Baby on the way and nothing to wear? Fear not, dear hormonal pregnant person. The Style Report’s Laura Churchill has recently been there, done that. She survived – and so can you.
“Fashionably pregnant” can be quite a contradiction in terms for many expectant women. Hormones + water retention/cankles + dull hair and nails = not so much pregnancy glow. But one new Brissy mumma who rocked her glorious bump recently was The Style Report’s Laura Churchill. She welcomed baby April, her first child, in February.
“When I found out I was pregnant I didn’t know if I was more excited to think about how I was going to dress my bump or how I was going to dress the baby that followed!” Laura laughs.
“I saw being pregnant as bringing a wardrobe challenge like I’d never faced before.
“Pregnant bodies are a shape unto themselves but some are easier to dress than others. I was always envious of the woman who could throw on a stretchy tube dress and heels and call it a day. Accommodating my pear-shaped hips as well as a growing belly meant I could wear the stretchy tube dresses, but I had to add a sleeveless blazer or longline cardigan over the top and cinch in under my bust with a narrow belt so that my belly was highlighted but my hips were covered. This became a uniform whether it was a dress-and-jacket combination or a top and cardigan with slim maternity pants.”
Laura says the main thing women should avoid is dressing vastly differently to normal.
“Being pregnant can already bring a sense of losing part of your identity to some extent as the baby becomes the focus and, personally, I just felt that if I suddenly started wearing print jersey wrap dresses when I otherwise never would, I wouldn’t feel like myself anymore.
“The main thing to remember is you’re still you. There shouldn’t be a need to vastly change the way you dress or to lose your identity at all – it’s just about working your wardrobe smarter and adapting and updating what you have.”
Laura says the only exception to this rule is pants. She says it’s important to buy maternity pants or jeans if that’s something you want to wear throughout your pregnant months because normal pants, even stretchy ones, won’t sit properly over a bump.
“The beauty of pregnancy is most women are really only out of their normal wardrobe for a few months, so you might need to only start considering serious maternity wear in about month four. I only bought a few ‘maternity’ pieces which included a black over-the-bump skirt which I wore a lot, a couple of dresses and a couple of tops. Other than that, I reworked what I had and bought a few things such as owing tops I could wear with a high-waist belt during pregnancy or a normal-waist belt afterwards.”
Whether it was the pregnancy hormones or not, Laura says she actually had an epiphany about her wardrobe while looking at it through pregnant eyes.
“I had less go-to wardrobe options when I was pregnant which was actually refreshing – I’ve downsized my wardrobe as a result of having my daughter as I realised I don’t actually need as many clothes.”
Laura’s tip on dressing your bump…
- Look at your wardrobe with fresh eyes. You’ll be surprised at how much you can still wear, whether it’s getting more mileage out of your pants and jeans with a belly band or pants extender, wearing your shirts unbuttoned as a jacket with a singlet underneath, or wearing tunic dresses without belts. Your jackets should still work and most stretchy pieces will accommodate a bump for most of your pregnancy.
- Look to highlight rather than hide your bump. If you tent yourself in oversized clothing you’ll only look bigger than you are.
- Don’t fall prey to the idea that you can just buy things a size larger either. Dresses and tops will look especially dowdy and make you feel frumpy if they fit around your expanding belly but balloon under the arms and around the neckline, and pants will be baggy in the crotch and won’t sit properly unless they’re specifically designed to accommodate your belly. It just doesn’t work.
- If you do want to invest in some specific maternity items, key pieces to buy are pants or jeans and perhaps a couple of dresses.
- If you’re a lover of accessories, use these to make yourself feel more ‘you’. Maintaining a style signature will give you confidence and reassurance you’re still your same stylish self throughout your pregnant months.