Your Essential Guide to Maternity Fashion

Want to know what’s hot and need to know where to get it? Look no further because this is your essential guide to all things maternity!

How To Dress Your Bump This Autumn

 The Great Gatsby has been a big influence on fashion recently with a nod to the style of the ’20’s filtering through, but how does that translate into maternity fashion?

Well, how about the gorgeous Ikat Shift Dress from Crave Maternity, pictured below.  A simple, short shift dress featuring a high crew neck and short sleeves. It skims over the hips and bump and the back features a keyhole button opening. This pretty little dress could be yours for £95 and can be easily worn with pumps for a daytime look or dressed up with a pair of heels for a special night out.

                                                                                                   

Also, this season, you’ll  be overjoyed (or not) to know that pink is the new black, but it doesn’t have to be gaudy. Jojo Maman Bebe have this elegant and easy to wear maternity wrap top (below) which drapes across the bump and has ties to adjust as you grow. Although normally priced at £26 it is currently on sale for just £7 and is available in a range of six different colours, so get in there before you miss out on a bargain!

Then, for the perfect office look, team this with the black double button tailored jacket, another classic from Crave, for a stylish and contemporary day-to-day workwear staple, priced at £65.

                                                                                                        

 

Of course, our weather being what it is, no outfit is complete without over/outer wear, and the key word for Autumn 2013 is oversized, which is just fabulous for those of you in the family way. Take, for example, this long cotton and cashmere maternity cardigan, a lovely long, super soft and ultra flowing addition to your wardrobe. You’ll be able to wear this cardigan now and throughout winter and it will give you all the comfort and style you’ve come to expect. It is available in three different colours and is currently on sale with 20% off from Vertbaudet for £31.20.

 

And finally, the piece de resistance – the all essential Autumn/Winter coat.

This maternity swing peacoat from Jojo Maman Bebe will easily see you through the winter. It has a stylish double breasted design, with a flattering A-line shape and a stand collar. This coat gets excellent reviews from those who’ve worn it and the £65 price tag makes it a very affordable addition to your Autumn/Winter maternity wardrobe.

 Now, I would say winter is coming fast and furious, but that’s not strictly true. This year it is sort of just creeping in, so there is still plenty of time to stock up on all those wardrobe essentials and if money is an issue for you, then why not keep your eye out for the fantastic amazing exclusive deals that come our way in our special offers section, especially if you feel that the price tags are a little high just at this minute!

 

Maternity Maxi Dresses

 

For example, a floaty figure skimming maxi dress is the perfect way to disguise any unwanted lumps and bumps. This gorgeous Maternity Black Aztec Bandeau Maxi Dress is a prime example, it is bang on trend with it’s monochrome aztec pattern which will make you stand out in any crowd while covering and flatterning at the same time. This dress is available at New Look and is a snip at just £22. It is just the type of dress I’d take to a festival!

 

On from festivals to festivites. We are slap bang in the middle of wedding season and if you’re lucky enough to get invited then a maxi dress is perfect wedding attire. This stunning Florence Maternity Dress is the ultimate glamour maternity dress, with it’s high neckline, gathered styling and maxi length. It can be bought from Isabella Oliver, a little pricey at £205.99, but so worth it and it comes in scarlet or cobalt blue. 

 

 

Then from spcial day to every day, there doesn’t have to be a reason to wear a maxi dress, it’s just a fabulously comfy addition to your wardrobe for every day wear. Just look at this Special Day Maxi from Boden, the prefect way to celebrate your bump in style. It has a neat, knotted detail at the bust and a tie detail at the back.  It will fit you throughout your pregnancy and can be yours for £89

 

Then, staying with every day wear, a new style of maxi dress has emerged on the high street, and that is the vest dress such as this Mamalicious Black Yasmin Maxi Dress from New Look, it’s simple and classically elegant but, a word of warning, this dress is not for the faint hearted. It is figure hugging and there’s nowhere to hide any bits you’re not best pleased with, it’s designed to dress your bump rather than hide it and it’s a steal at just £22.

 

Maternity fashion and style goes hand-in-hand with celebrity maternity fashion and style, naturally. There are some stars who get it so right and there are those who get it horribly, horribly wrong.

Someone who rarely gets it wrong is Halle Berry, and here she is looking fabulous and glamorous at a recent awards ceremony. She has, so far, not put a pregnant foot wrong in the style stakes. You could recreate her look with ease for that special occasion and, looking as she does, why wouldn’t you want to?!

