Amanda Marcantonio is the Senior Fashion Editor for Good Housekeeping and Prima magazine and is currently 32 weeks pregnant with her first baby. Here she shares her top 3 maternity style tips and her 6 must-have pieces for dressing your baby-bump.
DON’T LOSE YOUR IDENTITY
If you only choose to follow one piece of advice, this should be it. Not looking like ‘me’ was one of my biggest fashion fears when I became pregnant. My personal style is classic with a cool, modern twist. I love leather, denim, layering, my high-top trainers, biker boots, stripes and a splash of leopard print and I was dreading having to wear floaty boho maternity clothes which are pretty but it’s just not me! After A LOT of maternity style research and some purchases from Seraphine (skinny jeans, Breton top and black pencil skirt), I realised you can easily find clothes that work with your new body without sacrificing your usual style.
PLAY WITH PROPORTION
Pregnant or not, I always tell my readers to balance proportions. Not only will it keep you looking modern and up-to-date, it’s also the ultimate in figure-flattering dressing. If you prefer looser tops or longer floaty tunics, pair with skinny jeans or tapered slim-fit trousers. If you feel comfy in roomy wide-leg trousers I’d recommend wearing it with a well-cut top to give your figure some shape and definition.
GET MORE MILEAGE FROM YOUR MATERNITY WEAR
Let’s face it, after months of wearing the same items over and over again, everyday outfits can become a little boring and predictable. So why not try reinventing your existing staple pieces by wearing them differently. Why wear a dress as a dress? It can double as a tunic and be layered over jeans or trousers. Try slipping a jumper or top over a dress which turns it instantly into a skirt. I’m also a big fan of long sleeves under short, rolling up the hem of your jeans, or pushing back sleeves and letting long sleeve T-shirts peep from under a jumper … there are endless ways to give old outfits a fashionable new twist.
INVEST IN THESE 6 STYLE STAPLES
Here’s my ultimate list of the best maternity style saviors – the hero pieces that have seen me through my pregnancy…
Jeans shopping is notoriously tricky but when you’re pregnant it’s even harder. After trying on MANY pairs of jeans from different high street stores (it’s fair to say I’m a fussy jeans shopper), Seraphine under-the-bump skinny jeans have been my go-to style staple. But since reaching my third trimester I’ve switched to their over-the-bump skinny jeans for extra comfort and to wear post-baby. In reality, you’ll probably still wear maternity clothes for a good few months after your baby is born, so great quality maternity jeans are a wise investment.
2) White Long Sleeve T-shirt
The ultimate foundation piece for layering. Seek out a long-line T-shirt with flattering bump-friendly ruching around the tummy. The longer length means you can possibly wear some of your pre-pregnancy tops for a bit longer like I did and just let the T-shirt peep underneath. Wear on its own or layered under tops, dresses and jumpers, the humble long sleeve T-shirt will up the ante of simple outfits.
3) An LBD
A Little Black Maternity Dress is unbelievably versatile – I wear mine at least 3 times a week, if not more! I dress it down with boots and a leather jacket, glam it up with jewels, heels or embellished flats (if I can’t face heels) and I often wear it under a top or jumper. It’s so easy to transform from desk to dinner – it’s my ultimate maternity style winner.
4) Black Trousers or Leather Leggings
You simply can’t go wrong with a trusty pair of black trousers but if you want more of a fashion edge like I did, buy some faux leather leggings. I really don’t like my upper legs and thighs so I wear my leather leggings with long tops, jumper dresses and tunics – it keeps them cleverly covered!
Stripes are my default purchase at any time in my life and they look just as chic when you’re pregnant. They’re effortlessly fashionable and make you look polished and pulled together without even trying, which is why they’re my pregnancy secret weapon. Why not double up and buy a Breton that’s a nursing top too?
6) Simple Skirt
A go-with-everything chic black pencil skirt is a must-buy. It’s your shortcut to staying stylish all pregnancy long. From weekdays to weekends, it can do both and will be one of the hardest working pieces in your wardrobe. I personally wanted to embrace my new pregnancy shape which is why I love my Seraphine soft stretchy pencil skirt as it accentuates my tummy and keeps my silhouette streamlined.