When it comes to pregnancy dressing I know it can be really tricky to accomodate a bump, particularly when it’s your first time and your body shape is constantly changing. However it’s not impossible! You’ll find that you’ll soon discover what’s comfortable and end up in your own groove with what works and what doesn’t. I know I favoured a combination of shift dresses, borrowing Luke’s shirts and cheap and cheerful staples to get me through both of my pregnancies. So if you’re currently struggling with doing maternity dressing, here are a few ladies who will give you plenty of inspo.
Add interest by doing prints and patterns
Often pregnant women shy away from doing anything bold and bright but as Mode Sportif founder Deborah Symond O’Neil shows it can look absolutely gorgeous. A beautiful maxi can become a staple throughout your entire pregnancy.
Embrace a little volume
The most important thing about dressing a bump is that you’re comfortable at all times and this is when voluminous silhouettes can come in handy. However do as Eleanor Pendleton does and try and incorporate a few cinched in elements to avoid looking like your dress is swamping you.
You’ll find that you’ll often wear the same pieces over and over again when you’re pregnant and this is when layering works beautifully to help change things up. Add a great outerwear piece such as a leather jacket or a denim jacket over a dress and you can instantly change it’s vibe.
Accessories are key
You know the one thing that’s (generally) unaffected by a growing bump? Accessories. So whether it’s colourful sunglasses or fun sneakers, they’re the elements that help make pregnancy dressing a whole lot more fun.
Invest in button down shirts
I loved a great button down shirt throughout both my pregnancies. I’d often steal Luke’s as I found men’s shirts to have just the right amount of roominess to them. If you’ve got a partner/friend/brother/dad whose stash you can raid, go for it, otherwise snap up a few shirts but go up a size or two to give yourself some room to grow.
Move your waistline up
A skirt is always a versatile staple to have, so take advantage of an elasticated waist and wear it over your bump. Pair it with a cami for something dressy or a tee for casual wear. Even better, knot a t-shirt or shirt, and pair it with your fave maternity skirt for a look that’s stylish yet practical and comfortable.
If there’s one thing that can throw a curve ball into your wardrobe it’s pregnancy and becoming a mum. All of a sudden your usual fashion repertoire doesn’t always work. Rediscovering your post-pregnancy style can be a matter of trial and error (trust me, I’ve been there) until one day you find just the right mix that works with your brand new life.
Here are some things I’ve learnt along the way…
The reality: You’ll be in between wardrobes for awhile
When I was in that not fully back into work but having to attend the occasional meeting or event here and there that I’d try and fit in between the girls’ schedules I’d be in leisure wear most of the time interspersed with my work wardrobe. I think that’s the thing had to adapt to – that I have to be able to go between the two quite easily so my wardrobe has had to adjust accordingly by being able to be dress up or down with a few strategic tweaks.
You’ll build up new areas of your wardrobe
It’s so important that whatever I’m wearing each day is comfortable as I have the girls with me and end up doing a lot of running around. I’ve learnt to invest in new pieces that I will wear a lot. I used to gravitate towards beautiful heels all the time but now I’ve learnt to build up my flats collection as I’m in them virtually all the time. Nowadays I’m more likely to invest in a pair of slides or a loafer or summer flat as opposed to statement stilettos. I think you need to re-direct your fashion budget towards the pieces you will wear a lot.
Invest in key pieces
I wouldn’t really wear lots of leisure wear before but that’s definitely all changed with my new lifestyle. I did a big shop at bassike to stock up on pieces such as t-shirts and slouchy pants so I can be comfortable but still feel stylish at the same time. I’ve also ensured that my lounge wear options work back with existing pieces in my wardrobe so I can just mix and match. I’ve found myself living in jeans so I have found a pair that works with my current shape and a plain black skirt is also a piece I wear a lot. It just makes it easier to get dressed in the morning if I know I’ve got the right building blocks sitting in my cupboard.
