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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.