At the other end of the scale we have Kim Kardashian.

Oh my goodness, Kim’s pregnancy must be the most talked about celebrity pregnancy ever and for all the wrong reasons. She has just not been able to get to grips with maternity fashion at all, as shown when she stepped out in this horrendous, for want of a better word, tent dress. You would think that with access to the amount of money she has and a clutch of stylists never more than a phone call away that she couldn’t help but get it right but it just goes to show, money can’t always buy style!

Too big for normal clothes but too small for maternity clothes – ‘Tween Time!

 Most of us have a maxi dress or two tucked away in the back of the cupboard waiting patiently (or not) for the first signs of summer. Maxi dresses can be very forgiving around the belly area and (in my experience, anyway) are one of the most comfortable things to wear, pregnant or not.

Now, I know the weather isn’t forgiving right now but with a little bit of accesorising there is no reason why you can’t wear a maxi dress during your ‘tween time. A nice little cardigan, a cute pair of ballet pumps and Bob’s your uncle. Best of all, these things are all probably already part of your collection so, hopefully, won’t cost you a penny!

Another cheap option for you if your trousers/skirts are getting a little, shall we say, gappy is to use an elastic band to loop through the clothes so that you can give yourself a little bit more room and time before having to shell out for the next stage. Along with this, if you are in any way handy with a needle you could always take buttons off and move them a little bit to add a few much needed inches.

Keeping with the free theme, leggings are a staple of most wardrobes, maternity or otherwise, I know I have my fair share of them lying in wait for my fat days. Even if you have to buy them, they are cheap, forgiving and, teamed with the right top, can look fabulous!

This leads nicely on to the next pre-maternity wear essential items, floaty tops. They’re all over the high street at the minute so there’s a good chance that you have at least one of these already at home. They are a great match to leggings, comfortable to wear and cover the belly without squeezing, so another great addition to your ‘tween time wardrobe.

Moving on to items that you probably will have to buy if all else fails – a belly band, aka bump band, bella band etc is a great little ‘tween time staple. These slip round the tummy, effectively disguising the fact that your clothes are no longer behaving as they should. If you do have to invest in one of these it shouldn’t set you back too much, if you shop wisely you should be able to pick one up for between £5 and £10, so still not a bank breaker. You can pick bump/belly bands up from Funkybump, of course, but if you want to shop further La Fee Noire also have a selection, as do bumpband.co.uk and Mothercare, to name but a few. There are no shortage of stockists out there!

 

My final words of ‘tween time wisdom, if nothing else has worked for you and you find yourself clicking into maternity collections then look for clothes with elasticated, adjustable waists. There are loads of them out there, in fact a great company for this type of maternity clothes is Funmum. Not only will you be able to wear them at this stage but also throughout the pregnancy and for the months after when you’re getting back to your old self, in your own time, of course!

These are just a few suggections for those of you currently going through ‘tween time. I hope they help and, if so, then why not pass them or let me know what steps you took to put off buying maternity clothes x 

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Maternity Workwear – Office Chic

So let’s talk about maternity trousers. There is so much choice out there no matter what your shape and size which will take you through all the stages of pregnancy in comfort and with support and care.

Just take a look at these super supportive Tailored Trousers from Funmum. These are their best selling pair of maternity trousers, have a fully adjustable waistband and provide you with that all-important bump support. The great thing about these trousers is that they come in three leg lengths, in UK sizes 8 to 20 and are currently available with a 25% discount, so you can pick a pair of these for the bargain price of £29.25………

workwear maternity trousers

workwear maternity clothes

workwear maternity skirt

Or maybe you’re more of a skirt girl, in which case this comfy Black Linen Maternity Pencile Skirt from Jojo Maman Bebe is the choice for you. It’s flattering shape is slimming around the hips and the cool linen material makes it perfect as a summer work outfit. This chic maternity skirt is available for £29 and comes in sizes 8 to 18.

