'I'm a fashion editor. Here are 7 tips that have saved my style during pregnancy.'

It was all going fine. Easy, really.

I had a small, barely there bump, and was wearing my usual jeans, blazers and tie-waist dresses like nothing had changed.

This all lasted until around week 22, when it happened. I "popped". 

People told me it was coming, obviously, but I was clearly in some kind of pregnancy body-related denial.

My boobs went up three sizes. My hips looked different. And suddenly nothing fit and I needed outfits for work and a wedding and I had a mild panic attack in front of my wardrobe.

Yes, I'm still a petite person and my bump may not be *huge* yet, but as someone who loves getting dressed, I've found adapting my style to my rapidly changing form these past few months to be more challenging than expected. 

While you're here, listen to Mamamia's fashion podcast, What Are You Wearing? Post continues below.

People warned me there weren't a lot of fashion-forward options out there for pregnant women, but that's an understatement. 

Because practical and comfortable as they may be, jeans with stretchy cotton bands at the waist just aren't my vibe.

I'm not the flowy dress type, nor am I particularly into ruching - so I'm not about to suddenly do a sexy fitted dress having never worn one in my life.

There are maternity dresses and pants and shirts with built-in vents, sure - but no one wants to fork out on an entirely new closet that only lasts a few months. Not only is it wasteful, it's expensive (what's with the maternity markup?)


After much experimentation (stretchy pants above the bump or below? Does this dress work as... a top?) I've realised that pregnancy is like the wild west of fashion - anything goes, and when you find stuff that works, you stick to it.

Blake Lively knows - now heavily pregnant with her fourth child, the actress recently posted an Instagram story about an outfit she invented from necessity, with the caption, "When the back of your skirt won't zip and the front of your dress won't button - wear both."

Image: Instagram/Blake Lively


This ^ is insanely relatable.

And while I'm yet to work it all out (and still have three months to go), I've found that some pieces have become handy staples to wear on repeat. I've also figured out a few styling hacks.

Here are the tips that have saved my style during my second trimester.

1. Get yourself some shirts.

Oversized shirts have been having their moment for some time, so this is nothing new in a fashion sense, but as my pregnancy has converged with spring and then the height of summer, I've been relying heavily on my collection of Big Shirts. 

I wasn't kidding about the shirts. Image: Supplied.


They skim straight over the bump while hiding the waist of whatever bottoms you're wearing, meaning you can have your shorts or pants low and comfortable on your hips. They also channel that effortlessness I'm looking for from my summer outfits. In other words, these have been an absolute lifesaver.


2. Upsize in stretchy pants.

One of the first things I did when I was looking for bottoms to wear throughout my pregnancy was head to Target, where I bought 3 pairs of stretchy flared cotton pants two sizes larger than my regular size. 

My thinking was, I'll wear them as my belly expands, and then when the baby comes in Autumn, they'll be super comfy around the tummy and bottom for moving around the house with a newborn. These weren't an excessive purchase either, coming it at around $30 each. Truly my maternity MVP.

3. Get a bra that fits.

Is this tip obvious? Because it wasn't for me. For a while there I was honestly squeezing into my favourite bra and wondering why my tops all looked shitty. When I finally acknowledged that what I needed was a comfortable bra that actually fit my new cup size, everything changed. My tees and tanks looked streamlined again, and I felt better every time I left the house.


The reality is my boobs will never be the same as they were before - whether they engorge more, deflate, whatever - and this is something I just have to roll with. But a comfy bra is now a non-negotiable. I picked up two for cheap at Cotton On Body, and was kindly gifted a more luxe t-shirt bra from Triumph. Cotton or lace bralettes are also a great option for lazy days or wearing under those oversized shirts.

4. Use this excuse to buy chic flat shoes you'll live in.

Whether your feet have swollen or you're just not even able to consider a pair of heels, this is a very good time for flats to be SO on trend. If you treat yourself to any accessory right now, make it a pair of cool leather/vegan leather sandals (or slides) that go with everything. I'm not saying they offer orthopaedic support - if you need specific shoes for that, get a professional's advice - but good quality flats are a shoe you'll wear long after the baby's born. And you deserve them.

I splurged on these Gucci flats and never looked back. Image: Supplied.


5. Wrap dresses are your friend.

I have a few wrap and tie-waist dresses in my closet, and I've been living in these because they're adjustable and they're not something I'll have to part with after my pregnancy. 

I've also been playing with loosening up the ties and wearing these in new ways to accommodate the bump. I wore a silky black wrap dress, loosely tied kimono-style with flowy black pants to a dinner recently, and for the first time in a while, I actually felt sexy.

Here I am at 22 weeks, wearing my trusty Topshop wrap dress. The bump is there, but the black hides it well! Image: Supplied.


And here's me just before I 'popped' in a Petal and Pup tie-waist dress. I'll just keep loosening this as I get bigger! Image: Supplied.


5. Just... remove the waist tie.

Meanwhile, those dresses I have with detachable waist-ties? Turns out they look pretty cute as smocks too, minus the cinching in. I know, GROUNDBREAKING. But because this style has always been such a staple for me, until I actually took off the tie, I hadn't considered that doing this would give them a fresh silhouette - and that they'd need a different styling approach too. 

So I've leaned into the trend for shift dresses and smocks with chunky platform sandals and sneakers. It's such an easy combo and I'm getting more wear out of my favourite pieces, which is a win!

7. You don't have to go 'earth mama'.

Just because there's a slew of Insta-mums wearing bohemian dresses and brown linen for their maternity photoshoots, doesn't mean you have to go for that style trope. I wanted to retain my more minimal style for work because that's what feels like me - so I've looked to things like blazer dresses and silk separates that are easy to throw on and feel put-together.


I guess the underline here is that embracing your new curves and finding comfort in your maternity style can be about surrendering - to the fact that things look and feel different on your body, and the way you've always put them together.

In some ways I'm sure it's good mental preparation for what's to come.

But in saying that, you don't have to completely change your style (or spend a bomb) for these few months - that's just another stress to take off your pre-baby to-do list. Your wardrobe might just be more adaptable than you think.

For more from Tamara, you can read her articles here or follow her on Instagram.

Feature Image: Supplied/Tamara Davis.