In this guest blog, Deborah Burnham aka Styled by Deborah, shares her top tips for pregnancy and maternity style.
A professional stylist running her own consultancy, Debs specialises in body shape and colour analysis. Her mission is to empower women through their style, creating looks that enhance their shape, colouring and, most importantly, confidence.
Think maternity fashion, think stripes and tents? It doesn’t have to be that way!
An incredibly exciting time, pregnancy can also be pretty tricky in terms of knowing what to wear, what to buy and how to feel like yourself.
Pregnancy and maternity style can still be fun!
As a personal stylist working with expectant mums, I know how hard it can be to hold onto your sense of self during pregnancy. I felt incredibly lucky when I was pregnant to have the tools and knowledge to dress my constantly changing body shape and continue to express myself through my style without compromising on comfort – nail the basics that make you feel comfortable and allow your individuality to shine through (for me, that involved statement jewellery, headwear, collars and my beloved feathered flats!).
There’s enough to contend with whilst being pregnant – it’s more important than ever to be able to express yourself through your style.
Here are my eight top tips to feel like you…
- Maximise what you have: Wear your own clothes for as long as possible to feel like yourself. Peruse your existing wardrobe for bump-friendly pieces – anything oversized and without a waist, whether that be smock tops, oversized shirts, wrap tops/skirts/dresses, relaxed style dresses, overalls, denim and leather jackets, relaxed blazers. You may be pleasantly surprised by how many pieces you can adjust and wear well into your pregnancy – wear skirts higher on your waist, belt a dress over your bump, wear pre-pregnancy jackets/coats open.
- Stay true to yourself: Whether your style is boho chic or alternative and quirky, stick to it and adapt where necessary. That said, don’t be afraid to try things you wouldn’t typically (case in point: I don’t ordinarily reach for fitted dresses, but thanks to the stretch in knitted dresses, I appreciated their comfort during pregnancy and potential beyond bump)
- Shop smart: The lifespan of clothes for each trimester is so short, rental and second-hand offer access to your favourite brands for a fraction of the cost to buying new (not to mention the environmental impact). No better starting place than For The Creators for your circular source of maternity and postnatal fashion (in fact, I’ve listed some of my own maternity clothes on FTC). What I especially love is their focus on enabling women to stay true to their personal style by offering an array of beautiful brands – be it maternity-specific or high-end high-street, you can build a wardrobe that evolves with your body throughout motherhood that you actually want to wear (you can shop my edit here).
- Rock oversized: Shop for what you’d normally buy, only bigger (said shop may even be your partner’s wardrobe – my husband’s denim shirt proved to be the perfect pregnancy throw-on!). Oversized, relaxed styles offer great alternatives to buying maternity-specific – not only can oversized pieces be easily styled once the baby’s arrived (French tuck* big shirts, belt bigger dresses), you’ll appreciate their loose fit long after the baby’s arrived. *Tucking your top in at the front only.
- Bump & beyond: Acquaint yourself with brands like Clary & Peg, Bump & Milk and Beyond Nine who design clothes to be worn before, during and after pregnancy (the former offers petite options – not to be underrated, maternity and petite is quite the rarity!)
- The only thing you can’t grow out of: Create unlimited new looks with the power of accessories. Whatever your trimester, accessories are the simplest, quickest and cheapest way to inject life into the simplest of outfits. Try drop earrings to elongate, turn to a necklace to not only add interest but break up the bust line, mix up your scarves, play with hair accessories, or reach for a hat.
- Invest beyond maternity: Put a smile on your face by buying something you can wear and cherish for years. My wow-you’re-growing-a-human present to myself were a pair of cowboy boots that allowed me to feel pretty fabulous during my hospital visits (especially when the sonographer wanted to try them on!)
- Rock a bold lip: A slick of lipstick or nail polish is the perfect pick-me-up.
Above all else, embrace the changes and be kind to yourself – if you feel great, you’ll look great!