When I was pregnant with my first child, I tried hard to buy pieces I could wear during pregnancy and afterwards. This was relatively easy during the first few months, as I strolled around town with my compact, first-baby bump. But by the time I was lumbering through the final few weeks I had four outfits of tops and leggings on constant rotation and, frankly, would rather have walked the streets naked than wear them post-birth.
This is not an uncommon experience.
“I had a few pieces during my first pregnancy – leggings and layering pieces – that I disposed of happily at the end of the ordeal,” says stylist and fashion consultant Bree Macara, who’s currently pregnant with her second child. “But I did invest in some pieces I knew I’d keep: knitwear, sneakers and ‘occasion shirting’.”
Thanks to brands offering maternity ranges and a wider choice of maternity specialists, it’s now easier than ever to maintain your own personal style during pregnancy. Even in the later weeks, brands like Lorna Jane, Emamaco and Active Truth offer great over-bump maternity leggings for athleisure enthusiasts, while the trend for oversized shirting and a slouchy, pared-back vibe means that even the most committed minimalist can stay true to their favoured look.
Living in London during her first pregnancy, Bree found dressing “a sartorial breeze – sweaters, coats, oversized everything, flat shoes and boots. But once the circumference really set in, Arket, Uniqlo, a JW Anderson shirt and Vetements dress (that unbuttoned at the back) were absolute lifelines.”
This Australian summer has proved harder. “Nothing I relied upon before is relevant. I’ve had to look to dresses and drawstring pants and shorts, and a new pair of Marni sandals (any excuse!),” she laughs. “I’ve also made peace with making a few compromises for greater comfort. Nothing’s more important than comfort during pregnancy!”
I’ve had to look to dresses and drawstring pants and shorts, and a new pair of Marni sandals
The Undone’s Sara Crampton, whose style is grounded in neutrals and elevated essentials, has also found summer dressing a challenge, after sailing through her first, winter pregnancy in knit dresses (“I had a Toteme black dress on high rotation”) layered with trenches and coats.
“As I’m carrying twins this time round, I was feeling and looking ‘full term’ a lot earlier and for longer,” she says. “I invested in a couple of long tanks for Jac and Jack that have been saviours, and Christopher Esber does a great low-rise, elastic black trouser that has been my go-to. Although it’s easier to wear a loose summery dress at home, I don’t like to wear these out as I don’t feel like myself, so I prefer to pop on a trouser, long tank and an open shirt.”
This week, Bree and Sara have chosen their favourite pregnancy-approved pieces that you’ll definitely still want to wear afterwards…