Maternity Style: 7 Expert Pieces of Realistic Advice for Feeling Yourself

No point in pretending.

I mean, there's the fact that Meghan Markle announced her pregnancy this week, but as someone whose closest friendship circle is currently full of pregnant and/or new mothers, I'm already well on my way to learning a lot about the joys and the trials of having a bun in the oven. I'm also an editor who is always on the lookout to help those in need of fashion advice (that's the reason we set up our private Facebook group, So… Should I Buy This?, which you can be a part of), so I'm acutely aware that this is one of the trickiest times to know what to wear, what to buy and how to feel like yourself.

In some ways, we can be thankful for the rise of social media and the sharing habits of pregnant women on Instagram: it can provide some IRL intel and inspiration. On the flip-side, there's the chance that an unrealistic and unobtainable view on how one might be expected to look during those nine months can be portrayed instead, which seems rather stress-inducing.

Rather than blindly plucking pictures from the internet without any knowledge or context, I sought out expert information. That help comes in the form of super-stylist and Who What Wear UK columnist, Avigail Collins. Her little boy, Che Bobby, is now a (very very adorable) toddler, so she's able to look back on that time with total fashion clarity—noting what worked, what didn't and offering some solid instructions around the basics of feeling right in your maternity fashion choices.

Style Notes: There's no better way to make an outfit more exciting than by adding some eye-catching accessories. Take a tip from Clementine McVeigh and go all-out by adding a statement bag, a headpiece and sunglasses.
Style Notes: The supremely well-turned-out Eva Chen balances a short, floral dress with flat shoes for a city look that's practical yet pretty.
Style Notes: Pandora Sykes looked incredible in this Galvan dress. 
Style Notes: Giovanna in the maternity trinity: a wrap dress, sneakers and statement accessories.
Style Notes: Knitted jumper and jersey dresses are a total godsend, and you don't have to opt for neutral colours. Make a statement like Freddie, pictured here.
Style Notes: A very cool look to copy if you love wearing leggings.
Style Notes: A jumper and jeans still stand up as a reliable outfit—just add great accessories.
Style Notes: Our very own assistant editor, Elinor Block, is currently on maternity leave. But she made the most of this year's loose-fit dresses and sneakers during her pregnancy.
Style Notes: Silky slip dress and a smart blazer with flat sandals? Thanks, Antonia, for this truly chic combination.
Style Notes: Posh flats and posh knits will make every pair of basic skinny jeans look 100 times more exciting.
Style Notes: Belts aren't entirely out of the question, you'll just need to wear them a bit higher up. Great idea with the knit and pleated skirt combination for a night out, Alex.
Style Notes: A wrap top is just as useful as a wrap dress during this time. As are trend-hitting trainers that you'll wear over and over again.
Style Notes: Instagram's Virginia Nam knows it too: Shackets are a pregnant lady's BFF in autumn.
Style Notes: Slick's maternity looks have been nothing short of wild, but this ruched dress idea is entirely relatable and well worth considering for more formal occasions.
Style Notes: It definitely seems that dresses have been the default option for so many pregnant women this year—and you can see why when they're this nice.
Style Notes: Short and long hemlines can work harmoniously together—just see Chriselle's minimalist get-up for proof.
Style Notes: A trench coat has never looked so cute.
Style Notes: A slinky maxi dress is a great wear-now, wear-later option.

Next up, the best maternity jeans in Topshop, put to the test.

This piece was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

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