What to wear, third trimester.

Last night I began sorting my clothes. More specifically, with both 20 working days until I stop working and until we move house, I wanted to pack away into storage boxes some of the items which I didn’t need at present and to get rid of some things I though I’d probably never wear again. Today I started on the washing.

First and foremost, I’ve packed away all my formal work clothes. All my shirts have been washed, buttoned and folded, along with suit skirts and formal trousers. It’s quite odd to think that I probably won’t need them for at least nine months.

Secondly, I packed up a bag for the charity shop of anything that seemed worn out that I used to wear to work. A few t shirt style tops and some cardigans which were on the small side pre-pregnancy and probably won’t be suitable when I do start working again. After all, the last time some of these were worn was last summer, so I find it unlikely that in summer 2013 I will miss them. I also discarded some shorter vests and tshirts and anything that I deemed ‘teenage’ or unlikely that I will want to wear when I’m both 30 and a mother.

As I sorted through my clothes, I realised that I really have not had to buy much in the way of actual maternity clothes, preferring instead to collate items which I will wear post baby as ŵell. If it’s any help to anyone, here’s what I’ve bought of maternity items:

*cord ‘jeggings’ from Mama & Papas which are actually more like very slim fit cord trousers. The grey is quite versatile and they go well into boots. They are also nice and long. I found one pair of casual maternity trousers to be essential after about 25 weeks when although I could fit into my jeans they were extremely uncomfortable when sat down.

*maternity bras, so far in 2 different sizes. Pretty much as soon as I discovered I was pregnant my old bras became quite uncomfortable. The first ones I got were also from mamas and papas as they had a 3 for £15 offer. Per pregnancy I wore a 32C, so I started in that size and then moved up to a 34C after a few weeks. I think I’m going to have to get another bigger size soon, but will wait until we’re back in London so I can get measured properly. I got one more at Christmas in the topshop sale, which is nude and very pretty, so if you know what size you need, they are a budget option too.

*maternity tights. After about 3 months, my usual tights felt a bit, well, tight. I have tried various brands, with my two favourites for work being thick cotton ones, 120 denier. I have one pair from mothercare and another from H&M. I also have a couple of pairs of 60? Denier ones from H&M for more formal situations. (all black). The advantage of maternity tights is that they go over the bump, which is much more comfortable, and have a lighter, stretchy panel over the tummy area.

*blue draped maternity dress, also from mamas and papas. Marto bought this for me about about 20 weeks when I started to despair that I couldn’t fit in my work dresses so well (actually, standing up was fine, I just sit at a desk for hours every day, which was very uncomfortable). This dress is soft and doesn’t look very much like maternity wear. I wear it with either a navy blazer or a grey non pregnancy cardigan for work.

*formal maternity dress, from ASOS, which I think makes me look frumpy, but needs must when you have formal parties to attend and you can’t get anything else on.

*charcoal stiff cotton tunic/shirt from Gap. It has elastic features and brass shirt button style effect with 3/4 sleeves and is nowhere near as hideous as it sounds. That said, I got it for £7.50 in the sale, and I probably wouldn’t have been tempted at the £38 it was full price.

*Gap maternity pyjama trousers. Not really sure how they are maternity exactly but they are comfy, cosy, long enough and have an elastic and draw string waist. They were in the sale and wash well. An essential purchase after I split my old pair around 3 or 4 months kidding myself that my ass hadn’t grown as much as it turned out it had.

*black formal work trousers from JoJoMamamBebe. I don’t *love* these but they are, I am assured, more flattering from the perspective of someone else than looking down on them from above. They were however the best work trousers I found for a modest budget, especially as I can’t bear boot cut trousers which is what everyone else seems to sell. The pair I tried on in store was nicer, and cotton, with a better waistband, but it had faulty stitching (it wasn’t stretch stitch) so I asked them to order me a new pair. I think the cotton ones were the last of the summer batch, and despite these supposedly being identical, they are in fact polyester. Still, eh have worn and washed well, and are essential to my work wardrobe.

