How to create your perfect maternity capsule wardrobe

How to create your perfect maternity capsule wardrobe

How to create your perfect maternity capsule wardrobe
A guest post by by Emma Gillespie
Shopping for maternity clothes is a minefield. You’re shopping for clothes
that you will only need for about six months, during which time your body is
dramatically changing shape, as the seasons around you change as well.
You don’t know which styles are going to function best (under bump or over
bump?!) and be comfortable and practical, you don’t want to spend lots of
money on clothes that you won’t need for long, but you don’t want to be
bored wearing the same few items for months on end.
Maternity wear

Where to start

Emma, Mum of two and founder of Belles and Babes which offers
maternity, nursing and baby clothes to rent across the UK, shares her top
tips for creating a maternity capsule wardrobe so that you can dress in
comfort and style throughout your pregnancy.
Firstly, there are some essentials that will help you make the most of your
existing wardrobe. A belly/bump band, which simultaneously covers any
gap between your trousers and tops as your bump starts growing, and also
covers up the top of your trousers so that you can wear them unbuttoned or
use the elastic band trick before you are quite ready for maternity jeans.
For me, a couple of pairs of decent maternity leggings were also an
essential, so that I could wear them with my existing tunics or dresses
without seams at the waist. You might want some maternity tights for the
same reason as well, but that depends on the season and the kind of
events you might be going to – I got away with just leggings for the whole
of my first pregnancy.

On to your capsule staples

Think about the colours and styles that you
normally wear, and try to choose clothes in the same colour palette so that
you can mix and match them. You will need at least one top that can be
dressed up for smarter occasions (you WILL get bored if you only have
casual t-shirts!). Then think about layers that you can add from your
existing wardrobe.

"One tip is to wear a fitted maternity top but then pair it
with something like an oversized shirt over the top or a dress that can
unbutton all the way down so that you can wear it open."

A shirt can also be tied in a knot above your bump to create a different look. In the early stages you might want to add a belt or ribbon and tie it above your bump to give some definition. You don’t need to buy maternity cardigans or jumpers –
you can wear normal cardigans unbuttoned, or blazers look great too.

In terms of bottoms, you will probably want one or two pairs of maternity
jeans. Mamalicious jeans are our favourites because they are over bump,
have real front and back pockets (which can be rare in maternity jeans!)
and they have an elasticated waist with a button to adjust them for a perfect
fit. I always recommend going for over-bump, as you can actually fold the
band over and put it under your bump if you prefer, whereas under-bump
doesn’t provide the support you will probably want in the later stages.
Then choose your favourite extra items – you might fancy a pair of
maternity dungarees or a jumpsuit to mix it up a bit, and you will probably
want one dress that can be dressed up or down. If it’s summer, you might
want a maternity skirt or shorts. If you have any stretchy skirts from your
existing wardrobe you will be able to wear these pulled up over your bump,
at least at the start of your pregnancy. A lot of maxi dresses don’t have a
seam at the waist so they will work as well.
If you plan to be active during your pregnancy or to take up antenatal yoga, Fitta Mamma have a fantastic selection of maternity activewear clothes which are available to rent from Belles & Babes.

Finally, accessorise!

It is still likely that you will be working with a reduced
wardrobe, so use your existing accessories like shoes, scarves and
jewellery to change things up so that you don’t get bored, or to dress outfits
up or down, particularly if you need a smarter work wardrobe or you have
more formal occasions to attend. Use accessories to add pops of colour or
different textures and prints – metallics are great for this.
Statement earrings are also a perfect way to dress up a more casual outfit. And if you find yourself wanting to go on a shopping spree, or you have a birthday
whilst you’re pregnant, stick to accessories that will last beyond your
pregnancy too!
If you like the idea of renting your maternity wardrobe, everything you need
for your pregnancy is available to rent from Belles & Babes for £5 per item
per month, and you can either choose your wardrobe yourself or opt for
their bespoke capsule where they send you items based on your personal

"Absolutely perfect! I feel amazing!"
Emma provides a really personal service and all the clothes she sent me were perfect! Amazing quality. Its so nice to feel good during my pregnancy. I'm very happy with the service and clothes.
Joanna Lanham, B&B subscriber

Emma Gillespie

Belles and Babes is a UK-based rental business specialising in sustainable maternity, baby, and nursing clothes. Founded by Emma Gillespie in 2017, the company is driven by her corporate sustainability background and has a mission to provide a more sustainable alternative for parents seeking to move away from fast fashion and reduce clothing waste.


If you are a parent seeking a sustainable alternative to fast fashion, you
can find out more about Belles & Babes below.

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