Why are maternity clothes so dire? AKA please dress my fat tummy

(50 Posts)
TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 18-Oct-13 20:28:54

First things first: I can't afford the nice brands like Seraphina.

I am 15 weeks and just starting to grow out of normal clothes in the tummy area.

I do not want:
- to ONLY wear black, white or Breton stripes.
- bootleg black trousers or jeans.
- look mumsy.
- T-shirts that say 'Mummy to Be' or 'Baby on Board' OR hoodies OR check shirts.
- I work in an office with sexy young media chicks - I do not want to wear floral tents.

I do have some things from my last pregnancy (way back in 2008) but that was a summer pregnancy so they wouldn't be suitable.

I went through all 600+ maternity items on ASOS (one of the better retailers) last week and found 2 things that I would consider wearing - so I bought them:

New Look Black Maxi Dress - I would prefer another colour but I can wear it with flats, scarf and cotton jacket for work and a statement necklace for night dos.

Breton Striped dress - quite nice, don't want to drown myself in stripes but this would look nice for work with ankle boots and sheer tights.

There are couple of other dresses that I've just realised I like as well:

Orange, cheap & cute

Too summery?

Dresses are not really the issue - what I would really like is

a) really good maternity skinny jeans in black and denim. Last time I wore my usual skinnies all the way through but waists were lower back then. I was thinking about just stocking up on Primark super-soft skinnies as they sit under my tum still - are there any equivalents in maternity ranges?

b) some really lovely blouses - I just bought this non-maternity purple Zara blouse in a size up and really like it but heavens, trying to buy nice, non-black, colourful tops this season is a challenge - even in non-maternity - any ideas?

c) maternity tube skirts or miniskirts that aren't a-line denim. Plus any tight fitting dresses that are NOT black or striped.

d) fashionable but professional work clothes - I work in a creative environment - I can't show up in black suit or frumpy frock which seems to be the maternity office wear on offer!

e) nice mid-height heels - everything seems to be flat or sky high - looking for office pumps (in the American sense) and black strappy ankle boots.

Any ideas would be welcome. I am 5' 8, 12-14, hourglass figure (so pregnancy does not play to my strengths!), light spring, blonde & blue-eyed with good-ish legs (when I can be arsed to wax them). I am also 39 but I wouldn't worry about age-appropriateness mutton dressed as lamb

Thank you so much in advance and excuse the length of this post flowers

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 18-Oct-13 20:31:25

Bloody hell that was long. doesn't expect anyone to read it

VenusDeWillendorf Fri 18-Oct-13 20:35:07

Google ivanka trump. She's just popped her sprog, and I think i remember her looking pretty pulled together when preggo.

She recommended a jacket over dresses, with flats and heels iirc.
Oh, congrats!

milktraylady Fri 18-Oct-13 20:36:39

Matalan has maternity jeans. In store to try on. Everyone else seems to only have maternity clothes online. V annoying! Try h&m or next?

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 18-Oct-13 20:52:42

I got this from the Ivanka Trump google Venus - Isabella Oliver cobalt & grey dress - really lovely - though still a bit pricey even with the discount.

Matalan? Really? I would never have thought of them milktray - I must pop there.

This is the best thing I can find on Next and it's grey AGAIN - where is the colour?

TheDetective Fri 18-Oct-13 20:53:34

I had similar requirements, I liked New Look. I've just had a quick browse and saw some things that seemed to meet what you liked!



AnythingNotEverything Fri 18-Oct-13 21:01:41

H&M do good jeans - both straight and skinny. I've worn and worn mine and they've kept their colour well. Gap maternity jeans look good, but they never had my size to try and I think they're online only now. They also do interesting shapes and prints though.

I got some tube skirts from H&M and Next.

M&S do good maternity tights.

I've had some good basic tees from asos and H&M, and got some bargains on eBay including an Isabella Oliver dress and some stuff from M&S which is no longer available.

There's no avoiding the stripes I'm afraid. I'm two days overdue and will be off stripes for a number of years I fear ...

Sassee Fri 18-Oct-13 21:01:56

My local primark has maternity jeans. No idea what they're like, came too late for me.

