Updated: Jan 18
Being pregnant is such a beautiful season of your life. It is exciting and filled with so much joy and wonder, but what I learnt along the way is that this new and foreign season can also be very confusing and difficult to navigate for our wardrobe.
Our bodies are changing everyday during pregnancy. Our current wardrobe pieces no longer fit the same and to be honest, don't always make us feel great any more either.
I remember staring at my wardrobe in the mornings and what used to bring inspiration and joy felt the total opposite to me. By the time I started figuring out my way, my bump was full term and that season was coming to an end. I hope that what I learnt through navigating this season for myself will help you in yours so that you are equipped right from the get go!
1. Choose Your Fabrics Wisely
I found that my skin during pregnancy was quite sensitive to heat and felt itchy when the skin started to stretch to make room for growing bubba. To help your body through this sensation, opt for natural fabrics that are soft and breathable like a linen, cotton, bamboo or modal. Stretchy fabrics are also a winner as they don't constrict, and they can grow with you while also providing support.
On the flip side, polyester traps heat, making your skin feel like the fabric is clinging to it, so be mindful of this when choosing the clothes that will see you through this season.
This is a key thought process when making any purchase but particularly relevant while pregnant. How long will this item last me? Can I wear it all the way through pregnancy? Can I wear it post partum?
For longevity, opt for elasticated waistbands so that it will stretch with you and also stretch back after. Other key considerations could include buttons, zips and easy access straps for breastfeeding post partum, as well as stretchy fabrics so it can grow with you and also mould back to your shape after pregnancy are also absolute winners!
For a good part of my pregnancy, I automatically reached for the oversized, the floaty and the flowy which screamed comfort to me (and nothing wrong with it at all!) but over time I started to realise, it wasn't actually my style. I was defaulting to it because of my body's needs, but also maybe being conditioned to think that comfort was the only priority. I started to realise that because it wasn't truly me, I was comfortable in them but I didn't necessarily feel confident or my greatest self in them. It was important to still recognise and acknowledge my style when considering all the other factors, because you should still be able to feel great about yourself with a growing bump. Also, I knew it would not stand the test of time in my wardrobe beyond pregnancy if it wasn't truly me. So, I started to be mindful to not add to my wardrobe anything that didn't make me feel both comfortable and confident.
Identify the traits of your style that could still be brought into your pregnancy wardrobe. Which colours make you happy? What type of silhouette? I love structure in my clothing, so one way to incorporate that was to throw a blazer on top of a fitted stretchy dress for example to still allow my style to come through with functionality and practicality.
Celebrate your changing shape and body! If it was a flowy dress, opt for something that may still highlight your waist line, or cinch at the waist (comfortably). Pull your elasticated skirt/pant over the belly and do a slight tuck of your top to still give shape to your outfit. Wear a fitted dress with stretch to it and really highlight that beautiful pregnant body and bump. Your pregnant shape is worth all the celebration!
5. Pregnancy staples
If you choose to invest in good quality ones, there is also a great resale market for expecting mums out there once you are done with these items. This means you also know that your choice is sustainable and will go on to serve others beyond you, and you can recoup part of the funds you spent on these items.
I love being able to utilise everyday pieces that can double up as pregnancy pieces. However, there are a few key staples I would highly recommend for your pregnancy wardrobe that will help you tie your outfits together and ultimately, support you well throughout your season of pregnancy. Here are a few:
New bras to accommodate the change in size you will be experiencing, plus comfort needs.
Maternity undies that fit over the bump/belly support shorts or bands. I found when my bump reached a certain point, I needed some extra support in this area as it did start to feel heavy and uncomfortable.
Maternity tanks and/or tees - these are generally longer in length and have extra stretch built in, those that are of good quality also offer a good amount of support through the choice of fabric. A couple of these in your wardrobe will help you dress the growing bump with ease when pairing bottoms for your outfit.
Maternity jeans - my choice are the ones with an over-the-belly band. These provide support and comfort especially during that final stretch! It also means you don't need to worry about peekaboo moments with your growing bump when wearing under-the-belly cut jeans.
Maternity leggings - I got these at the tail end of my pregnancy and wished I got these much earlier. These offer not only support and comfort, but also an easy go to that is still easily dressed up with a nicer top, accessories and footwear.