For this week’s ASK MOTHER section, I had a chin wag with TV presenter, Heart Radio DJ and super stylish Mum-to-Be Zoe Hardman.
With her keen interest in fashion, I wanted to know how she’d found dressing during pregnancy and also to get some insider tips for the tricky path of maternity dressing. I caught up with the lovely Zoe just a week before her due date, where she offered some great advice…
THE MOTHERSHOP: Hi Zoe! What have you found challenging about dressing during pregnancy and what have you most enjoyed?
ZOE: “The challenge for me was, I was a high-waisted type of girl and I would always wear something that was tucked in to make my legs look longer! But because I had this growing waistline, suddenly everything had to go over the bump and down. I had this initial ‘Oh my god I don’t know how to dress!’ as I’d dressed this certain way for such a long time. I found I started wearing longer length tops instead which would cover the bump but also much tighter styles than I was used to. Then sometimes I’d try putting a belt with them or tying a bigger shirt underneath the bump to try and keep some sort of a fashion edge to it. Another thing I felt I was struggling with was what the high street was offering me; I wanted to retain the fashion edge that I really love but at the same time keep my look different and quirky and I didn’t feel like that was offered to me”.
THE MOTHERSHOP: Did how you feel affect the way you dressed when you were pregnant?
ZOE: “Yes. Because I felt so horrible for the first 10 weeks, when I did go out I made more of an effort to look good because I wasn’t feeling good in myself. It’s only actually in my final trimester, when I’ve felt really big for me, that I’ve dressed a little bit differently. I’m dressing more for comfort now as everything is really tight. The clothes that I bought at the beginning of my pregnancy, like my maternity jeans for example, don’t fit me now which is upsetting! But they are a size 6 so what do you expect!! I’ve also been wearing long sleeve dresses that are tight, but still really comfortable. I actually have a really nice mid-calf one from Isabella Oliver that I really like”.
THE MOTHERSHOP: One thing that’s really tricky when you’re pregnant is dressing for special occasions, do you have any tips for dressing for outings like weddings or Black tie events?
ZOE: “Well, this is my first pregnancy and I’ve had 7 weddings to dress for! I’ve found Asos quite good. I have this really cool Grecian off the shoulder dress which was really lovely. It went over the bump but still showed a bit of leg which I liked [click here to buy]. And then for other occasions what I did was buy a few sizes up. If you can’t find a maternity dress you like then my tip for occasions is just buy bigger, I went to a wedding in Ibiza and I bought this really nice Self Portrait dress in a size 12 which worked really well for that time of my pregnancy.
Another great tip, if you are buying for a special occasion go to the website Nine In The Mirror, it’s all Designer clothes that give you the option to wear during the different stages of pregnancy. I really liked the website for helpful tips and hints”.
THE MOTHERSHOP: Do you have any favourite items of your maternity wardrobe which you couldn’t live without?
ZOE: “There’s a brand called Envie de Fraise and they have some really nice tight tops which I’ve worn loads. Weirdly, when I wasn’t pregnant you wouldn’t catch me in anything bodycon, I was into wearing A-line, looser styles but since pregnancy I’ve found I wanted to show off my bump and Envie de Fraise do some really great cuts in their tops. My maternity jeans are from Seraphine and also some really nice ones from Topshop both of which I’ve been living in. I’ve always worn a really pair of skinnies and then a really nice top which I always feel good in and felt good in before I was pregnant. When it’s been really hot, I’ve been wearing dresses and belting them, just to emphasis a bit higher in the waist and then show off the bump slightly. Topshop maternity dresses have been great for that”. [See below]
THE MOTHERSHOP: Are there any maternity items you think are worth spending a bit more money, things you may wear post pregnancy perhaps?
ZOE: “I’d say invest in a really good pair of jeans as you will end up living in them. You can always dress them up with a great top and pair of heels which I’ve been doing lots.
My feet have only just swollen up in the last couple of weeks so I’m in gladiator sandals and open-toe sandals and none of my boots fit me! I recently wore some boots to a restaurant and I was immediately sweating! It was probably one of my lowest points during pregnancy, I had to get one of my friends to yank my boots off under the table! So if you’re pregnant in the summer invest in a really nice pair of open toe sandals!!”
“One thing I would say is yes, you can pack away your six inch stilettos for a while but you don’t have to stop feeling glamorous. I think that’s something pregnant women maybe sometimes forget, mainly because they feeling like their bodies are being completely hijacked, but make a point of spending a bit of money getting your nails and your hair done to make yourself feel nice. And do invest in your maternity wardrobe because you will want to throw on nice clothes right up to the end!”