ThatsNotMyDueDate Fri 18-Oct-13 21:11:55

I feel your pain. I'm on no.3 and have to face the fact that I am going to have to spend some money as I'm not wearing some of the awful stuff I had last time again. Plus I was in a very conservative office and am currently a SAHM, so it doesn't all translate that well.

I'm thinking of getting maternity tights with cats on them grin

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 18-Oct-13 21:13:40

TheDetective - yes, New Look and Asos seem to be the best, there are a couple of dresses (the lovely teal one, the roseprint body con) now in my basket.

What is it about the stripes Anything - I feel your pain and have grown to hate stripes because they are ubiquitous, so hard to accessorise and always imply 'casual' - I find it hard to feel smart and professional in stripes.

I didn't know that Primark did maternity - this is great news Sassee

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 18-Oct-13 21:17:30

What about a onesie ThatsNot - smart AND casual don't you think? grin

Isabella Oliver has just GORGEOUS things included such a lovely pink wrap top but I am going on maternity leave and cannot afford to lavish seventy quid on one top.

ThisIsMeNow Fri 18-Oct-13 21:17:37

Have you tried topshop maternity? I'm a bit hmm with h&m maternity, not much I can see online.

LittlePandaBear Fri 18-Oct-13 21:18:08

I've got a few New look maternity jeans - do the job and only about £20. They have them in lots of leg lengths too which is useful and rare!

Top Shop also have a maternity range online which you may want to look at? None of it's really grabbed me but if you're a creative type then you could probably figure out how to wear it!

I've also got a few things from this website:Yummy mummy
But depends how short you want dresses as I'm only 5ft 2 but the lengths seem perfect for me at just above the knee. It seems like a lot of pregnancy dresses are made for tall people which I guess isn't a problem for you smile

They stock lots of mamalicious stuff and you could also try their own website, lots of affordable clothes that are more interesting than Next's pathetic offering!

Good luck with the hunt thlsmile

McFox Fri 18-Oct-13 21:20:11

I'm in the same boat - I dress pretty much exclusively vintage, mainly 40s/50s dresses (I don't own trousers, hate them) and I'm really struggling to find anything I like. I'll have to give some of these suggestions a go smile

Alanna1 Fri 18-Oct-13 21:20:48

Gumtree. Ebay. Friends who've had baby 1 recently.

K8Middleton Fri 18-Oct-13 21:21:01


Don't bother going any where else. Unless you want work stuff or jeans. Go to Gap for maternity jeans.

I'm a similar shape/height to you and I'd recommend H&M maternity jeans.
I had some under the bump ones that lasted throughout my pregnancy (DC3) in black, blue and indigo. I also picked up a few pairs of cheap/comfy mid heel shoes in there. (DC3 is 9 months now though so no idea what their range is like ATM)
For dresses I bought quite a few stretchy (non-maternity) ones from Dorothy Perkins. They were a range of colours/patterns but not the hideous ones retailers think women want to wear when they're pregnant and I always got compliments when I wore them and felt fab in them too.

ThisIsMeNow Fri 18-Oct-13 21:23:36

Will try to link but on phone so bear with!

this blue one


tube skirt

orange dress

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 18-Oct-13 21:26:45

There are loads of nice dresses if you look but trying to buy nice and cheapish maternity tops that aren't casual / striped / sloganed is much more challenging.

Another idea I had was getting a couple of those Kimono style polyester silk tops that New Look & Zara have and wearing it over a maternity vest.

Thanks for all the suggestions, keep em coming.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 18-Oct-13 21:28:25

Love that orange dress this - already on the list.

Ginformation Fri 18-Oct-13 21:33:56

Seraphine have 20% off some key items at the mo... I have some of their work black trousers and a couple of work appropriate tops from the seraphine sale. Great for taller folk. Sizes are big tho.

TheDetective Fri 18-Oct-13 21:40:04

New Look do a lot of dresses in this kind of style, I wore these in the middle trimester. Once I was about 36 weeks they didn't feel as comfy though.

I wore a lot of non maternity actually. Maternity tights or leggings/jeans for comfort with regular tops or dresses were just fine.

Disclaimer: My bump was not the mahooooooosive type!

