I don’t claim to be knowledgeable about fashion. I wish I was. I’ve done some plus size modelling, Catwalkwhich I’m proud of; but in those cases I happily allow the experts and stylists to dress me up like a slightly-bigger-than-normal doll and I clap my hands that I get to wear expensive labels and quality clothes.

But when it comes to maternity wear, this time around – I’ve learned a few things. So here are my top tips for maternity wear, take them or leave them:

1. Don’t buy any garment that costs more than £30 (unless it’s been discounted from like, £70 or something. You need cheap, cheerful and comfortable clothing. It’s not worth splashing the cash, as it is temporary.

2. If you’re a bigger girl like me, try to avoid buying online. I’d say it’s okay to buy maternity leggings, stretchy tops or something like that through a website, as they don’t come with many issues; but things like dresses, jackets, even cardigans, really are better being tried on in the shop. Which I know is a bit of a nuisance because so many shops now ONLY sell maternity wear online and have removed the stock from the high street. (Don’t get me started on this!)

3. Two words. Bump band. They are fantastic. I didn’t get one the first time around and I have no idea why. They provide a bit of pelvic support and smooth out the bump at the same time. They are also great for wearing as a stretchy skirt over leggings with a long, floaty top or cardigan over as well.

4. Accessorise. It is definitely the pregnant woman’s secret weapon. If all you can manage to wear are plain colours, if you’re trying to avoid zany patterns that make you feel like a brightly coloured turnip, then accessories are your best friend. Pretty scarves, chunky jewellery and some funky footwear is the way to go. And, you know they’re going to fit. I don’t do enough of this, but that’s more for budgeting reasons!

5. Visit the shops more often than you usually would. In some of the pricier shops, you would be surprised how often they move stuff over to the sale rack. If you can nip in regularly, you’re bound to get a bargain.

6. Invest in at least one decent pair of maternity pyjamas. Again, a mistake I made the first time around and this time, I don’t know what I’d do without them. Sleeping is uncomfortable enough while you’re pregnant, you need good, loose and comfy sleepwear.

7. Don’t buy a maternity coat. If you can help it. I did buy one the first time and looking back, yes, it kept me warm but it wasn’t like I needed it to climb up mountains, I led a fairly quiet life while I was expecting. I think it’s better to invest in a couple of good quality thick cardigans or hoodies that you can layer up…maternity coats didn’t flatter me and were expensive.

8. Dressing for work – depending on your job, you might be expected to wear a uniform or perhaps a certain ‘style’ of clothes, like a suit maybe. I spoke to a colleague recently who said a relative of hers was expected to wear a suit to work while pregnant and she was too worried to ask her employer to allow her some leeway with outfits. In my opinion this shouldn’t be allowed to happen. Just make sure you talk to them, and explain to them if you need to wear something more comfortable.

This isn’t a sponsored post, I feel the need to say that, as the following stores are the ones that I have found the best for maternity:

Mothercare – Blooming Marvelous range is great and their sized are realistic. Great leggings and watch out for their sale!

H&M – for good basics, good value and regular sale items.

Red Herring – good for brighter colours/designs, well made and affordable

Four months and counting…then I will need to think about what the hell I will wear after the baby is born!!

*Photo courtesy of HF Photography 🙂