The bumpy fashion ride. Maternity clothes, a tent, that’s what went around in my head as soon as I found out I was pregnant.
It’s a moment to cherish when you find out that you are in the club, expecting, bun in the oven. Most women feel elated when that line appears on the pregnancy test kit.
This is my first child so I had no idea what to except. You can read all the books and listen to all the advice, but nothing prepares you for what your body is about to go through, as everyone is different and I mean everyone.
I love my fashion as you may or may not know and follow it to a T. When working as a TV presenter I knew I had to still try and look good in front of the camera and I worried how I was going to do this. Not that I can afford to go out and spend on designer clobber, but I love to window shop and buy those bargains. Now call me shallow, but one of the first questions I ask the Doctor was, ‘when do I need to start wearing maternity clothes?’
I had no idea about just going with the flow and waiting till the stomach expanded. I thought you had to slip into something more comfortable straight away for fear of squashing the baby.
I have been very lucky and really didn’t start to show till about 28/30 weeks. So up until then I just carried on with my usual wardrobe.
I browsed the internet and bought a few things in the sale from ASOS. They looked great when I didn’t have a baby bump. With bump…horrific, I looked as though I had had my tent turned into a dress ‘Sound Of Music Style’.
Trawling through the internet and shops, they are either ugly, expensive and boring. I have never been so deflated buying clothing since a fancy dress party back in 2008.
Here are my tips for maternity wear…
1. Wait till that bump appears so you know what shape and where it will sit on your body. Sounds silly, but everyone is different to start with and your bump will go where it wants to go.
2. Just like any new clothes you will love them at first, but my goodness you will never want to look at your maternity ‘style’ clothes again once that baby has popped out. Or should I say I won’t. So don’t go mad! Why spend a lot of money on something you will only wear for a few months?
3. You will have to try on maternity wear just to see if it does suit you. But if like me, it doesn’t, you will find going up a size or two in ‘normal’ clothes will do the trick.
4 Stretchy fabrics are a god send. You will love the freedom and how they can expand and not put pressure on you. My dresses have been made by my fabulous friend @renekclothing on Instagram (she makes for all the Celebs, check her out) or from River Island. The one in the link I bought for my holidays and now it is in the sale. I did go up one or two sizes, don’t be afraid.
5. Underwear…Most women go up a bra size and mine really do look like hammocks. I still wanted to feel good but didn’t want to splash out too much. I went for a fitting and bought a black and nude to go with the different colours I needed to wear. But BEWARE, you may need to go up again like I have had to. As for knickers, I’ve had to go up a size so not to dig in when wearing stretchy fabrics. I’ve stuck to black and nude to match my new bras. You have to be comfortable but still feel good.
6. I was totally fine with shoes till about a month ago at 34 weeks and my feet started to expand. Gee whizz, they now look like I have borrowed Eddie Murphy’s fat suit from the ‘Nutty Professor’. I live in flip flops even in the rain. I have no idea what I would do if it was winter. I would probably go for Uggs in a larger size to be comfortable.
8. Maternity Bump Bands are great and I know a lot of friends that have worn and worn them. I have bought but never worn. But what has never been off my back is a maternity style slip dress in black and nude. Now sadly these have been discontinued at Topshop. What I recommend is a shape wear slip dress. Don’t be buying the really good, hold/suck you in type. You need to go up a size or two and buy from the cheaper stores such as Primark that don’t have the same level of elastane and therefore don’t pull you in as well. These have been just divine, the hold, but not too tight and you feel so much better under tighter fitting clothes.
9. Earrings and necklaces for jewellery as everything else is too tight. These have made me feel good when dressing up to go out for lunch of dinner. This doesn’t cost as you will raid your own jewellery box.
10. Nobody wants the dreaded stretch marks, something I was very concerned about. You have probably heard many pipping on about how great BIO OIL is. Well, it is, but for me, a little expensive as I was not wanting to use sparingly. I also found it made me itch. A friend recommended Johnson Aloe Vera Baby oil and that is what I have used every morning and night and not been afraid to pour it on.
When having to host in Trafalgar square for London Gay Pride I didn’t know what to wear. I decided once again on non maternity, but going up a size or two. Here is a behind the scenes footage from the day…
Make yourself feel good, paint those nails until you can’t no more because of the bump, then treat yourself. What about a foot massage? Your hair could be in the best condition it has ever been, so flaunt it.
Good Luck, I hope this helps, but remember you will be different as all women are. If you need any more advice feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t feel like you have to become a frumpy mum, be proud and show that bump!