Look, I might not be pregnant at the moment – or again, if mr tMatM has any say in the matter – but having done pregnancy four times in the last 7 years I feel like I can at least impart some of my encyclopaedic knowledge about which websites sell maternity clothing, especially those with free delivery and returns (always seems rude not to try in that case)…
I say websites because most of the good maternity lines aren’t even stocked in-store, also because standing in a topshop changing room just feels horrible when you are 7months pregnant and even more so when you are 7months pregnant and have a toddler (or two) in tow, even if their maternity line were fantastic (and it’s not really..) so it would be advisable to stick to the online purchase in any case.
Here is my experience of a typical pregnancy with regards maternity wear…
The first few months you will likely wear your regular clothes, but just look a little less great in them. At about month 3 or 4 (or week 5, when you’ve been pregnant before)… you’ll start thinking that some more forgiving clothing would be a good idea. You’ll try on some maternity clothes. They’re huge!! Ha! Who has a bump that big?! By month 5 or 6, you fit maternity clothes just perfectly. By month 7, you start to feel frustrated. Why are they even called maternity clothes if you can’t…fit…into…these…jeans. Month 8, you are so bored of wearing the same leggings + ‘tunic’ (very likely your husband’s tshirt)… that you convince yourself it makes sense to buy more maternity wear even though you only have another 6 weeks to go. Find a lovely loose fitting top/dress/jumpsuit; feel like a million dollars. Say things like “my face hasn’t even got fat this time!” Wear that one outfit for the rest of the pregnancy.
Don’t ever look at any photos of the last 6weeks when your face is rounder than you could even imagine and you are always wearing what your husband refers to fondly as the ‘sack dress’.
After baby arrives is a whole blog post in itself, as your body readjusts to the “new normal” of boobs and hips and tummies that just aren’t the same (not me, of course!) (me)
As far as what you’re looking for… I would suggest, looser fitting things that skim over at the start, tighter fitting for the peak bump glory days of months 5-7, then, sack dress all the way. This is also a time when you can spend a lot on a cashmere cardigan that will always fit, ditto expensive scarves that you can drape appealingly over the bump.
So, with that clear in our minds, let’s venture forth to see what’s around for those of you with a bump…
1. Asos (obviously)
Asos has a great selection of branded maternity wear and their own stuff too. I have tried most of the lines at some point- the asos maternity wear is pretty good selection wise but I found it pretty unforgiving size wise! Although if you find yourself in my situation, being a petite pregnant person (I mean, I’m very short and I was very pregnant), then Asos maternity is for you (and jojomamanbebe is most definitely not for you)
Asos has some lovely things in at the moment – almost makes me wish I were pregnant again!
This dress is so nice and nursing friendly that I am ordering it anyway. New Look as ever v easy on the pocket (important factor for maternity wear in my book, much harder to justify a super expensive maternity wardrobe – see no.7)
I had this top in my last pregnancy, lovely thick jersey material and very flattering in the latter stages and also loose enough for the postpartum days. Comfy. (Major accolade)
I have had a million pairs of the asos maternity Ridley jeans, all great, all over the bump style which I found the most flattering and least annoying, I.e I was tugging them up less than I had to hitch up the under-bump style
A pretty dress for an event that requires a pretty dress.
My legs did not look like this but if they had, I think I would have liked a pair of these biker jeans from mama.licious
Lots of options at asos. Including this, the comfiest thing to sleep in when nursing a baby ever.
2. Topshop (obviously)
In my first pregnancy I was all about Topshop because I still used to wear their regular lines but these days I am a little daunted by he amount of cropped tops that I am always inexplicably drawn to and bitterly disappointed by. They also tend to make their maternity clothes really big! In an oversized trendy sort of way. Not always he best option for those of us less blessed in the height department. But they do have some things worth ordering for a try…
I like this dress and I like its name even more (batwing crinkle dress)
A classic basic (weird shaped faux bump in the pic though?)
Steer clear of the topshop maternity jeans though. A curse on all pregnant women with their rubbish elastic inserts and constant sagging.
Not sure why H&M is at number 3 here as I definitely think they have a good basic selection, better than topshop for your average pregnant person. They are also great for buying non maternity pieces in slightly larger sizes than usual – definitely a good option for the first few months.
H&M also gave me one of my favourite maternity wear items of my last pregnancy – black dungarees. So ridiculously comfortable and, well, when else can you wear dungarees if you are not at all hipster ish?
They still do them! Oh I miss them. Snap them up immediately.
This nursing dress looks great – also available in a striped colour way.
This velvet dress proving you can still give a nod to current trends even when you have a bump…
…typically now that I am not pregnant there are loads of great maternity options out there! Part two of this post to cover some other options including…
4. Esprit (unexpected)
5. New Look (also covered by Asos)
7. And more spendy – Isabella Oliver
And, when you have tapped out all of the above: Mango…Next…M&S…Dorothy Perkins…Jojomamanbebe… a long list. Gone are the days where you had to wear an elastic band on your jeans – but I bet you end up doing that anyway. Part 2 coming soon..