time flies when you're being a mum

13 Jun, 2012

At a time when we are redoing the whole house and having a baby, I’m having to think creatively about how the hell to dress myself. It’s getting to be a bit of chore and can result in tantrums and tears. Most recently I had a party to go to and it was sunny so I didn’t want to wear tights…The dress I had chosen to wear was met with undisguised horror from Mike (“Why on earth did you buy that?”).

Despite having nothing to wear, we can’t afford to be spending loads on buying things that’ll only last me a few more months (I’m assured the weight will “just fall off” so I’m going with that) so I’m on the hunt for cheap maternity clothes and what’s cheaper than the clothes you already have? Here I am today, looking tired and wearing a hounds tooth stretchy pencil skirt pulled up over my bump (I’ll probably not be able to wear it after I’m pregnant but I was desperate for a worky look today for an important meeting).

I was recently on Cotton and Curls site, which is all about refashioning old clothes and handily the lady (I know from her blog that she’s a Mormon from Utah but I can’t work out what her name is!) who writes it is also pregnant. Despite the fact that I can’t sew, and don’t really intend to (although the ‘maybe I will?’ lurks at the back of my mind), I love looking at this site and seeing what would be possible if I could/did sew.

I went on a particular post about a maternity shirt recently and noticed that she was wearing her old jeans and I couldn’t get my head around the logistics of it – mine all stopped doing up ages ago even beyond my little button extension trick. So I asked the question and her response was this blog post…basically, wear your jeans totally unbuttoned and just cover it up with either a belly band, a long vest or make your own belly band out of a long/old vest. I guess if I was thinking logically I could have got to this point on my own.

I got myself straight on ebay and bought  a couple of belly bands from Mothercare for £7 (including postage) and I was terribly excited for their arrival, expecting a world of my old clothes to open up before me. I’m not going to lie, they are pretty shit – originally costing £10, I barely got a bargin on my secondhand goods – because they are cotton rather than something a bit thicker and stretchier.

I persevered nonetheless and here I am in my old (size 10 but they are incredibly stretchy) topshop Jamie jeans.

refashion, cheap maternity clothes

The reason I’m smiling like that is not because I’m so pleased with my jeans but because in the picture before I had accidentally captured Mike’s bare bum in the picture – heh heh.

The positives of the belly band are:

  • I can wear my denim mini skirt again (great now the weather has started to pick up)
  • my belly is insanely itchy now so because you can fold it down below the bump my belly can breath. *sigh*

Low points:

  • the material is too thin so you can still see that my jeans are wide open, therefore, you need to layer with additional clothes (therefore belly can’t breath) and/or do elaborate folding of the belly band that shifts around as you move and needs constant adjusting
  • wearing your old jeans just ain’t comfy – I spent the day pulling them up and adjusting the band, and sitting with the zip digging into your belly sucks
So that is the crux of it all!
Belly bands are great if they are thick and stretchy enough but if your jeans are too tight, they’ll hurt when you sit down and if they’re too loose, they’ll fall down. My advice is either get a better belly band or save yourself pennies in the long run and get some decent maternity jeans!
Any thoughts? If you’ve found a good, cheap maternity/pregnancy band please do share!

5 comments.

04 May, 2012

On Wednesday I caught myself in the lift mirror and this is what I saw. Fluffy hair, no make up, confusing clothing. All in all a bit of a frump.

Comfy but it’s not work-wear by any stretch. I panicked but then you would have as this is what had happened before the above mishap…

These are sexy times ladies! What I’ve realised this week is that I have more clothes than you can shake a stick at (especially thanks to Ania for giving me lots of maternity things!) so I can hardly shut my drawers and yet I’ve no idea what to actually put on! This is mainly due to the fact that I have no idea what still fits and can be classed as maternity clothes. So, in order to tackle this I have tried on everything in my teeshirt/jumper draw to get rid of the too small (there were about 30 t-shirts like the orange one above) and create my ‘things that go with jeans’ album.

The ‘things that go with jeans’ Album

The basics – please note that I have put this on purely for explaining a point not because I think it looks good (for example the boobtube is borderline see through). These tops are my new best friends. They are long to extend beyond the bump and seem to add more support so I feel comfortable.

1. Gray Vest (freebie from Ania)

2. Boobtube from Topshop (I also want to get this in black)

The jeans I have are – mothercare’s skinny jeans (from Ania), Baxter jeans from Topshop, and bootcuts from Next

For Work/Out and About – I’m probably quite lucky in that I can wear jeans to work so my work wardrobe is much the same as my play one.

Black Maternity t-shirt from Topshop (unfortunately in the sale, so it’s not online anymore), with green cardie and red cardie

I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of this top but if you are looking for something to throw on for work, this is it – it’s long, stretchy and looks cutest with a little cardigan.

1. Red top (freebie from Ania) – I had initially thought my arms were too fat for this. It now I’m quite a fan.

2. Orange shift top from Miss Selfridges with lace detail on the back – I really like this with the boobtube, something for those balmy days and nice with a blazer and dark jeans for work.

3. Maternity jumper, with lace shoulder detail, from Topshop (again in the sale) – I find this top is already a bit short so a t-shirt or boobtube underneath will be needed soon.