 

Moving on to dress the upper body, if you favour a shirt for work then have a look at this uber chic White Ruffle Blouse from Crave – 

This gorgeous top has deep button cuffs and belt loops to hold a thin belt over your bump. It looks fabulous worn with black trousers but can also easily be transformed from day to evening wear with addition of a pair of killer heels (if you still feel comfortable doing so) and skinny jeans. You can buy this maternity shirt for £66 but Crave are currently offering 15% discount when you spend over £60 with the code JUNE15P, as well as free delivery on all orders over £60.

workwear maternity shirtIf, however, your budget won’t stretch far enough to afford this maternity shirt then there are cheaper alternatives, such as the maternity White Crossover Shirt from New Look. It is a fraction of the price of the one above, coming in at just £14.99 and with a tie-waist detail. The short sleeves make this the perfect maternity blouse for the summer months!

 

 

And so, to finish the look, because, as we all know, the UK weather just won’t allow us to go without a jacket for too long, I’ve gone back workwear maternity jacketto Crave for this Smart Button Front Jacket. This classic single breasted double button tailored jacket provides a formal workwear look while the detailing on the shoulder gives the jacket a contemporary feel. This maternity jacket is available  in sizes 8 to 20 and is £90 but again the discounts I talked about earlier would apply.

workwear maternity coatOr, if you prefer a longer style coat then have a look at this Noppies Cube Trenchcoat, again from Crave

This 3/4 length trench coat with six buttons and functional belt with metal buckle is perferct for the cooler weather. Functional pockets and shoulder and cuff detail make this the perfect coat.

It comes in at £119.95, again with discounts, and is available in sizes 8 to 14.

 

Now, in all honesty, for examples of fabulous maternity workwear I could have found clothes from any one of a dozen companies online and also available on the high street to show you because there is so much choice out there but I hope that the pieces I have highlighted here give you, if nothing else, an idea of the good quality maternity work clothing that’s available.

maternity wear hire

Maternity Clothes – Cheaper Alternatives

If you’re shopping on a budget then New Look is a very good option with inexpensive maternity fashion for everyone. They have come up with some wonderful maternity clothes to dress your bump in fuller fashion. 

More importantly, they have taken into consideration the fact that no woman stays pregnant forever and have provided cheap maternity fashion, with the knowledge that these items may be just a temporary measure.

Alternatively, and perhaps an option that you would never even have considered, you could hire your maternity clothes. Really! There are companies out there that allow you to do just that. Now, I’m not talking every day clothes but if you have a special occasion coming up and you can’t justify spending a huge amount of money on an outfit that you will literally never wear again then this could be the answer to your prayers.

maternity wear hireSwellegant.co.uk have a choice of around 60 maternity outfits suitable for weddings, evenings out and black tie events and they even maternity wedding dressstock maternity wedding dresses!

The black sequined dress pictured here on the left is a full length black sleeveless dress. It is made up of two layers (one sheer, one solid) and has discreet ties at the back and one button at the back of the neck. It also comes with plain black matching shawl. You can hire it for just £35

The Ivory wedding dress, pictured right, is a fully lined sleeveless empire line dress with fold-over sweetheart neckline and ruching at the bust. Discreet ties at the back and a small train. It is available in size 12 and it could be yours to rent for just £75

 

So, how else could you keep your maternity wardrobe up-to-date on a budget? 

There are, of course, auction sites such as ebay  where you could be lucky enough to pick up some real bargains for a fraction of the normal price but one other company I would like to introduce is maternityexchange.co.uk 

They sell quality new and nearly new maternity clothes at discounted prices. It boasts of being the UK’s largest maternity clothes Dress Agency and Clearance outlet since 1999 and has 1000’s of second hand and nearly new high street and designer label maternity clothes from recent mums from all over the UK. 

maternity exchangeTake, for example, this peach and white empire line dress, manufactured by Jesland and with a recommended retail price of £50. You can buy this maternity dress on the maternity exchange website for only £8.

Or, how about this chocolate brown & cream flower print short sleeve breastfeeding top with v-neckline. This is a Mothers En Vogue creation and second hand maternity clotheswould normally retail at £25 but can be bought from the maternity exchange for the bargain price of £10!

Of course this site isn’t just good for buying, it is also a fantastic way to offload your maternity clothes when you’re done with them. Once your item sells maternity exchange will give you 40% of the sale price but the company will only pay out once your total reaches £50.

If you are interested in buying or selling maternity clothes and would like more information then simply visit the website at www.maternityexchange.co.uk

 

new-look

Why Not Check Out……

New Look have developed a classy and trend hitting range of maternity clothing to keep you in fashion all the time. In fact their maternity wear is so chic, it can be adapted it from day to night with just a touch of glam lipstick or spiced up with matching accessories. 