ThisIsMeNow Fri 18-Oct-13 22:09:28

Hmm, tops? I've got some from dotty pj's that are not maternity but I think they'd work. Let me see if i can link...

frankietwospots Fri 18-Oct-13 22:13:23

Boden wrap tops are fab and are great for breast feeding too. 20% off with code Z363.

pootlebug Fri 18-Oct-13 22:18:20

For as long as you can make it work - normal jeans with a bog-standard hair bobble acting as an extender between button and buttonhole, with a long top over.

ThisIsMeNow Fri 18-Oct-13 22:24:50
Mrspebble Fri 18-Oct-13 22:55:47

Hi, what about these

I found peacocks new look and hm to be the best

Would recommend the check pjs from new look.. Just of comfort.

A lot of girls go up a size or two in Primark.. Worth a look. Wishing you s healthy pregnancy.. Congrats!!

amandine07 Sat 19-Oct-13 07:06:08

Leah skinny maternity jeans from Topshop are fabulous!
I've got them in 3 colours, they come in different lengths which is amazing considering some brands do just one length eg 34" in their normal ranges.
They are so soft & comfortable to wear smile

evertonmint Sat 19-Oct-13 08:52:48

Helpful thread for me - am 6 weeks with DC3 and already slightly panicking about what I'll be wearing. I have a few bits from last time but wore dresses most of the time as they are so much nicer and varied than the hideous tops and jeans that fall down which I suffered in my last two pregnancies. However, I was in an office the last two times so could be really smart, but now I am largely a SAHM with some WFH so I just need casual.

I found Crave had a few nice things last time I was pregnant so may be worth a look.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 19-Oct-13 09:22:29

I've ordered the New Look skinny jeans - but will also try the Leah ones.

Matalan ones are no good as I have 34" inside leg. sad

nosleeptillbedtime Sat 19-Oct-13 09:24:58

My fave dress was not a mat one but a stretchy wool dress in teal that I found in a charity shop for a fiver

bigbrick Sat 19-Oct-13 09:31:54

La redoute has some nice things www.laredoute.co.uk/women-maternity/cat-654.aspx

SundaySimmons Sat 19-Oct-13 09:43:41

Pootlebug, I did just that! I refused to wear maternity clothes when I was pregnant both times because back then maternity clothes were dire.

I was pregnant in 1994/95 and 1997/8 and just wore my normal jeans trousers and gradually wore them undone with a soft hair bobble band pulled through button hole and looped around button.

I managed to get by wearing normal clothes but ones that were shamed to fit under the bust and flare out.

bigbrick Sat 19-Oct-13 09:49:24

You were lucky - I always put on so many kilos that I'd have to lol when the size chart said get your normal size.

EeyoreIsh Sat 19-Oct-13 09:55:27

I love the IO Lana dress, I've got it and it's great. I wore it to work the other day and had lots of complements.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 19-Oct-13 10:45:38

I'm going to buy the Lana dress, topshop orange shift and IO pink wrap top when I get a bit bigger. smile Hopefully Father Christmas will bring me lots of money!

GatoradeMeBitch Sat 19-Oct-13 12:31:21

I watch Anna Saccone on YouTube and she recently did an ASOS maternity haul www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gJ6NdjB6dc I remember she showed off some skinny jeans in it!

Gurraun Sat 19-Oct-13 12:34:53

I second ebay. Got lots of lovely Isabella Oliver stuff i wore to death and two great tiffany rose dresses. Stuff is barely worn and cheap as chips.

I've tried on some under bump jeans in primark (they only seemed to have the one style) and in true primarni style the sizing was way off. I'm about a size 10 and tried them in a 10 & 8 tight on legs massive on the waist. I forget exactly when it was but I must have been around 20wks so did have a bump! I don't understand why they are soo big.
I've been after some not too expensive straight leg trousers patterned or plain but I find over bump much more comfy and all the ones I've seen are underbump. anyone seen any?

Stevie77 Sat 19-Oct-13 20:25:58

Not read other comments but here goes -

I'm pregnant too and concur with everything you've said. Everywhere is stripes, stripes, stripes. Can no retailers come up with other prints for pg ladies?