Wash and wear is best
I’ve got zero time to spend on handwashing or ironing clothes these days so if I can just pop it in the washing machine or throw it in the dryer and pop it on then I’m sold. Be sure to read the care instructions on any garments you’re considering buying because despite the fact it might look great, if it requires too much effort to launder it you’ll likely only wear it once and forget about it.
Jackets help dress up an outfit
A denim jacket, a blazer and a leather jacket are all pieces that I’ve found have been post-pregnancy wardrobe friendly. It’s still “me” in that they are pieces I wore before I became a mum but they’re really comfortable and easy to pop on which works with my new lifestyle.
Case in point: at the moment I am into lots of casual, loose cotton dresses due to the comfort factor but I can easily make it look more tailored and polished with a great jacket.
Invest in a great carryall
I have a really beautiful tote that I can throw the girls’ stuff in and fit my computer and everything in it. I’ve found that being a mum, I’m pretty much carrying around half the house with me at all times so I made it a mission to find a great bag that fits everything I use the most.
During both my pregnancies I had to attend a few big events and particularly during the last pregnancy I also had to navigate Fashion Week which was certainly a challenge for my wardrobe! Whether it’s a wedding, a birthday or now that we’re heading into the festive season a slew of Christmas parties dressing up with a bump can admittedly be a little trickier than when you’re you’re usual shape. Here are some things I learned about event dressing when pregnant…
Consider going a size up
Keep in mind that you don’t have to specifically buy a maternity dress you could also consider going a size up to give you more room for your stomach. This is great when you want to buy something from one of your fave labels as you like their styles but don’t necessarily fit into your usual size. I remember buying a dress from Scanlan Theodore who are one of my go-to designers as I really loved the style but I simply bought a bigger size to accomodate my belly.
Voluminous isn’t always good
It can be tempting to go for a billowy dress that simply just “hides” your belly but it’s not always the most flattering silhouette for a pregnant figure. I find that you still need to maintain some degree of shape to what you’re wearing so often something in a stretchy fabric that is quite figure hugging and that shows off your bump is the best style. It’s also super comfortable which is a plus.
If you prefer floaty dresses try adding a belt under the bump to nip in the dress a little and give it some added some shape.
I found adding a blazer or jacket over a dress really helped to give my outfit some structure which in turn looked more flattering. It also gave me a tether to my old wardrobe so helped me feel more confident and “myself” in what I was wearing.
Accessories are key
The one area of your wardrobe that definitely doesn’t get affected with a burgeoning bump is your accessories. A great pair of shoes, a pretty clutch and amazing jewellery are all great for topping off an outfit and giving it a bit more oomph. Plus you know no matter what it’s definitely going to fit!
Don’t spend a fortune
Yes, you want to look great but you also don’t want to spend a fortune on a particular outfit if it’s something that you definitely won’t wear post-pregnancy. I find that ASOS has some great maternity dresses specifically for events that are both on-trend but also budget-friendly. The upside with buying from a maternity range is that whatever you buy, you know it’s been cut to accomodate a bump so there are no issues with fit. Aside from that they also do great casual and work clothes for pregnancy so definitely check out the range if you haven’t already.
Always remember your style
Just because you’re dressing with a bump in mind it doesn’t mean you have to completely change your style. If you usually wear black from head to toe then do it. Yes, your shape may be different but it’s important that you always anchor what you’re wearing back to your usual tastes and style. Remaining true to your wardrobe aesthetic will definitely make you feel more comfortable in anything you wear.
Stuck for event-appropriate pregnancy look ideas?
Here’s a look back at a few What I Wore looks that could definitely work for a big occasion – just tweak and adjust according to your own style!
During pregnancy your body goes through a million different changes so it’s only normal that it’s going to take time for it to settle and go back to its usual shape. I remember trying to squeeze into dresses in my wardrobe post-birth before I realised that it was definitely something that was going to take time and that was okay. Your body has gone through such a massive process over the last nine months, not to mention the birth so it’s just a given that it’s going to take time for it to settle down. Embrace your shape and just marvel at the fact that you’ve done something incredible by growing a tiny human inside of you.
