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Dressing the Bump: Part 3

f68cb041bc47bc56ff1f1c8bcbbe2808By the time you get to your third trimester you will be craving comfort, support and anything which fits. (And, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be pretty keen to “get this baby OUT” as my daughter puts it.) But you still don’t need to go crazy shopping (unless of course you want to and have limitless funds to do so – in which case, be my guest). Here’s my final instalment of dressing the bump rules.

1. Dresses are an easy option

I’ve decided the way to minimise my bump is to opt for non-maternity maternity clothes, so I’ve been rotating dresses in my existing non-pregnancy wardrobe. I find I look about 50 times more pregnant when I wear a specifically designated “maternity” dress; plus, this also means you can still go shopping. Clever, eh? Just look for waistlines which start under your bust – not on the waistline. The dress I wore for the GLAMOUR Woman of the Year Awards is now on sale at & Other Stories – and has proved very useful for sultry summer days when I’ve had to look smart at work (I’ve worn it with metallic flats): the pleats are tremendously forgiving.

Having eschewed maxi dresses for, well, forever, on the grounds that I am 5 ft 3 and thus they will not suit me, I find they are actually rather flattering with a bump. Between appointments, when it felt like it was about 100 degrees in central London (bumps make you HOT), I popped into Topshop, which really has come up trumps on the bargainous maternity collection front, and bought a striped grey and blue maxi [below]; this one from Asos is similar. Uniqlo is also wins points for bump-flattering maxis at bargain prices: try this one (good for shorties like me) or this black number. (There are more in store – in the sale. Worth checking out if you are nearby. I remember buying a tunic-style dress from there for my last (winter) pregnancy, too.)

Fancy trying a maxi? Try one of these (and then wear it next summer when you’re floating around with your chubby little darling).


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Stripe maxi dress, £29, Topshop; Izabel Bandeau Maxi Dress, £39, Monsoon; Coral maxi, £16, (also available in green), Asos

If I was going to be facing my third trimester in  the winter months (and having to look presentable for work), I would by investing in one of these:

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Dress with back pleat, £59, Cos; Silk blend shirt dress, now £48 (was £95), & Other Stories

2. Buy new knickers

If you haven’t already. Big ones. They can be pretty – by all means, buy something lovely if it makes you feel good – or they can be generously cut plain black ones from M&S which will fit under the bump and which you can discard for new impractical frilly French knickers at some juncture post-birth.

3. Get a pedicure – and wear great flat shoes

This is a tip I gleaned from Alex – who always had gleaming toes during her summer pregnancies. Yep, it’s getting harder to reach around the bump (I just cannot have anyone touching my feet, so I DIY), but – believe me – pretty toes in nice sandals help.

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Essie Haute in the Heat, £7.99, Boots; Nicole by Opi At Least I Pink So, £7.99, Superdrug

4. Go for stretch

Having said eschew maternity wear, I concede that there are days when I begin to crave that fitted, hold-it-in feeling. Head to Isabella Oliver for all things stretchy, fitted and brilliant quality. And the sale is on right now. If I was investing in a wardrobe of basics, I’d opt for the skinny jeans; this gorgeous silk dress;  the ruched tank dress or the ruched t-shirt dress:

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Ruched t-shirt dress, now £89; Zadie skinny jeans, now £85; Zahara silk maternity dress, now £79;

…and this skirt, which I own and is brilliant – the ruching means you can wear it whatever your height. Just add a longer-length fitted top.

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Midi ruched maternity skirt, now £53, Isabella Oliver; Long sleeved scoop neck t-shirt, now £17.70, Petit Bateau

Want stretch but not fit per se? My super-stylish colleague (and pregnant deskmate. I bet the rest of the team just love that we have each other to witter on to about babies and pregnancy…) Claire wore this skirt this week with a simple grey tee, and very chic she looked too:

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Maternity sport waistband pleat midi skirt, £38, Topshop; Vintage cotton v neck tee, £29.50, J.Crew  (These tees are very generously cut: I have size XS and am still fine to wear it now, eight months in.)

I also love this cute skirt and the tunic.

My sartorial discovery of this pregnancy? Some things suit you better when you’re with bump. Yes, it’s a style challenge, but – as a friend and fellow preggo pointed out over supper the other evening – being pregnant is a relief: you don’t have to hold your stomach in or worry that you’re fat. You’re not. You’ve just got a bump.

Images: 100 Layer Cakelet

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