How to dress your baby bump and the best brands for maternity clothing
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Pregnancy is a funny thing: simultaneously long and fleeting, joyful and often exhausting. The issue of how to dress when your body is changing so fast can be a sensitive one - after all, you don’t want to invest in an entirely new wardrobe for a 9 1/2 month long stint, but of course you need clothes to accommodate your changing body.
We recommended a capsule wardrobe: a couple of pair of jeans (maternity jeans are miracle workers, being able to be worn and stylish from first trimester to third), a few tops of varying styles.
If you’ve got chunky cardigans at home these can be good, and a new coat isn’t necessary unless you’re heading into a third trimester across winter - in which case a pea-coat can look stylish, and still be wearable once you’re post-partum.
One ‘occasion’ dress (more if you fancy, of course!) will be necessary, though, in case of special events or if you just want to feel attractive for a night!
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Where should I buy my maternity clothes from?
Happily, you won’t be short of choice when it comes to buying clothes throughout your pregnancy. While there aren’t many brands which are exclusively for expectant mothers, there are many brands which offer maternity clothing lines within their overall range.
Here are some of the best brands to buy your maternity clothes from:
What do I need to consider when buying maternity clothes?
One key thing to consider before buying any clothing, according to award-winning celebrity stylist Natalie Robinson, known as Style Icon Nat, is the fabric it’s made out of.
She said: “Fabric composition is one of the core ingredients to looking and feeling your best; soft textures, cotton lycra, airy cotton, cashmere, any fabric that will provide your baby bump with the warmth and comfort it needs.”
She also recommends layering, as this makes it easier to adapt to the changing temperatures - both within your own body and out their in the world.
She said: “Layering is everything. For super casual days, team a comfy pair of tracksuit buttons with a stretch-cotton top or jumper. Do not be afraid to mix and match prints and textures but ensure the latter allow your skin to breathe.”
Personal stylist Lindsay Edwards, of Reimagise Personal Styling, agreed that layering is important and said that some existing pieces in your wardrobe could be layered with some new maternity wear - saving you money and allowing you time to shop around for the pregnancy clothes that suit you best.
She said: “It is very likely that you will need to invest in some maternity wear during your pregnancy, but there are some items within your wardrobe that you will accommodate your changing shape. Cardigans, empire line dresses and leggings are some examples.
“You can tweak the way you wear some items too, such as unbuttoning shirts to wear over Camis or t-shirts as a layering piece.”
You also want pieces that will last throughout your pregnancy - and throughout your first few months of being a mum, so it’s a good idea to look for items that have been designed to adapt to how your body will change throughout those nine months and beyond. Think stretch fabrics and elasticated waistbands.
That way, you can pick a few good quality items to invest in, rather than having to go out and shop for a new wardrobe every time your baby grows or your shape changes. This would not only be very expensive, but also very difficult to do since no woman can predict exactly how her body will change throughout her entire pregnancy.
We’ve chosen ten top items of maternity clothing below.
The baby-doll dress
This beautiful Pixie Dress is a lovely petal pink floral pattern is perfect for dressing up or dressing down, so you’ll get plenty of use out of it all the way throughout your pregnancy.
Designed in a lightweight premium silky jersey with an all-over abstract floral print, this knee length dress skims over your curves leaving you with the most elegant silhouette.
The empire line defines the waist, while the floaty nature is super flattering, while the subtle puff sleeves finish at the elbow for that final stylish touch.
Award-winning celebrity stylist Natalie Robinson said: “ Perfect for your baby bump, the baby-doll dress is very forgiving and helps you move around freely.”
Available in sizes 6 to 20.
Also available in a dark blooms all-over pattern.
These beautiful Maternity Linen Trousers are from Amazon, but they are made in Italy.
Linen is a breathable fabric which is known for providing freshness to all during the summer months, so it’s an ideal fabric to wear during pregnancy.
There’s a cotton jersey belt that will fit over your stomach as it grows. The jersey has plenty of stretch too, so it will adapt no matter how big your bump gets.