So, how to tackle post-pregnancy dressing? Here are some of my tips:
Wear your maternity clothes
I truly believe that after giving birth there’s absolutely nothing wrong with delving back into your maternity wardrobe. I actually still buy maternity clothes even though I’m not pregnant because I find even if you didn’t put on a lot of weight during pregnancy, especially for me, my hips expand so much and my ribs expand so much so I’m just not my normal shape. I often turn to my maternity jeans and just wear a longer top for an easy go-to look.
Comfort is key
You’ve got a newborn, you’re running around, if there’s ever a time to be comfortable this is it. I love pieces from bassike, especially their loose pants and tees which I find are really comfy but good quality too. There are now some great loungewear options out there so you can be at home in casual clothes but still feel pulled together.
Take your time
Your body is continuously changing the year after pregnancy so there’s no need to rush back into fitting into that corset dress or skinny, skinny jeans. I found when I had Sophia I lived in Bonds maternity singlets. If you’re breastfeeding you can just wear them under something and a nice top over the top and you’re good to go. Slowly over the next few months just wear your maternity pieces and re-introduce your wardrobe back into your style repertoire. It’s a process but you will get there!
Having gone through dressing for a bump twice now I know how tricky it can sometimes be to maintain your style yet still accommodate your changing shape. Also, pregnancy is such a finite period that I didn’t really want to spend a lot of money on pieces that would only work for those few months. I’ve since learned that the key is to find pieces that will work in a maternity wardrobe but still transition quite easily into a post-pregnancy look, that way you’re definitely getting value for money. I’ve found these pieces are great for dressing for a bump and beyond…
1. Billowy blouse
I’ve always been a fan of slightly looser cuts in blouses so they definitely made their way into my maternity wardrobe. The great thing about them is that whilst they’re comfy when you’re pregnant they’re also great for office wear or a slightly dressy function.
2. Tube skirt
Anything with stretch is your best friend during pregnancy. A simple stretchy skirt will easily work back into your regular wardrobe when teamed with a simple tee and sandals or sneakers.
3. T-shirt dress
Loose dresses are great for when you’re pregnant as they’re ridiculously comfortable but don’t discount their value in a post-pregnancy ensemble. A t-shirt dress in a grey marle is extremely versatile as it can work back with virtually every colour in your wardrobe and the relaxed cut is particularly great for those months after pregnancy too.
4. Off the shoulder top
This particular style shows no signs of going away any time soon and should still be quite big this spring/summer season. They’re flattering as they show off your shoulders and décolletage but as they’re so roomy they’ll accommodate your bump too. And as they’re supposed to be worn in a relaxed fit they definitely won’t look out of place in your post-pregnancy wardrobe.
5. Long line vest
Pieces that can be layered such as a long line vest or a sleeveless trench are great throughout pregnancy as it doesn’t matter how your shape changes or how big you get it will still definitely fit. However this style of vest is still very much on trend so you’ll easily be able to wear it long after you’ve had your baby. I particularly loved wearing mine over a shirt and leggings.
6. Crisp white shirt
White shirts should be a permanent part of every woman’s wardrobe. They’re eternally stylish and when worn slightly loose they look particularly chic so they’re a great go-to for those days in your pregnancy when you’re just not sure what to wear. The best part is if you invest in this style of shirt you’ll definitely be wearing it in the years to come.
Want to know the basic building blocks of a good pregnancy wardrobe? Find my list here
Trying to find pre- and post-pregnancy pieces can sometimes be tricky which is why I particularly love this TOME sleeveless trench coat which I can wear open now and wear buttoned up as a dress after the baby arrives. It’s quite a statement piece so I usually opt to keep everything else quite pared back.
My leather leggings (similar: ASOS) are my winter go-to and is the ideal piece for layering underneath more relaxed tops during pregnancy but will definitely be able to live on in my wardrobe even after I’ve given birth. As well as this ASOS maternity singlet, which has been an amazing staple. (For more of my tips on the building blocks of a great maternity wardrobe click HERE.)
