Tuesday, 12 July 2016

High street maternity shop: the holiday edit

When clothes only have a few months to wear their money's worth, the high street needs to deliver. Pregnancy is not a time for investment pieces, so, at 16 weeks, pregnant with a suddenly popped bump, I hit the high street to
update my holiday wardrobe with just a few quid in my pocket on a quest for denim shorts, bikinis and a few holiday extras. 

They had a small selection in store, I'm talking ten pieces, and a little more online. I tried on the denim shorts which fitted oh-so-dreamily around the growing bump but were very much a hot pant and I was just not ready for that much thigh on show with legs that have seen and resemble more ski slope than sunshine in recent years. Online they have a good selection, thumbs up for covering the basics well. Prices are in line with Topshop's standard collection, at £28 the denim shorts work out at £4 per day for a week away. Maybe I'm taking this price-per-wear too far.
Topshop shorts £28
I had heard good things about H&M so was excited to find that they had denim shorts in their small maternity edit in store. Sadly they made my legs look like two sausages. And I'm not talking #hotdoglegs. The rest of the collection had some gems, and as always, they nail the basics. I'll be back for some black skinnies come the Autumn. With no maternity swimwear I looked to the standard collection for help, but the material to bikini bottom ratio did not cater to my needs. I'm not sure if this was the fault of the bump or the bum but in either case, I moved on. 
I nipped into Mothercare with my mum y'know because it's fun to pretend push prams and discuss car seats and was sidelined by the maternity corner, it really was a corner, but I came out with a two-pack of basic stretch tees (one black, one breton) for £15 so it was with a visit. The maternity bras were very comfy, and in the sale at £8 and there were a good selection of basic dresses but as it stands dresses are the only thing from my summer wardrobe are the only thing that fit over the bump so I'm embracing those-for now. There were a few swim options, all tankini and full suit, and I'm just not ready to ditch the bikini...yet.

New Look
I was pleasantly surprised by New Look's selection, they have adapted lots of their core collection for the lady lump. Their fringed denim shorts won the day. Ordered online at the last minute and picked up the next day in store. Phew. Although the size 10 fitted ok, I opted to go up to a 12, for more longevity and a little more bum coverage. I tried the over and the under bump but went for the under, the over the bump section was as deep as the shorts themselves and I imagine would make for a rather clammy mid-drift. They are slightly flared, giving the illusion of a slimmer leg (yes please!). Although they're labelled as a hot pant, they are a decent length, I'd be happy to wear them back in England with a shirt and trainers. At £17.99 they were a bargain too (update-they're now £8 in the sale, I was robbed). I'd order the other colours, if they did them. The downside to the New Look maternity collection is that they don't hold any in store, at least not in my area, but with the speedy delivery, I ordered, tried on in their changing rooms and returned the unwanted pieces straight away, no lingering packages in our hallway at home and the money barely left my back account. While in-store I was lured in to the bikini selection, mainly because they were all in the sale. These had again been made for a body shape that I do no own, I.e one with a small behind. I moved on. 

New Look shorts £8 (in the sale)
This was a surprise winner in the non-maternity-maternity arena. Their actual maternity collection wasn't for me, but their standard ranges fit perfectly, I snapped up three of these tube tops, £4. They are really long, plenty of space to accommodate the second trimester bump, and to cover that pesky maternity jeans band. I can't say for sure that they would see me right the way through, but neither will the sunshine, I suspect. I also grabbed two bandeau bras, £5, really stretchy, comfortable and easy to wear. I'll be getting a lot of use out of these. The swim department was the real triumph here, the bikinis are generously sized for the larger bum, and plenty of unwired bikini top options that still offered a decent amount of support for those ever growing boobs. 
Matalan boob tube £4
With a small spend and a creative look at my existing wardrobe I managed to put together a holiday edit that worked for me and should see me through the rest of the english summer (ha!) and second trimester. 

Did I miss any stores? I'd love to hear your maternity high street heroes.

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