clothing.
That being said let’s take a look at some of the best places to shop whilst pregnant so that you, unlike me, do not have to suffer in the style stakes! Let’s start with the maternity wear based brands…
Nine in the Mirror was founded by fashion buyer Adriana Chryssicopoulos and online marketer Tatiana de Boisanger who had the idea to create a site dedicated to designer fashion for expectant mothers. The site stocks brands such as Marni, Valentino, Paul & Joe and Citizens of Humanity. What really makes this site unique is the idea that clothing can be worn when pregnant and afterwards so they show the items modelled with and without a bump. Plus you can navigate the site by choosing which trimester you are in which then brings up suitable clothing. Nine In the Mirror is definitely the place to go if you are looking to do maternity wear and do it fabulously!
Isabella Oliver is a renowned maternity wear brand whose designs are classic, flattering and always stylish. They focus on “phenomenal fabrics which fit, flatter and grow as your body does”. Their hope is that you will wear the items long after your pregnancy and one of their most popular pieces, the Granville Maternity Shirt, is definitely something that you can wear after baby has arrived.
Seraphine is a brand that is favoured by many celebrities and even royalty during their pregnancies. Including the Duchess of Cambridge who wore many of their dresses and the Marina Coat (featured above) plus style icon Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet and Mila Kunis to name a few. Not only do they make the most stunning everyday maternity wear but they also have a Luxe range which features Evening Dresses, Maternity Wedding Dresses and Bridesmaid Dresses. Now let’s check out what the high street has on offer…
Topshop’s maternity range is probably the best example of the high street creating maternity versions of their regular collections. This allows mums-to-be to dress on trend and not lose their sense of style and the Gingham Tie Sleeve Top and Embroidered Jeans are a perfect example of this. With a fabulous range of pregnancy jeans and super cool T-Shirts, Topshop has those too cool for school Mum’s covered.
What’s really great about the Next maternity line is the different fits that are available from petite to long leg in trousers and their DD+ range in tops and nursing bras. Not only do they cater for a variety of sizes they also have you covered when it comes to occasion wear, office wear and casual looks. Just like Topshop, Next also deliver a maternity version of their ‘normal’ clothes so you don’t have to miss out. The Gingham Smock is pregnancy (and beyond) perfect with its on trend print and statement sleeves.
H&M’s range focuses on being “comfortably chic with our maternity wear”. The majority of their maternity clothing centers around soft jersey, flowing shirts and loose trousers but they too have on trend pieces such as velvet leggings, a gorgeous trench coat and a stunning frilled blouse.
So, there you have just a few great brands to shop from whilst expecting. I hope that this has helped you and it prevents your pregnancy looking anything like mine did *reminder to self – hide pregnancy photographs*.
A Guest Blog from Charlotte of Styling Out the School Run.
Charlotte Lamb is the creator of Styling out the School Run, a blog and Instagram which focuses on all things fashion & style.
Charlotte graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fashion and went onto work for a number of large brands such as Ted Baker, Oasis and Debenhams as a Creative Manager. Charlotte and her Husband currently live in Lincolnshire with their two young children, Daisy and Charlie.