*Black Isabella Oliver leggings. My sister in law bought these for me and they have turned out to be great. Initially I wasn’t sure I needed actual maternity leggings and, to be honest, I probably didn’t. I carried on alternating these with my topshop non maternity pair but in the end, these Isabella Oliver ones are the only ones I’m wearing. They are much thicker than other pairs, and the waistband is very comfy and the right height to go under my bump. They are also lovely and long and wash very well.

*maternity jersey tops. Early on, I bought one striped one from Gap and one sort of spotty leopard print in blue from Boden. They are the sort with ruching down the sides. I have worn both loads, the Boden one is quite smart so useful for work, but I have also equally worn lots of long length jersey tops from Cos which are non maternity and have the added advantage I can keep wearing them afterwards.

*black ASOS ruched jersey dress. My mother bought me this from Oxfam online, and it has been good for work. Not sure I would have bought it myself, but I have worn it lots. Is more suited to warmer temperatures though, so haven’t worn it for the past few weeks. Will be useful when on maternity leave though as not so formal it can’t be worn casually.

My other purchases have all been specifically ones I will be able to wear once the baby is here. That said, if I will be breast feeding I will need to consider my options to include some more button fronted items. In particular, I have got a lot of wear out of a grey long line merino wool cardigan from Gap, in a size S rather than my pre-pregnancy XS as well as similar larger sized jumpers from Uniqlo and Zara (one grey scoop neck, one black polo neck, one black cardigan) as well as a merino polo neck tunic style dress/jumper from M&S which was very useful for weeks 14-16 when no-one save close family and friends knew of the pregnancy but I couldn’t exactly hide it any longer. I also had to buy some bigger pants. Oh, and some flat shoes for work.

I have also bought several longer line vests, two stretchy mini skirts from H&M and have dug out of my wardrobe all drapy or jersey tops and dresses. My coat is also a wrap coat from Ted Baker, which has been very useful, and the one I wear at weekends thankfully has a two way zip so I can wear it with only the top part done up.

In short, thankfully, I have managed without too much in the way of actual maternity clothes, which in my experience are either overpriced or hideous. In some cases, both. Please let me know if anymore on this would be helpful.



  1. Red Boots January 29, 2012 / 8:25 pm

    I thought shirts/blouses/button tops would have been perfect for breast feeding, and maybe I’m doing it wrong, but I find I expose a lot of boob when trying to feed in any of those types of clothes. Instead I find I expose myself much less wearing a top/t-shirt/jumper, with a vest underneath. I pull the vest down a bit and the top up a bit just to expose only the essential bit! So I just went and bought a load of vests from primark so I always have one to hand.

    I’d recommend a pair of maternity jeans. I bought them late on in my pregnancy, but wore them a lot, especially in the last few weeks. My jeans were under the bump style (from Topshop), so I can still wear them now. I live in them now actually, and were especially handy for the first week after giving birth when my tummy was still sticking out!

    • thelittlepip January 30, 2012 / 8:48 am

      Thanks for the tip off about buttons! Will have to get some more vests.

      The cords I got are essentially jeans, so hoping those will do. Am planning a new pair of red jeans for the summer, non maternity, so hoping the cords will see me through.

      How’s E?

  2. Amy January 29, 2012 / 8:49 pm

    I was just about to say pretty much the same as above. Button up tops just annoyed me when breastfeeding.I preferred longer tops, maybe with a loose cardigan or shirt unbuttoned over the top to help with hiding bits! It just needs to be a top which is a stretchy material so you can go up and under.

    I’d also wait and not buy too much for afterwards now. About a month after having my little girl we stopped by Sainsburys and I picked up a coupe of tops in a bigger size, because whilst I didn’t want to spend much I was fed up of wearing clothes I’d worn when I was pregnant.

    • thelittlepip January 30, 2012 / 8:45 am

      Don’t worry, I’m not buying things now specifically to wear afterwards. I have just bought things to wear now I will also wear afterwards. If you see what I mean.

      Interesting re button tops vs stretchy ones for breast feeding. Hadn’t considered that might work better!

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