Oh my lord, I’m writing a post about clothes. What an exciting and slightly bizarre tangent to have run off on! While beauty is my main ‘girlie’ bag, I can’t say that I don’t love a good frock/pair of ballet flats/pair of jeans/perfectly fitted t-shirt. While I have to say that I prefer shopping for myself when I’m not up the duff, there are certain perks to being ‘with child’.
Never do I wear more tightly fitted white singlets than when I have a bump. As someone who drops food down herself on an almost hourly basis, this isn’t always the ideal choice of attire but I figure that I need to embrace the opportunity while it’s apparent. I also usually rely on the fact that the burgeoning lady lumps that pregnancy blesses me with will help distract from the smeared blotch of pesto situated between said lumps and aforementioned bump.
White singlets and boobs aside, dressing a bump definitely brings with it a bunch of challenges. I reckon there’s three distinct phases you’ve gotta navigate in the 40 odd weeks you’ll be gestating a child.
- The early second trimester phase – When you feel more muffin top than actual baby bump. You question whether you look ‘pregnant or just chubby’. Deliberations ensue as to whether maternity jeans should be employed or if you can get by for another week or so using the old ‘hair elastic in the button hole’ trick on your regular jeans. It’s a confusing time and you may cry often when trying to get dressed of a morning.
- The honeymoon phase – Usually between 22-32 weeks when you’re big enough to look ‘properly’ pregnant but haven’t yet entered waddles-ville (the town I’m currently populating). You have a charming bump that people will use to predict the sex of your child. T-shirts haven’t quite got to the ‘too short’ phase so you’re not in any danger of flashing a few inches of exposed belly.
- The home stretch – You’ve entered the end zone and are careening towards ‘B-Day’. Chances are good that many of your clothes may no longer fit both your boobs AND your tummy. Tantrums become more apparent. You feel the need to rush out and buy more maternity specific ware but realise that you’ll only be needing it for a mere few weeks and are suddenly plagued with guilt over spending money on something you might wear a handful of times. You’re likely to have a tantrum over that fact. And potentially eat a disgustingly additive filled donut at the nameless donut stand at your local Westfield (not that that happened to me or anything).
The rest of the time you should be sorted in your ‘pre-pregnancy’ and ‘during-pregnancy’ duds. But what to stock your wardrobe with that will work during both the good times AND the challenges? While it would be incredibly easy to run out and spend a fortune on a whole new wardrobe, it’s definitely not necessary. I’ve found that a mixture of non-maternity specific (but stretchy) basics with a few belly accommodating essentials have seen me through both my pregnancies with my sanity and sense of style relatively in-tact.
Here’s what I swear by to manage the transition from ‘normal person who sleeps soundly at night sans heartburn’ to ‘enormous pregnant person who struggles to roll over without assistance’ and even ‘new mother who’s wardrobe now needs to perform a WHOLE bunch of tasks never required before.’
1. The Maternity Jean
If there’s one thing you’ve gotta delve into the maternity department for, it’s jeans. While I managed to get away with my standard skinnies for the first 15 or 16 weeks, by the time I’d hit the halfway mark, there was no way I was getting them up past my bottom, let alone over my bump. I’ve got three pairs that I rotate between; one straight-ish leg in a dark wash and two skinny leg pairs in dark indigo and grey. To say I live in these is an understatement. I wear them everywhere from the playground to dinner and back again. One of my pairs has a skin coloured ‘over the bump’ type waistband while my other two have your standard waistband but with added elasticity, either through stretchy panels or a system that allows you to adjust using buttons and elastic.
TOP TIP: When trying on your potential purchase, make sure you sit down to see how the waistband feels against your tummy. There is nothing worse than something digging into your bump all day long… Except perhaps heartburn and maybe labour.
MY PICKS: Jeans West Maternity Skinny Jeans in Forever Indigo, $69.99 (pictured), Just Jeans 310 Maternity Skinny Ocean Jean, $69.95 and Seraphine Grey Luxe Maternity Skinny Jean, $106
2. The built in bra singlet
This is one of those genius purchases that end up lasting you all the way through till your little bundle arrives earth side. While the length can sometimes be an issue as your bump expands, I find these singlets to be THE most comfortable thing to whack under pretty much everything. They negate the need for a bra (especially great when you’re getting sick of underwire!) and also help keep your belly under wraps. Fast forward to after the birth and the fact that they’re also a feeding singlet means you’ll be pretty much living in them, either as a stand alone singlet or underneath something warmer if the weather is cool.
MY PICKS: (L-R) You can’t go past the Bonds Maternity Layer Tank, $41.95 (try places like Big W and Trade Secret for a cheaper price) and Bonds Maternity Support Singlet, $41.95 I’m also a big fan of the Ripe Maternity Feeding Tank, $61.95
3. The Maxi Dress
I’ve been lucky enough to have portions of both my pregnancies take place during the summer months which has meant that the humble maxi dress has been my absolute saviour. While I’ve bought a couple of maternity specific little numbers, I’m also always on the hunt for a standard maxi with a bit of stretch and ‘flow’. I’d say the majority of my dresses aren’t pregnancy specific and have been picked up in places like Target. The best place to pick up maternity specific frocks? I can’t go past ASOS.
MY PICKS: New Look At AOSOS Maternity 3/4 Sleeve Wrap Maxi, $38.87, Target Ladies Stripe Maxi Dress, $2o.00, Everly Grey At Queen Bee ‘Jill’ Batik Maternity Maxi, $94.95
4. The Slouchy Pant
These have been an absolute God send for me this pregnancy. I snapped up a couple of pairs when my bump was still on the smaller side and have lived in them ever since. The key, I’ve decided is in the stretchy waist which has expanded with my growing belly without ever cutting in or being uncomfortable. A great option when it’s too warm for jeans as well.
MY PICKS: Jay Jays Solid Slouchy Pant, $29.95and Jay Jays Printed Slouchy Pants, $29.95