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Walking in a woman’s shoes can be tough at the best of times, throw in a pregnancy and life takes on a whole new meaning! Gone are the days when your skinny Jeans were thrown on with abandon. When you weren’t so likely (most of the time anyway) to burst into tears at the drop of a hat and when it felt like a right to spend too much of your wages on the latest little black number! Julie Cobbe from Stylefish gives some advice on Pregnancy Style.
A New Wardrobe
Now, bump in mind, your guilty pleasure is more likely to be your latest weird and wonderful craving or spending too much on real silk pajamas making bedtime oh so sweet! Enter new phase. New wardrobe. New you.
This emotional rollercoaster ride means we can sometimes (and understandably) detach ourselves from the Idea that if Mummy feels great, baby feels great! We may find it easier to reach for frumpy over fashionable just because it is easier (well it is!). But ladies, we also know that when you wear an outfit that makes us feel great, everything else in your day becomes easier! This let me tell you, has never been more important than when you are pregnant! How you look and how you feel is so inextricably linked that it will mean the difference between mellow, calm, happy mommy and stressed, slightly anxious, wanting this to be over mommy! You should enjoy your wardrobe & your shape at this time and revel in its all-expanding glory! You will feel better, you will smile more, & you will be much calmer!
Shopping for Maternity Clothes
For all the joy being pregnant can bring, getting dressed and feeling good seems to be one of the parts women find toughest! Forget the swollen feet, the backaches & the blotchy skin, if we have our wardrobe sorted, life is a breeze!
When it comes to shopping for maternity clothes, affordability, practicality & comfort are key. It is about getting a good capsule that you love & that creates mix and match outfits easily. It is about knowing what to spend more on & what you can spend less on! Here is our step-by-step guide to a stylish pregnancy.
1. Start from the inside out!
Most women find they don’t need to buy maternity clothes until around the three to four month stage. The first signs of pregnancy are swollen and sore breasts, so get yourself a good fitted bra. Make sure you get properly measured. Be aware that your size can change up to four (yes I said four) times during pregnancy! Also, anything that digs in or pinches can interfere with developing milk ducts and is one of the most important reasons why this is the one thing you need to spend a little more on. Look to a specialist maternity shop or a department store you trust.
2. Comfort is Key
Pregnancy may make your skin sensitive and your body temperature higher than normal so avoid fabrics, which could be an irritant such as man-made fibres, (polyester and acrylic). Choose soft natural fibres (cotton), as it's breathable and cool, and viscose – which is actually made from tree bark and also cool and comfortable.
3. The Expanding Tummy
As your pregnancy progresses, your tummy will need some support, so invest in a maternity support band that you can strap around your bump. They are designed to take the strain from your lower back. I also love Spanx Power Mama Tights (€39), which will support the tummy and lower back much more than normal tights. A good pair of maternity leggings is a must also. They can be worn under dresses and with long tops and give you lots of comfort and flexibility.
4. Top Items for your wardrobe
- A Wrap Top, which will work right throughout your pregnancy as it can be altered as you grow
- A soft pair of denims with an expandable waist
- A wrap dress & a maxi dress – Dresses will be your best friend. There is no thinking about top and bottom halves, just one item, full length, simple!
- A cape style coat or throw over wrap that will work during and after your pregnancy (Ted Baker & Debenhams always have a good selection)
- Good quality cashmere jumper & cardigans that are a little longer. They are smart, ultra soft & comfortable.
- Flat Leather boots – Shoes can be a nightmare when pregnant. You may not feel like heels all the time & good boots can be worn with dresses, skirts & trousers.
Julie Cobbe is Founder of Ireland’s first Fashion School for women (Stylefish.ie) that combines the realness of classes & consultations with the convenience of an online members club. She set up Stylefish.ie in March 2009 to combine her love of teaching with her love of fashion. Style Fish appeared in March of this year on RTE's Dragons Den securing Investment from media mogul Gavin Duffy and CEO & Owner of Harmonia Publishing, Norah Casey.
Style Fish shows women how to become their own stylist & do it for themselves through their personalized body shape & colour styling class or consultation, which is delivered in shopping centres & department stores around the Country. Once graduated each lady gains access to the Style Fish Members Club online where they bring their Members all their recommended buys each week for their shape saving them time, money & stress! Julie also writes a column for Woman’s Way among other publications.