Let’s talk maternity fashion. There’s something about being pregnant that gives me an extra boost of confidence (well up until the last 2 weeks were I just feel like a bloated Gorilla). I love “dressing up” my bump in dresses and keep my heels until the very last month. I think it’s the fact that I don’t need to give a damn about my “shape” or “body” as its busy creating a perfect little human and that in itself is beautiful.
I remember how shocked I was when I fell pregnant with Aadam, in 2013, at the lack of maternity wear commercially available. Major retailers like Woolworths and Edgars who previously held maternity lines were dropping them, and if they did still stock any it was available in maybe one shop, all the way across town. Luckily it was my first pregnancy, and I was small (well in comparison to now in any case), so I just upsized tunic style dresses and paired them with coats and heels ala The Duchess of Cambridge.
Fast forward a year to my pregnancy with Yusuf and we were living by the coast, during a different season, and I was now working from home. I didn’t have to worry about the “corporate” look and comfort was key, running around after a 14-month-old toddler while trying to maintain a sense of dignity. Leggings, track pants and long dresses were my staple uniform, but again nothing that I had to specifically go out and buy in terms of maternity.
This pregnancy has been different. 4 years later and baby number 3, I felt that I was showing from as early on as 7 weeks and I knew I would have to stock up on some corporate maternity essentials. Thank goodness I did, I’ve been living in them! Thankfully maternity fashion has developed quite a bit over the past 5 years. We have some incredible local South African brands available that are easy to order online or find in store. My go to this time has been Cherry Melon Maternity. Whilst I had one or two tops of theirs in previous years, I found that investing in the essentials this time around has saved me lots of hassle. Cherry Melon specialises in making women feel as beautiful and comfortable as possible during their pregnancy. They create feminine and trendy maternity-wear that complements your individual style throughout pregnancy, feeding and beyond.
Their sizing is easy, and you just follow your normal sizing style. Their designs are on trend and super comfortable, allowing you to go from wearing them in the first trimester, right the way through to delivery and I’m obsessed with some of their floral oriental style prints at the moment. Sadly, with this pregnancy I didn’t exercise at all, I was so incredibly nauseous for the first 4 months that I could bear to do my yoga or Pilates, and I struggled to pick it up again, however they have also just released a range of active wear for preggy mamas and I would have certainly got these as well. Next up i’ll be investing in some of their breastfeeding range, I need tops that are suitable for the office but easy to access for pumping 🙂
The one must have item I feel every preggy mama should invest in (apart from a maxi dress) is a good pair of maternity jeans. I have found Cherry Melons styles to be the most flattering, on trend and they grow comfortably with you. The back-bum section doesn’t hang all they way by your knees, like some of the other preggy brands.
Personally, I stocked up on the basics: 2 pairs of jeans (1 light, 1 dark), 1 pair of black work trousers, 1 pair of white trousers, 1 pair of leggings and then basic white and black cami’s and vests which I pair with blazers or Kimonos. I also got 3 or 4 Maxi dresses.
If you are feeling confused as to where to start, here are a couple of my pregnancy style tips:
- Invest in the basics – Cami and Tank Vests, neutral coloured jeans, a good pair of leggings and a pair of black trousers will get you far. Get one great black dress, whether its long or short this will quickly become one of your most versatile style items. Dress it up for a night out or down with a denim jacket for a day look.
- Accessories – Add cute little belts to show off your bump with maxi dresses or dress up a plain tee with a great throw or kimono.
- Pair coats with dresses – If you are lucky enough for your pregnancy to fall into the cooler months, this trick keeps you looking slim, showing off the cutest part of your bump and hiding all lumps and bumps
- Blazers are your best friend – especially if you are working in corporate! Again, by wearing an open blazer, you are slimming down and drawing attention the to cutest part of your bump. Its one of the oldest tricks in TV as well and how they hide pregnant bellies when filming.
- A great pair of maternity jeans will do wonders, try to stick to a skinny or cropped pair to balance out your big bump.
You can purchase Cherry Melon directly through their online store or visit their standalone stores in Canal Walk, Cape Town; Menlyn Shopping Center in Pretoria or Cresta and the Mall of Africa in Johannesburg. They also stock through Zando.
*I received a few Cherry Melon pieces at the start of my pregnancy as a gift from the brand, but I had also purchased my own. All views expressed are my own personal opinion.*