I’ve topped this look with my Louis Vuitton scarf for extra warmth and paired it with my cut-out Givenchy ankle boots to help ground the look and give it some edge. I love anything that can be multi-purpose and myJerome Dreyfuss bag works well for day but can easily transition into evening wear with its metallic hardware.
Click below to see my shopping tips to style this outfit for yourself.
Looking to add a little bit of luxe into your winter wardrobe? Say hello to your new best friend – leather pants!
This versatile staple can add a bit of edge to your look and can easily be dressed up or down whether you choose to wear it with a classic white t-shirt or a loose knit. Topping it with a blazer can easily give it some extra polish for an evening event whilst teaming it with sneakers makes it great for everyday casual wear.
Black leather pants will last the test of time but if you are daring enough to try some colour. It’s definitely one way to make a statement. Check out some of my favourite leather options below.
If there’s one thing I solidly shopped around for for months it’s my much-loved Balmain blazer. It’s a purchase I haven’t regretted as it’s the kind of wardrobe staple that’s made many an appearance at many an event and looks like it will continue to do so for years to come. There are so many blazer options out there so when choosing one be sure to look for one made from a long lasting natural fibre such as wool, has structured shoulders to keep its shape, and has a defined silhouette but is roomy enough to allow for easy layering. And you can never go wrong with black.
My ASOS leggings have been a saviour during my pregnancy as not only are they on trend they’re really comfortable which is a must when you’ve got a growing bump. A subtle way to create balance when you are wearing leggings during a pregnancy is to pair it with an oversized top or loose tunic to complement its streamlined silhouette. I have loved this Dion Lee cape blouse because it’s loose enough for maternity dressing but will definitely be able to make its way into my regular wardrobe post-pregnancy.
I’ve worked this look back with my Eddie Borgo choker and Jerome Dreyfuss bag plus my new favourite Alaïa heels. With its unique button-like straps, it adds an additional layer of detailing to an otherwise pared back look.
My DITA cat-eye sunglasses add a playful touch (handy hint: opt for a cat-eye shape if you want to accentuate your cheekbones) and help add the perfect finishing touch to my outfit.
Scroll below to see my shopping options to recreate this look!
For more of my tips on the building blocks of a great maternity wardrobe click here
I love winter fashion as it’s all about layering, luxe fabrics and keeping cosy which is great as I am getting close to the end of my pregnancy and comfort is now definitely key. I have found anything loose now looks too bulky on my frame so more figure-hugging, body con dresses have been my saviour. I particularly loved this Fifth the Label ribbed dress from General Pants as I love wearing soft, neutral tones in winter because I think it’s easy to get carried away with wearing all black so it’s nice to break it up and wear some colour without wearing anything overly bright. This long-sleeved dress has some nice cut-out detail at the elbows and an asymmetrical hemline which gives it a definite point of difference. Plus it’s budget-friendly too!
Coats are obviously a necessity during the cooler months but as a bonus it’s great for throwing on over outfits when you’re pregnant. Wearing a coat gives you a really nice shape while keeping you warm, plus when wearing figure-hugging dresses I can sometimes feel uncomfortable wearing it on its own so coats are great for hiding everything away! Most winter coats tend to be black, navy, grey or camel so I think this Witchery coat stands out due to the beautiful soft beige colour.
Being eight months pregnant I’ve practically been living in flats so white sneakers like this pair from Witchery have become my trusty go-to. They’re very of-the-moment and are perfect for when I have a busy day of appointments or errands and need to have comfy footwear on. I am still loving backpacks as a great alternative to a handbag. It keeps my hands free (perfect for when I’m with Sophia) and it’s definitely easier to carry around than a heavy bag. The ash grey colour of this woven Country Road backpack definitely suits the season and provides a nice contrast to the rest of the neutral tones in my outfit.
