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My top pregnancy style rule is don’t buy anything unnecessary. Every stage of pregnancy is temporary, and your body is constantly changing, so it’s a total waste of money. If you do want to invest, try to opt for non-maternity pieces that can wear post-pregnancy, like oversized tailoring and loose knitwear. It’s also the most sustainable option.
Find your favourites. All I want to wear during this pregnancy is dresses. Trousers and jeans can tricky and uncomfortable, so instead, look for stretchy knit dresses or loose silky slip dresses for something dressier. It’s easy to elevate either with chunky jewellery and cool footwear. Also, elasticated satin maxi skirts have played a huge role in my pregnancy wardrobe – they’re so easy to style with loose sweatshirts and knitwear.
Don’t feel you have to buy ‘maternity clothes.’ The only maternity piece I’ve bought are a pair of jeans from Donna Ida. I like baggy low-rise jeans that sit under my bump, and I style them with fitted vest tops and a cardigan for day, and an oversized blazer for the evening or for work. It’s become a bit of a formula and it’s an easy one to dress up with slingbacks and big earrings. Today, I only would buy maternity brands for a special occasion. I love Nine the Label, Beyond Nine and of course rental platforms like For the Creator. Alternatively, try one of the brands we used on the shoot like Raey, Sleeper or Staud.
Relax at the weekend or any time you’re off-duty. It’s my time to just chill and not worry about looking polished, although a matching set can look elevated if you style it with a cool bomber or a loose trench and sunglasses. A cargo trouser is another good option – especially when worn with a loose vest and open shirt.
Spend your money on accessories – a really great bag or a piece of cool jewellery can elevate the simplest of looks. You will need to invest in some comfy shoes but go for styles you know you will wear post-pregnancy too. I have just bought some chic ballet flats for work and for the evening– they feel a bit more polished than trainers and work with almost anything. I also have a pair of flat knee-high boots which I’ve started wearing recently – they look great with leggings and knitted dresses.
Don’t limit yourself to shapeless clothes. I avoid tent-like dresses – it’s obvious I’m pregnant and I don’t buy into hiding my bump. Some form-fitting clothes actually make you look more proportioned and feel better. I don’t think cropped wide-leg trousers and baggy tops are a good look, so I balance out my shape by keeping either the top or bottom half tighter than a looser other half.
Know what works for you. I have bought the same vest top in three different colours because I know it works so well with my jeans, leggings and maxi skirts. It makes dressing easy, as I have a bit of a capsule wardrobe going on – I’m just mixing it up with different colours and accessories.
Let things evolve every time. My style has changed so much from my first pregnancy seven years ago. Back then I was presenting full time on Sky Sports, and dressing the bump was all about looking good on TV. Because it was my first pregnancy, I spent money on maternity clothes but this time around, having pulled out all my old maternity clothes from their vacuum-packed bags, I realise how much my fashion choices have changed.
Take inspiration from celebrities. It’s been so amazing seeing people like Rihanna, Ciara and even Sienna Miller embracing their bumps. It’s so brave and beautiful. It may not work for popping to Tesco, but we shouldn’t have to feel frumpy just because our shapes are changing. Embracing the growth and what it represents is something to be proud of.
Don’t ignore grooming. Oftentimes, just a little tweak is all you need to feel a bit more like yourself. A red lip or a bouncy blow dry could instantly make you feel better. And sunglasses – so easy, but they always elevate a look, whether you’re pregnant or not.
Come back to your own style in time. I’ve missed dressing with a waist and tucking things in, but I know my body will continue to change after I give birth – and it’s unlikely I’ll go back to that straight away. There is no rush. It can be quite a struggle mentally, but focusing on how lucky, special and magical this time is what counts.
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Photography by Victoria Adamson