Oh, when you’re massively pregnant, what to wear, what to wear? Everyone congratulated me on my timing with this pregnancy (like I had any say in it), ooh, you’ll be glad that you’re doing the winter rather than the summer! But do you know what? Summer was so much easier, even with getting sweaty and almost giving myself heatstroke from sunbathing for too long! Maybe I’m just more cut out to be a summery person, but I never suffer too badly with getting overheated so long as I go indoors once it gets too much – I didn’t even find that my sleep was interrupted too much in the last few weeks.
Summer dressing was so, so much easier. I lived in gargantuan kaftan-style floaty things, oversized H&M summer dresses and a few of those stretchy jersey sort of maternity tube dresses. Flip-flops, hair in a bun, job done. Winter? Winter can sod right off! Firstly, coats don’t do up so you’re constantly freezing. If you can find a warm maternity coat that does up then it just looks crazy, like you’re harbouring a criminal under your clothes. And also, who wants to buy a coat they can – quite literally – only wear for about three months? Rather a big financial outlay for such a short amount of time…
Then there’s the layering problem. If you, like me, can’t abide the constricting feel of denim on the lower half area then you’re stuck with leggings, and if you’re stuck with leggings then – to remain decent in public – you must find tops that cover your bottom and your pubic region. Otherwise it all gets a bit anatomical and, pregnant or not, nobody wants to see the outline of your lady regions. But can you find any vest tops that sink so low, once they’ve managed to stretch over the Himalayan mound of your stomach?
Forget those bloody “bump bands” – half of them wouldn’t cover a gnat’s arse by the time you get to seven or eight months. (Or three, if you are on a not-first baby and have non-existent stomach muscles and started to show at around day eight.) And most vest tops that seem like mini-dresses when you try them on at three months pregnant are reduced to mere “longish length” by the time the bump has grown.
So here are the best over-bump things I’ve found – from knickers that go (almost) right over, to the leggings that won’t go baggy in the crotch, to vest tops that just about cover your essential areas. Particularly good, all of these things, for people who are pregnant and also have an irritating c-section scar that doesn’t like waistbands – unfortunately, the fact is that most of these scars sit in the exact place that all waistbands slip to when they ride down from the bump, so you need garments that actually stay up. Here goes…
GAP maternity Ribbed Henley Tank, though by week 30, these are no longer covering my “regions” as they once did. Please, GAP, an extra inch or two in the length and you would solve a huge pregnancy-dressing problem! Too late for me and my pregnancy, but you’d be saving the dignity of women the world over!
Non-Maternity Alternative: Hush longline vests, here. I mean these are really longline, about the same as the GAP ones, but as they’re not dedicated pregnancy gear they don’t have ruching or belly allowance. Great until about six months, though, and they last an age. Very good quality.
Serpahine Bamboo Over-Bump Leggings, £29 here: I’ve harped on about these no end, but they’re soft and comfy and go all the way up onto the bump. Just perfect. See also Jojo Maman Bebe’s leggings here, also over-bump, come in three shades and are a bit more “solid” than the Seraphine. The waistband and the fabric in general is thicker, so you feel more supported, but they’re not quite as comfy to nap in! Minor niggle. I love them and they’re only twenty quid.
God, there’s a real shortage of proper maternity pyjamas. Most just seem to be – well – normal pyjamas. With a bigger top half. I want over-bump ones! Over the bloody bump! The New Look maternity over-bump were not good – a cheap, scratchy belly band that had weird elastic at the top that dug in. The best I’ve found are JJMMBB, though the small size seems to expand with each wear until, on night four, they are simply falling off. Better to be falling off than digging in, but possibly they need some work! I feel there’s a real gap in the market for this sort of stuff – I’d pay the earth for comfy things to wear right now! See here for JJMMBB.
New Look came out very well here; their two-pack of black and white pants are totally uninspiring but very comfortable now that even M&S full briefs can’t fully handle my gargantuan baby-pod. Find them at ASOS. Please make these in more designs and colours, New Look!
ASOS do well here and I especially like the soft maternity tights that are sort of woolly and take me back to my school days. They do a 300 denier too, which is basically not even tights anymore but, I don’t know, leg armour, so so thick. Find them here for £8.