Maternity fashion: Top items for your wardrobe
A wrap top, which will work right throughout your pregnancy as it can be altered as you grow.
A soft pair of denims with an expandable waist.
A wrap dress and a maxi dress. Dresses will be your best friend. There is no thinking about top and bottom halves, just one item, full length, simple!
A cape style coat or throw over wrap that will work during and after your pregnancy ( Ted Baker and Debenhams always have a good selection).
Good-quality cashmere jumpers and cardigans that are a little longer. They are smart, ultra soft and comfortable.
Flat leather boots. Shoes can be a nightmare when pregnant. You may not feel like heels all the time and good boots can be worn with dresses, skirts and trousers.
Invest in a few quality items that will wash, wear and last, and buy every few weeks to ensure clothes fit you all through your pregnancy, rather than all at once.
Throw a clothes-swapping party. Ban all men from your house, and invite round your pregnant friends, plus those who are already mums.
The latter should have maternity clothes they feel more than happy to part with, and might like to borrow some of your clothes. The swap does not need to be permanent.
When it comes to specialist maternity wear I don't think it is necessary for all of your wardrobe. However, for leggings, support tights, underwear and jeans you will find a difference in the quality and support that is worth its weight in gold for those nine months!
Do enjoy being pregnant! Experiment with a new world of fashion. Don't try to cover your bump, show it off in shapely items that make you feel comfortable. There are some great websites that specialise in maternity wear only and the high street seems to be finally opening its eyes to pregnant women also.
Treat yourself to some lovely accessories. They stick by you through fat and thin days and they tell the world how fabulous you are before you've even said a word. They also allow you to put your unique mark on your simple basics and can make an outfit feel 'done'.
Use the internet to ask questions. There are so many great blogs, research tools and sources of information out there now, don't be afraid to use them!
Buy clothes in your normal size, not a size up. Do not be afraid of colour while pregnant. In fact studies show wearing brighter colours and patterns during your pregnancy makes you livelier and hence your baby happier.
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 www.stylefish.ie
Mother & Babies