Advice on choosing maternity wear to keep you looking fabulously stylish and comfortable throughout your pregnancy.
Great news; in terms of looking good there has never been a better time to be pregnant. The fashion industry have come to realise that just because a woman is 'with child' it doesn't mean that she wants to hide away in tent like clothes. As a consequence almost every major high street store now offers a stylish maternity range so that you don't have to miss out on looking good in the latest fashions just because you have a bump!
Why maternity clothes?
There is no two ways about it, babies can be expensive and buying maternity clothes can seem extravagant at a time when you want to save for your baby's arrival. However, by investing in some well-made maternity basics early on in your pregnancy you will not only look much better (baggy t shirts are never flattering!) you will also feel much better too.
Maternity wear is specifically designed to flatter and accommodate your changing body shape, this not only helps you to feel better about your new curves but also avoids the uncomfortable feeling of wearing the wrong sized clothes and provides much needed support for your bump. Even if you only invest in a few pieces throughout your pregnancy you will be glad you've done so!
When to buy maternity clothes
When shopping for maternity wear you should initially focus on the basics - a great pair of jeans, a couple of flattering pairs of black or navy trousers and some comfortable 'yoga pants'. Wrap dresses also made a great investment as they can be worn throughout your pregnancy, provide a whole outfit in one and can easily be dressed up or down. If you work in an office environment then investing in a 3 piece maternity suit should take you through until you go on maternity leave and will allow you the flexibility to mix and match outfits.
Once you have your maternity basics you can combine them with the clothes that you already have in your wardrobe (and still fit into!) to help keep your original style and avoid shelling out too much. Regular tunic or wrap tops are flattering and great to wear throughout pregnancy. Empire or a-line tops are also incredibly flattering and help draw the eye upwards emphasising your blossoming cleavage. Stretchy vest tops, t shirts and ribbed sweaters are also great as they can be easily worn, will go with almost anything and will grow with you.
Most on-trend fashion must haves diffuse through to high street maternity ranges too so if you want to go for a big spend up then you have no need to feel like your missing out. Buying a great jacket or a must-have outfit will help you to feel great about yourself and allow you to feel comfortable at the same time!
Choosing clothes made of natural fabrics such as cotton or stretchy jersey will not only help you look great but will also be less likely to make you overheat or irritate your sensitive pregnancy skin. Clothes that can be easily washed and dried are great as they help you to spend more time relaxing and less time doing hand washing! You should also go for well made items as you are likely to get a lot of wear out of your pregnancy basics, so seams should be strong (to avoid pulling or splitting) and the material should appear tough.
How maternity clothes work
The great thing about maternity wear is that its specifically designed to accommodate your growing figure and offer you as much wear as possible. Most maternity ranges work on a pre-pregnancy size basis and add extra room in the places you are likely to need it (not just your bump but your chest, shoulders, hips and thighs too). For this reason, when shopping for maternity clothes, your pre-pregnancy size is a good place to start. However, it is important to remember that just like non-maternity clothes, sizes are not standardised across all retailers and while you may fit into your old size in one shop, an equivalent size may feel tiny in another shop. When choosing maternity clothes you should go with what feels comfortable rather than what is written on the label.
Many maternity clothes are designed to be worn in the first few months after you have your baby, until you begin to regain your figure and fit into those elusive pre-pregnancy jeans once more! Clothes of this nature provide you with even more value for money and stop you having to worry about 'slimming down' until you are completely adjusted to being a new Mum.
Keeping your style
Just because you are pregnant it doesn't mean that you have to become a different person - the way you dress is part of who you are and you shouldn't feel like you should change just because your having a baby. If you enjoyed showing off your figure before you became pregnant there is no reason that you shouldn't continue to do so. If you preferred to dress more conservatively that's fine too. Whatever your style, with the huge range of maternity clothing now available you should be able to continue to embrace it throughout your pregnancy.
Never underestimate the importance of accessories - they ca help transform your look, especially if you are sticking to a few clothing basics. They can also help to draw attention away from your body if you are feeling self conscious and really stamp your individual style on an otherwise plain look.
With the huge selection of maternity clothing available on the high street (and even in supermarkets!) there is no reason you can't embrace your growing figure and look and feel fantastic about your body throughout your pregnancy.
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