Laura Tenison's Tips on Choosing your Maternity Clothes

It can be a little confusing knowing where to start with your maternity wardrobe, particularly if it’s your first pregnancy or you’re own a tight budget. But armed with a few basic principles, you should be able to save yourself a bit of time and money.

Don’t buy too much at the start of your pregnancy
For the early months get a bump bandeau, designed to button to your regular trousers and allow you to continue wearing them for the first few weeks. Come into one of our stores when you’re about 3 or 4 months pregnant and running out of pre-pregnant clothing that fits over your new bump. Then shop again at about 6 or 7 months and finally come in for last minute advice in the last few weeks before the birth to get ready for hospital or breastfeeding.

Get comfortable
Avoid any fabric which could be an irritant, in particular polyesters and acrylic. By sticking with natural fibres or extra soft material, you are less likely to have a reaction. We do include some man-made fabrics in our collections but they are always tested to ensure they are soft and non-irritant.

Layer your clothes
Some women find that their body temperature will vary dramatically during the day, with hot flushes appearing without warning. So it makes sense to layer your clothes, ensuring you are able to strip off outer layers when you feel the need. Long Sleeve Breton Stripe Tops work well as a bottom layer underneath a cardi. However, don’t forget that you will still get cold if temperatures drop and very few maternity companies offer coats and knits. We always include several styles of maternity coats and jackets and they are generally designed to be worn after pregnancy as well to ensure they are worth the investment.
maternity coat
Keep your pre-pregnant style and size
Buy shapes and colours that you are used to wearing; if you are a jeans and t-shirts person, stick with that look. Wearing a maxi dress may look comfortable, but you will feel frumpy if you are used to wearing fitted styles. Also, when you shop for maternity wear at JoJo, make sure you order your pre-pregnant size, as we allow for your growing bump and changing shape. Our designs also feature a variety of ways to let the clothes out during your pregnancy, including stretchy panels and elasticated waistbands.

Maternity no-no’s
Our maternity tops are cut long enough to cover the bump which a regular top might not. So unless you are lost in the time warp of the fashion faux-pas (which permitted exposing your bump to public view), we strongly recommend you opt for longer length tops and tunics. Equally disturbing, in our opinion, is the G-string-on-display-look. Showing a builders’ bum, no matter how sexy, when 9 months pregnant, is not elegant. Our bestselling maternity jeans are designed with a stretchy and soft waistband panel which not only offers support but also lets you bend over with modesty!

Don’t be put off wearing stripes or bright colours
Ignore fashion advice that suggests you stick to dark colours and plain fabrics. Beauty and confidence come from within and if you feel great you will look good too. Our Blue Stripe Dress and Red Floral Pleated Top are on trend and add a bit of fun to a plain wardrobe.

Glam party style
Don’t hold back on the party season just because you are pregnant. We make huge efforts to keep our special occasion dresses affordable so that you feel it is worth buying a special dress even if you do only wear it a couple of times. With a variety of colours, lengths, sleeves and detailing, there’s a style to suit everyone’s figure.

Work it baby!
If you are working in a role where you need to be smartly dressed during your pregnancy, think about outfits you can mix and match to create different looks without having to buy too much. Black shift dresses are amazingly versatile and are great for colder months layered over tops and shirts. Choose from wide leg or straight leg trousers in black or grey and team with a jewel coloured JoJo wrap top for a smart work outfit that can also be accessorised for evening.

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