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FFS - maternity work wear

(51 Posts)
eurochick Tue 11-Mar-14 15:39:22

I feel like I have tried everything and am getting nowhere.

I work in the City and so need to be smart. So far I've ordered work stuff from Isabella Oliver, Seraphine and Jojo and sent it all back. Nothing fits right - it's either tight in all the wrong places or tent-like. I have a couple of dresses from Asos recommended by a friend that I can just about get away with, but they are not enough. I have literally nothing to wear as I am too big for 90% of my pre-preg wardrobe now.

What am I missing?

juniorcakeoff Tue 11-Mar-14 15:41:51

How many weeks are you? IME if you are small before you get pregnant, maternity clothes look stupid until you are quite far along.

I found red herring (debenhams) H&M and topshop maternity better than the really expensive brands.

JuanFernandezTitTyrant Tue 11-Mar-14 15:45:19

euro it's hopeless, isn't it. I lost count of the stuff I sent back - I'm not in the city but also a lawyer. My firm is regional so a bit more relaxed but still. I had colleagues (not lawyers...) telling me to just wear dresses and leggings hmm.

Will Isabella Oliver really not do? Are you still very early pg?

nc060 Tue 11-Mar-14 15:48:24

Oh tell me about, I had my first proper irrational tears at the weekend as all I could find to fit me was leggings and vest tops!! I have a pair of work trousers from next, they were fine for about a week but just fall down now as they have gotten loose around the hips/bum!!

Sorry Im not much help but can totally sympathise with you!! xxx

Pikz Tue 11-Mar-14 15:49:55

Try Gap maternity, i was in the same boat and got gap trousers and tops, a few dresses from h and m maternity and jackets from topshop.

try these links for ideas:

eurochick Tue 11-Mar-14 15:50:18

I'm 15 weeks so maybe it's a bit early for mat wear, but the IO stuff was all tight. I could get it on but can't imagine it being comfortable as I expand, so that is going back (IO was today's delivery, which I was really looking forward to as I have a big meeting tomorrow and NOTHING suitable for a formal meeting fits me from my pre-preg stuff).

junior I was slimmish pre-preg (BMI 22) but not petite in the slightest (I'm tallish and quite large framed).

crochetcircle Tue 11-Mar-14 15:55:25

Have you tried mamas and papas? I found a couple of decent smart dresses in there (a couple of years ago, not sure they are on the high street anymore? Just on line) I didn't wear a suit once in either pregnancy!

Pretty Pregnant was also good for smarter more expensive clothes. They have ranges from lots of different companies. There used to be one in central London but it looks like they are just clapham and upper st now. They were very nice in there.

MyNameIsWinkly Tue 11-Mar-14 15:59:19

How smart do you need to be? Are jersey fabrics an option or do you need a more tailored look? Asos and Debenhams have some pencil skirts at a decent length which could be worn with a looser top and unbuttoned jacket in the short term.

eurochick Tue 11-Mar-14 16:04:03

To give you an idea, day to day pre-preg I tended to wear tailored skirts (occasionally trousers) and jumpers in winter, tops and cardigans in summer. For court/meetings I would usually wear a dark suit or occasionally a tailored dress with a suit jacket.

shalalalalalalala Tue 11-Mar-14 16:04:21

I never grew into maternity clothes! Even when I was 9 months they were a stupid fit (too tight on the bump and gaping across the shoulders and boobs).

I lived in maternity tights with stretchy dresses and I bought bump bands ( I had one black and one white, and wore them with my pre-pregnancy clothes (with trouser/skirt buttons undone or pushed down under the bump - the bands cover it so no-one can see). You just look like you are layering. I found them very comfy too, very supportive of the bump.

eurochick Tue 11-Mar-14 16:06:02

Thanks crochet. I found Pretty Pregnant online. I didn't know they had shops too. That would be ideal as I could really do with trying stuff on. I haven't been to mamas and papas either, so will see if I can find one that has some mat wear in stock.

stinkingbishop Tue 11-Mar-14 16:06:06

Try Babes with Babies. Online but London-based.§ion_id=339

Holland Park shirt was ace. As were the Palazzo pants but they're more for home.

MyNameIsKenAdams Tue 11-Mar-14 16:06:41

Im having the same bother. Me and another girl are pg in my department (customer facing) and our very very smart work uniform doesnt have a maternity version.