Have you thought about jeggings in a size up?

Everybody seem to brave about ASOS's maternity range, I found it generally hmm

Speccymummy Sat 19-Oct-13 21:21:06

Asos own brand maternity skinny jeans are good. I also wore lots of maternity vests with my normal cardigans over the top. And h&m black skinny trousers for work.

I find H&M stuff good, but it is quite dull admittedly. Try eBay - there's usually some good quality stuff as people wear maternity clothes for such a short time.

Skinheadmermaid Sun 20-Oct-13 10:15:58

What about those lux style patterned joggers?
this sort of thing
Would look really nice with a plain vest/t shirt and blazer on top.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sun 20-Oct-13 20:06:58

OK, I have purchased over the past 24 hours - with help from you lovely ladies

- bright pink Isabella Oliver wrap top (Ebay bargain)
- Kimono style top (not maternity), vests, teal dress and skinnies (New Look)
- Lime & Floral scarves - Forever 21
- Lovely pink print blouse from Collectif in the sale - not maternity but a size up
- Bright blue and red mid-height court shoes from Dottie Ps.

Do you sense a theme? BRIGHT and NOT STRIPED grin

I'm not sure about the joggers - they seem a bit too radical for me. Although I did like the blazer that was linked to it.

TheDetective Sun 20-Oct-13 20:25:21

Asda do a pack of 2 vest tops, white and black. I am still wearing the black one 11 months later. Very flattering, long, arse covering, but still define my shape. smile

I bought 2 pairs of maternity leggings (H&M recommended - they are thick, comfy, and good for after too!) 2 pack of maternity tights (H&M) again, 2 pack of vest tops as above.

The only other specific mat stuff I bought (other than bf bras) was a summer dress from H&M and then when I was 40 weeks I wanted a nice dress to wear from my birthday, which I got from Next.

Everything else was my existing wardrobe adapted with the leggings/vest tops/tights. Long arse covering cardi's leggings and vest tops was my staple wardrobe, with scarfs, and some dresses thrown in for good measure. You don't need maternity cardi's, and can get loads in the January sale just when you will need them, eh?!

TheThinksYouCanThink Sun 20-Oct-13 21:12:29

Can recommend Topshop maternity skinny jeans - they were the best I found but also wore Dotty P's skinny jeggings, they have an elastic waistband and lasted throughout my pregnancy and were the most comfortable jeans I found.
New Look had some nice bits, I took some of their short dresses and took a couple of inches off the hem to make long tops that looked good with skinny jeans, and found that their stretchy dresses went over the bump showing it of nicely.
HandM also had some nice bits.
If not, it was skinny jeans, long vests that stretched (river island or New look!), bright scarf and either cardigan or blazer over the top!

Quodlibet Mon 21-Oct-13 05:14:54

With you on the avoidance of maternity ranges generally - most of it is sooo middle of the road and mumsy. I don't want to look like a completely different person in a stripy uniform ta.

Try Cos - practically all their stuff is waistless but doesn't look 'maternity'.

I've also bought a bright digital print top in Oliver Bonas is a size up which works well.

For vests, Gap basics (non-maternity) are long and stretchy enough to bump-cover and come in loads of colours.

twoboysundertwo Mon 21-Oct-13 15:51:11

my answer to everything is- a nice scarfsmile

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 21-Oct-13 21:21:28

Ironically the ad displaying next to this thread is Zilily Maternity Wear - in FUCKING STRIPES

TheBeanpole Wed 23-Oct-13 05:07:22

We sound quite similar in style and shape, only I'm a few inches taller. Second the suggestion for Cos- at 32 weeks I'm still wearing quite a few things from there. Sale on atm too.

If you're a trouser person H&M have some slim tapered trousers, I think called 'suit' trousers, that are a non frumpy cut. I have been wearing them cuffed with brogues. I always need to size up in h&m. Their jeans are also the best. The topshop leighs are good but lose shape quite quickly. I got a great spotty shirt in topshop too, which gets lots of compliments.
I don't know what the obsession with polyester boot cut is. And apparently you cannot be pregnant AND tall- my legs haven't shrunk ...

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