Maternity Tops

When you’re blooming the last thing you want to do is shadow your glowing radiance in dull and drab clothes. For that reason New Look have come up with some wonderful maternity tops to dress your bump in fuller fashion.

floral printed topTake, for example, this wonderful Maternity Floral Printed Shell Top featuring a pleated neck detail and sleeveless design, perfect for a summers day (if we ever get one!). You can buy this top for just £19.99 and it is available in sizes 10-18.

New Look have invested time and effort into providing cheap maternity tops because they know that no one stays pregnant forever. Thye know that one of the tried and tested ways to extend the life of you clothes is to wear floaty tunics that will be with you far beyond your pregnancy, and this top is a perfect example of this.

Best of all, if you buy your accessories while you’re there, which is easily done, then it’s free delivery to your local store for all orders over £20! 

 

Maternity Trousers and Shorts

When going through the varying and sometimes uncomfortable stages of pregnancy, your body needs support, comfort and care. To keep your bump happy, New Look have designed some lovely luxurious maternity trousers and shorts.

Maternity trousers 

pleat front trousersNew Look incorporate all that is at the forefront of fashion into the designs for their maternity wear. Their maternity trousers and maternity shorts are modelled on the trends of-the-moment, and they keep abreast of those staple items like the black maternity trousers with classic tailoring that no wardrobe should be without. For any mood and for any day, they have a maternity trouser to suit. The hareem pant, the button down trouser, and the familiar and cosy jogger are all on offer. Knowing that every woman likes to look her best, at all times, and being pregnant should in no way mean you have to sacrifice anything in the style stakes is intrinsic in their designs.

Just look at these Front Pleat Trousers. Not only are they a steal with a current price of £10 but they are bang-on-trend too. Smart black trousers with a pleat down the front, you have to get in fast with these – they are selling out fast with just sizes 14-18 left

 

Maternity Dresses

maternity paisley print maxi dressThe maternity dress – probably one of the easiest items of clothing to wear when you’ve fallen pregnant, and a way of keeping a feeling of lightness and femininity. The nature of the design lends itself to the bumps and lumps you develop whilst expecting your baby. But don’t think that comfort has to mean scrapping the best that is in fashion. New Look’s maternity dresses are designed to look as stylish as anything you might have worn pre-pregnancy, and are as elegant and glamorous as their counterparts.

I mean, who could resist this fabulous Maternity Paisley Print Maxi Dress. It is so fantastic and exclusive that it is available online and in flagship stores only, but again so amazingly good value it is almost irresistable.

The dress is paisley patterned in rich purple, blue and gold hues with a flattering empire waist, a plunging neckline and thick shoulder straps for support. Unbelievably, you can buy this dress for just £24.99 and because there is free delivery to your local stores for items over £20 you won’t have to pay a penny extra. How’s that for a bargain?!

 

 

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Essential Capsule Maternity Wardrobe

Firstly, don’t be afraid to spend a little bit more on these items, they will become your staple pieces both during your pregnancy and beyond (maybe far beyond depending on how long it takes to lose the pregnancy weight).

Secondly, unless your bank balance allows for a decent clothes budget every month don’t be too tempted to go for the latest styles, better to keep things classic and adaptable, i.e. wearable with lots and lots and lots and lots and lots…..(you get the picture) of other clothes.

My next point is one you will hear me say more than once due to its extreme importance, and it is this – you absolutely must think ahead when it comes to your pregnancy. In this case I’m referring to the time of year during which you find yourself pregnant. For example, if you find yourself pregnant during the summer months you might not have to buy anything more than a maternity cardigan for over your clothes, but if your pregnancy encompasses winter be prepared to have to shell out for a good coat. You might not see the point in this but bear with me, I will come back to maternity coats, for now let me just say that even if you do have to spend more than you would have liked on this particular item of clothing you can always recoup some of your money by selling them when you no longer need them to auction sites or companies which sell second-hand maternity clothes, and there are a few of them out there.

Speaking of cheap options brings me nicely to my next point and this one is very close to my own heart – accessorise! It doesn’t matter what it is, a scarf, a pair earrings, a bag or necklace, all accessories work and they will extend your wardrobe exponentially. This is my cheap cheat when expanding your wardrobe (any wardrobe!)