Im currently trying to find me and her an alternative uniform but nothing seems quite right confused

aroha77 Tue 11-Mar-14 16:08:57

Have you looked in mothercare? I found some trousers for work recently.

flymo79 Tue 11-Mar-14 16:12:41

euro - I also despaired (am nearly 20w), but some jersey dresses and a maternity skirt/tops are helping. None of my smart shift dresses would do after about 14 weeks, if anything it was bloat rather than bump but I still felt super self-conscious and had to pack away all my tailored stuff this weeken. I would avoid anything structured, even if it's mat. wear specific, just felt tight in all the wrong places. You can still get smart stretch stuff, especially suit skirts, it's been separates and jersey dresses for me all the way. Anything with a blazer over the top looks even smarter.

Dazedconfused Tue 11-Mar-14 16:16:41

I wear dresses from phase eight (not the evening wear obv) for work they are stretchy but v comfortable and not maternity but doing the trick and also smart enough for work (I'm in communications so need to look smart) there are often dresses on sale so would recommend taking a look xxx

minipie Tue 11-Mar-14 16:22:42

Dresses are your friend. Only one item to worry about and much more comfy without a waistband round the middle.

I work in a similar environment and lived in empire line style dresses and maternity tights for most of my pregnancy. If I had a meeting I would put a jacket over the top (usually a non maternity jacket left unbuttoned, but you could invest in a maternity one I guess). I think people don't expect you to look quite as smart when you're pregnant. You can compensate with extra jewellery grin

I bought the Isabella Oliver Everyday dress which was pretty good, it's empire line rather than ruched/clingy like a lot of theirs are. But lots of the dresses I wore were not maternity specific, they were just empire line ones from normal shops.

At the 15 weeks stage I think I was still squeezing into my pre pregnancy clothes but just looking rather fat! (not a good look I grant you).

jenglo Tue 11-Mar-14 16:32:52

Have you tried the cheaper places, matalan, asda, tesco? I got my work trousers from Matalan, and i managed to get a pencil skirt from Asda in the sale! I now live in my skirts with a bigger size top at the minute but i have been and bought a couple of tops from new look. I also got a couple of pencil skirts which werent maternity but just in a bigger size which fit over my bump quite nicely.

eurochick Tue 11-Mar-14 16:41:11

Thanks. I think the answer might be non-mat wear that is more forgiving than my usual tailored work wear. I've been bloated and uncomfortable pretty much since BFP (I don't think the IVF drugs helped with that) and the clothes I can squeeze into have been dwindling each week and now I am at crisis point! 10+ weeks is a long time to be feeling fat and uncomfortable.

mini I agree with you about dresses. The couple I have from ASOS are the only things that are really working for me at the moment.

EasterHoliday Tue 11-Mar-14 16:44:04

I've got some very smart mat workwear I haven't got round to eBaying / dress agency-ing if you're a size 10... a steel grey shirt dress (Un et Un Font Trois) / smart short skirts - one pinstripe / on fuschia wool wrap (maybe a bit out there for city?) / one black tulip shape (all Formes)
anyway - all French - maybe french brands are the place to go?

JuanFernandezTitTyrant Tue 11-Mar-14 16:46:50

I had a black pencil skirt from JoJo that looked fine with wrap tops (although they are a pain to wear tbh) or would look fine with tailored maternity shirts etc. I found M &P hopeless. The Westfield branch has maternity in store. I live in the SW and made a special trip to London to shop and was so disappointed by how little was actually in store, even on Oxford Street.

Agree that dresses are definitely easiest. Tbh, some of the best stuff I has was pre-pg wrap type dresses, a couple of which I was still wearing at 36 weeks.

Oh, and hold ups, don't bother with maternity tights.

CaipirinhasAllRound Tue 11-Mar-14 16:58:25

Mothercare do some dresses which are probably smart enough, like this one
I never found any work trousers that fitted so have lived in woolly dresses and tights over the winter

Emilycee Tue 11-Mar-14 17:25:06

Next are quite good for trousers (online) also there was a person in the Sunday Times fashion section with same same dilemma (ie. Needs to be tailored and smart) and they suggested a black pencil skirt from Whistles which had some stretch in it and also peplum style dresses with elastine/stretch. The advice was to just go up a couple of sizes on regular shops if you can't find what you need.. good luck!

Bootoyou2 Tue 11-Mar-14 17:39:54

I lived in phase eight dresses. They are stretchy and empire line and were perfect right til the end.

Mitchell2 Tue 11-Mar-14 17:49:59

Have you tried COS? I must admit I am living in my Seraphine dresses (26 weeks) but they are plain, quite fitted and just wearing my normal jackets - obviously open as I cant close them or some statement jewels with it. I also have quite a few COS dresses that are a more forgiving cut and still wearing them, with a belt where needed.

I must admit I have given up on trousers and skirts and more tailored items though as its just too hard to gauge what actually is going to feel comfortable.

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