Don’t ditch your signature look
When faced with an ever-changing body, it’s tempting to ditch everything you know. Pre-pregnancy, you might flaunt your figure in a tailored dress or a pencil skirt. Yet, a common mistake is to think that you have to ditch your signature look. “Pregnancy is not the best time to experiment with styles. If a tailored look is ‘you’, try a figure hugging jersey or go for kaftans or maxi-dresses for a looser, more relaxed look,” suggests Helen Hughes, 36,company director of Madderson London, www.maddersonlondon.com and mum to Henry, 1 month, Holly, 2, and Olivia, 5.
Shop at maternity stores
Stretching your current wardrobe (literally) as far as you could was good during the first half of your pregnancy, when your bump was smaller. But this doesn’t mean you can’t go shopping, too. To start, try fashion hotspots like Topshop and Asos Maternity, which don’t just offer of-the-moment-togs, but comfortable ones at that. There are also loads of maternity wear stores here offering versatile apparel like Mothers en Vogue.
Dress to suit yourself
Everyone assumes you’ll head straight for huge, shapeless pieces. No, thanks. They might look super-comfy, but they might also make you feel like you’ve surrendered your fashion identity. If you wouldn’t usually wear it, don’t try it now. Hughes points out, “Women make the mistake of buying maternity ‘uniforms’, so it is no wonder they feel they’ve entered a style rut.” Dorothy Loh, the mother of three who is behind Dote Nursingwear, www.dotestudio.com advises, “There’s no need to make a sudden switch. Regardless of what you wear, merely re-think proportions — for instance, go for a longer top or a lower neckline to enhance your blossoming figure.
Get big pieces
If you really can’t face the thought of maternity ranges, head back to your favourite stores and buy big. The key is to find a shape that works for you and move up a couple of sizes. “I liked bodycon dresses and fitted tops that accentuated my bump. I found them more flattering than loose, tentish styles, especially for petite women,” Loh recalls. And, just because you’re pregnant, it doesn’t mean you can’t still get the latest trends, so check out the maternity basics at H&M.
Choose maternity jeans
If you only buy one thing now, make it maternity jeans. “Showing off your legs while pregnant is a great way of maintaining proportion and creating an illusion of a neat little bump,” Hughes notes. The right ones will be comfortable and look good all the time — and don’t be afraid to pair them with everything, from heels to slippers. There are two types — ones with a stretchy waist-band that go over your bump, and ones that come with a band that sits under it.
Don’t be afraid to accessorise
Whatever your outfit, bags and shoes will complete the look. Hughes recommends, “Try a simple outfit with a pop of colour, like a plain white T-shirt with a neon-orange clutch. Or invest in bold statements like a pair of metallic gladiator sandals or detailed earrings.” As a plus, you can use them even after pregnancy. You can also accessorise with other details, like jewelled hair pieces, bright lipstick and nail art. You shouldn’t mess with your innate sense of style, but try experimenting with the smaller aspects of your look.