January 24, 2013 12:00 AM | by Heidi Raeside
Pregnancy Style Essentials
Top Shop’s Baxter Maternity jeans were my fail proof and the skinny fit offered easy balance to the obviously volumes top half of me. They’re comfy and inexpensive – which makes you feel less guilty should you happen to need another pair towards the end of pregnancy. I can also recommend Citizens of Humanity’s maternity jeans and ASOS.com’s (both of which are sized very generously).
What would I have done without you ASOS? You bailed me out of every occasion I had to dress for throughout my pregnancies with delivery as quick as three days at times. You were fun to browse and gave me my best value maternity staples (namely my denim cut-offs!). That French Connection Maternity dress is on pregnant friend rotation. Whilst so cheap, those white skinny maternity jeans were a low risk gamble that paid off …and I must confess, I still wear that nautical striped maternity t-shirt now, nine weeks after pregnancy.
Throughout the first trimester and before you actually need maternity jeans, you can extend the life of your ‘normal’ jeans with a hair-band through the button holes. This trick works best with…
The stretchy cotton tube extends the coverage of your shrinking t-shirts and can even cover an open/elastic-band extended trouser fly. I found one in black, one in white and one in grey and they’ve seen me through both pregnancies, from start to finish. Buy a cheap multi-pack from Top Shop or New Look.
Most of my friends seem to use this heaven-sent, pink oil throughout and after pregnancy and none of these have stretch marks (although, I did read that stretch marks are purely genetic and no amount of oil can fend them off, unfortunately). The bottle tells you to apply twice a day from three months until after pregnancy – but I applied between 2-3 times a day from the day I found out I was pregnant until the day I was back in my skinny jeans! You can buy it from Boots in the UAE – look out for and avail of 3-for-2 offers, you could use about 5-6 bottles through pregnancy/post-natal use.
Fortunately for the SPANX empire (and K-Lynn in the UAE) and unfortunately for us, we’re not all Giselle Bundchen and when pregnant, we get a little spread outside of the tummy area. Maternity Spanx pulls these ‘other’ areas cleanly in to shape, whilst gently supporting the expanding tummy. They’re guaranteed to make you feel 10 times better in anything you’ll wear, especially skirts and dresses. I even brazened out a few vest dresses in the last tri’ with the hidden and comforting support of my loyal maternity SPANX.
It’s a cruel twist that although you may never have felt less like dolling yourself up, you’ll never need to more. Shlepping about in baggy track pants with greasy hair and uncared for skin will just make you feel terrible… and scare other women off of pregnancy (and the less young women walking around all fresh from lots of sleep and taught from no pregnancy the better, right?!
As I worked out a lot less in the last trimester, I treated myself to a blow dry (AED105 at Jetset, Grosvenor House, Mohammed is a round brush and nozzle black belt!) once a week and it lasted throughout (no shame in my dry-shampoo game!). I figured it cost about as much as an expensive weekly cocktail that I was missing!
I also had a spray tan (no evidence that there’s ANY risk to you or baby, at all) every fortnight. Likewise, get your nails done, polish and oil and bathe your skin and just take good care of yourself. Believe me, you won’t have so much time for this later. My uber-grooming in pregnancy made me feel SO much better and convinced everyone, including me, that I was glowing in pregnancy,
however I felt.
Dresses (formal, as required, 2-3 dress-up/dress-down)
In pregnancy and out, dresses are the easiest thing to wear. In pregnancy, a dress is most often the most comfortable and flattering look too. In pregnancy, I had a few of daytime dresses, which could be amped up with accessories for evening, or new looks and a couple of occasion dresses.
Obvious styles are maxi, empire line and wrap dresses. Smock type dresses can be cute too, but be careful if you are top heavy. Around 4-7 months, when I had an obvious bump, but not as much extra weight as carried later on, I even went for slinky fit numbers. At it’s best stage (2nd trimester?) pregnancy can be a very sxy, feminine shape. Like any other time, dress to your shape – show your legs off if they are still in pregnancy, or show your cleavage off if it’s the first time you’ve had one!
Don’t waste your money on expensive clothes (other than a couple of foundation pieces, see above: jeans and one maternity specific dress – max) that you won’t wear again outside of pregnancy. BUT, when you need to treat yourself, and you do need to treat yourself in pregnancy, splurge on accessories. Any celeb seeking to downsize her pregnancy will tell you the power of a BIG handbag, to make you look smaller. I went mad on statement necklaces, which drew attention to my super blow dry and face, and away from anything below those, which I didn’t want you to focus on.
Statement, but tasteful, jewellery will make you feel stylish and put together too and give those basic maternity wardrobe staples a new look over and over. Smoke and mirrors ladies!
To pull together a look and to give you some shape and coverage, jackets are a God-send. Structured blazer, biker, or the new season college sports styles give any outfit a little oomph and again distract attention away from an otherwise frumpy shape and frazzled demeanour. Who cares if you can’t do them up – you’ll be able to again at some point and they’re giving you a lovely shape, whilst hiding the pregnancy bingo wings.
There it is! My post-natal essentials coming soon…