Maternity Fashion

lovetomtom

 and a maternity wardrobe

I started writing this post months ago and haven’t been able to finish it because well, things change so quickly during pregnancy, so honestly it’s been hard to keep up! I’m entering another phase now (that’s code for getting bigger) and while I feel like I’ve been wearing the same clothes for weeks now I’m going to share what I’ve learned about trying to dress my bump before it changes again.

When I first found out I was pregnant there were of course a million things running through my mind and one was, how was I going to dress like me with a bump? I started looking at maternity clothes and decided I was having none of it! I turned to Pinterest and felt a little reassurance in other people’s creativity and I was able to develop an image of how I was going to style myself during pregnancy. Are you laughing already? I now laugh at myself as you can probably guess that things didn’t go to plan. The other thing that didn’t go to plan was that I wanted to capture my ever-changing body and style with some beautiful photography but life has moved so quickly that you will have to put up with some less artistic selfies.

I made a few mistakes early on that have had a big impact on how I felt during the first few months. Normally, when I shop, I treat every piece like an investment but being pregnant meant it became the complete opposite. I couldn’t get my head around this and it didn’t seem financially sensible or practical to buy clothes that I would only be wearing for a few months or even a few weeks! As a result I didn’t buy any clothes. I persisted with what I had, squeezing (literally) into my existing wardrobe, leaving buttons open with the help of a DIY hairband-come-expander. Most days I was uncomfortable and very conscious that my options were getting fewer by the day. What I should have done, and this was my first mistake, was to buy a few basics such as leggings and vests. This would have allowed me to be more comfortable and get more wear out of a number of items already in my wardrobe. Lesson learnt.

By the time my bump was an actual bump and not just the result of a carbohydrate-fuelled meal I was a little more relaxed and happy to show it off. Like my ‘buy as an investment rule’, I had to reverse how I normally dress as my body shape was completely different. My waist had vanished so no more high-waisted skirts and I found that figure hugging clothes created a nicer silhouette in comparison to something a little looser which I was more comfortable with. This is where some basics came in handy. A decent pair of maternity jeans are a must, however I would suggest buying these once your bump is established. Any earlier and they just won’t make sense. I also bought some stretchy bodycon type maternity dresses (H&M, Lidl and New Look) which I have gotten the most wear out of as they have stretched with me. I initially wore them on their own and now in the cooler weather I layer up with leggings and cardigans.

Other pieces that have been huge fashion-savers have been some outer wear. If you can get your hands on a blazer, do so. I was fortunate enough to be given a black blazer with silk trim and it has worked wonders to give the illusion of a figure. Similarly I got my hands on a maternity coat in my local charity shop that is double-breasted and warm with a lovely exaggerated collar that doubles as a hood. It’s not waterproof or even anything I would buy if I wasn’t pregnant but it does the job.

People had suggested buying a size or two up and for some things this worked but for the majority of the time I found there was room for the bump but too much material everywhere else. I did buy some non-maternity items that have been useful in my maternity wardrobe that I will be able to wear once bubs is here. A few dresses and some plain stretch long sleeve tops that act as a base under blazers have been practical and also give way for a bit of fun. This blazer I mentioned earlier is great with a tee and one I wear often as I can mix things up with shoes and accessories. Speaking of which in an attempt to recreate my wardrobe I have relied heavily on existing accessories and some of my favourite pairs of shoes. At least these for the most part are non-pregnancy related and help me feel like my style hasn’t completely vanished.

Just when I was feeling on top of things, my body has changed again and so too has my wardrobe. When talking to other women, I get the sense we are lucky that maternity fashion is now a ‘thing’ and more stores are jumping on board. But not enough. Imagine, there are only four reasonably priced brands available to you and each brand has the mentality that all women look the same and wear the same clothes. For me that sums up maternity fashion. I’m looking to brands that I would never normally buy and none of my shopping decisions have been based on style or quality, mainly price. That is no way to shop. Thank goodness for charity shops and people’s generosity. I have been given some great pieces and I look forward to returning the favour when I’m done with them.

No doubt things are going to change again and again in the last ten weeks. I have a sense that the ‘loungewear’ part of my wardrobe is going to be worn more and more.

If you are pregnant and want a few more specific tips please get in touch as I have a lot more to say on the topic. Even if you aren’t pregnant and want to revise your wardrobe or need some styling for a particular event you can contact me at lovetomtom@outlook.com.

xo

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Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Paris is always a good idea but even more so when there is the chance to see the works of Christian Dior in person. The Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition at Musée Des Arts Décoratifs was the central focus to my last visit to Paris and I’m going to say it straight out; if you have any interest in fashion and art go and see this exhibition! Continue reading

Shopping for a cause

I broke my ‘no shopping ban’

But for a very good reason

I knew it wasn’t going to last forever. Actually I managed my personal no shopping ban for longer than expected but it has come to an end and all for a good cause. For the next few months I’ll be shopping in the maternity and children’s section! Baby B (that’s what I’ve named it) will be joining Mr B and I in early March and we are both thrilled and terrified. Continue reading

Wish List #39

Wish List

#39

As Fashion Week continues I’m still pinning away like mad, ogling all that graces the catwalk. I’m rather fond of Paris Fashion Week mostly because of its backdrop and the amazing locations for some of the shows. Each city clearly has a place in each designer’s heart and I’m sure it is taken into consideration when deciding where to present their collection. New York, Milan, Paris? Tough choice!

There have been some surprising highlights for me from each city. I have some of my favourites that I would skip a meal or two to watch live; Delpozo and Gucci, Valentino, now under the solo stewardship of Pierpaulo Piccioli and Dior where Maria Grazia Chiuri, former creative partner of signore Piccioli, has taken the reigns. Alongside my favourites,  I love discovering new designers and getting different interpretations of the season ahead. And of course you are then left with some familiar names that are unfairly forgotten.

