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Wardrobe & Image Planning

Maternity Fashion Wear Clothes

By Pauline Weston Thomas for


Wardrobe & Image Planning Maternity Clothes


Young mothers to be of the late noughties found more and more ranges across the high street with dedicated maternity sections.  Mothercare was not the only place to find comfortable maternity wear.  Dorothy Perkins has sold a very fashionable maternity collection alongside its everyday range for years, but now Next, Topshop, New Look and even Marks & Spencers all have small ranges of maternity clothing.  If you like dresses there has been a revolution in maternity dress wear.  Maxi dress have hit the headlines this year and you may like the maternity maxi dresses on this maternity maxi trends page here.
Right - Blue Maxi Maternity Dress - Isabella Oliver 2010.

Maternity wear has at long last become more attractive.  Fashionable styles in maternity clothes have become more available since the 1990s.  Dorothy Perkins Maternity Spring Summer 2006 - Blue Bra DressNow with the volume silhouette back in fashion, the early months of pregnancies are even more easily accommodated with normal clothes.  Fashion hasn't favoured those expecting babies for many years, since baby doll dresses were all the rage in the 1960s.

Baby doll fashions and some loose baggy styles straight off the high street ranges are great to wear during the early months of pregnancy.  But after 6 months, women always need to accommodate that ever growing bump.  This is where specialist maternity wear with generous waistlines, which can grow with you and support baby, are essential for your comfort and morale.  If your clothes fit you, however heavy you feel, you will cope better and your self-esteem will improve when you know you have made the best of yourself that day.

This lovely empire-line, baby doll, maternity dress is from Dorothy Perkins 2006 range.  (See picture to the right.)  The dress is perfect for a summer's day when pregnancy can make a woman feel even more hot and bothered than usual.


Choose Comfortable Fabrics for Maternity Wear

Look out for maternity wear with fabrics that are comfortable and which will move with you. Dorothy Perkins Maternity Spring Summer 2006 White Top

You may also want to breastfeed after the birth so think about how a garment will open for easy access for baby.  This white smock (right) also from Dorothy Perkins has every element of this season's fashionable whitework look. Note how it also has an open front, making breastfeeding an easier option than a closed top.Dorothy Perkins 2006 -  Red and navy stripe vest (£10) and black culottes (£18)

For maternity wear, jersey knits are ideal.  Maternity clothes can be outgrown before you know it, so make sure that you buy the right size; opting for a larger size if you are debating between 2 sizes.  By the final week of pregnancy you will be so glad you still have room to expand.

You may feel rather large for some weeks after the birth so you can continue to make use of the maternity wear until you can get your figure back.  Those who have Caesarean births may also want only loose clothes over the scar area until it settles down.

Whilst in love with the idea of motherhood, you may not be too thrilled about your enlarging waistline for the next months.  You want to sail through pregnancy looking as elegant as always.  The maternity fashions shown on this page should help you assess the variety of practical styles available to you in the high street.  You can also browse the list of UK, USA and Australian maternity wear specialists below

Dorothy Perkins 2006 - Black and white polka dot maternity dress with bow sash - £30 Remember that little black dress can make you feel just as good during pregnancy as you normally do.  Just get the correct fit for your growing body. This one left is from Dorothy Perkins.

One idea worth considering if you have lots of friends, is to pool maternity wear.  Mamas & Papas Ditsy Floral Dress £40 Autumn Winter 2010 Perhaps you could form a group with friends who have just been pregnant and are thinking of another pregnancy soon.  You may have an event such as a wedding to attend, consider saving on buying a garment and either hire an outfit or ask around other recently pregnant mums.  Just as some friends loan each other cruise wear for exotic 5 star holidays, so you can share during pregnancy too.

Maternity Trousers, Jeans, Leggings, Jeggings

Mamas and Papas Limited Edition Maternity Boot Cut Jean £100With trousers easiest of all is the leggings or jeggings approach worn with an easy loose tunic or dress. The right jeggings or leggings can offer some physical support for your growing baby.

