Saturday 24 February 2018

Essentials for the expectant mum

Pregnant and wondering what the heck to wear? Never fear – style guru Julie Cobbe of Stylefish. ie shows you how to put together the perfect pregnancy capsule wardrobe

Walking in a woman's shoes can be tough at the best of times, throw in a pregnancy and those shoes can feel decidedly tight and uncomfortable.

Gone are the days when your skinny jeans were thrown on with abandon and it felt perfectly normal to blow your wages on the latest little black number.

Now, bump in mind, your guilty pleasure is more likely to be your latest weird and wonderful craving or real silk pyjamas for bedtime.

This emotional rollercoaster ride means we can sometimes forget that if mummy feels great, baby feels great. We may find it easier to reach for frumpy over fashionable just because it is easier. But we also know that when you wear an outfit that makes you feel great, everything else in your day becomes easier.

How you look and how you feel is so inextricably linked that it will mean the difference between mellow, calm, happy mum and stressed, slightly anxious, wanting-this-to-be-over mum. You should enjoy your wardrobe and your shape at this time and revel in its all-expanding glory. You will feel better, you will smile more and you will be much calmer.

For all the joy being pregnant can bring, getting dressed and feeling good seems to be one of the parts women find toughest. Forget the swollen feet, the backaches and the blotchy skin, if we have our wardrobe sorted, life is a breeze.

When it comes to shopping for maternity clothes, affordability, practicality and comfort are key. It is about getting a good capsule that you love and that creates mix and match outfits easily. It is about knowing what to spend more on and what you can spend less on! Here is my step-by-step guide to a stylish pregnancy.


Most women find they don't need to buy maternity clothes until around the three to four month stage. The first signs of pregnancy are swollen and sore breasts, so get yourself a well-fitting bra.

Make sure you get properly measured. Be aware that your size can change up to four (yes four!) times during pregnancy. Also, anything that digs in or pinches can interfere with developing milk ducts. This is one of the most important reasons why you need to spend a little more here. Look to a specialist maternity shop or a department store you trust.


Pregnancy may make your skin sensitive and your body temperature higher than normal so avoid fabrics that could be an irritant such as man-made fibres, (polyester and acrylic). Choose soft natural fibres like cotton as it's breathable and cool, and viscose, which is actually made from tree bark and also cool and comfortable.


As your pregnancy progresses, your tummy will need some support, so invest in a maternity support band that you can strap around your bump. They are designed to take the strain from your lower back. I also love Spanx Power Mama Tights (€39), which will support the tummy and lower back much more than normal tights. A good pair of maternity leggings is a must also. They can be worn under dresses and with long tops and give you lots of comfort and flexibility.

Julie Cobbe is founder of Style Fish, a fashion school which teaches women how to shop smarter, save money and develop their own unique style. More info at

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