My next pearl of wisdom is one of the absolute don’ts of wearing maternity fashion. Don’t EVER be tempted to just buy the next size up in normal clothes. Maternity clothes are designed for the pregnant figure and a lot of clever people spent a lot of time and energy creating clothes to make you look a-maz-ing while you are pregnant. Buying a size up is just cheating you and them, and you will be doing yourself absolutely no favours!

The last thing I want to say is more of an aside, a reminder if you like. A small minority of truly blessed women spring back into their pre-pregnancy clothes the second they give birth but the rest of us mere mortals could find ourselves in pregnancy clothes for anything up to a year after the birth. My point being, thinking ahead again, your maternity clothes may not just be your staple wardrobe items for the duration of your pregnancy so choose carefully.

So, now to the important bit, the clothes………

1. The Maternity Bra

A well fitted bra is always essential but never more so than during pregnancy. A good bra will support your breasts as they change (and, trust me, they will change) and maintain your shape. I would suggest that you get fitted professionally and many stores, such as Debenhams, will offer this service free of charge.

           bra extender Now, I know as well as the next girl that money is tight at the moment so you might have to save up to buy a really good bra, in the meantime why not invest in a bra extender. A pack of 3 will cost you just £5 at Debenhams. I must stress that this should only be a short term solution, the benefits of getting the proper bra far outweigh the expense and, as soon as your old bra becomes uncomfortable, you must swap it for one that fits.

           maternity bras I should warn you that you may find that your boobs will get bigger long before your belly catches up, around weeks 8 to 10 (I know, yikes!) and when choosing your bra make sure you choose the one that’s right for you. Many experts will tell you to avoid under-wired bras, purely from a comfort perspective but I (being rather larger in that department than the average girl) found that, during my pregnancies, the under-wire gave me support that I would not have had with a soft cup. BUT, that was my own personal choice and you’ll find what works best for you in your own time!

The last virtue I will extol on the subject of bras is to be prepared, your changing shape may mean that you will go through more than one bra size change (and here we are thinking ahead again) you must take into consideration your post-pregnancy body. Referring to the point I made before, you may not be lucky enough to ping back into shape the day you leave the hospital (in fact, there’s a really good chance you won’t)!

2. Essential Underwear

Maternity underwear and maternity bras are, to me, a bit like the chicken and the egg – which came first? Who cares, the point is that they are both essential, so don’t skimp on either! I think if you dress well from the inside you will feel great on the outside. Sadly, people often underestimate the value of good, well fitted underwear.

So, what to consider?

maternity underwearAnd again with the planning, essential when it comes to underwear because you need to consider the potential for expansion (and I don’t mean an extension to the house). Think big nights out, slinky (or as close as you can get when pregnant)dresses, figure hugging finesse. If any of this starts ringing alarm bells then you and I both know that you are going to need scaffolding! So, check the diary, any weddings, parties or soiree’s in the offing while you’re pregnant – need I say more?!

If thongs are your thing then don’t think you need to sacrifice them at this point. Stick to what you know and love, maternity companies have put a lot of thought and effort into catering for all of us or in other words there is underwear out there to suit us all.

            And, while we’re on the subject of thongs, I should also say that you will find many companies leaning towards these mini marvels for pregnant women. I’ve thought about the reasoning for this and my theory is that if, at the end of the day, you can’t be as comfy as you’d like then you might as well wear something that’s designed to go in places no other underwear can reach (No?). Anyway, I may be wrong but I’m not a fan of this particular genre of under-garment for that very reason so I’ll leave it to those in the know.

            Now there are those who shun convention completely and (wait for it) Go commando! It actually isn’t as unpopular a choice as you might imagine. Honestly some women just prefer to enjoy the freedom.

P.S. On the Q.T. I have also heard of women swapping to men’s undies and, having been there (pregnant) done that (again, pregnancy – not the underwear thing)I would definitely say – whatever works!

3. Good shoes

Putting together the perfect capsule maternity wardrobe is a bit like building a house. You have to get the foundations right and, after the underwear, the next essential is the right pair of shoes (I know, music to all our ears). Shoes can make or break an outfit, and the wrong shoes could break you back!

            There are people who have no issue wearing heels during pregnancy and I salute them. You only have to look at pregnant celebrities in any magazine or newspaper to see how it can be done. If you are one of those people the only thing I would suggest is carry a little pair of pumps with you at all times (balance is an issue at the best of times during pregnancy, add a pair  of Jimmy Choos to the mix and you have a recipe for a lot of unnecessary discomfort).