Sailor Style jumper from Topshop: before (at 12 weeks) and after (at 26 weeks) – it’s nice and long, so I’m still enjoying wearing it.

A bit more cas. – this is perhaps more weekend wear (I sound like Graham Norton) basically things that I probably wouldn’t want to wear to work (but might).

1. White t-shirt (not maternity), Topshop – worn with boobtube and grey vest for added support (plus it looks better with the grey layer rather than just white)

2. Gorgeous Sailor t-shirt from best friend Alex a few birthdays ago

3. Beige t-shirt (freebie from Ania), which isn’t my colour but I love the material and like it with this little Primark cardie.

The unsure pile – I have a few things that I’m just not sure about but because they are big enough, I’m going to reserve judgement (esp the sleeveless ones for those balmy, hot summer days that are so clearly on their way).

1. Rainbow t-shirt (non-maternity), H&M – worn with boobtube. I bought this for my holidays and at the moment it certainly feels as though it should stay a sun only top.

2. Flamingo (oi!) t-shirt (non-maternity), Henry Holland –  worn with boobtube. It’s long, and will fit for a while but I’m just not that keen, I don’t think it’s very flattering. Perhaps due to the picture on the front?

3. Stripy jumper (non-maternity), H&M – this is my cosy round-the-house jumper but I feel it’s bordering on frump-ville Tennessee, so best with really skinny jeans.

That’s it. Doesn’t feel like much but my drawers now shut.

3 comments.

16 Apr, 2012

A few days ago I had this weird and slightly distressing dream that a gorgeous, slim woman was stood naked in front of Mike, causing me to have a massive argument with this person. Ha! How silly, I know.

However, it seems I can predict the future as that same thing virtually happened today – the person in question wasn’t naked but she didn’t have much on and I was seriously pissed off that she would dress in such a way in front of MY husband! Particularly given the fact that I feel like a whale. A pregnant whale. A green, pregnant whale. It’s seems jealously is one of my pregnancy symptoms as I’m feeling fiercely protective over Mike!

With that in mind, it is now my mission to have a sexy pregnancy (not so much for Mike’s sake, he does NOT need any more encouragement! But for my own sake and feelings of attractiveness). I mentioned ages ago about transforming myself from the frumpable to the humpable. Well now I have a bump and not just a belly lump, I mean business (and I need to get my head around this maternity clothes stuff).

Get ready for a mammoth post, but thanks to an article by parenting.com about the book Bump It Up: Transform Your Pregnancy Into the Ultimate Style Statement by Amy Tara Koch, I have 35 ish (that’s what they advertise, I’ll see how I get on!) tips to work my belly around. Deep breath, here we go…

 

1. You don’t need to spend a fortune – concentrate on layering pieces that you can wear after the baby’s born too (jackets, shawls, scarves, jewellery, etc).

2. Get creative – go back through all those clothes you’ve already put into storage to see if you can wear them in a non-traditional way. For example turn a skirt into a dress (I only seem to own mini skirts so I’d love to see that!)

3. Make the most of your non-structured clothes and use accessories

4. Don’t go near frumpy clothes – how you look is how you feel and I feel minging enough as it is without sweat pants and trainers on

5. Stick to ‘silhouette-based dressing’ – this is a style that is a product of ‘layering and knowing your proportions’ – I’m not entirely sure what this means but I think it gets explained later on…ah-ha, yes see point 16.

6. Wear heels at all times! Even little ones elongate the body. Wedges are my personal favourite – they’re a bit rough but I’ve barely taken these off since I got preggo…

Cowboy boots and other such things also work aparently. I’d LOVE some cowboy boots!

7. BFF staples #1 Leggings – I got these bad boys the other day from Jojo Maman Bebe and they are awesome (they go higher over my bump than the picture shows, dead comfy but still sexy with the right thing on top)! I also got some much less awesome ones from Next (the size 12 is too big but I’ll probably love them later in pregnancy).

8. BFF staples #2 Maternity trousers – get them in black with a button so you can take them in and out (I’m tempted to go the whole hog and get over the bump stretchness though)

9. BFF staples #3 LBD – needs to be versatile (formal and casual), knee-length or just above, empire, wrap or shift shapes and go for jersey fabrics as they don’t crinkle (I can vouch for this having worn a linen dress the other day which was crinkle city by 10am resulting in lining showing and generally being too short).

Courtesy of BUMP IT UP

10. BFF staples #4 Maternity Jeans – Amy loves these bootcuts by Citizens of Humanity, which are £118 and seems a little steep but if you imagine you’re going to be in them ALL the time for the next 3.5 months (if you wore them 3 times a week until giving birth, that works out around £2.80 a wear, plus you’ll probably wear them more than that and after the baby is born), it’ll be worth the investment and you’ll feel a million dollars in them – see Mike, I neeeeeeed them! Anyway if you do get jeans, go dark with no holes/distressed bits. Wonder what she’d think about skinny jeans, I want these jeans from ASOS (a mere £30).

