One of the first signs to the outside world that you’re expecting a baby is when you ditch the skin tight lycra and move into maternity clothes, which provide space for your growing bump and keep you comfortable too. In the past, maternity clothing was associated with smocks and dungarees, but things have moved on considerably and with a little thought and effort you can easily put together a maternity wardrobe which is fashionable and practical.
There is no need to ditch all of your current clothing and rush out to buy new everything the second you find out you’re pregnant. Many of the tops you already have in your wardrobe can continue to be worn throughout your pregnancy, especially the floaty, loose-fitting cotton tops which have been very fashionable in recent years. Longer length tunics with leggings are a great look when pregnant, and depending on the fit, you could get away with buying a size or two larger than your standard fit rather than going to a specialist maternity retailer.
If you’re working in a formal environment, or have a special occasion which requires a “posh frock”, it gets lots harder to find something appropriate. Even specialist maternity ranges often have just one or two dresses or suits and finding something you like and feel comfortable in can mean many hours trawling the websites. Don’t rule out the second hand websites like Ebay or Gumtree for formal maternity wear, as these sorts of items are often worn only once or twice and are in superb condition. If buying for work, invest in a simple, plainly coloured suit or dress which can be accessorized with jewellery, belts and scarves to give multiple looks.
The sort of trousers you will need will depend if you need smart trousers for work, or whether jeans are more practical for a casual look. When you head into the shops to buy jeans you’ll see there are two main designs in maternity trousers; those with a large stretchy fabric panel which covers your bump, and those with a low waistline which are designed to sit beneath. The choice will depend on personal preference, but bear in mind that the style which is most comfortable at 5 months pregnant may not be the same style you wish to wear at the end of your pregnancy. Jeans are the one item of maternity clothing which it is worth spending a bit more on, as if you find a comfortable pair you won’t ever want to be wearing anything else.
Underwear and Swimwear
Many women get through an entire pregnancy without buying any special underwear, but changing body shapes can mean you need to invest in different bras or lower cut knickers which sit comfortably on the lower abdomen. Again, there is no need to go to specialist retailers for these items, as most of the large high street department stores do ranges which will be appropriate. A special maternity swimming costume or practical tankini is a must if you’re off on holiday, and the best place to get these is online.
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Morag Peers is a mother and blogger writing for family, travel and many other blogs. Find out more on Morag’s Google+ profile page.