Many of you will have seen a recent post where I chatted about my struggle with being on camera as I normally would, trying on new arrivals and sharing outfit inspiration - the reason being I am now 33 weeks pregnant. Not so easy to model all the latest styles coming into my boutique!
I was encouraged to speak about this with you all and I thought why not see if we can all help each other get some body confidence. So I asked for some helpful tips and style advice from anyone pregnant now or previously, anyone who has had a change in their body shape or image for any reason. The goal being to put together this blog so we could all benefit!
Pregnancy, sickness, or just plain old life changes of different varieties happen many of us at different times for different reasons and it can be difficult to recognise ourselves during, or after. It can often leave a lasting impact on how we see ourselves. Or how we perceive others see us! Especially in this age of social media being in the background, or forefront, of everything we do and see.
That blogger you love who was modelling her latest “#GIFTED” outfit 2 weeks after giving birth and looking just as good as she did prior - How the heck can they possibly look so good and fit into that! Yes, I’ve been there (groan). Trust me, we all have.
Its that moment you take something to the changing room that would normally be your go-to and not being able to mentally comprehend how it looks soooooo different! Who owns this body?! I have customers with 5, 10, 15 year olds who tell me they still mentally struggle with not being able to buy styles that once suited so easily, that just don’t any more. Saying goodbye can be hard. Goodbye to boobs, to a waist, to stomach muscles…
So, here are some suggestions that may benefit you if you’re in this same mind space right now. These are a mix between my own lessons learnt and some great advice from you all! Some are style related, some are just self-care related. Because, lets face it, how we feel about ourselves is important and its not shallow to put ourselves first every once in a while! Most will centre around pregnancy but will still provide some ideas for anyone needing some body confidence for any reason 🙌
Embrace and enjoy that bump! Don’t try to hide or disguise it
Styles that highlight your waist and still compliment that growing bump are a great way to show off the gift you have to the whole world.
When I felt I looked like a whale I reminded myself that there are many who’d literally kill to be in my position so it was time to give it some self-love.
Plus, I’m told I’ll miss mine, so the jury will decide on that in about 6 weeks time. I certainly wont miss the backache it causes!
This is advice I got a lot that just did not work for me, but works for many of you so its worth a try! The beauty of this is you can still wear the clothes you love by just giving yourself some more room!
Layering is also a great option. I wore a lot of shirt dresses that used to fit me - open over my cami tops - and it helped me keep somewhat attached to my much loved wardrobe.
This is also a must if feeding - easy access while feeling trendy is a difficult balance to get! But if you feel nicer in yourself and your wardrobe it definitely translates outward.
Some staple pieces to get you through are key, because trust me you won’t want to see a bit of it after! Mixing and matching the key pieces mean you don’t need to buy a whole new wardrobe, and they also help change up your outfits regularly.
In this country we live in our jeans. They suit all seasons so they’re a wardrobe staple for us all. A good pair of maternity jeans are a godsend. For me, Topshop was the gift-giver. They are a skinny leg so they fit exactly like my old jeans. Unlike some others which were baggy and shapeless and made me look, and feel, heavier. Which is not the goal!
Don’t change your style completely
I detested a lot of clothing from maternity stores. They weren’t remotely my usual taste and I resented feeling I had to settle for something just because I was pregnant. You’ll have to adjust to meet the new needs of your body, yes, but you can still look fab not frumpy!
Its 2019! Maternity brands really have a lot to answer for!
It’s a no-brainer – accessories are one-size-fits-all! So go mad. Depending on the time of year, get yourself some fab new boots, or sandals (or heels if you’re brave). Or some good old statement jewellery.
Also, unlike maternity gear, they will last long after your body has changed again so worth the investment!
Show your style through adding some extra details and you’ll feel more like yourself.
Staple or investment pieces
Buy something for your post-pregnancy wardrobe. I bought myself a leather jacket. I didn’t have one I liked and I just wanted it. It may be something you can wear now (I wore mine a few times until I looked like the incredible hulk), but if not, it’ll hang in your wardrobe until you can wear it to remind you there is life after pregnancy!
The incredible Clemmie Hooper (@mother_of_daughters) – author of “How to grow a baby, and push it out” (I definitely recommend!) also had the same advice. She got some serious pleasure out of buying her usual size 10 instead of an XXXXXL
Massages, facials, waxes, nail appointments – take your pick! For me it was eyelashes because that’s something you can rock no matter your size! The nail appointments in particular are very important when you get to a point when you can’t reach your toes, and your husband refuses to do it for you due to his overwhelming sensitivity to the polish fumes 🤦♀️
This is obviously not a definitive guide on how to beat body image issues, but if nothing else we realise we're all in the same boat!
M ♥️ xx