Check out the likes of Paskai, Dries Van Noten and Undercover Lab. There are many more I’ve  ranked as favourites, a high accolade indeed and you can check them out in my Wish List below. Take a quick look here or a closer look over on Pinterest and read why I pinned each beautiful ensemble.

If you’re getting Fashion Week fatigue fear not as this week’s Wish List will be a mix of the last remaining days of Paris Fashion Week and all sorts of other lovely bits.

xo

Wish List #38

Wish List

#38

As Fashion Week continues I’ve hardly moved from my computer keeping up with all the shows coming out of London and Milan. If you’re not up to speed, check out last week’s Wish List to see why I love Fashion Week so much, regardless of the city.

No surprises really that a lot of my favourite designers, collections and pieces are a mix of stripes, monochrome, clashes of patterns and there’s even a few in there for my minimalist side. Here are some of my favourites. Continue reading

Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable Fashion

lovetomtom style

Some of you may have heard about Stiall, a fantastic creation by Linda Conway. Stiall is a place that looks to ‘de-mystify sustainable fashion.’  It really is such a clever, informative and necessary tool in today’s world of high-speed fashion and well worth your time. The reason I’m talking about this is because Stiall, more specifically the Stiall Challenge has put my brain into overdrive. Continue reading

Wish List #37

Wish List

#37

I know it is the start of a new week but I’ve been glued to my computer screen keeping up with all the shows from New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week so I’m a little behind.

I have saved all my favourites from New York Fashion Week and the start of London Fashion Week and you can check them out below. I’ve added a small note in each pin, usually describing the outfit as ‘beautiful’ or ‘fabulous’. If you’ve followed lovetomtom for a while now you will know exactly why an outfit has made it to my Wish List!  Continue reading

Wish List #36

Wish List

#36

The time has finally come when the season is changing and I can peruse the high street and the internet for lovely autumn/winter items. The change of any season excites me. I love seeing what the season will bring. Without spending a cent of course I spend a few weeks inspecting and contemplating what I’ll add to my wardrobe. Continue reading

Wish List

Wish List

#26

I have spent a lot of time online the past few weeks, not working as you’ve probably gathered, more as a way of distracting myself from the sadness that fills my heart. Honestly we hear so much negativity around social media and the big bad world of the internet but besides my amazing family and friends, the internet has provided some much-needed daydreaming and security for my heavy heart.

With many hours spent scrolling through my favourite brands and artists, filling my virtual basket with clothes, accessories, shoes, books and makeup and not once following through with a single transaction, I have become an expert at ‘fake internet shopping’. Feeling totally inspired by all the fabulous yet unnecessary material things I thought I was missing out on, I decided to venture into the real world and unapologetically do a bit of retail therapy.

You all know me well enough by now to know that I love shopping. Whether I purchase anything or not I genuinely love strolling through shops, touching fabrics, piecing outfits together, trying on shoes, buying shoes! You can imagine my disappointment then when I finally got myself together to leave my apartment and spend some cash that I was so uninspired by this season’s ‘trends’. I walked and walked and came home empty-handed. There was plenty of course that caught my eye but as usual these items were more wish list than realistic purchases, which leads me here. While the shops are full of hideous off-the-shoulder numbers and copious versions of the same old   embroidered shirts, I am steering clear and continuing my Wish List daydreaming over on Pinterest. Each week I’m going to pin everything that has caught my eye. Everything from fashion, beauty, interiors and food, and if I do actually make a purchase, it will get pinned here too! I’ll be updating my Wish List board throughout the week and have already started so why not take a look.

xo

 

The Backpack Dilemma

The Backpack Dilemma

I have struggled for some time now with seeing backpacks in mainstream fashion. I’m a firm believer that just because something is in fashion does not make it fashionable and backpacks definitely fall into that category. I detested backpacks in my school days and see no need for them as an adult. Unless you are hiking or possibly travelling but in no other circumstance do I see a need for them.

With all of that said, I do see their practical value and here is my dilemma. Every few months I revisit the idea of buying one mostly due to back pain so I spend hours online researching and find a backpack I deem age appropriate and vaguely stylish. This is then followed by me falling off my chair at the price and I then decide I don’t need one after all. I am currently at the start of that cycle again but with good reason. Before I left for my trip to Oz I considered using a backpack as my hand luggage so my search began. Not wanting to spending a month’s salary on something I may not even use I hit high street chains looking for a plain, practical yet stylish backpack. Most I found were horrible and the ones that got a second glance were more than I was willing to pay. At that point I was ready to give up but I started to look at what was really bothering me about the backpacks I found.

Most of these backpacks were not age appropriate. I’m a grown woman with a lot of stuff to carry around and a ‘mini’ backpack won’t cut it. That brings me to the next thing that bothers me; the straps. Remember the driving force for me wanting to buy a backpack is it’s practical so why on earth would I consider a backpack with straps that resemble shoelaces? My other issue (I’m on a roll now) and this is one that may just be mine, is the shape. I prefer a square shape yet I found very few like this and any that were square were completely out of my price range.

This is where I had a lightbulb moment. In general I found there was some mass generalisation about what women want from a backpack so I started looking at men’s versions and bingo! I started my search from scratch going into every men’s department and do you know what I found? Simple, square, non-offensive backpacks. At that point I bought a men’s black, squared-shaped, fabric backpack for 12 euro from Penneys. I used it on the plane and if I’m honest despite it being aesthetically reasonable, I got what I paid for and I can’t see it lasting many more days.

No doubt I will return to this dilemma at some stage in the future but until then, here are a few I daydream about owning.

xo