            I admit that during my own pregnancies I was the queen of comfort, so much so that I have found it very difficult to get back into heels post-pregnancy even to this day (6 years later). The wonderful thing is that there are so many pretty pumps, flat shoes, court shoes etc out there that there is no reason to sacrifice fashion for comfort in choosing the right shoe, fact!

4. Maternity Jeans

maternity jeansFor most women, jeans are the staple of every wardrobe and, during pregnancy, there is no reason to do things any differently. A pair of well fitted jeans should always be the staple of your capsule wardrobe. Just remember that the fit will be as different as night and day depending on which style you choose, so don’t be afraid to try before you buy or, if buying online, check the companies returns policy thoroughly.

            Now, repeating the absolute no-no, Do Not be tempted to just buy the next size up, buy jeans in your pre-pregnancy size but be absolutely sure to buy maternity jeans (that’s what they’re there for).

As with normal fashion, there are maternity jeans out there to suit every shape and size but I would definitely recommend buying more than one pair to accommodate your changing shape.

5. Maternity Dresses

When it comes to maternity dresses forget the shape you used to have and start shopping for the shape you are now. You might find that your breasts are bigger or you might find that with carrying the extra weight your legs are more toned, but remember the golden rule – pick one asset and show it off. Make it about the breasts or the legs but never, never make it about both.

Now, obviously, we all have different taste and we all suit different styles, but when it comes to maternity fashion the experts agree that there are two dress shapes which are particularly flattering to the pregnant form. The wrap dress looks good because it clings to the body in all the right places and in a flattering way, and the asymmetrical dress lends an effortless timelessness (is that a word?) to the pregnant form.

To take you right back to the beginning of what I consider should be your wardrobe essentials, I must just tell you that no matter what dress you choose in whichever style, the key to the perfect dress is the perfect underwear. Your carefully chosen underwear (already purchased thanks to my stellar advice) will ensure that no matter what outfit you are wearing you will be wearing it like a star, or as close as us average joe’s ever get.

 6. Maternity Trousers

maternity trousers For those ladies who have to wear dress trousers on a daily basis for work then it is importnat to make the right choice The good news is that there are a lot out of choice out there, trousers in every colour, style and price and most not more than a click away.   

            I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Do Not be tempted to go a size up rather than investing in a couple of pairs of good maternity trousers. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it. The thing I like about trousers is that with a well fitted jacket and shirt they can look very professional and dressed up, whereas teaming them with a nice jumper can give you a more casual day-to-day look.

            Not forgetting casual trousers, particularly if you’re not a first time mum, but you don’t need me to tell you that. Trousers that you can roll about in and don’t care about scuffing are a wardrobe ‘can’t live without’ for those all too frequent play days. Casual trousers are easier in a sense, though, because sometimes with these baggy is best.

 

 

7. Shirt/blouse/top

The type of maternity top you buy will very much depend on what you do on a daily basis (too obvious?). Anyway, for office chic you’ll be looking for shirts and blouses, and a well fitted one will stand by you. My suggestion would be to find a maternity shirt or blouse which ties, either back ties or a wrap top. The reason being that you’ll get more mileage from this style of top, as your belly expands you’ll be able to loosen the ties without losing shape.

            Thinking ahead yet? Time to go even further to a time when you may (or may not) be breastfeeding. If breastfeeding is going to factor into your post-pregnancy plans then it is worth taking a minute think of the practicality of a shirt/blouse which will allow for it.

maternity skirts

 

8. Maternity Skirt

There’s not a lot to say about skirts, you’re either a skirt girl or you’re not, but they do make a good alternative. Particularly in an office situation, they give you the option of wearing trousers one day and a skirt the next – two days, two looks even if nothing else about your outfit changes.

For all those ‘skirt’ girls there are so many styles out there it would make your head spin, and the right skirt makes it easy and quick to change your look with a wide selection of tops/vests/accessories.

 

maternity cardigans and jumpers9. Maternity Cardigan/knitwear

Cardigans and coats share a common raison d’etre in that the time of year during which you are pregnant will have a bearing on your choice. You know what I mean – a thicker one for winter and more of a light boyfriend cardigan for Sprimg/Summer. It doesn’t matter, though, because there are enough styles out there to cover every season of the year and then some.

