When I fell pregnant I immediately had issues with fitting into my pants. Even by week 8 I had to unbutton my jeans and wear loose tops due to the bloat and the swelling of my breasts. I felt gross, ugly and not at all in the mood to show off my body. My only relief was that it was winter and could fortunately conceal myself under layers upon layers of clothing.
All I wanted in those first 12 weeks was to be comfortable. Being fashionable or the idolised 'yummy mummy' came second to ensuring I didn't pop out of my bras. The belly belt helped for about a week to extend the life of a few spandex-infused jeans but lets face it, anything that doesn't have elastic doesn't have a place in your maternity wardrobe. Coupled with the fact I felt like a whale, I would have to start investing in a few key maternity clothing that would last throughout the 9 months and even a change of seasons.
I can't tell you how to dress, but I can tell you my secrets on how I appear to have "endless maternity clothes" and "bucket loads of money" as my mother puts it.
1. No one is going to check your tags.
Kmart. Target. Big W and ebay. The ranges available these days in the way of maternity clothing is really impressive. Nursing tanks, rouched tops and even a few nice dresses range from $9 to about $25.
|Jacket: Cotton On. Non Maternity from 3 years ago. $30|
T-shirt: Target $25
Jeans: Target $40
Shoes: Target $25
|White Shirt: Kmart $9|
Black Lace Top: Kmart. Non Maternity $12
Jeans: Target $40
Shoes: Kmart $9
Before I make any purchase, even a $9 top from kmart, I do my research. Most retail shops these days are online so you can compare prices before making a decision. My number one go-to site for most items is www.asos.com.au This site is an absolute godsend. I always go straight to the sale page because you can get some pretty gorgeous items for 70% off the retail price and if you subscribe to their emails they send you discount codes to further reduce your order. They are really accurate with their sizes but if something isn't right, you just swap it or get a refund.
|Asos Dress - On Sale $17|
|Asos Dress - On Sale $20|
http://www.boohoo.com.au (*not maternity but awesome basics at cheap prices. Just buy the next size up!)
3. Buy Basics.
Blue Jeans, Black & White tops, black leggings and plain dresses. Dress them up later.
4. Invest in a few key items.
I'm not all scabby. I have bought a few things that even though they were on sale, I would still consider to be expensive. I allowed myself to buy a few keys pieces like maternity overalls, boyfriend jeans or a nice jumper. Oh, and of course some nursing bras.
|My beloved overalls. $85|
(Top from Kmart $9)
You are still going to fit into your existing shoes, stretchy maxis, clown jumpsuits, necklaces and cardis being pregnant so wear them! A pair of jeans and a plain white tank which probably cost you $45 all up to buy can be re-worn a thousand different times by pairing them with a chunky necklance, bright cardi, dangly earrings or a swanky pair of wedges which you have sitting in your closet already.
|Only item of maternity clothing here is the black top. Everything was already sitting in my cupboard.|
|Again, just the black T is the only thing new|
Seems silly to have to mention it, but there are times when I can be wearing the most gorgeous dress and feel like a slob. Not everyone needs this step, but personally I need it; for both my physical and mental transformation. Even a light coat of tinted moisturiser and some mascara can transform not only your entire face, but your attitude. And half of looking like a yummy mummy is feeling like one too.
I was and still am so proud of my baby bump so when the time came to reveal that we were first expecting, I wholly and passionately embraced 'the bump.' That's probably been my biggest inspiration for how I style myself these days. Make the bump the centre of attention, embrace your new body and its changes and pretend you don't care about the extra few pounds that have now taken residence on your thighs.
More images and outfit ideas found on my instagram @lorakayte