Pregnancy - Dressing the bumps

Despite my extensive google searches, when the waistband began to stretch and it was time to start putting beloved clothes away for a while, the search for maternity clothing options was a bit of a bleak concept. I’ve read of many women in the media saying that they had no problems avoiding maternity clothes and just being clever with dressing – no such luck for me I’m afraid, the bump wasn’t really having it.

So I’ve created a bit of a list from my intensive scrolling and wardrobe analysis, in the hope it might help others in a similar situation, for bump and beyond, through all the stages and varying waistbands...

 

The underwear:

Those who know me well will know that underwear is a key component/addiction within my wardrobe, so this was always going to be tricky. Going from incredibly delicate triangle bras to full on “boulder-holders” was quite a shock to the system, literally.  

I’m afraid comfort has well and truly taken over, for now, but the cut, comfort and room to grow that these brands have provided are hugely appreciated:

Boody – bamboo underwear – the comfort level is hard to describe.

Monki – longline lace bras and hotpants that feel great and look pretty lovely too.

Weekday – slightly padded T’shirt bras keeping things upright and not weighing a tonne.

Bodas – ‘Rarified basics’ is a bit of an understatement. One of Positive Luxury’s brands to trust, the cut of Bodas underwear is a dream, the colours brilliant and the fabrics, second to none.

Stella McCartney – The most feelgood of the list, an effective way to feel slightly normal and to love the curves. The soft cup bras have such great patterns and the cut/strap is great for increasingly larger boobs. The Outnet has plenty of different options, go up in the sizes as you need to (worth going up in knickers too, just to avoid the inevitable muffin top).

Nursing bras are another story – one to be shared soon…

 

The trusty ones:

The items of clothing that were already dearly loved, that have made what to wear slightly easier…

Denim jacket by Madewell – great with just about everything.

Cashmere poncho jumper from N Peal – superfine, great for “feeling bloated” before the big announcement and for those delicate moments along the way.

Anything by Joseph - The dresses have been brilliant, skimming everything in a way that doesn't feel too, anything. The crepe shift dresses and cotton midi dress have all made numerous appearances - great for feeling special at the weekend and comfortable running around for work. Not to mention my “boss coat”, a term coined by the mister, who assures me the bump merely accentuates the "boss factor" – the cocoon shape has been a godsend. 

Silk shirt dress, By Malene Birger – it’s certainly been hard to feel pretty, elegant or even attractive at times, but this silk dress has seen me through the worst of these moments and has always had the loveliest of compliments – the tie belt made for a convenient empire line and has meant it’s grown with me. Suitable for hen dos and steak nights alike, FYI.

 

The thankfuls:

What would I have done without these bump-friendly brands?

H&M Basics – As much as I tried to fight it, H&M is brilliant for forgiving jersey – thankfully there are a few ‘Conscious’ bits within this category, so almost acceptable/a bit of a guilty pleasure for the environmentally conscious of us.

Topshop Maternity & ASOS Maternity – more guilty pleasures, but when things grow at this rate, needs must! Brilliant for pieces that don’t break the that actually fits – I have a lot to thank these two for right now.

APL Trainers – needs must and anything with a heel had to go away from a while – walking around London meant trainers were going to be pretty key - these have made me feel like a comfortable boss lady and are “sick”. Winning.

Arket – The arrival of this minimalistic dreamland has been warmly received in our house. For our second wedding anniversary (for which cotton is the traditional gift) the mister treated me to the most phenomenal pima cotton waffle dressing gown (it covers the entire bump – a minor miracle) and a set of their pima cotton underwear – treasured now and will last for years to come. In addition, the knitwear is brilliant. I’m hooked.

COS – the perfect solution for the weeks of bump-hiding and before things got huge (thus, the lack of photos of me in the shirt).

Seraphine – At about 28 weeks, my maternity jeans were starting to feel a bit tight on the lower part of the bump (it’s a big bump, in case that wasn’t clear). The ‘treggings’ from Seraphine could be the most comfortable things I’ve worn for a while – the over bump panel is made from a microfibre fabric – amazing for the increasingly uncomfortable weeks ahead…

 

The treats:

For those moments when hormones are high and the everyday needs to be something a bit more special… 

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The Summer dress - Filippa K maxi trapeze dress – Purchased as a treat during our trip to Copenhagen in June, my yellow dress has quickly become a favourite with the wondrous men in my life – “You look like magical sunshine” was a comment that will forever make me smile. Whilst the bump makes it look like it’s a maternity gown of sorts, it’s something I can’t wait to get out next Summer to recreate those sunshine vibes.

The wedding outfit - Reversible maxi dress, KalitaWe happened to have three incredibly special big days to celebrate this year, so outfits were being considered a while ago. One of which was a bridesmaid’s dress which took care of what to wear, but fitting into it was another story (Joe Allen does great alterations, FYI). In the weeks before an utterly magical big day, the bump was of a size that had people looking at me with quite a concerned reaction, so to stave off any insecurities on my part and to make sure people weren’t staring at my bump during every conversation, I needed a dress that did a lot of talking. This Kalita dress did that and more – I was comfortable and felt really special – another one that works for maternity and beyond, so I can’t wait to get this out again – it even has its own waitlist of girlfriends wanting to borrow it… Success.

Bump-friendly jersey tops from Isabella Oliver – Hopefully I hid this quite well, but there was a point over a few weeks (around 20-24 weeks) where I was caught out by a bump growth spurt and my tops didn’t quite cover things entirely, slightly reminiscent of a long night in a pub, when muffin top and beer guts start to make an appearance. Thankfully the summer sales were just beginning, so I took the plunge and invested – I only wish I’d done it sooner, the neckline is lovely and they are long enough to hide the bump and grow with it – a true necessity.

Cashmere Shawl from Nihao Planet (plenty of photos of this on my Instagram) – a birthday treat from the mister that is so soft it feels like it stops time for a second – the feel and the colour calm me in equal measures, so feminine. Such a gentle colour, made with 100% Mongolian cashmere – an absolute treasure.

 

So, whilst this list will never cover every situation, or the times an outfit simply won’t cover the insecurities some of us feel over these magical months, I hope it helps a little.

 

What’s your go-to outfit? What are your favourite bump-friendly brands? Are you a brand that needs to go no this list? Please feel free to share in the comments!