CARI Founder & mum-of-two Sue Carter offers her expert advice on planning the pregnancy wardrobe essentials to ensure you stay confident and stylish during this new chapter in life
Along with the new baby, the motherhood journey also brings a whole new lifestyle and body, meaning you also have to discover and embrace a new style. There is so much change, growth and transformation - it’s such a miraculous time., but can also be a little overwhelming. Here are some of my top tips to help you navigate the wardrobe challenges of pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Motherhood is not ‘temporary’: it’s nine-months of pregnancy, three months in the postpartum period and the average time for breastfeeding is around six months. That’s ‘fashion with functionality’ for approx one year – with less opportunity to go shopping. Chances are you may already be planning for more kids in the future. For anyone hesitating about how much value you will get out of maternity / breastfeeding clothes, rest assured, you will get good wear out of carefully considered pieces
Planning is key to putting together a stylish wardrobe: The first question for most women is ‘when do I need pregnancy clothes’? Consider your next 12 months in the context of seasons, lifestyle and big events.
Footwear is such a determining factor for outfit planning. Mums wear flat shoes for a reason – heels are uncomfortable during pregnancy, then the first few months are spent walking the baby, and running after a toddler. Maxi dresses may look great with summer sandals, but less so with ballet shoes or trainers in Autumn; midi dresses look great with boots, but frumpy with ballet shoes. Always consider how clothes will look with your choice of flats
- Focus on versatile designs; loose-fit, tiered designs or trapeze style dresses are the most flattering through all the stages, and always choose pieces that can be styled up or down. These will be your ‘effortless’ everyday dresses for years to come.
- Neutral colours and classic styles are easier to integrate into your wardrobe, and mix and match with coats, accessories, bags etc throughout the seasons – and if you invested in good quality pieces, then they will hopefully still be as stylish looking for the next pregnancy or baby.
How can I dress stylishly for breastfeeding?
- Dressing for breastfeeding is more challenging. It doesn’t take long to realise it’s not just about button-down shirts… especially in those weeks when your cleavage fluctuates with milk coming in. Also, it’s impractical to lift up dresses, so unless you plan to wear only tops and trousers for months then it’s advisable to Invest in clothes with functionality (zips or flaps) to make feeding-on-the-go easier, especially for those a little self-conscious.
- Many maternity dresses also have breastfeeding functionality: At CARI, the Bump-to-Baby dresses, tiered loose-fit with concealed zips, are the best-sellers because women appreciate the versatility that flatters and takes them through the various stages.
- New babies are always the centre of attention, and get a lot of photographs – If your outfit is an afterthought, you may find yourself shying away from the limelight, when in fact where you belong is next to your beautiful baby! Take the time to figure out your new style, it's a lovely confidence booster at what can often be an overwhelming stage in life.
Breastfeeding and pregnancy wardrobe essentials to buy!
Dress designs in loose fit, trapeze style, with button tops are the most flattering and see you through pregnancy and postpartum
Neutral colours and classic designs that take you through the seasons and integrate with your wardrobe are the superhero pieces
Quality matters: invest in the pieces that will make you feel beautiful and confident