Convinced you’re going to be one of those stylish pregnant women, with a cute little bump, who just goes up a size or wears things a little baggier?

Me too! Then nine months of baby growth added an extra 15kg in weight and 40cm to my waistline. And don’t even get me started on the boobs! I was a giant water-retention filled balloon. Not to mention the cankles – mine were from the thighs down. I had thankles!

Of course, pregnant mamas still have to leave the house, go to work and look appropriate in public. If “what am I going to wear?!” is a daily wail at your house, then we’re here to help! Check out these tips for surviving the minefield that is maternity style.

Maternity Fashion – What to Buy and Where to Get it

Maternity clothes are a great reason to go shopping and celebrate your bump. So what should you buy? Here’s how to shop for Australian maternity clothes.


1.  Something Special

It’s nice to feel a bit special at this special time, so let’s start with the drop-dead-gorgeous maternity dress. It’s likely you’ll have some kind of event in the nine months that you’re preggers – weddings, birthdays, or even your own baby shower. If you’re like me and have to drag your eight-month-belly and thankles to your super-slim friend’s wedding, then for goodness sake, treat yo’self!

Try and find a dress that’s fancy enough for a special occasion, but isn’t too much to wear to lunch with friends – you want to wear it more than once, after all. Stop in at Queen Bee , which has loads of beautiful maternity dresses from all your favourite maternity designers and brands.

dressing-maternity-bump-dresses

So what will you find at Queen Bee? This Floressa Anais floral dress (above left, $119.95) is super pretty and just right once you start to show. You can wear it after too for nursing as it has a secret crop layer hidden in the bodice. Or stand out in the most spectacular way in this red Selena Off Shoulder Nursing Dress (above middle, $89.95). How do you make everyone around you green with envy? You frock up in this emerald Trimester Keaton open shoulder dress (right, $79.95). Too cute.


2. Maternity Bras and Underwear

A decent bra will get you far. The Australian Breastfeeding Association has some good tips on what to look for when choosing a maternity bra and Curvy has a fine selection in sizes that will actually fit once those pregnancy boob-growing hormones kick in.

hotmilk maternity bras and maternity lingerie
Image source: Hotmilk

Try their selection of affordable bras from brands including Bonds and Triumph. If you’re looking for something really special in the maternity bra stakes, check out Curvy’s Hotmilk (seriously, that’s their name!) for something a little sexier.

This Hotmilk Temptress bra (above) delivers a bit of hot tamale mama to your maternity wardrobe, but it’s cotton lined behind the lace so your skin can breathe and it has no wire so it’s super comfy. It comes in sizes from 10B up to 20H. And there’s matching knickers too. Whoo-hoo, hot mama!


3. Back to Basics

It’s a cliche, but capsule is key for your pregnancy wardrobe. Look at your normal clothes, consider what you wear the most and build around that. Singlets, t-shirts and maternity dresses in plain colours or with simple patterns will be your go-tos. Mix and match with stretchy skirts and a jacket for work or wear with shorts or leggings, knits and boots for the weekend.

Belly Bandit maternity basics

Don’t forget a good pair of maternity leggings, especially if you’re brewing a winter baby. The creme de la creme of maternity leggings are these beauties (above right) from Belly Bandit that are made to cradle and support your bump. Wear the B.D.A Leggings before, during and after your pregnancy and with everything. Layered under a tunic, paired with a pinafore or just on their own with a comfortable tee, you’re going to live in these!

The Belly Bandit Thigh Disguise and Belly Bandit Belly Boost are two other key maternity basics set to become your best friends. The first one will stop your thighs chaffing (ouch) when you waddle – er, walk. And the second will cradle your bump AND support your back while also providing an essential extra bit of cover between your pants and top to stop the problem of bump flashing at strangers.

If you need more space for your bump then H&M and ASOS both have some brilliant tops from plain white t-shirts to something a bit more fun, or tailored for work.

maternity clothes basics
Boohoo maternity Jen stripe tee, $13; Target maternity organic cotton tee $15; ASOS preggers slogan tee, $28. 

H&M also do great affordable nursing maternity singlets, as do Target and Big W, which you can wear on their own or layered under other tops as the weather turns cold.


4. Jeans 

Good maternity jeans are so worth it. You will wear these with everything, to everything and they’re definitely not something you can just go bigger in! Check out Jeanswest’s range to find a pair to suit your style. ASOS have a pretty fine on-trend range of maternity jeans too, priced from a very hip-pocket friendly $40. Or try Kmart over-the-bump maternity jeans for an even more affordable $25 and you’ll have enough left to buy a matching denim jacket too.

ASOS Over the Bump dark blue jeggings $40; ASOS Under Bump jeans, $50; Jeanswest Ambrose maternity jeans, $99

5. The LBD (Little Black Dress)

little black dress is a pregnancy must have. You can dress it up or down, however you like and for any occasion. Wear it with a denim jacket and runners for weekend casual or with boots and a leather jacket for street cool. Pair it with kitten heels and a statement necklace for date night or special events.

ASOS (seriously they have SO much maternity choice!) and the Iconic both have lots of different LBD maternity styles to choose from. And we love love love this chic lace-sleeved offering from Esprit.

australian maternity clothes - little black dress
ASOS Mamalicious Dress, $30; Espirit Maternity stretch dress, $99.95; Sussan Maternity black dress, $69.97.

Whatever style you choose, just remember your comfort is key! Happy shopping you beautiful mammas!

Now that we have your maternity wardrobe sorted, come find out about the essentials that every mum-to-be should pack in her hospital bag.

Author

Originally from the UK, but now very much at home on the sunny NSW Central Coast, Sarah is mum to 18-month-old Freddy. When she's not writing, you'll find her at the beach, chasing Freddy at high speed, or drinking tea and eating cake whilst thinking about going to the gym.

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