P.S. As any mum-to-be knows when faced with an ever diminishing range of wardrobe options knows trawling the stores to update your wardrobe can be an exhausting prospect so I had a winning shopping moment when I realised I could shop all my favourite chain store brands at westfield.com.au without having to spend hours visiting various individual sites online. So believe it or not I actually managed to pull together the above outfit when I had a small window of time up my sleeve. I’m all about ways to save time and being super efficient these days so this was a pleasing discovery.
Pregnancy can be a tricky time for your wardrobe – you have a new shape to accommodate but at the same time you’re only pregnant for a few months so you don’t want to buy lots of new things that you may never wear again. If both my pregnancies have taught me anything it’s that it’s important to buy a few key basics that will work back with my existing wardrobe. I’ve found that armed with these, things like jackets, coats and vests are able to work throughout the entire pregnancy. It’s important to remember that a growing bump doesn’t mean you have to drastically overhaul your wardrobe. You can still maintain your pre-pregnancy style but it’s just about getting creative with how to use what you already own. I’ve honed my maternity shopping list down to a few key items and I guarantee that with these affordable basics you’ll be able to create multiple looks with minimum fuss. After all, you will have enough things to worry about during your pregnancy without throwing a wardrobe meltdown into the mix!
1. Long sleeve shirts
Perfect for layering under a jacket or vest. A jersey crew cut top andlong sleeved top both work perfectly with leggings for an easy fusion of fashion and comfort.
Another great layering piece is the good ol’ singlet which will work for every season. Just make sure you buy them in a stretchy cotton so they can accommodate your growing bump. You can team a singlet with pretty much everything whether it be a pair of shorts in summer or with a leather jacket in winter which makes it the ideal companion during pregnancy.
4. Stretchy skirts
The stretch waist is designed to accommodate all stages of pregnancy so prepare for it to become a key feature of most of your pregnancy wardrobe. I am a fan of this grey ribbedskirt which features flattering side ruching and a flat contrasting waistband that sits just below the bump.
5. Leather leggings
Black leggings are one of the comfiest things you can wear during your pregnancy but sometimes they may not work too well when you need to look a little more dressed up. My dressy alternative is leather leggings. I have lived in them during my pregnancy as the stretchy waistband is perfect for my growing stomach, plus there’s something decidedly chic about them so no matter how I’m feeling I can at least guarantee that my outfit will looked pulled together. Theseleather-look leggings have an over-the-bump waistband for comfort and support. If leather is not your thing a pair of stretchy black pants works equally as well.
I cannot tell you just how much of my pregnancy wardrobe comprises of dresses. I couldn’t survive without them! The best bit is there are so many styles to suit every taste and budget. The ASOS maternity shift dress with 3/4 sleeves is designed to flatter your bump and accommodate your new shape, plus it’s a particularly good dress for work. For a preppy vibe, look for a dress with finishes such as the scalloped collar and cap sleeves on this ASOS dress. Another chic and comfortable choice is this long sleeved dress with a relaxed rolled neckline and soft ruched sides.
Jeans feature heavily in my regular wardrobe so I couldn’t imagine going through pregnancy without them. Luckily there are now some great options for maternity jeans which still look every bit as stylish as their non-maternity counterparts.
Jeanswestdo a great range of maternity jeans which are designed to grow with you during your pregnancy. Thissoft indigo denim is ideal for going casual on the weekend, but they also have other shades such as black and indigo which look a little more dressed up. Best of all, they are available in short, regular and long lengths.
White jeans are great during spring/summer and these white low riseASOS skinny jeans are designed to sit under your bump but if you prefer high rise styles try these mid wash jeans. If you want a more relaxed fit boyfriend jeansare also super comfortable.
Keep your maternity look on trend
After you sort out the essentials, you can invest in a few key trend pieces that will work as maternity wear but will transition into your post-pregnancy wardrobe. Accessories such as a great pair of sunglasses or a lovely handbag can really elevate your look and keep it of the moment and the best bit it is it doesn’t matter how your body changes, they will still work. Case in point: below are some of the key pieces on my shopping list at the moment, and not only are they on trend, they’re also the kind of pieces that can update a maternity wardrobe and transition into motherhood quite easily…