            A maternity cardigan is a practical purchase as well as an essential accessory  so you absolutely don’t have to sacrifice style, it (thankfully) all goes hand in hand.

 

maternity coats and jackets10. Coat

I’m putting a question mark against this particular item because (personal opinion) the need for depends very much on which time of year you find yourself pregnant during and which part of the country you live in. For example, I (living in Northern Ireland) experience a climate which varied from horrible in winter, not much better in Spring, a bit of sun in Summer and four seasons in one day during Autumn. The point being that there is very rarely a time in this part of the world when you can step out of the house without a coat. You see where I’m going with this one.

            Should you need a coat then fear not, the choice available is eye popping, and I personally love it! In my days of pregnancy, many moons ago there was so little choice in maternity coats that I was reduced to options that are just sad to talk about. Back in those days (btw it was only 6 years ago) I just don’t think fashion companies thought maternity coats worth the effort and that not many people would invest. Thank goodness for forward thinking.

            The biggest question mark when it comes to this purchase is the amount of money you have to part with to get one. What I would say is that where there is supply there is demand so, as long as you take care of your maternity coat and don’t use it as a cape in a bull fight, you can always sell it on when you’re finished with it – use auction sites or companies which specialise in selling second-hand maternity clothes.

 

This next point I’m making isn’t as much about your capsule wardrobe as it is about you, a little tip I picked up during my own experiences and it is this, don’t be afraid to treat yourself if the budget allows. It doesn’t matter what it is but even the littlest treat will lift your day when you’re feeling a bit down or in the dumps, or whatever negative emotions your pregnancy brings out.

The thing is (and the thing that no one tells you) is that, although there is a huge amount excitement and wonderful feelings at the beginning of the pregnancy, around month 6 to 7 those feelings are long forgotten and have given way to feelings of fatness, bloatedness, sore ankle-ness and a lot of get this baby out of me-ness, and everyone deserves a little pick-me-up from time to time.

So, have a manicure, have a facial, go to a spa – whatever it takes to make you feel that wee bit pampered, go and do it because once baby comes along it won’t be all about you for a very long time to come!

Maternity size guide

Most reputable companies will have a size guide on their sites and bear in mind that sizes will vary from company to company but the same is true even for normal clothes but to give you a rough idea, below is a chart from Dorothy Perkins…………

 

 

 

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Your Guide To Maternity Jeans

There is so much choice out there I thought I would just dip a toe into what’s on offer on the high street for the discerning maternity fashionista.

Indigo Maternity Skinny JeansFirst of all, lets have a look at those oh so current skinny jeans, and for these I’ve gone to Crave Maternity for inspiration. Crave’s Indigo Skinny Maternity Jeans are a great everyday wear skinny jean, ideally worn with flats and a casual maternity top for a casual day look.

They come in an underbump style, with jersey side panels and back button adjustments to ensure the perfect fit throughout pregnancy. These jeans can be bought from www.cravematernity.co.uk for £69

 

Maternity Bootcut JeansMoving on to the ever popular, not to mention value for money, New Look I have chosen their Bling Bootcut Maternity Jeans from the collection. They come with a ribbed elastic band waist and have bling stud detail on the pockets.

These funky maternity jeans have a gem button front and come in a dark bootcut denim. You can own a pair of these maternity jeans for £26.99 at www.newlook.com.

 

Straight Leg Maternity JeansFor some only straight leg will do so I found these great Straight Leg Jeans from Jojomamanbebe.

These fabulous maternity jeans have completely authentic detailing and jersey side panels for comfort. They also have an adjustable back waist.

They are slim but not too skinny and come in a dark indigo wash. They are available to buy from jojomamanbebe.co.uk for just £29

 

Classic Maternity JeansIf it’s classic that you want then have a look at these great Indigo Maternity Jeans from Funmum.

These dark blue maternity jeans fit like a dream and flatter your figure at every stage. The smart design slims the hips and lengthens the legs. They feature a super-stretchy ribbed waistband with side adjusters for maximum comfort and ultimate fit.

You can get these fabulous jeans for the normal price of £49 (currently on sale at £39.20) at www.funmum.com

 

 

There are actually so many options when it comes to maternity jeans that we could be talking about the subject all day but, hopefully, I’ve given you food for thought with these few stylish choices. After all, you can never have too many pairs of jeans, maternity or otherwise!

 

 

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Your Guide To Maternity Summer Dresses!