The wide leg style is super flattering on all too.
Celebrity stylist Natalie Robinson, said: “Linen trousers are super comfy. The main benefit of wearing linen, especially during spring/summer, is that it allows easy airflow and repels heat. Linen is a “stiff” fabric and is less likely to cling to the skin.”
Available in sizes 8 to 18.
Cool-stretch denim jeans
These MAMA Skinny Jeans from H&M are the perfect pair of maternity jeans.
They are made of stretch denim for ultimate comfort, and have with fake front pockets, real back pockets and skinny legs.
There’s wide ribbing at the waist for best fit over your growing tummy, and the stretch in the material means this is a pair of jeans that will see you through your whole pregnancy and then postpartum as they can adapt to your changing body.
They’re also durable, versatile and suitable for all seasons, according to celebrity stylist Natalie Robinson.
Available in seven different shades of denim, including dark blue (pictured), medium blue and black.
Priced between £22 and £34.99, depending on the colour chosen.
This Maternity Pure Cotton Slogan T-Shirt from Marks and Spencer is a great every day top that you’ll want to wear again and again.
You will indeed feel good with this pure cotton slogan t-shirt. It’s cut in a regular style, with ruching at the sides for comfort. So, you get a comfortable fit that will accomodate your growing bump without it feeling baggy and shapeless. It’s a win win.
We love the slogan too, because who says that everyday has a to mean plain?
Also available in white with the slogan ‘you got this’.
Available in sizes 6 to 24.
During your pregnancy, there will come a time when comfort is your highest priority.
These Loopback Maternity Joggers from maternity wear and baby clothing retailer JoJo Maman Bébé mean you can relax in total comfort without compromising on style.
Made from soft, stretchy cotton that glides over your shape, you’ll be reaching for them time and time again, especially in the later stages of pregnancy when your bump is the biggest.
Available in sizes small, medium and large.
This ASOS DESIGN Maternity broderie button through tiered smock mini dress is practical and pretty.
It’s an ideal dress for a summer party, and is made from an embroidered eyelet fabric in a gorgeous broderie anglaise design. You’ll want to make plans to go out with this dress hanging in the wardrobe.
It has a flattering v-neck and stylish button placket, as well as a feminine frill on the sleeve.
Available in sizes 6 to 20. Designed to fit through all stages of pregnancy, you simply need to buy this in your usual size and you will find it has plenty of give as your pregnany progresses and your bump grows.
This Maternity Nursing Snap Sweatshirt from GAP can be styled as a cardigan or a jumper, so it’s super versatile.
Available in sizes XS to XL, and in two colours; potpourri pink and light heather grey (pictured).
It has a mockneck with snap fastenings which means it can be left open or closed. This also makes it ideal for wearing after baby arrives as it can quickly be opened if you need to breastfeed.
It’s super soft so it will feel comfortable against yours and babies skin, and is also ideal for layering on the days when the weather is a little unpredictable.
These Maternit Black Side Stripe Over Bump Leggings will quickly become an item you live in as you get further in to your pregnancy, so it’s good news that they come in a pack of two.
Made of a stretch jersey fabric with a skinny fit and a waistline that will sit comfortable over your bump, these are a wardrobe staple for all mums-to-be, and at less than £10 a pair they’re a real bargain too.
Available in sizes 8 to 20.
You need to be comfortable at all times when you’re pregnant, and that includes in the evening - and this cream heart printed maternity pyjama set will help you to settle in for a good night’s sleep.
There’s a sweet ‘momma’ top and a stylish pair of leggings with an elasticated waistland that will be comfy for baby as well as you.
Available in sizes XS to L.
Also available in plus size, with sizes 18 to 28.
These mid denim overbump boy shorts from Sainsbury’s clothing line Tu will be ideal to wear when we get to summer and the weather heats up.
They have been created in classic mid denim and are designed in a soft and flattering stretchable fabric, with plenty of room for baby to grow and move.
Available in sizes 8 to 22.