During your first pregnancy, putting together your maternity wardrobe is the first in a long line of brain-baffling hurdles to jump. What do you need now? Later? What’s not worth bothering with? What’s essential? Are there new rules to your standard clothes-shopping protocol?
And once I started thinking about it, I couldn’t help but ponder on the whole maternity wear ‘thing’.
It did take a long time for maternity wear to catch up with the rest of fashion, didn’t it? Where we embraced the mini skirt and the stack heels and the flares over 50 years ago, I watched my sister still rolling along in maternity dungarees in the 90’s.
Even when I had my eldest just 14 years ago, finding maternity wear on the high street meant Mothercare, Dorothy Perkins – or a search to unfamiliar bigger cities.
Of course, the new interwebs fandango wrought a HUGE change. All of a sudden, we didn’t need to actually huff and puff into town – we could sit right next to the Hobnobs and let our fingers stroll around the latest offerings from the likes of Seraphine.
Gone are the endless smocks…
…And in their place we have sleek glamorous chic the likes of which have not been attainable before.
Of course, comfort is always a factor (come on – even though they’re a bit ugly, we all know those 70’s smocks were ultimately comfy), but ‘comfortable’ is frankly the death knell of any style queen. But honestly? When you’re carrying another human bean around inside you, just getting from one end of the day to the other without seeing your toes is trying enough for anyone – adding scratchy, stiff and too-tight clothing is simply cruel and unnecessary.
Thankfully modern designers have taken that into account too – contemporary maternity wear tends to avoid the tented look, but the fitted shape is combined with soft stretchy fabrics which don’t bother newly sensitive skin.
Or top five tips for assembling your maternity wardrobe:
- Invest in a really good pair of maternity jeans. They’ll be a staple of your wardrobe and make you feel ‘normal’. Try the different styles – personally I loved the over-the-bump jersey panel best, but try lots to find the style that suits you and your bump best.
- Don’t go mad – buy a few really good quality staples to mix and match, and add to them as the months progress and your shape and needs change.
- Don’t forget your underwear – good, well-fitting support is essential. And get your measurements checked regularly!
- Layer layer layer. A bunch of maternity vests are your best friends – sit them under open shirts/cardigans/jackets and be ever-comfortable. You’ll also feel the heat much more as baby grows, and layers are easily peeled!
- Think, like never before, about fabric. How it fee-e-e-l-s. Your skin will become so sensitive, and having soft linens, soothing silks and cool cottons next to it will simply become essential.