Monday, May 17, 2010

Essential Maternity Fashion

Every Monday I will post something related to babies: inspiration, craft projects, baby news, and discoveries I have made in this new and exciting world for me. I hope you come along on that rollercoaster ride with me.
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When it comes to maternity fashion I am totally ambivalent. On the one hand it really doesn’t make sense to spend a fortune on clothes which you will be able to wear for 6 months. Or 2x 6months if you are planning to have 2 kids. On the other hand your pregnancy is such a special and unique time and you absolutely deserve to look and feel fabulous.

So basically my approach towards fashion in the past 9 months has been the following: as much as necessary to be happy and as versatile as possible. And this worked perfectly. So I want to tell all mum-to-bes out there, maternity fashion can be fun, affordable and not overwhelming at all.

With these key pieces you will manage to dress for all different moods, occasions and growing shapes during spring, summer, autumn and winter.

1. Jeans
I love my jeans with the broad comfy elastic waist band which goes right over your belly (yes even in your 9th month), because with them you can keep on wearing normal T-Shirts and cardigans. I bought 2 different pairs of jeans – one bootcut and one straight-cut. Mine are from Jeanswest  and were together an incredible $99. I think I could have done just with the slim style, because they are just so flattering and I love the contrast of slim legs and a massive belly ;-). Anyway you don’t argue with 2 for $100, do you?

2. Nursing Bra
I bought nursing bras as maternity bras straight away, because then I could wear them while breastfeeding as well. The key advantage is that nursing bras have a clip with which you can unfasten and fold down the front of the bra, which is very quick and convenient for breastfeeding. I also looked for extra comfort in bras made from natural breathable materials (cotton/ lycra) and without a underneath wire. I bought two classics in one size and one cup size bigger (12 C ->14 D) – a black and a white one from Target .

3. Bellyband
What a great invention. Basically just a little fabric tube, but it makes all the difference. It gives you extra warmth around that precious belly area. Avoids that cracks between trousers/ skirts and shirts. Looks so cool. Draws all the attention to your beautiful mid section. Is so easy to make yourself. My favourite was a very colourful one from Esprit. I also bought two simple black and white ones, but somehow I never wore them.

4. Skirts
I got two wonderful pregnancy skirts by Christoff as a present from my mum and I wore them ALL the time. Because they were stylish, comfortable and just so me. I had one jeans skirt which was ideal for all casual occasions. It has a broad elastic waist band, but otherwise looks like a cool jeans skirt. I also had a black skirt aka my office skirt. It has an invisible elastic insert in the upper front.

5. Shirts
I mostly wore normal T-Shirts throughout my pregnancy. The high elastic bands on my jeans and skirts as well as the belly band made it possible to cover my ever-growing belly and the shirts just slowly ‘crept’ upwards: from my hip to my waist. Since I didn’t mind to show off my big belly this look was fine with me. I also had a couple of tunica style shirts, which were a bit wider and longer and they worked fine as well. Plus I got a few shirts as presents from friends in Germany. I especially liked the Mama range from H&M (), because they are fashionable, not overly wide, but just a bit longer in the right areas. I also loved the nursing shirt from Fertile Mind, which I can also wear while breastfeeding.

6. Tops
Apart from my normal tops which I also kept on wearing, I also had one maternity top from Noppies. It was very simple – white cotton with a bit spandex – but had a bit of extra lengths in the front so it comfortably stretched over the growing belly. This was great, even more important than with the shirts, because when it is 40 degree you don’t feel like layering with belly bands. ;-)

Although dresses are my favourite fashion items I didn’t buy a single maternity dress. Partly because I either found them pretty mumsy, too wide or incredible expensive. Partly because I was surprised how well many of my dresses fitted me throughout the pregnancy. Everything with an empire waist is great. Floating maxi-dresses are perfect. Maybe this is the time when it pays off to have an hour-glass figure ;-)

The biggest surprise regarding maternity wear for me was actually, how early I needed it. I did my biggest maternity fashion shopping after just 3 months. And I can tell you I am glad I did it, because I would have felt extremely uncomfortable with just unzipping my normal pants and trying to cover them with T-Shirts (let me tell you it never works and you just end up constantly pulling your T-Shirt down)

After 3 months:
maternity jeans (more for the extra comfort than for the size, at that time my tummy wasn’t that big, but was already very sensitive especially to the pressure of jeans buttons
- maternity bras (my breasts just exploded over night and suddenly none of my bras fitted comfortably anymore)
As you go:
all other items (whenever you want something that is a bit roomier, whenever you feel like you need something new, whenever you see something beautiful , whenever there is a sale,...)

So, my advice with regards to maternity fashion is: Show off your beautiful belly. Go for comfortable and soft fabrics. Add sparkle with accessories. Steal from your existing wardrobe and buy pieces you’ll love to wear afterwards as well.

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