This pretty ditsy floral green maternity dress is from Mamas & Papas Heritage Maternity Collection AW10. Right - Mamas & Papas Ditsy Floral Dress £40 Autumn Winter 2010 - Stockist Tel: 0845 268 2000 or 1890 882 363 for Ireland. These jeggings right are from Marks & Spencers or you could opt for cropped jeans like these from Dorothy Perkins and shown near right. The adjustable waistline means you can let out the waist and remain in fashion.Maternity JeggingsDorothy Perkins Spring 2006 - Cropped Maternity Denim Pants

Buy maternity jeans for everyday wear to help you feel more normal and like everyone else.  Both Blooming Marvellous and Next do reliable maternity jeans that have adjustable waistbands, which makes them longer lasting and therefore better value. 

Left - Mamas and Papas Limited Edition Maternity Boot Cut Jean £100.

One thing that is best bought specifically for you is the correct support wear for both your bust and your baby bump, start planning from about 6 weeks into pregnancy.  Ask your local lingerie specialists for maternity advice on bras and other support wear.  Don't neglect this area however much it costs.  Supporting your figure at this stage will help maintain a better shape after the event and reduce stretching of skin.

Underwear specialists Rigby and Peller, Bravissimo, Woods Online or Figleaves also feature maternity lingerie products such as nursing bras as do most of the maternity stockists mentioned on this page.  See also seraphine.


Maternity Shopping

These days you can take much of the hassle out of trudging round stores for basic items by shopping online, you can browse a wide range of maternity fashion suppliers including Next, Dorothy Perkins, Topshop, Emma Jane and

Here are some suppliers (in no particular order) for you to check out.  Many sell all types of related maternity and new baby products, but some especially feature a specific type of maternity garment and I've tried to mention this briefly.

You are reading an original maternity fashion article by Pauline Weston Thomas at

UK Maternity Wear Websites Online

Quality Maternity Wear Cheshire based maternity wear. stylish, glamorous, maternity wedding dresses, swimwear. good range fun wear, occasion, work wear, petites and taller clothes. some attractive items. work wear, jackets, tailoring, dresses. business maternity wear. mother and baby, bras, tights, swimwear, clothes, hospital bag. good as new maternity wear for the budget aware. everyday wear and health and fitness garments. funky and attractive fashions - good support maternity and nursing bras. silk nightwear, maternity wear, linen trousers and more, yoga wear, occasions, bras, yummy mummy home parties.


A UK Maternity Dress Agency - Short of cash - recycle... dress agency second wear clothes for maternity.


At their website they say

"The Maternitywear Exchange Ltd is the UK's largest maternity clothes Dress Agency and Clearance outlet and has been running since 1999. Save £100's off your maternity wardrobe.

If you have surplus maternitywear for the future season:
•In good condition
•In perfect repair
•Cleaned and pressed
•Not more than 4 years old."

So if you have maternity items particularly in sizes 8 and 20+ read the Maternity Wear Exchange website for details on how to sell items. They prefer items for autumn/winter sales to be received before September; whilst spring/summer items should ideally be received by February. For % payment details check out their how to sell to page. Please do not contact fashion-era, contact the dress agency second wear clothes for maternity directly.



USA / Canada Maternity Wear Websites Online designer denim, designer maternity clothes, lovely cocktail dresses, long dresses and ranges such as Diane Von Furstenberg etc, coats, shorts, career wear. nice feminine maternity dresses, well covering swimwear, transitional wear. great site, maternity wedding gowns, plus sizes. swimwear average and plus size maternity dresses. also stocks plus size maternity wear. swimwear, mama Spanx, bras. including tennis maternity wear. including transition maternity wear such as jeans. fashion tuned styles.


Australian Maternity Websites Online some pretty tops and long evening gown.   See my page on the 6 Way Dress here. functional clothes including some plus size maternity. belly bands and attractive, dresses, skirts tops, jeans and other items. For some pretty maternity dresses and other items. New site.

You may also like to see how the 6 Way Dress works as a great solution for part of your maternity wardrobe.  The 6 Way dress can also be comfortably worn as a skirt in several styles either under or over the belly as well as styled as a dress with several halter neck options, as a strapless, baby doll, cowl neck or cap sleeve variation.  See my page on the 6 Way Dress here.


You have been reading an original maternity fashion article by Pauline Weston Thomas at


Page added 6 April 2006.  Updated 2010.

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