Since getting pregnant- I have become increasingly disappointed with the selection of maternity clothes that are out there for the plus sized lady. Finding everyday clothes as well as occasion wear has been a nightmare and I’m sure I’m not alone. If you are a plus sized lady and struggling to find a suitable wardrobe as your belly grows, here are some things I’ve learned so far.
Online is your best friend- Most shops are too small to stock a maternity section, so you have no choice but to go online. I would highly recommend Yours which has a generous section for ladies who are expecting in sizes 16-36. I have just ordered a pair of over the bump jeggings from there and they are perfect.
Try second hand- Many ladies give birth and put their old maternity clothes on places like eBay or Facebook Marketplace so it’s worth having a look on there if you have a limited clothing budget. If there is nothing at the time you look, you can always save the search and it will flag up when someone sells something in your size. If all else fails- call up your friends for hand me downs!
Leggings- If you want to be at your most comfortable- leggings win every time. You can pair almost any long top with leggings and they provide space for your bump to grow and ease for you. If your existing leggings get a bit tight- simply buy the next size up to give you some more breathing space. Even if you aren’t tall- opting for the ‘long’ leggings rather than ‘regular’ will give you that extra length to go over your bump.
Beach wear- If you are going to be at your biggest during the summer months, beach wear can be a great place to start looking for tops. This is the time of year when cover ups are in most of the shops and they generally go up to an XL. The shape is exactly what a pregnant woman needs- an elasticated, under the bust waist so the material around your tummy is loose and they are long too so they will each just above the knee. Cover ups are designed to be light and airy so if your temperature is up, they will keep you cool. Most have sleeves too so great if you are insecure about your arms. And if it’s a little see through- just pop a strappy top underneath and layer it up. Debenhams has a great range right now.
Tunics- Tunics are the perfect shape for accommodating a growing belly. Plus size shops like Evans stock tunics in a range of colours which will fit well around the arms and breasts and flair out around your tummy if you don’t like a tighter fit.
Maxi dresses- Like tunics, maxi dresses are naturally shaped to mould to a pregnant belly. Whether you opt for sleeveless of not- it will fit snugly around the bust and the elasticated waistband means no digging in, while the rest of the dress hangs beautifully over your bump and drops to the floor. Maxi dresses are in abundance at this time of year too as summer approaches, so you should have a wide choice. They can be dressed up or down too so if you are going to an event you can pair it with some statement jewellery, shoes and a bag to give it an upgrade.
Shapewear- Brands like Spanx now stock shapewear that is specifically designed for the mother-to-be- they offer the same support around the thighs and bum but use a more flexible material around the bump to give you a smooth silhouette without it being uncomfortable or harmful to the baby.
Tights- Maternity tights are fairly easy to come by too- M and S sell pairs up to XL that go over the bump, so you don’t have to worry about them rolling down under your clothes.
Swing tops- Swing tops, like tunics are designed to flair out just under the bust so if your go to style is tops with leggings or tops with trousers as opposed to dresses and skirts- you don’t have to compromise just because you are pregnant.
Zip Extenders- If you can’t afford a new coat in a bigger size or indeed a maternity coat- you can always invest in a zip extender. They are available online and attach to your existing coat and around your belly, so you don’t have to spend money on something you will only wear for a few months.
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