Yet watching your wardrobe contract during a pregnancy can be one of the most mind-blowingly confounding fashion problems you ever face.
As your body gets larger, the number of items in your wardrobe that you are able to wear gets inversely smaller, so it’s a good idea to give your clothing a bit of thought ahead of time.
So we’ve chatted to a few mums who have been through it all before, and compiled a list of versatile must-haves that will ensure you are well equipped for the months ahead
10 wardrobe essentials for your pregnancy:
1. A long black maxi dress
A super-long black dress, preferably in stretch jersey, will not only take you through your pregnancy, but is an item you will use for years to come.
For day, add bangles, hoop earrings, and aviators, team with layers of singlets and a funky waistcoat, try a long line cardigan, a tailored blazer or even a denim jacket. And for night, dress it up with long, elegant earrings, a glamorous up-do, and a chunky cocktail ring. Loads more styling tips here.
2. A light-weight, long-line cardigan
The perfect cover up for transeasonal weather, or for warmer days try a lightweight kimono style top like the one pictured above.
Aim for a length that falls at least a few inches past your bottom so it remains in proportion as your body expands.
The Belly Belt (RRP $24.95) is a simple yet genius invention which attaches to your regular jeans, skirts or pants so the waist expands as your belly grows. This enables you to continue to wear your normal bottoms throughout your pregnancy – providing you don’t stack extra weight onto your lower half. Just another incentive to step away from the banana bread.
4. Kaftan/tunic style top
Choose a pattern you love, in a fabric with a slight stretch.
Look for a style with a low cut V-neck to show off your growing décolletage, and a length to generously cover your growing belly.
Dial up the exotic look by accessorising with layers of long necklaces, dangly earrings and stacks of bracelets, and keep the look fluid by teaming with loose-fitting, wide-legged cotton pants.
5. Wide-legged pants
Roomy and loose, your pants should feel as comfy as your pyjamas – but look tailored to the eye.
Seek out linen or cotton pants with a draw-string or elasticised waist band.
Team with a Kaftan for a tailored yet exotic look, or long layered singlets and a long-line cardigan for a classic, relaxed vibe.
6. Flat shoes
While you may feel compelled to continue wearing heels throughout your pregnancy, they will undoubtedly cause issues with your back as your pregnancy advances.
Treat your back – and your feet – to some beautiful flat shoes sooner rather than later. Experiment with brightly coloured ballet flats, embellished sandals, loafers or ankle boots. We’ve done the hard work for you here.
7. Long stretchy tops
Think of your longest top. Now, think of a top that is at least 30 cm longer than that. That’s the type of length you’ll need to get you through to the end of your pregnancy.
Shop around for long singlets, long-sleeved boat-neck styles, off the shoulder Grecian drapes, or go for something really tight.
As a friend revealed over coffee:
“A really tight stretchy top was my pregnancy essential…and it’s the only time I’ve ever really looked fabulous in one in my entire life.”
And she’s got a point. Pregnant bellies are hard and firm – so flaunt it!
8. Black leggings
For the ultimate in practicality and versatility, you can’t go past a pair of black leggings. Look for a maternity pair with an adjustable waist, in a thick ponte fabric which will smooth over bumps and firm up any jiggly bits.
Wear with long tops (aim to have coverage down to at least mid-thigh), and finish with a blazer, cardigan or wrap. More styling tips here.
9. Something extra to cover your lower belly
You’ll be surprised how much of your lower belly starts to get exposed in the last couple of months, even with the longest of long tops.
Look for a purpose-built belly band, or think outside the square and use a boob-tube pulled down to your abdomen, long men’s singlet (I stole my husband’s BONDS wife-beaters), or longer tops with a firm band around the bottom.
10. Piles of accessories
Your ‘baby brain’ may be making you a bit scatty, so use this to your advantage and go crazy with accessories! It’s the easiest way to change the look of your basics.
Try piling on long necklaces, stacking multiple bracelets of different colours and textures, and be sure to wear loads of long dangly earrings, and chunky rings. Once your newborn arrives, it’s likely these adornments won’t see the light of day for a while, so make the most of them while you can!
What was the one item you couldn’t have got through your pregnancy without?
And which item were you so sick of by the end of your pregnancy that you wanted to burn it???
Written by Andrea Z, and originally published on Birth.com.au