MMM: Fashion Stylist Kate Andrews on how to stay true to your style during pregnancy

LOOK Magazine fashion stylist Kate Andrews is just about to have her first baby. Having seen her every day at work, I have been amazed at how – despite having the cutest bump ever – she has not only avoided maternity wear, but she’s consistently stuck to her own, definite style.

Kate - at almost 9-months pregnant and still super chic.
Kate – at almost 9-months pregnant and still super chic.

So here are ten style rules she’s learned about maternity wear.

Kate says: With the exception of a pair of jeans, I have managed to get through my pregnancy without stepping foot into a maternity wear department, or wrap dress for that matter. Here are my tips for staying true to your style for the whole 9 months.

1. Don’t buy anything you won’t wear post-pregnancy

If I didn’t think I’d wear something after giving birth, I didn’t buy it. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because you’re pregnant your new uniform should include empire line dresses that could house a family of four at EuroCamp. Plus you’ll only regret it later when you’ve got bagfuls of unwanted clothes.

2. Stock up on (non-maternity) shift dresses.

I bought 3 shift dresses I would have worn ordinarily, in a size or two up and rotated them for any parties, weddings, dinners or events where I wanted to look smart. I found as I was going out so much less often anyway it was pointless spending a fortune on a new dressy wardrobe. Even though I’ll be sick to death of looking at them by the time I give birth I intend to re-visit them later.

Collar jacquard shift dress, £75, Topshop
Collar jacquard shift dress, £75, Topshop

3. If you find a pair of jeans you love, buy them twice

I bought a cheap pair of Asos jeans for about £40 in a size 10 thinking I’d grow out of them. Luckily I didn’t but I wish I’d bought two pairs as I wore them so often they needed washing a lot. And because of this I perhaps didn’t wash them as often as I should have….

4. Wear more black

I don’t own much black (more of a navy kinda girl) but I have found I wear more whilst pregnant. Sporty-ish Zara tops, a black shift and a black pinafore dress have been my faves. It’s a cliche but it really does make you look thinner.

Silk shirt dress, £85, Topshop
Silk shirt dress, £85, Topshop
Shift dress, £89, Cos
Shift dress, £89, Cos

5. Buy maternity tights with a rubber waist band

An incident whilst walking to work grabbing at the crotch of my maternity tights, (which were at my knees by this point) and having to visit the Ladies in reception as I couldn’t make it to the 7th floor taught me that investing in decent maternity tights is a must. Otherwise they WILL end up around your ankles. Look out for ones with a rubber waistband. But be warned, this soon comes off in the wash so buy a few pairs.

6. Learn to layer

I bought a black straight cut pinafore dress from Mango and have worn it to death. As well as being able to layer shirts and tops under it, I could wear jumpers over it and it looked like a skirt and top. I would say at one point I was wearing it an average of 3 times a week. No one noticed. I don’t think.

Kate in her Mango pinafore dress
Kate in her Mango pinafore dress
Cord pinafore dress, £24, Asos
Cord pinafore dress, £24, Asos

7. Just because it fits doesn’t mean it works

If you are lucky enough to still fit into much of your old wardrobe throughout most of your pregnancy, don’t assume you can still pull it off. I’m a big fan of a roll neck and leather skirt combo, and whilst my leather skirts were banished to the back of the wardrobe by month 4, my collection of roll necks still fit. However a tight knitted roll neck with my newly acquired bra size and expanding bump didn’t quite have the gamine appeal I was looking for, so I had to bite the bullet and wave farewell.

Topshop maternity do a great PU pencil skirt - if you did want the look, £38
Topshop maternity do a great PU pencil skirt – if you did want the look, £38

8. If it doesn’t do up, don’t wear it.

I was very pleased with myself for managing to get longevity out of an A-Line skirt whilst pregnant by simply not doing the zip up fully at the back and covering it in a jumper. However this “clever styling trick” was relatively short lived when I fainted in the underground and yanked off my jumper post-pass-out to reveal a cheap off-white vest and skirt that wouldn’t do up properly to the awaiting paramedics. I stuck to skirts with an elasticated waist after that.

Pull on skirt, £17.99, Zara
Pull on skirt, £17.99, Zara

9. Trousers are tricky

My favoured skinny cigarette style trousers were a gonner from the off and whilst I could get into my selection of silky pajama style trousers for a good couple of months, as soon as my bump became obvious they started to look less Stella McCartney and more chav in tracksuit bottoms. So with my reluctance to buy anything maternity I stuck to wearing jeans and put trousers on hold.

Kate styling on a shoot in early stages of pregnancy
Kate styling on a shoot in early stages of pregnancy

10. Stop buying at 7-8 months

Once I was 7 and a half months pregnant I stopped buying. With less than a month left at work and my social calendar looking sparse I decided that buying more clothes whilst coming up to my heaviest weight was a bad idea. Instead I stuck to re-wearing my non-maternity faves and at home I’m currently living in Cos pajamas. Besides, spending money on baby blankets and nursery furnishings is much more fun. Kind of.

Pyjamas, from £35, Cos
Pyjamas, from £35, Cos

 

  • Comments ( 5 )

  • avatar
    Philippa Milz

    Great advice if you are one of the lucky few who have a neat bump and don’t carry weight anywhere else but for the rest of us????

    • avatar
      Erica

      Philippa! Haven’t you read the MANY other posts I have done on maternity fashion!? Lots of advice for all sizes! I for one definitely did NOT have neat little bumps!

  • avatar
    Emma Holloway

    Unfortunately I didn’t have a neat bump either and certainly couldn’t buy normal clothes a couple of sizes larger. Despite looking and feeling like a blimp through most of my pregnancies I never once considered wearing black to make myself look slimmer, I sort of embraced by bump and the weight that went with it, I’d be interested to know how others felt, whether they dressed to look slimmer in pregnancy or not……

    • avatar
      Erica

      It’s a really interesting point Emma. I wore black during my pregnancy, but tend to wear it a lot anyway so I’m not sure whether it was a conscious ‘slimming’ thing either. I definitely felt the most comfortable I have ever felt with my body during both my pregnancies, so embraced the fitted dresses – which I’d never do non-pregnant!

  • avatar
    Emma Holloway

    I’m totally with you in that one! It’s the one time in my life I felt very happy wearing tight tops and more fitted clothes, just wish I’d of appreciated my pre-baby body more!!

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