Essential Summer Maternity Dresses!


Summer is but a hop, skip and a jump away and with that in mind and (weather permitting) we’re all going to want to shed those winter woolies in favour of this season’s hottest summer maternity dresses. So, I thought I’d take a quick look at some of the offerings available from the biggest names in maternity fashion.

Trust me when I say that there is something out there for everyone, whether you’re watching you purse strings or shelling out for the wedding of the year it’s all there, you just need to know where to look!

 

floral maxiLet’s start with a dress that won’t break the bank from our old favourite, New Look, and a beautiful maxi dress that will wow no matter what the occasion. This Maternity Floral Tiered Dress is just £28.99 and has an elasticated strapless design complete with floral edging. It comes in a lightweigh fabric and would go perfectly with a great pair of chunky wedges! To buy this or any other item from New Look’s maternity collection just click on the following link:-

NEW LOOK MATERNITY


Jojomamanbebe Maternity DressContinuing on the theme of great maternity fashion at a small cost, you could always opt for this lovely little Striped Sundress from Jojo maman bebe. It’s perfect for the summer with it’s pretty button front neckline, over bump band and frill hem, and can be yours for just £34. If you like what you see here and would like to view Jojo maman bebe’s full collection then click on this link:-

Jojomamanbebe Maternity


Funmum Maternity DressNow if, like me, you’re all about the maxi dress and you know how hot the monochrome look is at the moment then you won’t want to miss this gorgeous dress from Funmum.

This lightweight Maternity Wrap Dress is extremely flattering and versatile too. Dress it up with a bolero for a special occasion or with sandals for a more casual look.

This maternity dress is available from Funmum for £49 and can be found at the following link:-

Funmum Maternity

 

Dorothy Perkins Maternity DressIf you want to make a style statement with your maternity wardrobe then have a look at this eye catching Black Butterfly Dress from Dorothy Perkins.

It is a simple jersey wrap over dress, designed to flatter your bump and you can bag this little gem for just £26. To buy it today, simply click on the following link:-

Dorothy Perkins Maternity


Crave Maternity dressAnd now, for the piece de resistance. The wedding of the year is coming up and you want to stand out from everyone else, including the bride – what do you wear?

This stunning Scoop Neck Maxi Dress from Crave Maternity with its highly flattering scoop neckine and ties at the back ensure a flattering fit, it is a must for any special occasion or that romantic sunset walk on the beach.

This dress can be yours for £89 and, if you like what you see here, why not take a look at all Crave have to offer by clicking on the following link:-

Crave Maternity


These, of course, are but a few of the maternity summer dresses you will find on the high street this summer but you’ve gotta start somewhere, eh!

 

 

 

 

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Baby And Maternity Gift Ideas

For the mum-to-be who feels like a little pampering there is the Enchanted Pregnancy Skincare Gift Set. The aptly named set is the perfect pampering treat for a mum to be and is an ideal gift for an expecting friend or loved one, packed with natural goodness.

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  • 100ml Solstace Belly Butter
  • 100ml Foam Bath
  • 50ml Body Oil
  • 50ml Ankle Reviver
  • 50ml Labour of Love

Recommended for use after the 12th week of pregnancy.

 

La Fee NoireFor the perfect newborn baby gift why not buy a delightful picture frame, available in blue for boys and pink for girls. The mock stone (china feel) picture frame is perfect for the firts baby pictures and the frames are decorated with a cute selection of baby toys including Teddy, building Block and baby cup

This is a really lovely gift for new mum or mum-to-be or add to the baby shower offerings but hurry because stock is limited.

There are also gifts for the older babies, such as the gorgeous amber teething necklace. These are a natural, drug free alternative to the La Fee Noirerelief of teething pain and have been recognized by midwives and mothers the world over. Baltic Amber teething necklaces are the non-intrisive remedy for the pain and side effects of teething, such as lack of appetite, upset tummies, earache, fevers and colds. As a natural analgesic, amber will help calm a baby without resorting to drugs.

Amber is associated with sunlight and warmth and is believed to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation and accelerate the healing of wounds. The skin’s warmth  promotes the release of healing oils from the amber and effectively eases the teething pain. Amber is not a stone so it is warm to touch, as well as comfortable and light to wear.

Believe me when I say that these gifts are just the tip of the iceberg and to find all the other goodies available to buy, simply go to www.lafeenoire.com right now.