ASK MOTHER

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This week we caught up with Author, Midwife, Mother to 4 girls and professional Superwoman Clemmie Hooper. In between delivering babies, doing the school run, chasing after twin toddlers, knocking out the odd book and providing support for women everywhere with her blog, Clemmie was kind enough to give us her words of wisdom on maternity dressing. With 27 months of maternity dressing under her belt, THE MOTHERSHOP had to get her insight.

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TM: Many women find the first stage of pregnancy difficult to dress, where they don’t look ‘pregnant’ but have a bigger tummy, do you have any tips for styling out this tricky trimester?

CH: My boobs were the first thing that got bigger so I wore looser tops and nothing too restricting around my stomach, especially when I was feeling so sick. But don’t go too ‘tent look’ if you suddenly start dressing is really over sized clothes people will start getting suspicious

annaelizabethevents.com via Pinterest\

TM: Are there any items you’d recommend investing in for maternity wear that could also be worn post birth?

CH: I wore my usual jackets in pregnancy, (I don’t believe in maternity coats, what’s the point?) a really lovely soft scarf which will be perfect for breastfeeding and I treated myself to some cool trainers, you do a lot of walking with a new baby so comfy but stylish trainers are a great investment. Oh and never underestimate the importance of a good maternity bra, I bought a few which I wore all pregnancy and then breastfed in

TM: Did you find your style changed at all when you were pregnant, or since becoming a Mum?

CH: I tried to keep to my style and shopped in places like Cos which do great oversized tailoring perfect for pregnancy and then wore those post baby. I’m more confident now, I wear bright lipsticks, mix prints and colour. I guess when you become a mother it’s easy to let those things go as you have less time but looking nice on the outside makes me feel good on the inside too. Also, be brave!

TM: How easy did you find following trends when it came to maternity wear?

CH: Each pregnancy the style/trends were different but with my last pregnancy I felt the most confident that knowing what you really need to buy vs what you think you’ll wear. I spent every evening in the comfiest tracksuit bottoms and cotton tops, comfort is key. The high st now is so much better than it was 10 years ago when I had my first daughter, shops like Gap, M&S and H&M have a great selection of key pieces, I was lent a few items from friends which is ideal when you’re on a budget

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TM: As a Mum of four, how do you find the time to think about your outfits and what to wear?

CH: I have very little time in the morning but I really try to have a small but better quality wardrobe these days. I add colour with jewellery and lipsticks. Depending on my mood I’ll mix it up, keep my outfit simple but go all out on my shoes.

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TM: Are there any Mum’s you look to for style inspiration?

CH: So many mums inspire me, especially on Instagram. Zoe (@dresslikeamum) has such a great attitude to clothes – basically wear what makes you feel happy, Erica Davies (@erica_davies) for all the colour and prints also Nat (@stylemesunday) has a great style too!

For more pearls of wisdom from Clemmie check out her book ‘How to Grow a Baby And Push It Out’ available here


 

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This week, THE MOTHERSHOP caught up with top TV presenter, Mum-to-be and very lovely Alex Jones.  Alex and her partner are expecting a baby in the New Year. So at just over half way through her pregnancy, we thought we’d have a quick chat to see how she was finding dressing her bump so far….

THE MOTHERSHOP: Hi Alex! How are you going about choosing what to wear during your pregnancy? 

Alex: I haven’t at any point worn anything that is maternity wear so far! Apart from my jeans. I’ve just been going to my usual high street shops like Zara, & Other Stories and H&M and then I will adapt the styles I would usually choose to suit the bump.

THE MOTHERSHOP: Have you come across any difficulties in retaining your original style? 

Alex: I haven’t found any problems with retaining my usual style so far. Of course, it’s more tricky the further on in your pregnancy you go but I think with some clever use of shapes and colours you can stick to what you like whilst embracing your growing bump.

Somerset by Alice Temperley Bow Blouse

Alex’s Blouse is Somerset by Alice Temperley from John Lewis. The cream style is now sold out but this newer blush version (which Alex also has) is available here See Alex wearing hers here

THE MOTHERSHOP: How do you find the choice of what’s available for maternity wear?

Alex: There is no choice at all! I think Topshop have some nice bits and H&M jeans work well once you’re past about 22 weeks, I found them to be too low before then. But otherwise, it seems to be that all maternity wear is based on everyone being the same size where the reality is, is that you’re a different size every week. It’s tricky as no one wants to spend a fortune on clothes that are essentially only useful for 5 months but there is a gap in the market for different styles for different stages. I also found most maternity wear to be extremely mumsy.

THE MOTHERSHOP: Do you have any style tips/advice for people at the beginning of their pregnancy?

Alex: Try and stick with your own clothes for as long a time as possible. If you have slim arms, make sure you try to show them off. Oversized styles and tent like dresses or tops really don’t do anybody any favours!

 H! by Henry Holland at Debenhams

[Alex wearing H! by Henry Holland for Debenhams. You can buy this shirt here]

THE MOTHERSHOP: What items of your maternity wardrobe have you found invaluable?

Alex: Only my H&M jeans so far!

H&M

[Image via hm.com]

Here are a few more examples of non-maternity styles Alex has recently worn during her pregnancy…

Warehouse

Dress £49 Warehouse [image via Warehouse.co.uk]

See Alex wearing hers last week here

Topshop

Dress £75 Topshop

White embellished shirt, River Island

Shirt £38 River Island [image via Riverisland.com]

[Main Picture Credits: Instagram]