11. BFF staples #5 Black Skirt – with buttons so you can extend it. And, if it’s lycra make sure it’s knee-length or shorter. Amy used to roll her black skirt up to make it mini too. What I don’t get about skirts is where you wear them – above or below the bump? And, do you tuck in your shirt? It’s all a mystery (unless it’s a denim mini and then I’ve got it covered!)

12. Use chain or beaded belts as necklaces – not so sure about that one…

13. Turn printed nighties into dresses – again I’d need to see this in action to really get the hang of it!

14. Hide your bump for the first 12 weeks

15. …then go to town showing it off! – wear tight things, such as lycra dresses with flowing scarves, or pregnancy jeans with a tight top (one of my favourites at the moment)

16. Avoid Baggy clothes – Baggy things make you look heavy so avoid (unless it’s short and you’re wearing leggings underneath) – this explains point 5 and relates to 17, below.

17. If you’re going big on top, wear tight on the bottom (and vice versa)

18. Showing off your belly isn’t the done thing at the moment, apparently it’s not very elegant.

19. Find your Uniform – I love wearing my Topshop Baxter jeans with a tight top at the moment, although I want some tighter jeans, like in point 10, to up the sexiness. Amy’s favourite ‘uniform’ was a tunic with leggings, which I also like. She says find out what flatters you and wear it all the time, just alternate the look with different accessories.

 

Courtesy of BUMP IT UP

20. NoNo #1 – Sweatpants (unless you’re working out of course)

21. NoNo #2 – Horizontal Strips (I’m not sure about this, it’s fashion at the moment and I’m loving it)

22. NoNo #3 – High neck shirts (as they don’t show off enough flesh, you want to be showing off your neck, shoulders, etc)

23. NoNo #4 – Calf-length dresses (go one way or the other, not in the middle)

24. NoNo #5 – Sensible shoes (see point 6)

25. NoNo #6 – Massive bags (they apparently cut you a place you’d rather not draw attention to, so stick to little bags that hit near the rib-cage)

26. “Accessorise with the bravado of your bump” – think big

27. Replace studs with hoops and chandeliers

28. Layer necklaces and don’t wear chokers, they shorten the neck and make it look chunky

29. Don’t just wear black – add colour with scarves, jackets, bags…and I’d say wear colour and prints on your dresses (the shorter the better to show off your pins!) and tops.

30. Create an empire waist line with belts (i.e. above the bump, below the boobs)

31. Use bigger belts below the bump, which she suggests with t-shirt dresses (sounds a bit interesting to me, but will try!)

32. Look to the celebs – good role models include Heidi Klum (for sexy elegancy), Gwen Stephanie (for fun), J-Lo and Halle Berry

 

Hummm… I seem to have run out of her suggestions so here are some of mine.

33. Get a boob tube – it may sound rediculous but I found this fab boobtube dress for £14 in topshop on Saturday and I love it – it means I can wear tops without a bra (the bane of my life) and it is nice and long, so goes well below the bump. I’ve got it in white but I think I’ll get a couple more in black too.

34. Get your legs out – wear short dresses that show your pins off, they’re still lovely and will look great with those heels!

Courtesy of BUMP IT UP

35.  Be confident – wear that bump with pride!

Please let me know what you think – is some of it good, bad, ugly? Do you have any of your own ideas? I’d love to hear them! hxx

 

6 comments.

02 Apr, 2012

For the last week or so I’ve really started to show so some things have stopped fitting (remember these trousers I bought 2 weeks ago…yeah, they don’t fit anymore!) but my maternity clothes are still too big so I’m in no-mans-land!

Here’s a round up of my last week’s ‘make-do maternity clothes’, taken in various lifts because I forget to take a photo at home in the morning and I look like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards by the time I get home. It’s rather dress heavy, so I’m going to look for some skinny jeans on return from holiday (I’ve spotted a few good ‘uns on ASOS for when I get my first pay cheque!).

An ensemble for Alex's French-themed dinner party. T-shirt dress from Zara and £20 jacket from H&M last week

A dress I LOVE and found for £7 at ASDA - an old man commented on my legs in it though so too short for tights, get some leggings!

A primark collection - this is one of my favourite dresses that I can still just about squeeze my boobs in, bought on the cheap with that cardi last year from Primarni (complete with fluffy slippers)

This is something I feel pregnant in...dress from Dorothy Perkins a few Christmases ago and leggings from H&M (this season)

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27 Mar, 2012

Holiday special! We’re off on Friday and my bump has popped, which means my clothes selection is suddenly rather limited. Fortunately, my lovely friend Tamsin has leant me some maternity clothes to wear, but I couldn’t resist having a little look to see what’s on offer at the moment…here’s my top 6 but bear in mind that the weather in Turkey at the moment is about 23 degrees so not sweltering!

1. Red Swan Print Top – Next, £15 (also in white)

2. Navy Floral Maxi Dress – Next, £28

3. Cream Butterfly Dress – New Look, £27.99

4. Blue Tie Knot Dress – Isabella Oliver , £105 (if you’re feeling extravagant – I’m not!)

5. Lace Dress – ASOS, £36 (in sale)

6. Denim Shorts – Next, £25

And something I won’t be getting – the novelty preggo t-shirt!

2 comments.

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