It is Mothers’ Day in the UK, which makes for a perfect occasion to celebrate motherhood, green-and-glam style. Many women first turn to eco-fashion when they become pregnant. Naturally, we all want the best for our baby, so we opt for organic food, avoid pollution, and so on. Eco-fashion is all about wholesomeness and earthliness (in a good sense). It is no mere coincidence that our planet is called Mother Earth!
Having gone through two successful pregnancies, I can share some of my insights & insecurities, as well as great finds and occasional frustrations when it comes to dressing for two.
Early on in my first pregnancy, I tried to eschew the dreaded maternity section for as long as possible (in my case, up to the 5th month). Looking at the frumpy, insipid offerings at many high-street stores left me quite depressed about my expanding waistline. When fitting into my non-pregnancy clothes was no longer possible, I grit my teeth and reluctantly stocked up on maternity essentials. For me these were:
- a pair of great-fitting maternity jeans (I literally lived in mine – they were so great!);
- a pair of formal trousers (in black or another dark colour) for work;
- a wrap dress (or two, great for work, after-work functions and other dressy occasions);
- a pair of comfy lounge pants (great for walks, gentle exercise and yes, lounging in);
- a couple of long tops or wrap tops (I bought both maternity and normal ones – just a couple of sizes bigger);
- a funnel-shaped coat or poncho (for winter pregnancies);
- tunic tops and leggings (for all seasons);
- maternity tops and bras (to take you through breastfeeding).
Thanks to experienced friends and the internet, I also learned some useful rules for getting through the nine months in style:
- pregnancies are made for wardrobe swapping and sharing, especially since good quality pregnancy clothes cost a lot and are often in great condition after you’re done with them;
- be bold and try things that you wouldn’t normally wear – for me these were ponchos and mini-dresses paired with leggings;
- you can brighten up your capsule maternity wardrobe by using standout colours and accessories;
- the main thing is to be comfortable – stop wearing clothes as soon as they start to stretch or dig in or make you feel bloated;
- pack away the clothes you can no longer wear – they will only upset you.
It took me a while to find ethically and aesthetically pleasing maternity clothes, and sadly, I also found quite a few eco-maternity lines that were closed or discontinued. So here are my favourite picks:
- People Tree, pioneers of sustainable and fair-trade fashion, have a great selection of wrap dresses. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I really think The Duchess of Cambridge should work with them on an eco-friendly mummy and baby collection.
- For jeans, J Brand has some great maternity styles, which are both eco- and socially-conscious. When I was pregnant, I also found a pair of affordable and well-cut organic jeans from H&M MAMA range.
- Kobyo, which also boasts organic and fair trade clothes, has a rather limited selection of t-shirts, leggings, and wrap dresses.
- For comfy loungewear, check out one of UK’s oldest organic and fairtrade cotton producers Gossypium. For example, their fold-over yoga trousers would make you want to enroll in prenatal yoga classes right away!
- For special occasions, nothing beats Isabella Oliver. While the brand does not talk about the clothes’ eco-credentials, the founder’s personal and inspiring story and the Queen’s Award for Enterprise make me feel that my money is well spent.
- Dutch brand Queen Mum has some great-looking styles. I got myself a long merino wool belted cardigan that lasted well beyond my pregnancy.
- For underwear, I could no longer find any Eco Boudoir maternity lingerie sold online. I can, however, vouch for the Elle Macpherson’s Intimates’ maternity bra, which was the best ever.
- Speaking of celebrities’ maternity lines, Lavish by Heidi Klum collection includes several pieces made out of modal (an eco-fibre originating from beech trees). And having been pregnant four times, Heidi certainly knows a thing or two about maternity wear! You can watch her take on The Do’s and Don’ts of Maternity Clothes here.
And one final tip. While it may take a little bit more effort to nail that green-and-glam look while pregnant, embracing your curves is what will give you that famous “pregnancy glow”.
Happy Mother’s Day to all yummy green mummies and mummies-to-be!