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Essential stylish maternity wear that will make you feel fabulous before and after your baby is born. We asked some specialists in the maternity wear sector for some tips on how to look radiant and feel feminine during pregancy.

Look, let’s be honest, I was no Kate Middleton during either of my pregnancies. My staple maternity wear was an oversized T-shirt I’d won years back at a grape-stomping competition and, in the last few weeks of my pregnancy, a strappy sundress bought from a flea market in downtown Joburg was all I could wear.

I really did want to be like those radiant mothers who grace pregnancy magazines wearing chic leggings and cute tops that neatly hug their growing bumps. But in reality, I was more blob than blossoming mom-to-be, partly because I made the sartorial mistake of thinking I could get by wearing my pre-pregnancy “fat” clothes.

Our experts caution that doggedly wearing your pre-pregnancy leggings and other favourites could stretch the elastic and pull at the seams, rendering some of the clothing unwearable once your baby has been born. They say: “Don’t be tempted to buy ‘normal’ clothes in a larger size as they will not fit properly on your shoulders, arms or legs and you will simply look overweight. Maternity styles are designed to flatter.”

Read our article on how to beat the heat when pregnant.

tips to look radiant and feel feminine throughout, and after, your pregnancy

  • Invest in some core basics or classic items, such as a tank top or a maxi skirt and twist front dress. These can easily be mixed and matched and glammed up with accessories for a special occasion. They will  see you through your pregnancy and beyond, when you are still trying to lose some of the baby weight. Also, avoid wearing clothing that looks like a big sack over your bump.
  • Maintain some balance. If you’re wearing a full skirt, offset the look with a tight-fitted maternity top, and vice versa.
    Think about maternity wear that will stand up to the rigours of breastfeeding. A beautiful top with a cowl neck that unclasps for feeding will make life far easier than pulling up an oversized shirt.
  • Choose fabric with a fair amount of stretch that will accommodate your changing body. Bear in mind that things change – don’t be surprised if even the width of your back alters as you move through your pregnancy.
  • Maternity jeans that adapt to your shape are a must-have. Choose a pair that has a bit of stretch and a waistband that is engineered to support your tummy, pre- and post-baby.
  • Keep it simple and buy one comfortable and versatile item that can be worn in several different ways throughout your pregnancy.

exercise gear

Consider adding suitable exercise wear to your maternity wardrobe. Don’t try to squeeze into clothes that do not fit you. You’ll only feel uncomfortable and could be damaging your skin. A great pair of leggings and a maternity tank top can be used for layering and for sport.

special occasions

Lastly, spare a thought for those special occasions when you want to look glam. Feeling good about the way you look is a big part of enjoying your pregnancy. Try the “stylist” dress that can be wrapped in various ways to create numerous looks. Add accessories, a cardigan or jacket for extra elegance. “These garments will look great long after your baby has been born.


Try these specialist stores for stylish maternity wear:


Anél Lewis