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Maternity Fashion - The Essentials

One thing that has become very apparent to me during the last six months is the lack of fashionable maternity fashion available on the UK highstreet. I was pleased to see a few years ago that my favourite brands Topshop, New Look and H&M had started to offer a maternity collection however now i actually need it, all they really offer are the basics and who just wants to live in stretch tees and leggings for nine months (no matter how comfy they are). Just because i am pregnant doesn't mean i want to loose my style identity and dress like a sack of potatoes.

Now I know there are lots of pricier, specialist maternity brands but with the financial cloud of baby looming, i wanted to keep my clothing budget to a minimum, especially as a lot of these pieces wont get worn again. So far I have managed to achieve this, by continuing to wear a lot of my pre-bump clothes - oversized classic tees, knitwear etc is all good when teamed with a pair of maternity jeans and some accessories to add individuality. However it's those fancier, more fashionable pieces i have struggled with, something that doesn't look frumpy or like a pair of grandmas curtains. Not only have i struggled finding them but actually physically being able to look at / try on in a stocks Maternity. The brands that do offer it, choose to simply sell online and whilst we are a technologically advanced society these days and online shopping is so easy, sometimes you just want to try on a whole pile of stuff without first having to pay and then return it, especially when you haven't a clue about sizing.

And rant over! Now onto the essentials in my maternity wardrobe. In no way the absolute list, but these are things i have found myself reaching for day after day, that allow comfort but also reflect my own style.

Maternity Fashion - My Essentials
Add some fun
Working prints, colour and fun in to your maternity wardrobe helps to break up the inevitable black/white/grey basics you will end up wearing everyday. I achieved this by buying a couple of statement items and mix & matching them into my everyday looks. This bold floral top from ASOS has been my go to piece when i want to feel a little more put together at work, teamed with black skinny jeans and flats - the blouse style is flattering and the bold print makes me smile. Something as simple as a cute slogan tee (not for everyone) is a perfect thrown on item. I fell in love with this "Pregosaurus" tee, so easy to wear and I love the tongue in cheek humour of it. Finally the loafer......super comfy and practical but in this fabulous bold metallic pink just adds a touch of fun. I went for a cheap pair from Primark, but as my feet have swollen a little, £8 was a bargain. I have been teaming these with skinny jeans or my classic LBD and have had no end of comments and compliments about how cute they are -  they do come in many other colours if pink is a little too bright.

The Basics
The foundations of any good wardrobe, maternity or not are staple basics that work for all occasions. Focus on a great pair of black leggings, a pair of black & denim jeans in your preferred fit - i always wear skinnies and i went for over the bump for comfort but there are so many fits and washes available. Stock up on basic tees and vest tops, these will be your saviour - layered up under shirts, knitwear, dresses or worn on their own, mine all came from Primark as i love the fit of their basic vests, just buy a size bigger to accommodate your growing belly!! Comfort is key here so go for stretching fabrics, that hug your bump and cotton where possible to keep you cool during those hot flush moments.

A Simple Dress

For the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy i was still able to wear a lot of my favourite dresses, and where possible even now i will buy non maternity. Go for smock styles that fit and flare over your growing bump and if you need to add a belt. The one style i did go for in maternity was a striped bodycon midi dress - i am not normally a bodycon wearer (too many lumps) but since my bump popped i have been proudly showing it off and a fitted dress does this well. I went for a simple t-shirt style midi from ASOS and it is super comfy, lightweight, will last me for the rest of my pregnancy and looks great teamed with Converse and a jacket.

Finishing Touches
These are the items i have reached for most days and would suggest spending a little more on as they are classics, not fit dependant and will be useful once baby arrives. A classic sneaker/trainer - be that a cool pair of Converse, or a slightly more sporty fashion active sneaker, which ever style you choose go fo comfy and easy to get i am almost 30 weeks i live in my little sneakers, they work well with all of my wardrobe and let me waddle around in comfort. Last but by no means least, would be a cross body bag, keep it small so you don't carry the kitchen sink around (save your poor back), plus this style keeps hands free - helpful for later on when you have to negotiate driving a buggy around. I have not stopped using my Cambridge Satchel Co Push lock bag, i love the injection of colour (last years dusk blue) and the easy size but also not having to compromise my style. Small bags are so on trend and how gorgeous is this bag in the SS17 Neon Coral shade - slightly lusting over this and may have to drop hints for my upcoming birthday!

My Favourite Pieces

Maternity T-Shirt in Floral with Ruffle Hem - ASOS | Maternity Preggosaurus Slogan Tee - ASOS
Metallic Pink Loafers - Primark (In store only) | Maternity Cropped Legging - ASOS
Washed Over Bump Ripped Knee Jeggings - New LookMaternity Ridley Skinny Jean Over The Bump Waistband - ASOS
Maternity Curved Hem T Shirt Dress in Stripe - ASOS | Gingham Smock Dress - Primark (In store only)
Large Push Lock Satchel - Cambridge Satchel Co

As I am sure you will see from above, ASOS has been my saviour, not only can I buy a mix of brands in one place but their own brand ASOS maternity collection is by far the nicest I have found and accounts for about 90% of my maternity wardrobe. A great range with plenty of variety, great fit and best of all not expensive.

Best Highstreet Maternity Collections
New Look | M&SASOSTopshop | H&M

Are there any other brands/products you would recommend I check out?

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